What You Need to Know About Hosting Guests in a Tiny House...
It's Alaska, your Tiny House Concierge! I’m glad to talk with you again!
Maybe it’s the feeling of the pandemic waning, or maybe it’s the fact that Spring is upon us. Whatever it is, I’ve had an overwhelming urge to socialize. Like, constantly. And this desire has led me to a whole new understanding of what it means to live tiny. So today, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned and what you need to know about hosting guests in a tiny house!
Your Tiny House is Basically Your Bedroom.
You know how some people are allowed in your entryway but not your living room? Or how there are the guests who are totally welcome to pull up a barstool in your kitchen, but it would get weird if they were in your bedroom? Yeah. Those degrees of intimacy separation might hold up in a regular-sized house, but trust me, the lines get pretty gray in a tiny home!
A tiny house is an intimate space because it’s such a small one. The things you value are on display, and there is no hiding what you were up to five minutes ago! If an unfamiliar guest comes over, you will be acutely aware of their proximity to your bed. Oh, and if anyone has to pee.. uh.. well, there will only be a thin door to separate you!
When I first went tiny, I assumed it would be better to limit guests to people I knew well. However, with time, I am learning that vibes are more important than familiarity.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: a tiny house is a concentration capsule.
You will feel other peoples’ energy much more strongly in a tiny house than you would in a regular-sized one. So to that end, good vibes trump the length of a relationship. Case in point: I would rather host my serene new co-worker than my hyper-critical cousin.
Your Friends Will Need Places to Put Things.
Friends rarely show up to your house naked. Or at least my friends rarely do. This is why it’s important to have designated places in your tiny house for guests to put items like shoes, coats, keys, purses, man-satchels, and the like!
Your guests will likely want to access the things they brought over, so wherever you put things, just make sure they are convenient. Definitely don’t do what I did to my bestie, Ania, and have your friend put her purse in the storage loft, only to make her climb a wall-ladder four times post-martini. Whoops. Sorry, An.
Full disclosure, where guests put things is something I’m still troubleshooting. However, my current strategy is to try and put the guests’ items where I put my own. So, their shoes and coats, for instance, go inside my closet. I think it’s working, but honestly, I could use a few more test subjects. Who wants to come over?
Your Friends Will Need to Know the Deal With Gifts.
Awww, your friend brought you a housewarming gift! And it is SO SWEET. Until you realize that you have minimal space and are expected to keep it forever. For this reason, you must have a chat with your friends about your new lifestyle prior to their arrival. They need to know that the traditional rules about not showing up empty-handed no longer apply.
Despite your efforts, be advised that certain friends will attempt to foist things on you anyway. Here are some phrases to watch out for:
I figured it would be okay because it’s REALLY SMALL. (No.)
I know you live tiny, but it’s just this ONE housewarming gift. (No.)
I know you said you can’t have a bunch of stuff, but this ONE, SMALL THING was just SO YOU. (No. No. No.)
Friends, once you become a tiny houser, you will need to develop strong boundaries to avoid drowning in stuff. Your friends mean well, but it will take some of them a minute to ‘get it.’ You must remain vigilant!
This is the request I have made to my friends: please only leave things that can be consumed. If I can eat it, drink it, or use it up in a very reasonable amount of time, it can stay. Anything else you came with must leave with you.
I had a friend come over recently who brought nothing and took home some pinecones I was attempting to get rid of. I have literally never felt more understood. If you know a tiny houser, be this kind of friend.
Your Friends Will be Afraid of Your Composting Toilet.
When your friends come over to the tiny house, you will be having a great time until they have to use the bathroom. Then their face will cloud over with a look of horror because they will remember two things:
- You have a composting toilet.
- You will be on the other side of the door while they use it.
Here is how to talk your friends off this ledge.
First of all, explain how the composting toilet works in graphic detail. You’ll want to cover periods, throwing up, and what happens if someone has diarrhea. You have no idea what they are planning to do in there. It’s also a good idea to tell guests that composting toilets don’t smell the way flush toilets do. Most people will assume that going number two will require you to move. Assure them it will not.
Also, tell your friends that the answer is no; you can’t hear them peeing from the living room. Although, if they are really that distraught, they can turn on the fan.
Hosting Guests in a Tiny House Wrap-up
Going tiny is a definite lifestyle adjustment, but ultimately, it has brought me closer to myself and my friends. Sure, the intimacy of the space feels a little extra awkward when the electrician comes over, but it’s also that much more romantic when you have a hot dinner date.
Having guests over will be a learning curve, but just remember to breathe. Oh, and if anyone truly panics, here is a surefire way to make things go smoothly:
Tell guests to pee beforehand and show up naked with a bundt cake. 🙂
Until next time,
Alaska is a writer, realtor, and tiny homeowner living in the great state of Colorado. She is the founder of The Tiny House Concierge, a company that offers consultation and copywriting services for people looking to rethink their housing and rewrite their lives. In addition to her website, she can be found on Instagram and YouTube.
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