Next trip to the Goodwill donation center, here we come. I am so, so excited!! I’ve no idea how we fit so many things in this little house. I have not a clue how I’ve been donating and selling things for 8+ years pretty continuously and there’s still too much. We’ve been such good little American consumers I guess. As we get ready for selling our home of the last three years, the plan is to move into a 27 foot RV for a while. More stuff has got to go, cause there’s just so many places it can go. At this point giving the things away fills me with joy. I usually photograph it before it goes, and I enjoy seeing the pictures of the old stuff once in a while. I have never regretted giving any of it away. Of course this trip is especially easy, since most of it was not even mine in the first place! I used to ask, “but what if I need it again and it’s gone?” Honestly, that has happened a couple times. It’s okay. I buy it again and choose more carefully the second time around. I go for something that is smaller or easier on the eyes, whenever possible. Do not beat yourself up if you’ve given up something that you end up needing again. Stuff comes, stuff goes. If you can’t afford it again right away, get inventive… there’s always a way.
Previously, I mentioned the rather stubborn decision we made to cling to our king size bed for nearly three years in our 10’x7’ “master” bedroom. We don’t really live with regret about that choice. I mean, those big kings offer some serious comfort. It seemed worth it to climb in from the end. Now that we’ve caved and downsized to a queen bed, we received when our lovely daughter downsized herself, we see some definite advantages. We have walking paths… on both sides of the bed! There’s even a bit of floor space peaking through. A great little second hand furniture store recently revealed itself and we downsized the furniture in our living room too. It seriously makes a big difference to the feel of the house. Having visual space just feels more peaceful.
Full size washer in a tiny house? Oh yeah! Just to be able to wash the comforters at home is a a little slice of heaven for us. Stack them and sneak a folding table between the washer and the dryer. We cut two thinner pieces of exterior plywood, glued them together with construction glue and sanded to smooth the edges and round the corners. Top it off with a bit of white paint to help it blend in when it’s tucked away. We gave up a coat closet for this luxury. So very worth it.
The pretty bottle opener (see prior post) inspired an inviting front entry. To get the right look there was no choice but to install an interior handle, along with a keyless entry bolt. There’s always a way! Naturally, red was then the only acceptable color in this case (goodbye pale pea green!) A stained glass artist on eBay gave us California Poppies in a custom size. This front door is rather tiny, which meant custom all they way. The stained glass gave us art inside and out— who needs wall space?
It all started with a key, of sorts. After dumping our oh-so-many things into our new tiny house, and running away to Europe for a bit. We knew we wanted our house to become pretty… but where to begin? I mean it was essentially a big storage unit with a bathroom.
Then, it happened one night… in Spain. We asked to borrow a bottle opener from a friend, and it was just beautiful. It was fate… kismet… destiny. It sparked inspiration. We agreed to begin a search in earnest upon our return.
Once home we wedged ourselves and our oh-so-many belongings into our new home, and kept our eyes open for the new opener on our travels. There was a burning desire to replace our plastic and chrome (?) grocery store model. Eureka! It revealed itself in Newport, RI. That’s how our new bottle opener became the key to transitioning our home into a tiny sanctuary.
In the summer of 2016 we gave up our typical suburban house for a tiny house. We closed on July 7th, moved in that day, and took off for Europe before unpacking on the 8th. Yes, we could finally afford to travel and did not waste a minute!
To be clear, we literally spent five years giving things away in order to get ready for the move. We researched, we talked, we studied. I thought, “We’ve got this!” Meanwhile, we came home to a treadmill dominated living room. It partially blocking the bathroom door! The king size bed took up about 80% of the bedroom.
When we tried to put it all away… a little voice inside my head secretly screamed, “What in the name of heaven have you done to yourself?!” Ever the stubborn people that we are, we gave up our walking path and squeezed the treadmill next to the bed. This became the entire bedroom. I am not kidding. See for yourself:
So basically it took a while. We had to make it work with what we had and slowly convert it to more livable. Getting to pretty was a process, a long process. Looking forward to the next challenge!
If you’ve wondered if dogs can be happy in a tiny house, just look how happy our little guy was with his new home. I mean, dogs love dens, right? We are fortunate enough to have a little yard where we could put in a tiny temporary fenced area. Thank goodness Lowes carried this fencing that comes with little spikes that get hammered into the ground (no concrete!). After the spikes you feed poles through the fencing segments into the spikes. It can be reconfigured as much as you want. You could even take it with you if your home is on wheels.
I suggest reserving some space in the house for your little buddies, and give them either a dog bed or a crate. It’s just nice for them to know where to go to feel safe and comfortable and have a place to get out from under foot. Be sure to get him or her out and about from time to time. Our furry friend loves to join us on the road, now that we can afford to travel more.
We have one bathroom cabinet. This encompasses all bathroom storage and linens. Since we LOVE huge, luxurious towels, we keep only five. We took a tip out of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and started vertical storage of the towels. That let’s us limit bath towel storage to one little shelf. The middle shelf is for hair products, dentition supplies, and hand towels. The lower shelf stores the hairdryer along with all the little bits— make up, lotions, nail-type stuff, and little unmentionables.
If you see a buy-in-bulk bargain, run the other way! And for goodness sake, make yourself a regular date to clear the clutter (it’s sneaky, sneaky stuff). Limiting chaos will save you from having your treasures land in the toilet, when you open the lone cabinet! Be ruthless, be brave, you’ve got this!
Finding a tiny table that fit in my house and suited our sensibilities… enough to send me to crazy town! After ridiculous search, we finally took matters into our own hands and went DIY:
1) Trip to a granite dealer to have an 18” x 24” piece of granite that matched our counters cut and polished ($100)
2) Trip to a funky used furniture store to by a hideous old table with a tiny table base ($20), plus a pair of cute old chairs ($20)
3) Pick up little piece of granite
4) Trip to hardware store for epoxy
5) Unscrew old yellow Formica table top and thoroughly clean the base
6) Sharpie to touch up chips in paint of table-base (oh yes, I did!)
7) Mark center of granite underside to ensure well balanced table
8) Epoxy new table top to base
9) And finally, my own little perfectly sized bistro table!