The Big Tiny by Dee Williams

The Big Tiny

By Dee Williams

  • Publication Date: 2014-04-22
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 18 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

Dee Williams’s life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest she had painstakingly restored—but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this stuff for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchen stocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn’t compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury—time—that would come with downsizing.

Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house—on her own, from the ground up—was just the beginning of building a new life. Williams can now list everything she owns on one sheet of paper, her monthly housekeeping bills amount to about eight dollars, and it takes her approximately ten minutes to clean the entire house. It’s left her with more time to spend with family and friends, and given her freedom to head out for adventure at a moment’s notice, or watch the clouds and sunset while drinking a beer on her (yes, tiny) front porch.

The lessons Williams learned from her “aha” moment post-trauma apply to all of us, every day, regardless of whether or not we decide to discard all our worldly belongings. Part how-to, part personal memoir, The Big Tiny is an utterly seductive meditation on the benefits of slowing down, scaling back, and appreciating the truly important things in life.

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Latest User Reviews

  • A captivating story that taught me how to be happy.

    By LoBoSo
    Six years ago I had all of the things a successful young person was supposed to have, but I was unhappy and I wasn't sure why. One fateful new-year's eve, I stumbled across a YouTube video of Dee Williams and I felt a paradigm shift. I finally understood how to be happy. Since that time, Dee's story has not only changed my life, it has launched an entire movement of voluntary simplicity through tiny house living. Reading this book was like rediscovering the quintessence I originally found in Dee's tiny house story. The beauty of this book is that there is so much more depth than short videos could ever provide. In the book, Dee shares the context of her decision to go tiny, the struggles she had in the transition, and the meaning of life discovery she made in the face of death. Dee's book is tragic, endearing, and surprisingly wet-your-pants funny. I loved this book!