Well, the paperwork is signed, and I’ve done it.  Though I have sexed up this project by calling it a “Tiny Home” in reality I’ve just purchased a mobile home. A trailer. Just let the classiness of that sink in.  (And by that I mean: YOU let it sink in.  Cuz I can’t. Every time I think about it too deeply I feel the hot high pitch of fear rise up and I wet myself a little.)

Not many people aspire to trailer park living.  So why, in the middle of my 30’s with two kids and a small business did I decide to purchase a tired and slightly dumpy mobile home?

hipster at a farmers market

This is me at a farmer’s market right before I go full hipster… :S

The short and sweet of it is that my husband and I have gone our separate ways.  It was not my first choice as a conclusion for 2018.  But the silver lining to this massive life change is the rare opportunity to start over again. Like a Tiger Mom on an organizing binge, I am picking up every part of my life and asking myself: “Does this bring me joy?”  I have a chance to curate a new lifestyle for myself, rebuilding from the ground up.  So again… why the TRAILER HOME Katie!?

After the division of our assets, I am able to afford to start over – but not by much.  As a small business owner, I face challenges qualifying for a mortgage.  And even though housing prices are slumping in Durham Region, prices are still high for me to purchase a home on my own.  Rent prices seemed equally astronomical to me.  Right when my frustration over a lack of options was hitting its peak, I saw the trailer on MLS.  It’s very low price meant that I could afford to purchase the unit outright.  So, NO MORTGAGE, NO RENT. VERY LOW CARRYING COSTS. I would also have enough money left over to completely redesign the interior of the home, aaaaand that closed the deal.

I’ve long been a member of a niche interest group – tiny homes. They consume my Pinterest boards and to me represent a minimalist lifestyle full of freedom, efficiency and intentionality.  They are also ADORABLE. And therein lies many a woman’s secret dream. To somehow make hours of curating Pinterest boards full of white kitchens and claw-footed bathtubs into a purposeful activity. I’m going to live out a fantasy, to design my own home from the ground up. (Without anyone telling me I can’t paint my front door millennial pink.)

Living large in a beautiful 4 bedroom home… Could you go backwards?

This journey isn’t without hardship, however.  I recall my grade 12 English teacher telling me that all good story arcs revolve around a very few core conflicts:  Man vs. man, man vs his environment… ultimately every story comes down to man vs. himself.  This story has all these epic archetypes.  (Though HOPEFULLY, I’ve wrapped up the man vs. man portion of this story! Lol!) The focus here will be the adventure, as I courageously conquer an environment of aged carpets, orange wood and sagging ceilings. But it will also be about how this woMAN wrangles HERSELF. Can I get past my OWN stigmas and insecurities about moving into a trailer?  Can I keep fear from paralyzing me? The fear of failure, of budgets running out, of being alone, of being embarrassed – it all looms large. I’ve always been tolerant of risk and able to talk myself into jumping into the unknown.  But this… this is a lot – even for me.

I’ve talked a good game about wanting to be a minimalist, to be more in control, to live a more curated lifestyle.  But as I write this, in my final days in a 2300sq. foot home… can I actually handle it???


Follow my Tiny Home Reno Adventure!  I’ll be posting all the best parts on Instagram: www.instagram.com/katie_zen_dempsey