Transitioning to tiny home living is, ironically, a big challenge — but for some it can be worth sacrificing space and things. Lance, now an athletic development coach, was working for a road design company in Northern Alberta when he decided that he needed a change of lifestyle. “The hours were long, I was trading my time for good money but at the end of the day it wasn’t really worth it,” he says. “It took its toll on my body and my social life.”
Lance recently shared his story on the YouTube series Living Big in a Tiny House. In the video, he reveals how he made the transition two years ago, prompted by some serious changes in his personal life: while planning the move back to Victoria to spend time with his seriously ill mother, his best friend passed away suddenly, and his mother died not long after.
“I thought, I just needed a project to dive into with my time, as well as doing these things for the important people in my life,” he explains. “I started researching shipping container homes and tiny home living and educated myself, basically, on design.”
He took on all of the work himself, both to keep costs down, and to keep himself occupied. He describes the experience as “very challenging, but very rewarding,” and that overcoming the various DIY difficulties helped him learn new things about himself.
The container Lance purchased was a 20-foot unit, however by opening the doors and constructing a roof over them and a new end wall, he was able to add another four feet to the length of the home; enough space for his new bedroom. He also added extensive insulation to the roof of the container to ensure he would be able to heat it inexpensively during those cold Canadian winters. “In the spring, I find that my body heat, candles, and cooking are enough to sufficiently heat this place,” he says.
“I decided to focus on doing what I’m good at doing, what I love, and this tiny home living has helped support me in that,” he says. “After my best friend passed away, and my mom shortly after, I really needed some space to myself, and I found that moving into this tiny home, doing this project, gave my mind a task, and it gave my heart some healing, and I really found that this was the first step to wonderful change in my life, and it’s only going to get better from here.”