tiny

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 :)

How I Designed My Tiny House

How I Designed My Tiny House

Today I have a super guest post from my good friend and Tiny Transition and Downsizing student Jenn Baxter!

Jenn has been living in her tiny house for some time now, after initially starting her transition to the tiny life in the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course.

I asked Jenn if she would write about her experience designing her own UNIQUE tiny home, and she said she would love to! Not only that, but she has created a free worksheet that you can use to design your own tiny home. You can grab the free tiny house design worksheet below!

Let's get to it! I'll let Jenn take it from here. Thanks Jenn!

One of the main questions I get when people first see my tiny house is, “How did you design this?”  Well, the answer to that is actually pretty easy. 

I thought about what I need every day.

First of all, designing a tiny house in and of itself is easier than designing a traditional home, simply because of its size.  When you are only working with 100-300 square feet, your choices are limited to begin with.

Building our Nest Egg and Starting Small: The Bespin Tiny House

Building our Nest Egg and Starting Small: The Bespin Tiny House

BESPIN TINY HOUSE: BUILDING OUR NEST EGG 

A guest post by Maggie & Seth Campbell

 

The American Dream: the idea that a better life can be obtained with more money.

We seek out higher paying jobs so we can afford bigger living spaces and more possessions to fill them.

The temptation to live beyond our means grows stronger with every “low-interest” credit card offer in the mail. It’s no wonder that one in three American’s are being chased by a debt collector – we live in a buy-now-pay-later society. And boy, do we pay.

By now, you’ve probably heard that living in a cost-efficient tiny house is increasing in public favor.

Could you be a part of this growing trend?

What if you could live debt-free on your current monthly income (or less)?

Is it possible to stop working over 40 hours a week and living paycheck-to-paycheck to support a home you spend so little time in?

We think so.

In just 8 months, we've already raised over 25% of our goal - and we're just warming up.

 

SET YOUR INTENTIONS

For many people, building a tiny house is just a pipe dream. When the idea of building our house first came to us, we spoke about it in terms like “If we ever hit the lottery . . .” or “If we could find higher paying jobs. . . .”

As per usual, we had just enough money in the bank to pay our bills for that month. It wasn’t until we took a hard look at the cost of living in a house too large for our needs (1000 square feet) that we realized we didn’t need to earn more; we just needed to have less.

The Tiny House That Grandma Built: Downsizing from 1600 to 144 square feet

The Tiny House That Grandma Built: Downsizing from 1600 to 144 square feet

Today I'm excited to introduce you to someone who I find to be particularly inspiring, Dani Moore from The Tiny House that Grandma Built. Dani is a member of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course (registration is now open for the session beginning on January 4th). When Dani started posting about her project and story in the class forum, I knew I wanted to interview her and find out more about her life. Dani's here today to share with you how she's building her own tiny house, what it's like to downsize in a major way, and how you can make major life changes no matter where you are (or your age!). If you want to be a part of the next Tiny Transition and Downsizing class, you can read more and register here.

 

CometCamper: Tell us about you and your journey up until this point - what is your motivation for building and moving into a tiny house?

Dani Moore: I was raised Bretheren (Think Mennonites in regular clothes) With a "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without" attitude. We were taught NEVER to throw away anything unless you were sure that no one could do anything useful with it. Great for not wasting, but bad for downsizing!

It was very helpful after my husband died when my daughter was 2 years old. I was already disabled and we had to be really careful about our spending. We went without hot water for 9 months after our water heater died, until we could get a new one. My Husband had spent our entire marriage showing me how things worked and how to fix them. Skills I have been forever grateful for. We also built or remodeled a business and a couple of houses, So I had some basic construction knowledge as well....

Tiny Home Builders Hands-On Building Workshop

Tiny Home Builders Hands-On Building Workshop

Have you been to a tiny house workshop?

I've spoken at and taught about 20 in the past 2 years, and they always get me excited all over again. Meeting people who are just beginning their small home journeys, discussing science and nature, and making good friends are my favorite parts!

Last weekend Matt and I helped Dan Louche at his hands-on tiny home building workshop in Atlanta, GA. We were there to primarily talk about sustainable building, off-grid systems, and how and WHY you should downsize your life sooner rather than later. We ended up answering a lot of questions about composting toilets. Everyone is ALWAYS most interested in our bathroom habits, and we've become extremely comfortable speaking candidly about our bodily functions with total strangers.

We had the pleasure of meeting up with some people in real life from the current Tiny Transition + Downsizing class, and it was SO FUN to hang out and get to know each other off-the-Internet. Putting faces to names and meeting people I had been connecting with online for months was really great.

