The Big Tiny

The Big Tiny

A Built-it-myself Memoir

Book - 2014
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Dee Williams's life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest she had painstakingly restored--but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this stuff for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchen stocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn't compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury-- 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, and it takes her approximately ten minutes to clean the entire house. It's left her with more time to spend with family and friends, and given 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-trauma apply to all of us, every day, regardless of whether or not we decide to discard all our worldly belongings. Part how-to, part personal memoir, The Big Tiny is an utterly seductive meditation on the benefits of slowing down, scaling back, and appreciating the truly important things in life.
Publisher: New York : Blue Rider Press, [2014]
Copyright Date: copyright 2014.
ISBN: 9780399166174
Characteristics: 288 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm.


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Oct 27, 2017

Dee has inspired me to explore the world of tiny homes and the possibility of building a tiny house. She is also a minimalist although I don't believe she identifies herself as one in the book. On her blog she has a picture of the list she has written of her 305 things total, she owns. I just love that. I don't think I could get down to that low, I do feel moved to simplify and have less stuff. One can be happy and not have a lot of stuff. Buying and purchasing does not make us happy. Ultimately.

Jul 02, 2017

Stories about alternate lifestyles are always interesting.

Dec 07, 2015

If you are interested in learning more about the tiny house movement or enjoy reading about adventurous people who live unconventional lives, read this account of one woman's quest to down-size and find balance in her life by building her own tiny home.

Jul 15, 2015

This memoir is about an Olympia, Washington resident – my hometown! – named Dee Williams and her pursuit to build and live in a tiny house. Among many other things, Williams is a good writer. This book is an undeniably fun read, and brings with it a lot of good contemplation on what is really important in life.

May 26, 2015

A fabulous read! Thank you Dee Williams for sharing your story, your process, and your humor. This is the read I needed as I consider downsizing. Good luck to you!

JCLHelenH Feb 25, 2015

Even if you can't imagine living in an 84 square foot house, this book is inspiring. But be may change your mind.

Jan 02, 2015

I don't know that I could ever do what Dee Williams has done, but I sure do admire her for the doing. Not just a memoir, also a guide to thinking through if the tiny house lifestyle is right for you.

Jul 06, 2014

very interesting. I liked the way she shared her thought process in deciding to embark on this new lifestyle. I was also just fascinated with how she built it by herself with the help of some friends. I think this type of house has a lot of potential in various communities and admire her for her courage, resourcefulness and gumption. karen g

Cynthia_N Jun 15, 2014

I really enjoyed this book. I think I could enjoy living in a tiny house although I think I would like it a little bit bigger than Williams. The book did make tiny living seem wonderful but it also acknowledged that it was not perfect. As Williams was making choices during the building of her house, she chose to opt out of indoor plumbing (compost toilet but no running water). I would definitely need plumbing. Definitely.

KCLSLibrarians Jun 03, 2014

A lot of people dream of downsizing their life. Dee William super-downsized hers when she built an 84 square foot "house". She sold her original house and has lived in the Big Tiny on wheels ever since. Anyone who has done home repair projects will enjoy the building aspect of the book, but there's so much more to the slim, easily read memoir. Very touching; very heartfelt.

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