Determining wants and needs through my tiny house/living fascination

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,


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!


Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Sorry folks, but yesterday got away from me and I didn’t have a chance to get this post written. But overall, I think it was a good week.

1. My friend who just had twins a little while ago (they came early at around 7 months) just told me last night that they are coming home from the hospital this week – yay! I’m so happy for him and thankful that they have been doing so well. For being born so early, they were in really good shape. I’ve seen pictures and they are just too cute (and tiny) for words! His wife continues to do well, too, and having just seen a picture of her online this week, I am wowed at how she looks already!

2. This week we finally hit the 50s, temps-wise. Tomorrow should be in the high 50s. Get out the bikinis! (Just kidding, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I see something like that from the students who live down the street.)  It’s finally feeling (most of the time, anyway) like spring, or at least like winter *might* be going away. Osito and I have gone out on a few walks and she’s super happy about that. I’ve been able to go for a few runs around the Charles River in the mornings and even rode my bike to and from work the other day! I really love that ride along the Charles River paths – it’s my quiet time all for myself.

3. Figured out all of my bills from this paycheck and found I had $163 left over for food for myself and the *herd* as my ex-boyfriend used to call my animals. I guess my mindset has changed. This seems like a lot of money to get me through two weeks! And it’s that amount because I was able to make an extra payment on my private student loan of $433 so that my payment in total for this month is $600. Sticking to the plan and am glad that I am able to pay extra on the loan. Not everyone can.

4. Starting to train more of my friends these days and with every session, I feel like, “yep, this is what I want to do.” I have let the animal shelter where I volunteer in adoption know that I have to cut back on my hours to being more of an occasional volunteer than a weekly volunteer and they were very gracious about it. I just really need to focus on studying for that certification test. And I’ve just signed up for an online anatomy and physiology course through Bunker Hill Community College that will start in a few weeks in order to help me understand a lot of the concepts better. With the freelance work continuing, I’m going to be one busy girl!

5. Speaking of freelance work, I was able to finish another chapter last Sunday! I just really wanted to get it done but do a good job on it. Over 40 hours of work on it! Figuring out how much of that will go toward my student loan and how much will go into my tiny house/land fund!

6. I came across a website the other day for a fiberglass RV that is pretty awesome, and I keep picturing it in my mind when I think to myself “do I use this? Does it have purpose in my life? Should I try selling it on craiglist?” It really helps me to focus on what is important, and it has spurred me on to getting rid of extraneous stuff in my life. It’s called the Lil Snoozy! Regardless of whether I end up in an RV or a tiny house, I’m thankful for this new attitude of having enough abundance in my life and not always feeling like I need “more, more, more!”

7. One of my favorite authors and tiny-housers, Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens, has made the kindle version of her new photography book, free this weekend! Go here to get it!!

Again, apologies for the lateness on this post but hey, better late than never, right? 🙂 Have a great weekend, folks! And if you’ve liked this post, please hit like below or subscribe!