Dome Dweller – Scott Black

How To Live Tiny In A Geodesic Dome – The Change

Dome dweller Scott Black is a veteran and former Telecom executive who made the full-time transition to the geodesic tiny world in 2012. His journey down the Tiny Home road began 16 years ago on a fateful day when it seemed the world stopped turning.  On Sept 11, 2001, Scott realized it was time for a change. And change he did. Periodically, he will share his dome experiences over the years, as well as tips on living successfully in the tiny lifestyle.

Living Tiny is a growing trend. The Tiny Home Movement, in my opinion, is not a fad that will soon fade away. On the contrary, the tiny lifestyle is here to stay. Therefore, there is a good reason to step aboard the Tiny Train sometime very soon.

tiny home, tiny home movement
16′ dome with attached bath house

 

My path to living in a geodesic dome has not been a straight road. On this winding, eye-opening and joyous journey, I have gained a deeper appreciation for life and friendship, and the world around me has developed along with the realization that there is more to life than the corporate 80 hour work week. I hope my trials, tribulations, laughs and tears will guide you on your path to easier and more sustainable living.

My pragmatic approach to living in a tiny home in an otherwise large world begins with “The Change.”

 

Changing One’s Mindset and Understanding The Meaning Of Tiny

When talking to people over the years, I have encountered varying thoughts on the subject of living small. The word tiny evokes images both good and bad, of hermits, squatters, Grizzly Adams (if you don’t know about the white-haired man who loved bears, check it out), cardboard boxes, and far stranger topics. But for me, living tiny has evolved into a single unifying word: freedom. If you read further, you will discover that tiny does not just mean living in a small home.

I began the process of shedding my 4,000 square foot home 16 years ago — now replaced with my current 280 square foot dome home — and in doing so I have become free. I have become free of worry, free from drowning in the madness of consumerism, and free from the “system.” When your life in condensed into a small physical space, it frees your pocketbook from being emptied on a monthly, weekly, daily and sometimes spontaneous basis. When you no longer have the room to store all the old items, you begin to think more clearly about what you truly need in your life. As you free up the clutter, you free your time and resources to focus on what is truly important to you and your vision of the future.

 geodesic dome, sustainable living
Simple living creates less clutter

This inner prioritizing was not always an easy mental dialogue for me to have with myself, but living tiny in my geodesic dome for the last five years has made the conversation easier. I had to make decisions and I had to find reasons why. With no “why,” it would be nearly impossible to sustain such a tiny lifestyle. Like many people, I had accumulated my fair share of toys over the years. There was a time when I wailed and gnashed, cried and lost much sleep over the precious home theater system I was losing. There was much consternation about all the money I had spent on clothes — all those suits, ties, boots — the big bedroom sets, the living room set, my kitchen and more. In the end, they all had to go.

If you are not currently willing to let these things go, then you may not be quite ready for the transition to the Tiny Lifestyle. Then again, you can always start slowly… as long as you can see the light at the end of the tiny tunnel. Don’t worry; I was not ready either. But I can show you how to spark the change.

First, let’s talk about what it means to be Tiny. For me, living tiny means living tiny in all aspects of life. For you, it may mean something different. Ask yourself what your goals are. Will you work from home? Will you be debt free? Will you shed the burden of all that stuff? You will begin to to see a path emerge in your mind as you define what Tiny Living means to you.

tiny dome
DIY plumbing for the bathhouse

Here is how I did it:

 

  • I Will Live In a Small Living Space. I now live in a 16 ft diameter round geodesic dome, which I purchased from Pacific Domes. A small space for me means fewer responsibilities in home repairs and costs. It also means I no longer have to worry about the financial and emotional strain of acquiring new toys. Wants and needs become clearly defined. Is this a want or a need? When you have no place to store the toys, your answers becomes clear. 
    • GOOD NEWS: If you want a large space but crave an easier and less complicated lifestyle, look no further than Pacific Domes. They have domes that are not only affordable, but as large as (if not larger!) than your current home.
  • I Will Work From Home. And not worry about bosses, time clocks, evaluations, or the pressure of earning that high income. Not “having” to earn so much money frees your mind and spirit to become more creative.
  • I Will Live Debt Free. Living debt free is likely the single most important aspect of living a FREE and tiny life. While it is possible to live debt free in any path of life, I have found it is much easier to accomplish when living tiny in every aspect of your life.
  • I Will Consume Less. This was difficult to shed at first. The system teaches us that it is good and righteous to buy everything we can whenever we can, and that this makes us successful and underscores our self worth. In fact, it has almost become mandatory to consume in this nation (the United States of America). Meanwhile, the corporate machine engineers everything we own to have a short shelf life, thereby forcing us to purchase new products in an ongoing cycle of consumerism and waste.
    • You may not want to stop all consumption like I have, but it would be a good move to lessen your hunger for the materialistic distractions of life. This hunger robs you of joy and peace, and will keep you enslaved until the day you die.
  • I Will Be Free of Bills and I Will Have a Small Footprint. When you dig your own water well, when you add a septic tank to your yard, when you generate your own power and grow your own food, you have become truly free and tiny. You no longer depend on any man or government to provide for you and your family, and this is true freedom. We all have the power to find ways to leave behind the smallest footprint and the cleanest earth for future generations to come.

 

dome dweller
Cleaning the dome cover

These are the things that I do to live Tiny. Now how far are you willing to go to be free and live tiny? There is no wrong answer. You could go all the way or you could start with a small geodesic dome and use it as a second home… or a hunting lodge, yoga studio, quick getaway, greenhouse or aquaponics station or any other application you can think of that makes your life easier, more beautiful, more responsible and more free.

Here is the short version of how I made the transition from large home to a small dome:

  • Started with a 4,000 sq ft home in Denver, Colorado.
  • Moved into a 2,000 sq ft and then an 1800 sq ft place in New Jersey.
  • Moved to north Florida into a 1,200 sq ft condo.
  • Moved to south Florida into an 800 sq ft apartment.
  • Moved to central Florida into my beautiful 286 sq ft Pacific Domes geodesic dome.

I want to hear about your journey!

If you are having challenges getting Tiny, or if you want to take that first step getting started, I am here to help you. And so is Pacific Domes.

Ask questions! I will do my best to answer each of you.

In my next installment, I will talk about the “How the Dome Dweller Downsizes” to streamline Living Tiny in your geodesic dome.

Wishing you success,

Scott