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‘The Big Tiny’ finds some inspiration in an unlikely home

December 21, 2018 GMT

Everyone is talking about tiny houses. Some see them as a brilliant opportunity for more freedom, an alternative to being burdened with home loans and high electric bills. Others cannot imagine downsizing their entire life into the square footage equivalent of a storage shed.

If we’re not talking about them, we’re watching them on HGTV, attending tiny house workshops, or shopping for design plans on Amazon. Whether you see yourself going tiny or not, our world is currently obsessed with the Tiny House Movement.

As a homeowner with a mortgage and a seemingly unending home repair list, I will admit that I find tiny living to be somewhat appealing. When I came across “The Big Tiny: A Built It Myself Memoir,” I became immediately interested. The author, Dee Williams, explains how she was living in a typical suburban home. A home entirely too big. She was tired of the constant maintenance her older home was requiring. She felt tired of spending all her free time keeping up a large space. The kind of square footage she didn’t really use or need.


It took a significant health scare to push Dee into making some major lifestyle changes. Readers quickly find out how once Dee puts her mind to something, there is absolutely no stopping her. Not only does she commit to moving into a tiny home, she decides to build it completely on her own. And with some occasional support from her endearing group of friends, she does accomplishes this feat.

The biography follows this courageous and clever woman’s journey from start to finish. From selling her average sized home, conceptualizing her new smaller space, and eventually settling in to a completely different lifestyle. This involved many obstacles that the typical homeowner generally doesn’t have to think about. Things like finding creative seating small enough to fit in the new living room, or calculating enough space in the sleeping loft so you don’t thump your head on the ceiling when you roll over.

Although, Dee has quite a few accidents and scrapes along the way, she never loses her resolve or her witty sense of humor. The author emphasizes many times about the transition to tiny is not exactly easy. It is definitely not for everyone. There are days where her entire body aches, and nights of lying in her loft unable to sleep. There are moments when she truthfully admits to being in over her head. The reader feels her wanting to give up. But Dee pulls through every time and never disappoints. She documents the good with the bad, and her honesty is refreshing.


With the popularity of The Tiny House Movement, many of us are asking ourselves if we could make similar changes to simplify our own lives. The book may not convince you to choose tiny living, but it is an incredible read, and it just might give you the motivation to make your own substantial change towards having a happier existence.

It seems to me that is what Dee’s memoir is actually about. Finding what makes you happy, and going for it without hesitation.

Kasey J. Peters is a part time public speaker and full time bookworm from Princeton, WV.