Marjolein Jonker is an ambassador for the Tiny House movement in the Netherlands. Since May 2016 she has been living in a Tiny House in Alkmaar with her cat Hella.
Raising awareness of the Tiny House Movement.
As a Tiny House pioneer Marjolein Jonker is an ambassador for the Tiny House movement in the Netherlands. It is her mission to get the people in the Netherlands acquainted with the philosophy behind the movement, and to make living Tiny legally possible nationwide.
What is a Tiny House?
Her website, Marjolein In Het Klein (Marjolein In Miniature), offers an explanation of exactly what the tiny house movement is all about:
‘Tiny House’ is a well-established concept in the United States, where the Tiny House movement originated. At an astounding pace, the movement is gaining ground in the Netherlands as well. Still, there are many people who haven’t yet heard about the beautiful small homes and when you tell them that you want to live in a Tiny House, every now and then you will get the question: ‘a Tiny House, what’s that?’
The term Tiny House means a lot of things to a lot of different people, there are many interpretations possible. The Tiny House movement is all about the philosophy: being content with having enough and creating a life brought back to the essence, of that which is important. How much space do you need to live happily without ballast? It is different for each of us. How can you create a living situation that is as healthy, environmentally friendly and free as it can be, in a way that matches with your personality? By living in a Tiny House, you create room in your life for building relationships, spent time in nature, focus on having experiences. A Tiny House is not so much the goal as it is the means to create the life you want to live. This is my definition:
Tiny Houses are primary, full-fledged dwelling units on a small scale. Building and living in a Tiny House is done from a conscious choice, as an answer to a desire to live a simple life. With less focus on material possessions and with a smaller eco footprint. Clever ways of utilizing space and the use of innovative technologies are characteristic in the design and construction of Tiny Houses. A Tiny House is up to 50 m2, ideally (partly) self-sufficient, of high quality and functioning as a fulltime inhabited dwelling. Being mobile and/or fully off-grid is a possibility, not a requirement.
A tiny bit of history
The following history of the Tiny House Movement is from Marjolein In Miniature:
The Tiny House ‘movement’ as we know it originated in the United States, as an answer to a series of events that shook the housing market. A collapsing economy and disasters like hurricane Katrina caused people to lose their homes and young people found it increasingly difficult to obtain a house. As the need for affordable and flexible housing grew, some people started building their own little houses. Jay Shafer and Dee Williams among others, became pioneers in the Tiny House movement.
To bypass limiting regulations that dictate minimum measurements of dwelling units, these pioneers build their home on a trailer, thus starting an interesting movement with a beautiful philosophy: the Tiny House movement. These days the popularity of Tiny Houses has grown to sizable numbers. You can find hundreds of books, blogs, television series like Tiny House Nation. Around 40.000 people visited the first Tiny House Jamboree in 2015. As is often the case, the rest of the world is following and now also in Europe builders and enthusiasts are popping up everywhere.
The philosophy behind the tiny house movement.
Marjolein points out on her website that the average size of our homes has increased in the last 50 years, even though families have become smaller. Not only our houses have become bigger, the amount of material possessions we gather are increasing under the influence of commerce. You should have a luxury automobile, a walk-in closet full of exclusive clothing, the latest gadgets, otherwise you don’t fit in.She says we are in the middle of a turning point.
People are starting to realise that all this excess space and stuff are not making us any happier and many got into financial trouble, trying to achieve that standard of living. The Tiny House movement offers an answer to the desire to live a more simple life and to live in a way that doesn’t impact the Earth as much.
Einige Vorteile von klein leben.
- Freedom – You can take your home with you when you move. If you take a job elsewhere, or if you get tired of looking at the same surroundings every day, you hook up your house to your vehicle and move. That kind of freedom has a great appeal to many people. Some people want to see the world, travel as much as they can but still have a place to call home and return to without having to worry about housing costs.
- Simple Living – Some people choose a Tiny House because they realise that the modern-day standard of living does not express who they are, it causes a conflict of values. They want to live with less material possessions, to lead a simple life with a focus on that what is really important. Less distractions, more conscious living and living your dreams and passions.
- Sustainability, reducing your carbon footprint – More and more, people are starting to wake up and realise that we can’t continue to treat the planet as poorly as we have been doing. The enormously negative impact that our society, that is focussed on endless growth, is having on the envionment is undeniable. People want a change, want to contribute to the movement that will turn the tide. By living as sustainable as they can and reducing their carbon footprint, they set a positive example and educate others. Living in a Tiny House is a perfect fit. Some say that the building site of a regular house produces two Tiny Houses worth of waste materials. In any case, by living in a Tiny House you produce less waste and use less energy and water then you would in a regular house.
Interested in down-sizing? Check out this guide to tiny living:
All the questions you're bound to ask yourself about tiny homes, and a dozen more you hadn't even thought about, are answered here by The Tiny Life.