Category Archives: Tiny House Myths

Tiny House Myth # 2: I Can’t Live Without My Stuff!”

As a confirmed pack rat and project collector, I have made it a goal this year to downsize and use or get rid of the pile of projects collecting in my spare room. Much of the piles of broken furniture consist of repurposing projects and are my own doing,  and others were left on my doorstep by various people trying to “help me out.” Thanks Guys. Some of these loved ones far and near are more famous than I for collecting and storing junk, and nothing could be more poignant nor speak more volumes than a plastic fork packet from Wendy’s that I swear was from 1952 found among the relics.

Their reasons for collecting stuff were valid ones, such as the various types of equipment needed by a professional photographer, (as one of these benefactors has been low these many years), to rare and expensive cameras and even a beat up tarnished old trumpet. So many of these things I have used and needed. But a side effect of not having money, is that you tend to hoard things. That is the problem. Currency, comes from the root word “current” and that means stuff has to flow in order to come to you.

Every time I see the broken bentwood chair, I think, its only a LITTLE broken, and begin to imagine how I could use it as a table or maybe re-glue and brace the back part. A nice glass top and voila’ the seat is flat enough to use for a lamp table, and even now it is making a great support for my desk. Art supplies in the closet, sewing notions and necessities from my days as a seamstress, and broken furniture take up space that I cannot otherwise use. Oh, and don’t forget the little unopened packages someone gave me that contain fall leaves, of the type you would expect to see stapled to the bulletin board in a 3rd grade classroom- too cute to throw away, and too corny to have a real purpose.

So I have to ask, “Can I live without all this junk?”

I asked Tammy Strobel who writes the “Rowdy Kittens” blog, (you will find her blog here: http://rowdykittens.com/), who many know currently live in their lovely new tiny house, (you can find pics of it at the link above), if they missed having stuff.

“No, I don’t miss anything. I have everything I need in the little house. For a long time I thought I “needed” more, like a bigger house, an additional car, and more stuff. I don’t feel that way anymore. By having less stuff to worry about I can give more of my time to friends, family, writing, and volunteering,” she told me.

Sounds awesome! The stuff I have is not only taking up space, but it is physically and emotionally draining to have to work with and around to use my small house. The toll then is not only financial, but it is not a good investment of my time. I simply do not have the energy to keep this junk.

Minimalism is not just a word to describe getting rid of your stuff, it is a valid form of art, music and architecture of the 60’s and 70’s. Of course the most famous among those designing in architecture would be Frank Lloyd Wright. His motto, “form follows function” is a declaration that turns architecture INTO art, (and art back into architecture).

One of the benefits of minimalism is that you feel a greater sense of peace when there is not clutter around you or things that need to be maintained. It is less expensive, too. Have you ever paused to consider how much money you are spending to house things compared to their monetary worth? Why should I spend my time making money to keep plastic knick-knacks from my local Walmart? I am from an art background and I appreciate beautiful things. However, I would pose the idea that a thing must have some real value in terms of aesthetics or usefulness, even MULTIPURPOSE uses in order to be worth paying to store or house. And too, in our computer centered existences of the modern age, we are spending more time doing things online and have less time to worry about our homes.

I have made it a goal this year to simplify and downsize. Many others are getting on board with this idea, (including those aforementioned here), for benefit of our health, both physical and mental well being.

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Tiny House Myth #1- I Cannot Do Tiny Because I Have Kids

On my weekly looong trek to the bank sans vehicle, as I am these days, a bit of the old light bulb came on over my head. Many times I have read something to the effect of, “Of course tiny houses are for singles and close couples,  as families with children would not be able to use them.” Heck, I have even stated this myself on this humble blog!

When said light bulb came on over my head, two things also occurred to me. First I said to myself, “Wow, I have never seen a halogen light bulb over my head before!,” and two, “Why the heck NOT?”

Yep, that is what I said all right, right before the IDEA hit me. OF COURSE YOU CAN- YOU JUST HAVE TO THINK OUTSIDE THE “BOX”!

You see the problem is Dear Reader, we are thinking like STICK BUILT people! We are thinking SQUARE FOOTAGE thoughts and trying to convert them to the new language of TINY. If you ask anyone they will tell you, when you learn a new language you have to think in that language!

So for your consideration, I present to you, The Pod People Concept.

The Pod People do not think about housing as a static situation, but a flowing one that changes with needs to be addressed and then reevaluated as the players age, move or needs change.  So just how would say, a family of four live as Pod People and have a Tiny on Wheels?

Lets start with the “main” tiny house, say 120 square feet. This one has two lofts, like the Slabtown Creations AnneMarie with a loft over the front porch. When the children are really tiny, they need to stay on the first floor, say on a fold out in the main “living” room that converts at night. That is after they have had a crib. Until the child moves around a lot, a cradle is convenient in a loft house. Of course the house should be child proofed and maybe a ladder that pulls completely into the loft would prevent falls from a climbing toddler.  Once the child can be safe to do so, a second tiny house is moved next to the original one. While the main home has a kitchen and full bath, the second may have only a bathroom and the future kitchen area may have desks for study and shelves for extra storage of toys and books. The second tiny could even be made to attach at a side door so the parent is as close, (no a LOT closer), than a regular house.

There is lots of room for the second tiny to become a bedroom with two lofts, and playroom and have a second bath- a luxury many larger houses enjoy. During these years of growing up, these tinies could be altered as needed to accommodate the current desires of the family. Then, when the kids are grown, this tiny house can go with the kids to college and even into beginning a career or family for themselves! A new take on empty nest. Dad pulls up stakes and takes kiddos to college in their own home! Talk about money saving convenience! I know there are considerations that would need addressed, but we are just thinking outside the box here. It is doable!

Then the family is aging. Again needs have changed, kids gone and there needs to be a caregiver for Dad, or Mom gets a job caring for another at their home. Enter the new caregiver cottage, or change it around and Dad stays in the back yard of one of the kids!

You see, the possibilities are endless if you think in POD, instead of PED, (ped- as in FEET- you know…. oh never mind).

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