THUNDER BAY — Holly Kondreska serves as proof it's possible to relocate from a 1,500-square-foot house to a home barely one-tenth that size, and to live comfortably
Kondreska did that three years ago, and today she's still able to say joining the tiny-house movement provided the ideal solution for her and her son.
Their home is an ultra-compact 160 square feet, with an eight-by-eight loft for seven-year-old Emmett.
"It's worked out perfectly for me, and my son is fully functioning," Kondreska chuckled during an interview Monday with Tbnewswatch.
"It's efficient, it's warm, it fits all of my stuff. I've never needed more room for anything, ever," she said.
The house is currently located in a mobile home park on the outskirts of Thunder Bay, but Kondreska plans to move it to a property she's in the process of acquiring in the Lappe area.
She's been asked to speak about tiny home living at a Lakehead Social Planning Council event Tuesday evening.
"I know it's not perfect for everybody and I'm not the type of person that I'm just going to preach about the 'amazingness' of minimalism, because it's for each person to make that decision," she said.
But whenever she's asked to identify a negative aspect of compact living, Kondreska is hard-pressed to answer.
"I can't come up with anything. I've never not liked it...The only downside was once when I couldn't cook a turkey dinner. But I could cook, like, a pheasant dinner," she observed while laughing.
Besides suiting her lifestyle, she cites the cost as the biggest benefit of extreme downsizing. She estimates she spent somewhere between $30,000 and $35,000.
"It's a house that's entirely my own. It's something that I can't lose. I am mortgage-free, debt-free."
The shell was custom-built by a tiny-house specialist in southern Ontario, and trucked to Thunder Bay on a flatbed.
Her parents and friends helped Kondreska finish the interior.
"I love it the way it is. I really do."
Although there are multiple series on specialty TV channels featuring tiny houses, Kondreska avoids watching them.
"I don't watch them anymore. If I find something new that I want to try, and it involves an entire rebuild...Just like I don't watch decorating shows anymore, because it makes me want to re-do things."
That doesn't mean, however, that Kondreska is averse to adding another component.
"I'm thinking I'm going to slightly upgrade to a 40-foot shipping container. That's the biggest I would ever go," Kondreska said.
She said she would retain the tiny house to give her son more space as he grows older, and connect it with a deck to the new living quarters in the converted "sea can".
"My son has suddenly discovered Nintendo. He could turn it into [the tiny house] a gaming room."
The LSPC meeting at which Kondreska will speak begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11 at the LSPC office in Victoriaville Centre.
Other participants will also share their experiences with tiny homes.