The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir

October 30, 2020
The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir

Dee William's life changed in an instant, with a near-deathexperience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed witha heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenlyreminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to bespending hers with the people and things she truly loved. Thatincluded the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest shehad painstakingly restored—but, increasingly, it did not includethe mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck ofhome ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Justwhat was all this stuff for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchenstocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn'tcompare with the financial freedom and the ultimateluxury—time—that would come with downsizing.Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house—on her own,from the ground up—was just the beginning of building a new life.Williams can now list everything she owns on one sheet of paper,her monthly housekeeping bills amount to about eight dollars, andit takes her approximately ten minutes to clean the entire house.It's left her with more time to spend with family and friends, andgiven her freedom to head out for adventure at a moment's notice,or watch the clouds and sunset while drinking a beer on her (yes,tiny) front porch.The lessons Williams learned from her "aha" moment post-traumaapply to all of us, every day, regardless of whether or not wedecide to discard all our worldly belongings. Part how-to, partpersonal memoir, The Big Tiny is an utterly seductive meditation onthe benefits of slowing down, scaling back, and appreciating thetruly important things in life.