Right-Size Your Life: Guest Post by Terri Hosford

Right-Size Your Life: Guest Post by Terri Hosford

Today we have our last guest post in the recent series I've been doing. Each week for the past 4 weeks we have heard a story about downsizing, simplifying, and tiny-fying. You can see the other guest posts from this series here:

The Reason for a Tiny House, by Linda B.

My Story of Downsizing, by Becky Gibson

My Story of Stuff, by Andrea Mortensen

Today Terri Hosford has been kind enough to share her story with us. Terri is a member of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course. Her story has a lot that we can all relate to. I especially love Terri's idea of "right-sizing" - not too tiny, not too big, just right FOR YOU. Enjoy her article! Thanks for sharing with us Terri!

 

I am retired and a single female. I have had a health issues for the last couple of years. The effort of maintaining a home has become more difficult and costly. I have been interested in Tiny Housing for almost a year. The idea of having a smaller foot print and housing that is affordable, has gotten my attention. The idea of living more efficiently is intriguing. I have perused floor plans and pictures of hundred or more tiny houses less than 250 square feet built on trailers. The planned use of every square foot is mind-boggling, ingenious. It has also brought me to a concept of Right Sizing. This fits me better. Houses are 300-800 square feet. These homes are put on a permanent foundation. Most have full size kitchen appliances, a flush toilet, main floor bedroom and laundry.

I live in Michigan, my family is here. That, of course, is my first love.  Isn't that the meaning of life, relationships? BUT my soul longs to be in the mountains. How could I possibly live in both places?  Enter tiny house (right sizing). In a couple years my income will increase. Then I will start looking for property in the mountains. In the meantime, I need to prepare. This means I need to downsize! This is a process not an event!

Guest Post: My Story with Stuff by Andrea Mortensen

Guest Post: My Story with Stuff by Andrea Mortensen

Hello wonderful readers! I'm extremely excited to be hosting a guest post by Andrea Mortensen today on the blog. Andrea is a current member of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course (registration is currently open for the next session!) and has offered to share her story with us. I think you'll love reading about her journey as much as I've loved hearing about it! Andrea blogs about her simple life and downsizing efforts on her blog, The Newborn Minimalist. Make sure to go check her out there too to read more about her ongoing journey toward tinier living! Thanks for sharing with us Andrea!

My Story of Stuff

Guest Post by Andrea Mortensen

We lived in Italy and Austria during the 6th and 7th year of our marriage. We moved halfway across the world and before then, we lived in a house that was 450 square feet, plus a garage. We had deliberately kept our life simple because we wanted to travel, and also, we got married to spend time together.

So we worked part time, we volunteered, and went on lots of backpacking trips and traveled all over the world. It was pretty awesome. So picking up to move from San Francisco to Sicily was exciting, but getting rid of stuff wasn’t a problem. We didn’t have anything, so we gave away the few things we had, sold our car, and packed our clothing and stereo and that was pretty much it. The movers that came to ship our furniture were pretty shocked at how little the company that moved us was going to have to pay to ship our things overseas.

Guest Post: My Story of Downsizing (Why I Did It)

Guest Post: My Story of Downsizing (Why I Did It)

Today I'm excited to announce we have another guest post from a member of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course (registration now open for the next session!). I'll hand it over to Becky and she'll explain all about her relationship with stuff and her simplifying journey. I think we can all relate to Becky's story, I know I definitely can! Thanks Becky!


I hardly know where to start for this blog entry for Mariah. I guess at the beginning. I have always loved to shop, loved getting new “stuff”, whether it was for my house or for me or as a lovely gift for someone.  So I was already primed for action when I met my best friend, who is a true shopaholic. And I took my cue from her – expensive purses, expensive makeup and beauty products, expensive clothes. She buys everything under the sun, and I tried to keep up with her for awhile. And I was always swearing I would reform and STOP, because my house was filling up with “stuff” and my bank account was emptying and my credit card balances were rising at an alarming rate.

It never got totally out of control, I just ran through a ridiculous amount of money in a very short time, all for “stuff”.

It was like Christmas at my house every day when I came home from work – boxes from Amazon, QVC, Coldwater Creek, etc etc etc, all stacked neatly at my door, waiting for me to come home and open them. I was so busy buying clothes that I very seldom wore the same thing twice in six weeks. I didn’t know if my UPS guy loved me or hated me, but I sure was keeping him busy, rain, snow, or sunshine. I started buying Coach purses compulsively – I loved them and I wanted them and I wanted people to see that I had them.