There was a day when I was a voracious reader. In fact, it was through reading that I learned that word; voracious. I have gone a number of places, had a multitude of adventures, and met some incredible characters, through reading. These days though I don’t read much as I am usually too busy (if there is such a thing) to stop writing long enough to read another’s words. Every so often though I experience a book that makes me set aside everything else and really wet that once insatiable appetite. Such is the case with Lora Higgins’ book Dream Big, Live Small: A Guide For Downsizing and Intentional Living (or How Not To Panic in 200 Square Feet).
Higgins is the owner and founder of The Tiny House Teacher, LLC, a company focused on helping others pursue their tiny house dreams and build lives full of meaning and free of excess. Launched in 2015, her companion blog is full of relevant updates to her adventures living tiny. I personally met Laura briefly in 2015 at the Tiny House Jamboree where she was a guest speaker and panelist. I was able to reconnect with her more recently though when I cold-called (or is that cold-emailed?) her to ask if she wanted to contribute to Tiny House Magazine. Wait…I remember now. I actually cold-Facebooked her. Yeah, I am THAT guy. After talking to her I became truly impressed with her commitment to the tiny house lifestyle and how it could help her achieve personal and professional dreams including living debt free, traveling, and writing/speaking more. I downloaded my copy of the book just after seeing her again at the 2016 Tiny House Jamboree where she had a vendor table and did some on-the-spot consulting. It was pretty cool.
When I first started reading I thought might end up being just another tiny house book about throwing out your junk, coming up with cool IKEA storage solutions, and donating your clothes to Goodwill. I was in for a surprise though. It was instead a book more about tiny living in the real world rather than the one shown on the popular TV shows currently on-air. The premise of Dream Big, Live Small is the desire for practical advice when thinking about living tiny. Higgins even says early on, “It would have been nice to have some fellow downsizers to turn to for advice as I made my decisions. While a lot of the blogs and books I read helped me get to the point where tiny living seemed like a possibility, I still had tons of questions about whether or not it was right for me.” I could relate to her feelings all to well. When Crystal and I first started thinking about a tiny house we had more questions than anything and most of them were about the practicality – short term and long term – of a family in a super small space!
On a more technical note the book is comprised of six chapters and an epilogue and covers topics from ‘What is Tiny Living?’ to ‘Analyze Your Space.’ It is a relatively quick read but has a number of points that will cause you to take pause and think about your own life. The book is currently available on Kindle only but can be read even without a Kindle device through the online Kindle Cloud Reader. I encourage you to purchase your own copy today but even beyond that I leave you with these words.
In the Epilogue Higgins points out:
“Life is all about trade-offs. On any given day, we trade productivity for sleep, time for money, and money for relaxation, or adventure or recreation. None of these trade-offs are bad, unless we are no longer content with what we are trading. Last year I realized I was at a point in my life where the trades I was making weren’t adding value to my life or helping me get close to my dream. Tiny living has helped me become more content with what I have from a material perspective. I realize how few “things” I need to be content on any given day.”
AUTHORS NOTE: I did not receive any compensation for this review and am not bound by any affiliate program. This review is one done by choice on a book personally endorsed.