Special Report: Tiny House Living

Profile a woman living a tiny lifestyle

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It’s a pop–culture topic that seems to be going mainstream – tiny houses.

The movement to live simpler and more environmentally friendly has been talked about as a way to help low–income residents, senior citizens and the homeless.

In a special report on tiny houses we profile a woman who left her job, sold her home and now lives in a space less than 100–square feet.

It’s a lifestyle she felt was unattainable, someplace she’d never find herself.

“I looked at magazine articles and stories online of people living life like this and thought, who are these people, who has a life like that,” said tiny house luminary B.A. Norrgard.

She said she is living a large life, in an unusually tiny house.

For nearly 3–decades Norrgard chased the American dream.

“I had a 30–year mortgage and I had a little mini cooper convertible and now I have a house on wheels and a one ton diesel pickup truck,” explained Norrgard.

She said goodbye to a life of luxury and predictability working as a paralegal.

“I went to a career transition coach and I said, What do I do? I want to do something different,” recalled Norrgard.

Piece by piece her vision of her new life transformed.

“One of the questions she asked was what did you do as a child that made you happy, and why did you stop doing it? So, I ended up here,” explained Norrgard.

She now resides in a 78–square foot house with a 6×13 foot floorplan.

Essentially, Norrgard’s house is the size of a parking space at the mall.

“In my kitchen I have my spice rack. I have a bamboo farm sink. I have granite countertops,” explained Norrgard.

Pots and pans are stored under the sink.

“I have a toaster oven and an induction burner that I can pull out and cook than I can tuck it back under when I’m not using it,” said Norrgard.

A 180–degree turn in her tiny house and you’ll find the bathroom.

“This is my wet bath. This curtain pulls shut – this whole space gets wet when I shower,” explained the tiny house luminary.

If you’re curious about her restroom, she has a composting toilet.

Much of Norrgard’s house is designed to be multi–purpose.

He living room is also used for dining and office space.

“My desk I can stand and type or I can pull out the bunch and sit and type and then when I have parties this is seating,” said Norrgard.

Her personal items are stored on shelves, some clothes are hung in a closet while others are folded, none–the–less, all her belongings are easy to pack for travel.

Small, little and mini are all synonyms for the word tiny.

While Norrgard’s house may be a tiny house, the word doesn’t begin to describe the large and simplistic lifestyle she is living.

“It’s a very back to basic simple lifestyle. Getting rid of that many possessions is so liberating,” said Norrgard.

The best part, Norrgard is living environmentally friendly with a composting toilet, minimal water and electric usage.

“For electric, I plug in. I need 1–10 outlet to power everything in my house. I have a generator for when I’m not near an outlet, I can do that,” said Norrgard.

While some have told her she is brazenly bold, Norrgard disagrees.

“Tiny house wannabees or lovers, whatever you want to call them, are everywhere,” said Norrgard.

It’s a freedom from what society has coined as the American dream.

“As far as it being a small space, I’m living a much larger life than I ever had in the traditional home with a foundation. The whole world is my backyard,” exclaimed Norrgard.

The sky is quite literally the limit for the middle–aged woman.

“Upstairs is a queen sized futon. I have a skylight over my bed so I can see the stars from my pillow at night,” said Norrgard.

In many regards this reality used to be just a wish upon a star for Norrgard.

“You’re living on a trailer in a shack, what kind of choice is that? People are threatened by change. They are threatened by people making different choices than they are making because they think one of us must be wrong,” said Norrgard.

While she has often been called a wandering soul, Norrgard said she is the happiest she has ever been.

A tiny house doesn’t mean a tiny life.

Norrgard is proof that square footage is only a number, while living large is in the eye of the beholder.

What can pose a challenge to tiny house dwellers is city codes for building and zoning, often times the homes are too small to tax.

Norrgard said tiny home communities are spreading outside of city limits and believes someday there will be urban clusters.

To learn more about Norrgard: http://www.abedovermyhead.com/

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