Turning Tiny to Live LARGE

Adventures of Heidi & Sam

Month: November 2014

Tiny House Specifics…

A lot of questions are generated when you tell someone you are going to live in a 192  square foot tiny house on wheels. I thought I’d try to address some of them here…and maybe in doing so it will help me to clarify some of the decisions where I still feel some flux.

  1. Toilet – Always the first question. There is no septic so it will be a composting toilet. Depending on the route I choose to go, it can cost between $5 – $2,500! They have some fancy composting toilets that involve heat, fans and  limited involvement in dealing with your poo. I’m not afraid of my poo…but I don’t want my house to smell. Some tiny housers use a simple 5 gallon bucket with sawdust…that’s the $5 option…there’s no limit to how involved you are with your waste on this option. But these days there are many options in between…I’m just not sure yet which option I want to go with…still in flux!
  2. Electric – I will be plugged in! In my ideal situation I would love to be 100% off grid but that will not happen anytime soon. I will run lights, fridge, stove top and heater all on electric. Yes we will have a TV, computer and internet…how can I not with a growing tech savvy boy who loves his Minecraft?!
  3. Heating – I’ve thought a lot about this one and I think I’m pretty set on my decision. There will be a small electric thermostat controlled wall panel to keep our house above freezing…then we will get it toasty with a small wood burning stove. We will burn all our burnables and experiment making newspaper bricks that burn for up to 4 hours…as well as wood.
  4. Water – This will be coming from a heated garden hose (to avoid freezing in the winter)…I will have a tankless hot water heater which I may either run on electric or propane. There will be a kitchen sink, bathroom sink and a shower with maybe a small tub. The gray water will be collected in a container under the house…since we will be using all natural and biodegradable products, we can then use the water for gardens.
  5. Sleeping – My sleeping loft will be 8×10 with steep narrow stairs leading up to it.  I will have a queen size mattress on the floor, shelves with plants and books, and storage under the floor. The roof on this part of the house will be a dormer to give it more space and light…there will be 5 windows total in my loft.  Sam’s loft will be 8×6 with a ladder to access it. He will have a twin mattress on the floor, a skylight that opens with his telescope set up, storage under the floor and a hanging net for his stuffed animals.
  6. Kitchen – The fridge will be apartment size…about 56″ tall. There will be a double cook top with electric burners. A small microwave. I’m not 100% on what appliances I might want in the kitchen…do I want an oven…or just a toaster oven with burners on top? For those that know me…I don’t like to cook…so the kitchen is going to be pretty small. We will have a counter that folds up and down to eat on.  No dishwasher…but we will have an all in one Washer/Dryer under the kitchen counter.
  7. Moving – The house is going to be built on a trailer specifically designed to accommodate this kind of tiny house. Once the house is built upon it, it can be towed by a powerful truck of some sort…definitely not by my Prius! When I decide to move it, I will most likely hire a professional to make the move for me…I’m not trading in my Prius for a gas guzzler, and it’s not like I’m going to be travelling around in it like an RV…it’s a stationary home that has the ability to move locations.

Other updates:

  • I have been continuing to downsize with great success (I’m down to 3 pairs of socks!).  I have a giveaway table set up in my living room for all visitors to peruse and take from.
  • I have the Millcreek Township Buy Nothing Project set up on Facebook but haven’t quite found the time yet to get that going…soon.
  •  Debt repayment is going well and I’m excited to see balances going down…I have a new timeline and debt schedule that I will post soon.
  • Sam and I are going to Columbus, OH this weekend to see our friend Molly and son Drew…we are very excited!
  • Read a Q&A I did for Eriesense.com here: http://www.eriesense.com/tiny-house-living/#.VGtfsfnF-HR 

Happy Holidays!

Heidi & Sam

No patience in “limbo land”…

If I’m not in forward movement then I get extremely restless and, well…a bit crabby.

Since I am pretty much exactly at middle age…I’m wondering if what I’m having is similar to a midlife crises, or if I have learned just enough of the world ways to become more self aware of how I want to live my life.  Maybe the shorter days have put my wanderlust into overdrive.  Regardless, I feel like I want to change up my life!  Along with turning tiny I would also like to live and manage my life naturally…which means more money than what I have right now. I wish I could skip through the “debt reduction” phase of turning tiny and just be there…so I could:

  1. Manage my health using essential oils, probiotics, acupuncture and other methods that are not covered by insurance. Sadly, it’s so much cheaper to pay a co-pay on a medication that could give me cancer in the long run.
  2. Switch out all my cleaning products, laundry products, health and beauty products to all natural and non toxic.
  3. Eat all raw and organic food…oh and hire a chef to fix it all for me (totally dreaming)! You know I don’t like to cook!
  4. Go to Kripalu for a weekend of yoga and regeneration.
  5. Help those around me. I want my “financial bucket” to be overflowing so I can pour into others who need help.

On Saturday I ventured out with my restless nature following me…who by the way is the polar opposite of the debt reduction me, but thankfully Target didn’t get the best of me…rational thinking returned before I filled the cart with all the non-toxic products I felt I needed right now!! One thing I’ve really become cognizant of is that I use too much. I use too much shampoo, laundry soap, toothpaste, body wash, water (!!), toilet paper, peanut butter…you name it…I feel like I’m using it in excess. I’ve realized the concept of the more the better  has seeped into my subconscious, but now that I realize what I’m doing there will be a conscience effort to use less.  When a particular product is gone,  THEN I will replace it with something natural and non-toxic. Grateful my rational thinking was in there somewhere.

On another note… I taped out the size of the tiny house in my living room. It’s virtually an unused space in my current home…crazy.

IMG_1158 IMG_1159

I’m going to tape out the different rooms so we can get a feel for the space. Have to feed that restless self somehow!

Heidi & Sam