Tiny House Appliances: What to Use and Where to Get Them

One thing that people are often curious about in tiny houses, is what kind of appliances do you have? 

Do you cook on a hot plate? 

Do you have a regular washer and dryer? 

Do you use a window air conditioner to cool it off? 

Well, the answer to all of those questions can be yes. 

Because just like with a traditional size house… there are options.  And it’s up to you to decide what you want to have as far as appliances go.

I, personally, knew that I:

  • Wanted to cook meals so I wanted a regular oven and range,
  • Didn’t want to go to a laundromat or use a washboard, so I wanted a washer/dryer and
  • HATE washing dishes by hand so I wanted a dishwasher.

So these factors determined the appliances that I had in my tiny house.  But you can tailor your appliance set-up to match your specific needs and desires.  If you want to be totally off-grid, this will obviously have a major impact on the appliances you choose, as will your budget.

How to Choose a Toilet For Your Tiny House

How to Choose a Toilet For Your Tiny House

The Toilet – One of the Most Important Tiny House Decisions You’ll Ever Make


Living a “normal” life in a “normal” home, you’ve probably never given much thought to your toilet.  It’s there when you need it, it does its job and it takes care of business with little muss or fuss.

But when you live in a tiny house, your toilet becomes a big deal.  Like, you’ll find yourself thinking about it, talking about and considering the various aspects of it A LOT.

(And consequently - people start ASKING you about your toilets - A LOT!).

It might sound a little ridiculous or even a little uncomfortable for some, but the fact is, when you make the transition to tiny living, you’re going to have to start thinking outside of the norm.  And partaking in toilet talk will just be part of that journey.

What’s the big deal about toilets?

Well, it’s simple… first of all, if you want to be off-grid, you’re going to have to use an alternative to the traditional flush toilet, that’s just a fact. 

You can always upgrade down the line to solar panels and water catchment systems for your other utilities, but if you don’t plan for an alternative toilet from the very beginning, then you will always need access to a sewage hook-up...

 

What's Holding You Back From Your Tiny Living Dream?

Right now, my life looks a lot like this:

I travel in the Honda Element for months at a time, taking breaks at rented AirBnBs for a month or two at a time, then hitting the road again for more adventures.

When we’re “home” in our hometown, we stay in the camper for a month or two before heading out on the next trip.

I live mostly out of a backpack and a small duffel bag with my clothes in it. Everything else fits neatly under the platform in the Honda Element we converted into our very own “micro-camper”.

It feels natural now. It feels….easy. It’s just my life.

But Before I made my tiny living dream my real life, I was being HELD BACK by so many unknowns.

So many questions, concerns, and things I had to figure out.

It felt overwhelming to want a mobile, simple life so bad, but really have no clue at all how to actually make that happen.

Like how to bridge that gap between where I was (living in 1500+ square feet of clutter and chaos, stuck in one place, drowning in stuff) and where I wanted to be (free in a camper that felt like I was wearing my own custom-made space suit with everything I needed!).

 

The Problem with Your 5-year Plan

The Fallacy of the 5 Year Plan

As you probably know, I’ve taught at more then 25 tiny house workshops and events over the past 2 years.

My favorite part is talking with everyone at the workshops, hearing their stories, and helping them start their journey.

Every time we teach a workshop, I end up losing my voice answering so many questions! It’s always fun to stay up late with people who share your values.

(PS - I’m hosting the first and only VIRTUAL Tiny House Workshop this weekend! You can register here and join us!)
 

 

One thing I’ve been noticing more and more while teaching and speaking at these workshops, is that people have long timelines for their tiny house journeys.

I definitely think everyone should follow their own path and work within a time frame that suits their unique situation and life story.

DESIGN/BUILD/DOWNSIZE: The ONLY Virtual Tiny House Workshop

A few months ago I mentioned that my good friend and tiny house builder Dan Louche (author of The Tiny House Design and Construction Guide, TinyHomeBuilders.com) and I were working on something really new and exciting behind the scenes.

Well today, our idea from months ago becomes a reality!


Introducing….

Design/Build/Downsize: The Only Virtual Tiny House Workshop!

 

What is it?

Design / Build / Downsize is a two-day virtual tiny house workshop that includes 8 in-depth lessons, live group chat and discussion, and a live Q + A session with Dan Louche and I!

It's two days, with two experts, and a bunch of your new tiny community friends.


What will you learn?

Dan Louche and I have created 8 lessons on everything from choosing a trailer, designing your tiny home, building methods, and downsizing. 

You can read about the entire curriculum and see all the details here >>>

These are the trainings - plus plenty of extras - that we teach at our live, in-person workshops (that normally would cost more than $500 plus airfare + hotel to attend). 



