The biggest question we get is, “What is it like living tiny?” It has only been about a month since we have moved into our tiny house, but it feels like home already. It actually has felt like home since we put the framing for the walls up! But, lets get into the nitty gritty of tiny living so far.
The Living space:
There are four bodies living in the house right now; Jared, myself, and our dogs Fitz and Ivy. Our tiny house is about 140 square feet of living space. Both the dogs are around 30 pounds, so not too big. If anyone reading this has a dog you are well aware that the dog is at your feet no matter what. It’s the same in the tiny. We are constantly tripping over the dogs and shooing them out of our way. Doesn’t matter if you live in a castle or a hut you’ll be tripping over dogs!
We don’t get in each other’s way that often. Jared sleeps on the far side of the loft and has to crawl over me if I sleep in. You’d think it would just be smarter to switch sides, but I have to pee a lot at night so I called dibs on the outside side of the sleeping loft.
The Bathroom situation:
We have an almost full bathroom sans sink. Our only sink in the house is the kitchen sink. Our shower is pretty awesome. Jared lined the walls with galvanized metal, which makes a nice sound when water hits it. I’m so sooo happy we installed a detachable shower head in the shower because we have had to use it to wash our poop rollin’ dog on several occasions.
*The only downfall to being able to go on hiking and climbing adventures all the time is that the dogs get dirty almost every day!
Showering is about the same as a normal house. We have an on demand hot water heater so we aren’t showering like cave men. We are trying to condition ourselves to using less water for off the grid situations so, I usually shut the water completely off after I shampoo so I had soap up and shave or do whatever without the water running forever. With the weather still being warm it’s not bad, I might not be saying the same thing in the dead of winter!
Our toilet is a composting toilet. It traps the liquids (pee) in a separate container, which needs to be emptied on the regular. It’s not bad unless it is really full or if we have had asparagus… The solids (poop) goes into the composting chamber and is mixed with peat moss and only has to be emptied every 90 uses or so. Jared did that task for the first time this past week. He said it wasn’t bad at all! Smelled just like dirt. He dug a hole and emptied the contents into it then covered it back up and spread some ash on top to deter animals… aka Fitz.
If you are wondering what composting toilet we got you can see it here.
Some folks may be concerned with having to go potty with a spouse or partner so close in proximity. Boils down to, you just have to get over that. Being the lucky girl that I am, I had some BAD tummy issues the first week we were in the house. I begged Jared to leave so I could ease my pain, but he refused. I just had to get over going with him on the other side of our canvas door. Now you may be concerned with the fumes? Not to worry, the toilet has a built in fan that runs 24/7 that wafts away all the fragrance to the outside atmosphere. I thought this plan was full proof until the other day. It does not smell outside by the vent once everything has been mixed into the peat moss, but it does smell when someone is in the act of pooping. Of course it was me again (I am cursed with embarrassing, yet hilarious poop stories) when I overheard a friend outside saying, “Wow it smells like poop out here.” If you’re planning on getting a composting toilet just be prepared to get over your fear of pooping, and maybe plan not to have people outside near your vent when you go.
A Tiny Kitchen:
When you build a tiny house you can basically build a miniature version of your dream kitchen. I have the big farm sink I have always dreamed of, the gas stove, beautiful custom kitchen cabinets, butcher block counters, and a dish hut. Most of this was only possible because Jared is a wonderful cabinet maker/designer. Neither of us are that big into entertaining or cooking for the masses, so a tiny kitchen works. We have cooked for a small group of people, but we utilize our grill and the outdoor space we have. I’m sure if you are the type of person that loves having dinner parties and cooking ten course dinners a tiny kitchen wouldn’t be ideal, but on the other hand those are the type of people that are not very interested in living tiny in the first place!
In the back of our heads we knew we were in for a shake up in our lifestyle. The first several months of our tiny life are being parked in places that don’t really have a job market. We planned accordingly and saved up a little chunk of money so we could just enjoy being jobless for a few months. This is a complete change from working full time and trying to build this house every spare moment we had off of work! We are able to go climbing several times a week, visit family we have not seen in a while, and enjoy hanging out with friends and unwinding. We are fortunate though that we are staying on a friends property for free AND he has some odd jobs for us to do to make a little extra cash.
Most people go tiny so they can enjoy life a little more and work less. That is our goal too.
The second question we get the most is, “Was it hard getting rid of all of your stuff?”
We both hate nick-knacks and trinkets, dusting is the worst. Those weren’t hard to get rid of. Neither of us had that much furniture to get rid of either. We are lucky and have siblings, so the things that we were still attached to like family heirlooms, we were able to give to them. We may be indian givers in a decade or so when we build a larger home 😉
The hardest thing for me to sort through and get rid of were shoes. I gave most of mine to a friend though who is willing to mail me a pair if I need them for a certain occasion!
Jared said the hardest thing for him to get rid of was our Toyota Tundra. Which in my book does not count because we bought that truck to haul our house and it didn’t end up working out. Side note: If you are planning to tow your own house just spend the extra money to get a 3/4-ton truck that’s a diesel. The Tundra was so awesome and could haul the weight, but was just too soft. So many people told us that before our purchase, but we didn’t listen. We now have a Chevy 2500 Duramax.
For the sentimental things like pictures and cards get a folder or binder to put them all in to look at when you want to.
If your tiny house is designed well you can fit a lot of storage into your living space and you don’t have to give up as much as you think you do!
So far tiny living has not been that much of an abrupt change. We have been dreaming about living this way for years now and our life is finally reflecting that. If you’d like to see a video tour of our house click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8az_VcHta-U
If you have any questions about building your own tiny or tiny living contact us: Tinymountainrhodes@gmail.com or on the contact page!