Living on an extremely tight budget in a tiny house. The tiny house is made of bamboo and recycled materials. The tiny house is located in Hasselt, Belgium.

Text provided via Stef Lemmens

On the 1st of January I moved into my bamboo home. It all started with a shopping cart and one question: ‘How small can a house be that still fits all the essential objects and functions while also maintaining some comfort?’

Within our society there are a lot of people who don’t have a home. Some of them can’t afford it and others simply hate the idea of going into debt to buy one. The homeless are often very creative in finding or creating shelter because they are constantly surrounded with a certain necessity to do so. In his book ‘Walden’, Henry David Thoreau talks about ‘voluntary poverty’. The idea is to deliberately embrace being poor, in every material sense, in order to avoid the common fate of being possessed by your possessions.

For the last 3 years I have been trying to achieve this voluntary poverty. For me the biggest motivation was to drop my cost of living so much that I would have an abundance of free time to do the things that I love doing, while I am still healthy enough to do them. Time for me is the most valuable thing in the world. Time to think, reflect, share, listen, create, fail, learn…

I build this cabin to challenge myself and question my own personal needs in life. I am not implying that everyone should live in a space this small, but I do think we need to reshape our concept of what a home can be. There are to many people living on the streets while we have regulations saying a home should be at least 30 square meters. There are no regulations on how big you can build your home though, which to me is just absurd.

I don’t want to offend anyone living in a large house. For a long time, this was the only option we saw possible. Our parents did it and so did their parents. For years media linked big houses to a successful life. For me this is not what success is about. People are not going to remember how big your house was, what kind of car you drive or where you spend your vacation. They remember how you made them feel, how you helped them, motivated them or inspired them to make positive changes in their own life. If my experiences can inspire just a few people to improve their lives then that is enough of a succes for me.

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