A Little Winter Update

Macy M4 comments6351 views

Aside from going stir-crazy sitting in one place we have been checking off items on our ‘to-do’ list this winter.

  • Build kitchen
  • Move tiny house
  • Put together RV Travel e-course (80% there)
  • Write book (25% there)
  • Design house to build (images attached below)
  • Not go crazy (so-far, so-good)

The eCourses

I presented my ‘trial run’ version of my ecourse last week to a small audience down at our local event center. I got really great and useful feedback from everyone that I know will make my course much better. (I’m tempted to do a second, totally free, event at our local library. I did not make any money from the event but attendees had to pay $10 to the venue to go. In addition I paid to advertise the event, print the worksheets and park. All in all it cost me a little over $100 to put the event on. The library would have cost me $50 to rent the room. I think the turn out would have been a lot higher though because it would actually be free. In any case, I got great feedback.) I have moved on to the recording phase now and expect that I could have it out in a couple weeks. If you’d like to be notified when they are available please sign up HERE.

The Book

I have been dabbling with the idea of writing a book of our past and to-be travels – to both inspire and streamline the process for others! I have no idea if anything will actually come of it but a coffee table book for us but it’s something I have been working on…

Design A House

This one is mostly on James since it’s his property and his money that will be building. Long story short, the lot where my tiny house sat was purchased adjacent to the home he purchased way back in 2007(ish). The idea was that he would eventually build on the lot and sell for a profit. The time has come to start making those plans.

We started out this winter talking to the city and it turns out it is a very difficult lot to build on. Even though it is 30′ wide there is a setback on one side of 5′, and 15′ on the other side. The actual ‘buildable area’ of the lot is 10′, which classifies it as a ‘non-buildable’ lot. Now, we can certainly design something that will work inside of 10′. If the goal is to make a profit though it get’s a little more difficult.

We are still in the middle of all those discussions with the city and the highway district (because Boise does stuff weird!). It’s definitely more complex than expected – workable though. We are hoping we can pay $2,500 to get the highway district to give us back 6′ of their 15′ easement. I have hopes that it is possible because I think they had different plans for the road where the lot is located than they ultimately settled on with recent development. We need a little luck on that.

The House

There have been 20+ renditions of a design based off of site requirements. Either way the next discussion goes, we have thought and talked through a plan that would allow us to do something along these lines:

This seems absolutely massive but it’s actually less than half the average house size in the US (about 40%). It comes in a smidgen under 1,200 s.f. It’s 16′ wide at it’s widest point. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. Since James also owns the adjacent lot it sounds like we will have to apply for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) in order to classify the two lots as their own ‘neighborhood’. Then, since we are a neighborhood, we can make more relaxed ‘rules’ about neighborhood easements and such.

This would allow us a wider footprint by decreasing the space between the two houses. The PUD process is tricky, expensive and time consuming in it’s own right. It smooshes the houses together in a less than ideal way. It would be much simpler and smarter to reduce the frontage easement from 15′ down to 9′ in our opinion. We will see how that request goes…

The Design (so far)

Since we are completely undecided on whether or not we will actually be moving permanently we designed this house to be able to work for us. Our thinking was if we can do that then it will probably work for others too. On the first floor there is a kitchen, living and faux-dining area (similar to what we added in our garage conversion). As well as an office and flex workspace/laundry/mud-room connecting the garage and patio to the house.

The second floor includes a master bedroom, two bathrooms and two smaller bedrooms. The small rooms could become a second master type bedroom if we decide to rent the space out (instead of live in it or sell it). If it is to be kid’s bedrooms we have the idea to make the beds similar to this in order to maximize square footage:

In addition to this, there is a ‘great room’ above the garage that could function as a painting studio, a homeschool/workshop, man-cave, etc. OR it could become a accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and offer the owners a rental income (either short-term rental or longer term). That area alone is twice the size of our tiny house!

Not going crazy

That is always a work in progress ;-). We are sure excited to get past this winter. Here I thought I missed it last year when we were out playing in the Florida Keys for winter. It turns out I didn’t, winter is for the birds! 😀

P.S. I am updating our Instagrams in preparation for our tiny house’s big move (when we find the perfect spot!). It’s been fun recounting the story of how it came to be over on the new MiniMotives Instagram. Our travel IG is still LearningTheLongWay which will have more activity when the snow melts! Lastly, I have taken our personal life and special ‘kid-isms’ over to my personal IG. It took me forever to get on Instagram but it turns out I like it a lot. It’s quick and easy to update. I realized though that some people who are interested in travel may not be as interested in our son discovering that ice cubes turn into water when you put them in your pocket… but I still want to update all of it! 😀 I hope you are all doing well!



  1. Thanks for the update, Macy.
    On the design, just a couple of points. Laundry and workshop are not compatible uses. One is about clean and wet, the other is dirty and usually needs dry. 🙂 Also having the passage to the Great room be through someones bedroom will be a major issue as they get older. Love the idea of the bunks but be sure its sound insulated. 🙂

    1. It’s laundry OR workshop, not ‘and’. If it’s us, it will be a potting shed/canning room, someone else would likely use it as laundry and well put hookups in it for that reason. The door on the kids room is a left over from a different design iteration, it shouldn’t be in there still – good catch!

  2. If you do publish a book about your travels, I would definitely buy it! Your tiny house is my favorite tiny house of all time, and I’d love to hear more about your tiny trailer advdntures.

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