Category Archives: Tiny House

General tiny house ideas

All the ‘Rules’ I Broke

I get so infuriated when I see people telling others in absolute terms what you can and cannot do to accomplish your tiny house dream.  That is complete BS.  Sure, there are suggested ways, and there are ways that are better than others maybe, and there are valid reasons to have opinions any which way but there is nothing absolute about a tiny house.  It is a fairly complicated equation, anyone that says there is one solution has no idea what they are talking about.  Everything is a give and take and there is definitely more than one way to build one!  So, I want to talk about the ‘rules’ that I broke all along my build, let just say for example.  These are just a few, there are plenty others!

#1 – I built on a used trailer!  Oh Noes! ;-).  When I was building there were no ‘tiny house trailers’, now there are.  Is it a good way to go to get a trailer specifically designed FOR a tiny house, sure!  Is it the only way?  NO!  Sometimes ‘deals’ don’t always work out to be deals when looking at a used trailer but sometimes they do!  It could be a good way to save a buck if you are comfortable inspecting the trailer for structural integrity (check welds, check outriggers, check tires ad axle strength).  Parts may need to be upgraded, assess your costs before making a purchase to verify it’s still a good deal in the end, you may be surprised to find some specialty TH trailers don’t seem as expensive after doing the cost comparison but then again you may find a heck of a deal!  It happens!  Do what is right for you.

#2 – I have a very heavy tile floor – that didn’t pop or shift at all!  Sure I had to make design considerations to make that happen, so I did!  I added a third axle to carry the weight and made sure I hired a truck large enough to pull it.  I added extra bracing to make the frame nice and rigid so if it did flex in transport it did so more uniformly.  You can use flexible grout, decide what your decisions will affect and how to make what  you want to work, work.  I did it.  I moved it.  I have not had a single issue with the tile on my floor OR in my shower.   Do what is right for you.

#3 – My walls are drywall – and not even the thick stuff!  OH no!  Ok, I want to consider a worst case scenario here.  You move and you have places in your house where the drywall cracked.  ANY home improvement stores carry patch kits for drywall.  If you can build a house you can patch drywall.  Sure, may not be the best to use if you plan on moving often, may not be the best to use if you’re a builder who has to guarantee work for others, for me, drywall was the solution.  I also wanted to save on weight and labor so I used 3/8″ thick drywall instead of the standard 5/8″.  If you like drywall, use it.  If you like bubble wrap you can find a way to use it!   Do what is right for you.

#4 – I live with a great dane AND a baby – and it’s officially been 6 months and everyone still smiles every single day (dog included, it’s a good trick!)

Denver does this when he first sees his family, I have yet to get a picture so you're just going to have to imagine this on a goofy great dane!
Denver does this when he first sees his family, I have yet to get a picture so you’re just going to have to imagine this on a goofy grey dane!

Yeah, I heard CONSTANTLY that it will never work, I won’t make it to 7 months pregnant, then I won’t make it through the summer, then the winter… its all horse crap.  I’m here and not a single thing has even been a tough adjustment.  This is just my house.  We play, we wrestle, we sleep, we cook, we eat and we pee here and it all works.  Just. like. other. houses.  Only cheaper!  And easier to keep clean!  Do what is right for you and find your helpers to support you and keep the naysayers at bay! 

Furthermore, I have been both criticized for being ‘ripped off’ for paying ‘that much’ for my house as well as called a liar and been told that ‘there is no way I bought this for that cheap’.  There is no pleasing some people.  What I want to express with this post is that there will always be naysayers, information hoarders, information spouters and pessimists to distract and overcomplicate your path.  Be a doer!  Follow your dreams.  Take those people and their comments as ‘concerned parties’.  If you can hear their ‘concern”, think about it and can provide a logical rebuttal that maintains your path then you’re good, if not adjust your path until you are comfortable with the ramifications.  Thats part of the learning.  There is no need to actually express that rebuttal, just be confident and move forward knowing that not everyone has the tenacity to explore what you are looking at exploring.  Not all of the naysayers deserve any of your attention either. Find your supporters and please do know that there are lots of us out here who want to be good helpers!

There is a great video shared by my friend Sheliah over on the Tiny House People Facebook page, it is worth linking here.

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Saying ‘No’

anything-not-everything

In the words of my friend, Sean David Burke ‘Learning to say no is really, really difficult.’

