The Small House Book
Nowadays many people already know about the "Tiny House" movement (although I'm not sure where it started I see the Tumblewood Tiny Houses as the major online representatives). I myself hadn't even heard of one of these until I came upon "The Small House Book" (Thanks Angela!). What started out as fantasizing over the pages (aw, how cute!) and pages (look at this one!) became a want and then a need so fierce it was unstoppable. Without knowing it was even happening, I was swept into this magical world where tiny kingdoms on wheels can be a fourteen-by-seven foot reality!
You see, we were looking for something cheap to put on a piece of property for my fiancé and I to live in. We had considered yurts, recreational vehicles, and the like but there was always some problem or another that made the move seem impossible! Too small, too expensive, not sustainable enough. We live in a coastal town in California so purchasing a house was beyond our financial capacity - or was it?
Wielding this book and the instructions within we eagerly built our home based on one of the properties in this book. The tips were helpful and the pictures were great for picking out the basic design we wanted to go with. What a brilliant man, Jay Shafer.
We had our doubters (seemingly, ideas you're most excited about in your own life seem wrought with other peoples negative opinions) but guess what? We did it! Now we live mortgage free in the middle of a redwood forest, share a tiny house and couldn't be happier with the results, all because of this simple book. It's everything we hoped it would be. Want to know more? Read this book and fall in love with small houses!
There's so much to say it can't all be said here - want to see more?
The cute exteriors were enough to rope me in to the idea of Tiny Houses, but the interior designs with the wood grains and the personalized floor plans were what kept me. As an added bonus, our house is road-ready and we don't owe money to a bank!
We hammered every nail and even added our names into the walls (in several places) with little hearts and dates. To say this was a labor of love is an understatement - there was so much sweat and blood put into building our "Utopia" that there aren't enough words in the world to say how important our home became to us.
Living here has been a wonderful experience, but until you've allowed yourself to "live tiny", you can't quite grasp what it's like. Suddenly, the want for "stuff" begins to vanish and you instead want to dedicate yourself to more important things - like gardening or reading in the sunshine.
The plan was simple; we bought a piece of land in the hills and a trailer to start. Once we had the trailer, we sat together around a coffee table and decided what was important. While in town (before moving off-grid) we watched youtube videos wherein other people had moved into the same kind of living ideals. We talked about what we needed most - a few shelves for books, for example; a place to hang just a few clothes, like a jacket and dress; etc.
We left room for a shower but did not put the water into the cabin (yet) because we live in California and have enough sunshine year-round for the outdoor shower we installed. We knew we wanted a tiny office for doing exactly this so we drew in a space for a desk and surrounded it with windows to look out into the redwoods.
Also something that has been nice: We have had two earthquakes (somewhat minor) since we moved here and it's amazing how well it feels to go through one of these on wheels. Our pod bounces a bit but quickly settles into itself once more, hardly noticeable from inside.
We have weathered a few storms, but for anyone that lives in coastal California, you know there aren't enough of those here to be a real problem (40+mph winds but never a snowflake!).
Could you live "Tiny" (For the sake of argument we will call it 200sq ft or less)?
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So what about cabin fever?
I am asked often about what it's like to live in such cramped spaces in regards to cabin fever. Sadly, I can't really answer the question with any sort of conviction because I don't live in a place where I am trapped.
What I can say is in between running around outside and smelling the flowers, my husband and I are happy to be tightly snuggled up together listening to the rain pounding the tin roof. We have been in fights out here (when the loft becomes one room and the under loft becomes a second...) but we are perhaps more inclined to resolve them quickly as there is nowhere to run and only one door to slam (it's heavy, lovely oak and has never been slammed), and definitely nowhere to do any foot stomping.
We also have a Tiny Dog that lives with us inside, but we recommend getting one like ours that doesn't shed unless you have an affinity for swirling pet fur.
As far as an expansion of our family goes...well, check back soon (and I mean *really* soon).