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....

A Simple New Year: Tiny Transition + Downsizing E-Course

A Simple New Year: Tiny Transition + Downsizing E-Course

Are you ready for a new year?

More importantly, what are your intentions for the new year? What do you want to be different this year?

Though I'm not much for "resolutions", I do always set some goals and make some intentions for the coming year. I find it's easier to focus and do what really matters to me when I lay it out like that.

What if this year you could...

Simple Living for Everyone - I don't care how many square feet you live in

Simple Living for Everyone - I don't care how many square feet you live in

I want to have an open and honest conversation. 

Not about tiny houses or vintage trailers or living in a vehicle, though I think that those things are wonderful. 

I want to talk about simple living, the power of elimination, saving for later and producerism, without setting any rules about what size home is "right" or "good" to live in.

Simple living looks different to different people. If you have a family, my way of living might seem absurd. I can’t imagine living in a small house with my family growing up - we would have murdered each other for sure. If you are older or disabled, a tiny house might not be a good fit for you, or it might be perfect. If you run your own business, like I do with my vintage clothing store, your needs might look different than someone who works for a company and leaves their work at the office.

I just want to shout out that the number of square feet you live in doesn’t matter. It doesn’t define you. It doesn’t make you smart or dumb. It really doesn’t mean much.

Life in a 70 sq. ft. Pop-Up Camper: The Cricket

Life in a 70 sq. ft. Pop-Up Camper: The Cricket

Today, I'm really excited to be sharing a guest-post with you by Alexis of Curious-Crickets.com. Alexis is a recent graduate of our Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course. Alexis and her husband have decided to downsize and travel extensively in the Cricket Trailer - one of my favorite campers! I met with the owner and designer of Cricket Trailers, Garrett, a few years ago on our first Tiny House Road Trip. These are really cool, very innovative campers. I'll hand it over to Alexis, so you can read all about her experience. If you need help downsizing, you can check out the e-course here.

Hello there!

We’ve been dreaming about it for months now, and going through our things in anticipation. Thankfully, our recent visit to see a Cricket Trailer in person has confirmed our hopes: the green and orange popup will be a great home for me and a very tall guy when we embark on a year of U.S travel.

 

5 Totally Atypical, Radical Ways You Can Start Living Tiny Right Now

5 Totally Atypical, Radical Ways You Can Start Living Tiny Right Now

Living tiny is only partially about the actual tiny house/trailer/RV as an "object", and 90% of it is decisions you make, the attitude you have, and how you live your life day to day.

I see WAY too many people waiting to start living “tinier” until they buy the actual tiny house, but that mentality is totally backwards. If you’re serious about living a smaller life in a smaller home, you need to start changing your habits right this instant. Otherwise, you might be in for a total shock once tiny move in day finally arrives! Instead of thinking “having the tiny house will ALLOW me to do these things”, start to do them and then feel totally empowered to start living tiny right now!

How to Build a Tiny House (or trailer) on a Shoestring Budget

How to Build a Tiny House (or trailer) on a Shoestring Budget

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s finding good stuff for cheap.

I built a business on this particular skill (buying and reselling high-end vintage clothing online) and have translated what I know about buying quality vintage clothing into buying/acquiring/finding really quality building materials for cheap (or free). 

I’m also REALLY frugal, in all aspects of my life. I kind of hate spending money. It’ just part of my lifestyle - save as much as possible, don’t spend unless absolutely necessary.

I mean, the original reason I started thinking about living in a renovated, off-grid trailer wasn’t for the noble environmental stuff, but because I REALLY didn’t want to pay rent or utilities. Basically, I didn’t want to have a real people job (I don’t do well with “authority”) and all the expenses that go along with that lifestyle. 

But when I started planning and building my tiny home, the COMET Camper, 5 years ago, I noticed one way that I didn’t really fit in.

Most people that I talked to about building and living in tiny houses were older, they were living in 3,000 sq. ft., 4-bedroom houses, they had 2 SUVs and a boat. Their plans were to use the money from the sale of their old, consumerist lifestyle to fund their tiny home. Well, this was GREAT for them, and good for YOU if you’re in the same situation, but it didn’t apply to me at all. 

I was broke (like, I had a $100 of my own money) and a college student, I was living in a room in a shared house. I didn’t have “assets” and I didn’t have any “savings” at all. 

What I did have was motivation, a need, desire, persistence, and a little bit of luck. Oh, and I had a plan. You’ve got to have a plan. 

This Couple is Living in a Vintage Trailer While They Build a Tiny House

This Couple is Living in a Vintage Trailer While They Build a Tiny House

Kathleen and Greg are a young couple living in a 1969 vintage trailer (same year as the COMET!) while they build themselves a tiny house on wheels. Kathleen and I connected a few weeks ago, and I was so excited to meet another couple who lives like Matt and I do! I asked if I could share their ongoing story here, and so here's what Kathleen has to say about their life in their trailer so far. You can read more about Kathleen and Greg and their tiny living adventure on their blog, "Tiny House, Tiny Footprint."

 

Tiny Changes

Since living in a 140-square-foot camper trailer, I have received a variety of questions. I thought it would be best to answer them here and help alleviate concerns for those who are considering tiny living. If you're nervous about embarking on a new adventure like this, I think it's important to remember that you can test it out and if it doesn't work out, you can go back to living how you were previously.

Tiny Transition and Downsizing Class: Registration Now Open

Tiny Transition and Downsizing Class: Registration Now Open

You know, when I started the Tiny Transition and Downsizing class, I never would have imagined how awesome it would become. I hoped that it would be helpful and motivating, but I had no idea that teaching it would allow me to witness the absolutely amazing things the class has accomplished.

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!