tiny home

The Decisions You'll Make When You Build Your Tiny Home

Tiny House Design Choices: Big Decisions


Building a tiny house differs from the “typical” homebuilding process in a lot of ways. 

For one, you’re working with a lot less space and therefore, using a lot less materials.  You only include what you really need and most things have a double purpose.

Being that I’ve never been a very decisive person to begin with, this proved to be an interesting part of the journey. 

It was exciting at times… getting to pick out fun stuff like my tiny appliances or paint colors, but challenging at times too when you find out what you want or dreamed of is not a realistic possibility.

The very first decision I had to make was: 

What do I really need in my tiny house?

That’s a pretty big decision right off the bat because the entire design of your house depends on it. 

When you’re building a “regular” house, a lot of things are standard… bedrooms, bathrooms, living room, kitchen.  But with a tiny house, it’s not that cut and dry. 

 

How to Deal with the Privacy Issues and Concerns as a Tiny House Dweller

How to Deal with the Privacy Issues and Concerns as a Tiny House Dweller

“Can We Come Inside?”  - Privacy (or lack thereof) In a Tiny House

 

The other day, my good friend Jenn and I were talking about one of the weirdest things about living in a tiny house, camper, or van - the fact that total strangers think it's just normal to try to look in your windows or ask to come into your living space.

I mean, if you think about it - this is SUPER STRANGE.

Because when you live in a tiny house or camper, even though it might seem novel to other people, you are in YOUR HOME. It's no different than any other home - and yet people think it's okay to show up at your doorstep and ask for a tour at all hours.

This has happened to both of us, and SO MANY other tiny house friends I know, again and again.

So many times I've been chatting with Jenn online, when she says "oh wait - there's someone trying to look in my door window, let me see what they want".

This is weird! People need to have boundaries and feel safe.

And personally, I really don't like it.

After having this happen to me many, many times while on the road, I've gotten used to telling people firmly to please not try to look into my house at night, and telling people not to bother me. After a while you just want some peace!

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...

 

Going Tiny: How to Downsize Room by Room

Going Tiny: How to Downsize Room by Room

This is a guest post by Jenn Baxter, a Tiny Transition and Downsizing student and now tiny house dweller. Jenn began her journey in the Tiny Transition and Downsizing course, and now lives full-time in her very own (very cute!) tiny home!

Today, she's going to share her experiences and her tips for downsizing.

The next session of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course starts on August 30th, and I'd love to see you in there!

This is an 8-week course that fundamentally changes your relationship with stuff and helps you de-clutter, downsize, and clear out your home and mind, in a step-by-step zero-overwhelm environment.

Registration is open for the session beginning on August 30th. Preparing to transition into a tiny home, RV, trailer or cabin? Just want to clear your space and get some sanity in your current home? This is for you.

You'll be in supportive group of like minded friends and kindred spirits! Register here and join us for the next session.

I'll let Jenn take it from here!

Downsizing is no easy task. 

We all have become so accustomed to having so much stuff, that we don’t even realize how much we’ve acquired over time until we are forced to a) move it or b) take an objective look at it.

When I decided to build a tiny house, I knew I had some downsizing to do.  I had, after all, filled a mid-sized U-Haul truck all by myself the last time I moved.  Like most people, I had a bedroom full of furniture, a dining set, living room furniture, a second bedroom set in the guest bedroom, several Rubbermaid bins full of keepsakes, kitchen appliances, luggage, sporting equipment and on and on it went.

 

 

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.

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.