The workshop is the only virtual tiny house workshop - meaning we’re delivering these trainings and lessons live, but you can watch from anywhere in the world :)

Living in a Tiny Trailer: By Terry Ann Bernhardt

My motto is “follow your heart but take your brain with you”.

My journey began with a dream to travel and explore leisurely, moving at approximately the same speed as an ancient turtle in my golden years. 

I began to collect a list of interesting places to visit from friends, co-workers, books, magazines, movies, and yes, Pinterest and YouTube.

I’m up to 91 places I’d like to visit ranging from Yellowstone Park to a little spot in the Appalachian Mountains where fiddles are still handmade.

I would be accompanied by my dog Emmy Lou, 56 lbs of fur-bearing love, so traveling via recreational vehicle seemed ideal.  Again I began collecting facts, people’s anecdotes, magazines, brochures and visiting RV lots to determine what suited my turtle traveling dreams.

Where Do You Park It? How to Find Land for Your Tiny Home or Trailer

Where Do You Park It? How to Find Land for Your Tiny Home or Trailer

(Before we dive into finding land for your tiny home - Just a reminder that the next session of Tiny Transition and Downsizing, the 8-week E-Course that completely changes your relationship with "stuff" and helps you get ready to live tiny, start on June 28th! You'll be in a supportive, fun group of kindred spirits on the same journey as you when you join. You can register right here!)

 

What’s one of the best things about having a house that’s built on a flatbed trailer?  The ability to up and move it whenever you want, of course. 

Want to go to the mountains for the winter?  Go. 

Always dreamt of living at the beach?  Done. 

With a tiny house, when you want to move, there’s no searching for homes in the new city while trying to sell your house in the old city.  You just hook it up and move!

But with that wondrous advantage of flexibility, comes the reality that when you have a tiny house, you don’t really have a permanent place to live.  Unless you already own some land, you will have to find a place to park it.

The requirements will vary based on the particular design of the tiny house. 

Seven Steps to Simple: The No-BS Guide to Letting Go

Seven Steps to Simple: The No-BS Guide to Letting Go

You know you want to downsize. Heck - you NEED to downsize if you’re thinking about living in a tiny or small home!

And beyond that, no matter how many square feet you're gonna live in (because let's be honest that's not what matters), downsizing feels good. It saves you money. It gives you more time for your hobbies, family, friends, travel. More dollars in your pocket. Less stress. All that good stuff.

You know that downsizing will allow you to save more money, live the life you want to live, and have the time and financial freedom.

Maybe you’ve tried to “get organized” and “de-clutter” before. It probably felt pretty good…at first. But a few days later, your home looks the same as it did before. And the progress you’re making is slow-going. You’re stuck. You’re not sure why - because you’ve read the books and the blogs but nothing really works. 

Well, today I've got seven steps to help you let go.

Tiny Home Builders Hands-On Tiny House Workshop Recap + Review

Have you ever been to a tiny house live workshop? Are you planning to attend one?

Well today's post will give you some of the details about what those weekend tiny house workshops are like!

Specifically, Matt and I help Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders teach his hands-on tiny house building workshop in Atlanta, GA. We've taught and spoken at more than 25 tiny house events and workshops all over the country, and we especially LOVE Dan's workshops.

The Tiny Home Builders' workshops are the right combination of hands-on building experience (yes, you get to use all the power tools!) and super educational trainings on everything from electrical, plumbing, how to choose a trailer, and off grid systems and sustainable design (my specialty!). It's part classroom, part workshop, and it's really effective to learn about something in depth via the presentations, then actually go over the the tiny house you're building and try it out yourself. (Plus there's a fully-built tiny house on site).

Some people attend the workshop to learn about the "systems" and more complex elements, others to get the confidence to use power tools (for many people it's their first time using power tools or swinging hammers!), and others come to network and meet like-minded friends.

How to Deal with Building Codes and Zoning Laws: Tiny Homes and Trailers

How to Deal with Building Codes and Zoning Laws: Tiny Homes and Trailers

Minimum square footage.

Composting toilets and solar showers. 

RV and trailer by-laws.

NIMBY (not in my back yard!).

Living “off the grid”. 

These are just a handful of the things we need to talk about when we talk about “building codes” and “zoning laws” as they apply to living in a tiny home or trailer. 

I literally get emails and questions about this every day, but until now I have been very hesitant to write a full response on this blog.

Why?

Building codes and zoning laws are such a hard topic to talk about because they literally differ from town to town. There is no one rule I could say that would be true for all (or even a handful) of places.

I wish it were easier, but it all comes down to talking with your local building inspector and talking through the process with them. Ultimately, that person will decide. It's good to form a relationship with them and be upfront about your plans and ideas. If you go about it in an open and honest way, they are much more likely to say yes and approve your home. 

I get this question a lot, so I've done my best to put together some guidelines. That being said, it's the one thing that is nearly impossible to answer! (Figures!)...