I have been presented SO many AMAZING life opportunities this year.  I mean amazing, never in a million years would I have thought that they would happen.  Cool S#!t.  It is so easy for me to get completely jazzed and psyched over even the littlest of things, imagine TV shows, magazines, dream jobs, passion project #1, passion project #2, passion project #3 and a want to keep a simple life all coming at you at once, OH!  and the most rad baby and relationship…  Every day I somewhat fear everyone getting over this whole ‘tiny house’ thing because it’s become such an unexpected but huge part of my life (ironic, huh!).  I did not get into this to turn into a blogger, to be in magazines and movies but those things and more are and have presented themselves, how can I NOT take part!? right?  Well, this weekend it has all come to a head, I think.  There is too much and I feel like it’s getting in the way of my real priority, which is my family.

It’s funny, I am attracted to the tiny lifestyle because I am a simple person with simple needs and believe it or not I am hugely introverted!  All of this attention IS draining.  I have realized yet another thing about myself though through all of this, I am PASSIONATE about teaching.  That part of this has re-energized me continually.  I love inspiring, I like seeing/hearing/reading ‘that moment’ when a major life development is made in strangers and minds are shifted to an understanding that gives a person much peace and confidence about their own life and how they want to live it,  I love hearing things go from ‘that’s cool’ to ‘I’m going to do that!’  I LOVE helping to empower people to do that for themselves.

So I am attracted to this lifestyle for it’s simplicity yet it has deeply complicated my own life (in all the best ways! not complaining, just stating the fact!).  At this point literally every single day brings a new opportunity, business or personal.  It seems that I have an idea and before I can even look into it further I am approached by someone with a similar idea.  Sometimes this is annoying (when people just want to piggy-back on my site for their own personal gain) but sometimes it’s amazing and there is a real opportunity to combine synergistic energies to truly help people.  That is my only one and remaining goal with this site by the way, to help people.  I will do this as long as I get questions, as long as people are gaining from my information and as long as I can pay for my bills (this is not really as lucrative as some think… but then again I don’t have a lot of bills! ahhhem… buy my book if you like! ;)).

Well, my point to all of this is that I have hit it, I hit the wall, the end of the road, there are too many options, too many ‘things’ pulling at my attention and none of them are getting enough attention to be successful.  At this point I HAVE to master the art of saying no.  I HAVE to pick my priorities and focus or nothing will be done well or at all, and THAT is just not an option.  THIS, right now, is the point that I have too many balls in the air.

Back to the drawing board:

Several years ago I had a very good friend, her and I started blogging together simply because we wanted to.  We wanted to stay happy and positive, that was our only real ‘rule’ about our blog posts and we used the whole thing as a means of self exploration.  I owe much of my present life to these conversations, that process and quite frankly that girl (thank you Mari), she picked me up and shook me off when my life got hard, she asked me questions, she engaged my mind and made me think of what I wanted for my future.  THAT process got me here.

THIS was my very first post of that process!  I wanted to really clarify what I am all about and so I went through the process of making my very own ‘personal mission statement’.  It was:

“To love life completely, live honestly and humbly, while actively creating a better environment for my family and community with optimism and passion that all things are possible.”

This was over four years ago and about a year+ before I started my tiny house build.  At this point and I have referenced THAT mission statement hundreds of times.  I generally live my life and when a situation comes up and I need a little direction, I reference my personal mission statement and let it be the guiding entity.  This has done very well for me.  In four years though life has changed.  I think its time to reevaluate and go a little bit deeper.  At this point I have so many opportunities coming up and they ALL fit into my personal mission VERY well.  I can honestly say that my wildest dreams have come true time and time again.  I need to tighten things up though so that my mission statement can guide me better from here on forward.  That is what I will be focusing on because without that guidance I have no impulse control I would be saying yes to a good many of the things coming my way.  If I did that I would fail at them all.  It’s time to focus in and clarify my goals and the direction for my future.  That is what I will spend this weekend doing, so stay tuned! ;-)

PS. Going through my old blog reminded me too of something I used to love doing!  My weekly 5’s, 5 things I am grateful for and 5 things I am excited about, for old times sake here are some current 5’s:

I am grateful:

  • To have my whole family AND Hazel’s whole family (both sides) in town and near enough to visit often!
  • To have my life, my health and to be happy!
  • I am so grateful for the time I get to spend with Hazelnut, I am VERY fortunate.
  • To have my friend Becca to be a fairly normal adult with and have our weekly outings and baby dates!
  • That Hazel has been the absolute perfect vision of health from day 0.

I am excited:

  • That Sagey will be here in a week and a half!
  • To decorate my tiny house for Halloween!
  • To dress the munchkin up for the spooky occasion (ideas on what??? I’m thinking a tiny little witch or a fairy (she likes tinkerbell))
  • For fall to be here!  My most favorite season seems to always be the one looming on the horizon but I am particularly stoked for red leaves and apple cider, I LOVE fall.
  • For movie and bonfire night at Nater’s (brother) this weekend!