In an effort to bring awareness to benefits of living in smaller spaces, I interviewed Molly King about her recent move to a tiny house.
1. What event or situation prompted you to think about living in a tiny home?
I recently realized that my love of tiny homes and cozy spaces, in general, can be traced back to my love of the Boxcar Children books. I always loved the concept of running away and living in a “found space” away from the normal lives of other people. I grew up building forts in the woods, and seeking out small nooks and corners to curl up in.
Fast forward to 2016, when I seriously started researching Tiny Living—whether it was in a tinyhome, RV, or van. I learned as much as I could over the course of 8 months, and ended up realizing I didn’t want a mobile living structure—mostly because I still wanted to be in cold environments, and winterizing exterior pipes and dealing with the waste water / electrical seemed like a hassle.
I ended up tabling the idea and living in a house in Breckenridge, CO for a year and a half. But the idea of tiny living was always still percolating.
Come the fall of 2018, I began a dance partnership that resulted in me wanting to move to Salt Lake City, UT. And of course, when thinking about moving there, all I could picture was living in a tiny home. Within 3 months, I’d stumbled upon a tiny home space to rent. And, as of February 1, I’ve been living in my dream home! 🙂
2. Did any books influence you?
But actually a few publications have really influenced me:
– The documentary: Minimalism on Netflix
– Following other tiny home owners on Instagram over the past few years. Chronicling their ups and downs, and learning more about the realities of tiny home living
– Tidying Up: the Marie Kondo show on Netflix. I watched several episodes of this show while paring down my things to get ready to move into my tinyhome.
3. What benefits do you feel or experience with this move?
I’ve loved getting rid of so much excess stuff. It really feels like losing weight in many regards. My thought has less to manage, and the more I settle in, the more calm my space feels. I’ve also gotten to learn a lot about living in a space that uses propane for heat, a compost toilet, and lots of other small details that come with tiny living. 🙂
Whether it’s causative or correlative, I’ve found myself more directed in my life: my projects are starting to trim down to a more focused few, rather than a scattered many. And since I’m the only one in the space, I really get to make it my own. If something doesn’t belong (physically or metaphorically), it’s up to me to move it out.
4. How many square feet is your tiny home and what do you like most about it?
I LOVE my quiet early mornings and the golden hour inside my home. I love waking up with clear intentions, cooking healthy food in my tiny kitchen, doing projects around the house… really anything in/around the house.
I’m currently traveling every weekend, so I get to “come home” a lot now as well. And I get equally excited for coming home, as I do to travel. It’s a pretty great balance.
5. Anything you don’t like about it?
Oh, for sure! Let me count the ways. 🙂
– Waking up without heat in the middle of a Utah winter, and spending my day troubleshooting faulty propane connections and filling up propane tanks
– No hot water for the first 5 days of living there, and having to take frigid cold showers
– Pipes that are partially frozen, so waste water backs up in the sinks and in the shower, along with food particles
– Only having about 4 minutes of hot water before it runs frigid cold
– Navigating a ladder in the middle of the night when I have to get up to use the bathroom
– Having to clean out a compost toilet, which has had its moments… I won’t go into detail here about that, though. But you catch my drift.
That said, because it’s all still new and novel to me (and I come from a background of loving to camp), it still seems like a fun adventure when things go awry. Check back in with me in 8 months, and let’s see how that’s changed or not. 😉
6. If you won the lottery or money was no object, what size home do you think you would choose or how would you spend your money?
If I won the lottery, I’d probably still only live in 200-400 square feet, ideally. But I’d probably chose a tiny home living situation that had me connected to city plumbing. 😉
7. Do you consider yourself a minimalist? And what does that mean to you?
Yes and no. Perhaps I consider myself a minimalist in progress. I’ve certainly come a long way in paring down my things to a smaller amount. But sometimes I still feel like I have too much “stuff.” I’m working now to also pare down my mental “stuff”—choosing to take inventory of what I’m holding in my thought, and cleaning out anything that is clogging up a natural mental flow. That will probably also be an ongoing project as well. 😉
8. Are there any other things that these questions did not cover that you feel are important?
I’m currently renting my space. So it’s been an extreme blessing to have a “landlord” of sorts. So when things inevitably do go wrong, I can call/text her and we problem solve together towards a solution. I love figuring out how things work, but sometimes I simply don’t know what to do. But with her guidance and connections, she’s able to connect me with the right people to get things fixed, or I’m able to get it done myself.
Moving in to a space like this in the middle of winter is probably the most challenging aspect of it. But everyday I wake up in my loft space, and get to cook breakfast in my cute kitchen, surrounded by my plants and with good tunes playing—I can’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to live there. (even while the sink is backing up foggy water while I hand wash my dishes)
Molly King is a West Coast Swing dancer, teacher + competitor and author of the book Don’t Settle: Start Living a Life You Love. She recently moved to Salt Lake City to pursue a deeper study of West Coast Swing, though she travels quite frequently as well. Due to her move, she coincidentally found the Tinyhome of her dreams, and now rents that space which serves as her HQ. Between teaching, practicing, and Tinyhome-steading, she also works as a virtual assistant and is working on finishing her second book titled, Live Your Dance. You can follow + connect with her online on Facebook or Instagram.
When not dancing, writing, or traveling, Molly loves to get outside for backcountry skiing, hiking, waterskiing or road biking.