Determining wants and needs through my tiny house/living fascination

Tiny_house_in_yard,_Portland
If this house looks familiar, that’s because it belonged to Dee Williams!   Photo taken by Tammy Strobel.  Attribution:  By Tammy – Weekend with Dee, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11211685

 

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of living simply and living in a tiny house for many years now, way before it became trendy. Thinking about living in a tiny home helps me to stop myself from buying things I “want” but don’t necessarily need. Kind of like when I was getting ready to move cross country.  The way I made decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of was to ask myself, “was there room for both this thing and my animals in the car?”  The animals were definitely going – that was not even a question.  It was more a question of whether there was room for this additional thing.

So now I sit and think to myself – is this object I’m perusing, be it a second-hand shirt or pillowcase, or whatever, something that I would definitely want to move into a tiny house when I finally achieve that dream?  Or when I move into a small bachelor-type apartment? If I can’t picture it, I don’t buy it.  Do I already have something at home that can fill the “need” it would otherwise cover?  Usually, the answer is yes.

When I first got out of law school, I should have done what I advise all students to do now.  When you get out of school, don’t live any differently.  Continue to live like a student while you pay off your debts and get started with your life.  Just because you’re no longer in school doesn’t mean your home needs to look like it just walked off the pages of Dwell magazine.

So these days, I live frugally.  Like a student.  I have a roommate and it’s a one bedroom apartment, so my bed is in the living room and I’m totally fine with that.  Every morning when I wake up, I look at the Sandia Mountains to the east of Albuquerque.  It’s a beautiful view, especially when the clouds are so low they obscure the tops of the peaks. I have a large picture window that lets in lots of light.

Speaking of beds, mine is on a platform of milk crates. Guess what?  It’s pretty supportive on my back.  It’s also a good way of creating some built-in storage in a very inexpensive way.  My mattress cost me all of $129 from Walmart, and I bought it online so didn’t have to deal with transporting it in my small car.  It came in a box and once it was opened, my roommate rolled it open, and voila, in an hour or so, it was ready to go up on top of said milk crates.  And instead of buying heavy, hard to move bookcases, I have, guess what?  Milk crates!  When you have to move, you just turn them, your stuff is in them, and voila, no need to get lots of extra boxes to pack your stuff in, because it’s already packed!

You  know those plastic white bin type of drawers you can get at Walmart or Target? I bought those to organize my stuff in the fifth wheel I owned in Utah.  Still got ’em.  The old me of several years ago would have gotten rid of them as soon as I could afford a nice “dresser.”  But you know what?  It’s hard to move heavy furniture on your own and when you have a small hatchback type car.  Plus, these white drawers can be configured in a multitude of ways.  I can see everything I have in them.  When they’re too full of crap, it’s time to downsize.  Looking at them now, I see that yes,  it’s time for me to get rid of stuff again.  You really do only wear 20% of your stuff, 80% of the time.

I’ve been thinking of what I would want in a tiny house.  I honestly don’t need much, aside from room for me and my animals. I think about whether I would want a flush toilet or a composting toilet.  To not have to deal with a black tank would be awesome, so I’d likely go with the composting toilet. I’d like to do solar and have as  much of my energy needs filled off the grid.

Would I want my tiny house to be on wheels?  I sometimes think so, but then realize a shed that could be insulated, etc., might be a more economical way to go.  Just have to find a place to put it (and oh yeah, be able to afford that place/land.)  So I have begun to save.  It’s a small amount right now, but that online savings account is named “Tiny Home.”

You might wonder how all of my animals will fit into a tiny home.  If my roommate and I go our separate ways, Morgan will likely stay with him.  She does very well with training – her brain likes to be challenged, and she helps him in a great therapy-type way.  He has PTSD and a few other problems from having been in the army and Iraq.  Also, since Snuggles is so possessive/obsessive of me, he has become “her human.”  (It is a trait of weiner-dogs to be super possessive.)  Morgan adores him to the moon!   Yes, I’m her momma and the one who feeds her, but he’s the one who takes her on lots of walks, and snuggles with her and plays with her in the yard during the day when I’m at work.  When he is feeling down, she stays close to him.  Every time she hugs him, I see the bond that has formed between them.  It makes my heart feel good.

So in closing, if you started reading my blog because of my tiny house posts, never fear, I’m still very interested in them!  I still watch tons of YouTube videos about simple living and tiny houses.  Yes, I used to live in an RV and that one didn’t work out for me, but I feel like a tiny home is different and can be made much stronger and much better insulated than that fifth wheel was!  I haven’t given up on the tiny living dream, so don’t give up on me!

And yes, in case you’re wondering, I don’t like that they’ve become trendy and that the prices have increased so drastically over the past few years.  I think they can still be built economically, and I’m willing to put in the elbow grease on mine, if someone is willing to help me figure out what the hell I’m doing!

Are you interested in living more minimally?  In a tiny home?  Or an RV?  Let me know what you think, what you would prioritize, if you’d want it to be on wheels, etc., in a comment below!  And if you’ve liked the post but prefer not to comment, please hit that like button or share it! 

And as always, thank you for reading!

 

10 thoughts on “Determining wants and needs through my tiny house/living fascination

  1. Not sure I could live in a tiny home. I have a three year old and another one on the way. Our house is not that big. I think it is a little over a 1000 sq ft. We do try to live a simple life overall. My greatest weakness is movies. I own a lot of DVDs. I do not think all my movies could fit in a tiny house. I keep telling myself I need the movies for when I retire one day. The things we do to convince ourselves we need something. Like the post. Definitely made me think, which is rare.

    1. LOl, you made me laugh with your comment about thinking being a rare action for you! Eddie, thanks so much for commenting. I wonder, would the DVDs you have be available through netflix? Or do you prefer the feel of the DVD and not streaming? For me, I get my DVDs from the library – free!

      And you know what? Everyone’s idea of tiny or small is different. No judgment here! And thanks for following my blog!

      1. I like the feel of the DVD. I stay away from streaming. Old school I guess. I do get movies from the library as well. I like free! I like the no judgement part as well. The problem of course is I normally say don’t judge me when I do something wrong. I tend to say that a lot. Oh, I know what you are thinking and don’t judge me. LOL. Anyway, you are right about everyone having a different idea about what is tiny or small. I always say find what works for you.
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      2. I also work with someone who says that a lot too, and it always cracks me up!

        I guess because I moved cross country in such a small car, and have had to do so much moving all on my very own, that’s why I try to keep as little as possible now. If only I could get over my problem with keeping papers (maybe it’s the librarian in me), but paper clutter is my arch nemesis.

  2. I’ve followed the tiny house trend too, I think I’d like to build a small (perhaps not tiny) house on a big piece of land. With lots of windows and light and hardly anything else. Except my dog of course.

    1. Dawn, the light is so important to me too. It’s one of the things that attracted me to this apartment where I am now – lots and lots of natural light. If you have a small or tiny house with lots of windows, it’s like you’re inviting the outdoors to come in and stay a while. 🙂 And yes, of course with Katie!!

    1. I know, that’s why I liked your blog immediately too – a lot of the same ideas and loves! I have many of the same reasons for wanting to go tiny and right now, it’s just a dream, but it’s one I refuse to give up on. I WILL find a way to make it happen. So will you. 🙂

  3. Having lived full time in a 160-square foot motorhome, a 220-square foot motorhome, a 320-foot motorhome, a 400-square foot fifth wheel, a 1000-square foot home, a 1600-square foot home, and three different 2000+-square foot homes, I think I liked the larger motorhome the best. There was room for everything I needed, and kept me from buying things I definitely did not need!

    Having studied the Tiny Home Scene for about ten years or so because it is so enthralling, I must say that I much prefer the larger motorhome for continuous living. A trailer of substantial size would probably also do fine, but I don’t have any experience with living in a trailer, only the fifth wheel.

    This is a more complex deal these days as both tiny homes and RV’s have become less well built, and disproportionately more expensive. And with the world becoming so weird, it would be nice to be able to change venue easily, should that be propitious.

    Still, all things being equal, I have enjoyed living in all of the kinds of abodes, and have been lucky to have the S&B homes in suitable places. One of the attractions of a home on wheels is that you can roll those wheels somewhere else if the circumstances dictate thusly.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    1. That’s what worries me most about RVs, Judie, is that they are historically known for being built so poorly. And yes, the prices of the tiny homes have risen astronomically. Makes me want to buy a nice shed, winterize it and set it up as my tiny home. I lived in a fifth wheel too, as you know, and honestly, it was too much room for me as a person. Only reason I got something so big was because at the time, I had the five cats.

      Your 160 footer – was that a Class B, I take it?

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