It’s All Relative

Posted March 1st, 2010 by Lelly and filed in Issue 16: How To Design & Build a Home

Tiny Victorian front

So, you’ve decided that everybody else’s designs don’t quite fit and you want something completely unique, right?  You want to design it yourself so you get exactly what you want.  Now how do you begin?

First, I suggest taking a long hard look at the life that you want to live after you move into your small space.  You must be realistic about your space requirements. Do you want to entertain people? Do you need a home office? Do you like to cook?  You MUST be completely honest with yourself and don’t hold utopian ideals about how your life will be once you’re settled.

Next think about your storage requirements.  Are you a minimalist who has only 3 shirts, 2 pairs of pants and 1 pair of shoes?  Are you a seamstress or a crafty person who needs alot of storage?  Once again, really consider your storage needs.  And don’t forget to factor in those items that are easily forgettable: toothbrush, toothpaste, et cetera.  I would make a list of everything you want to pack around with you in your little house.  My personal goal is to be able to pack every thing I own into 3 medium sized boxes.

While you are designing, take into consideration not only floor plan but also think about things like your water heater, your home heat, all the tiny details. And we like to think that looks aren’t everything but lets face it, we all want a pretty home so don’t forget aesthetics!  I like to plot everything out on paper first and then I like to tape it out on the floor so I can get a sense of scale.  Then I whip out my Google Sketchup and go to town drawing it up.  I haven’t had a chance to actually build a home yet, but it’s on my to do list.

I also recommend making a list of the reasons why you wanted to go small and keep them by your side as you design.  That way you can keep your goal pure and create your perfect home.

Also don’t forget to use the tips and tricks featured in last month’s edition of SLJ!

Live free!    Lelly

chalet floorplan 2

This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway.” ~Bob Dylan

Posted January 1st, 2010 by Lelly and filed in Issue 14: Finding Land for Living

I don’t really have a whole lot to say about purchasing land for a tiny house.  The last time I bought real estate I ended up wishing I hadn’t.

What I do think would be beneficial though, for those who are looking for a little chunka’ to rest their dreams upon would be to google “cheap land”.  You’ll come up with all sorts of wholesale land bargains like radiusland.com.  Mother Earth News usually also has wholesale land ads in their magazine.  The only issue is that alot of those properties are either out in the middle of nowhere or just plain undesirable.  Dunno, it would be worth it to someone who doesn’t like people or really knows how to take care of themselves in the wilderness.

Another idea that I think would be good is if someone were to compile a landshare list of people with property who would like to host a tiny house.

Until next time my minions, live free and Happy New Year!

Tiny Tech

Is there such a thing as too much technology?  To me the whole point of simpler living is getting closer to this planet that we call home.  Right now we are so far removed from nature that we can not see if we even are causing any damage.  So instead of fixing what we are doing, we bicker about whether or not we’re inflicting any harm at all and then cram our lives with even more technology and gadgets.

I am no technological wizard and until I am able to design a house that cleans itself, makes my breakfast, and does my laundry, I think I’ll have to settle for conveniences that are readily available.  But to fit it all into a tiny house could be a challenge.

However, I’m sure that when living in a tiny area, it would help to keep clutter at bay by incorporating a few luxuries.  I know that last winter, at the beginning of the remodel that never ends, when I spent almost every minute in my 13′ x11′ bedroom, it would have been nice to have a Kindle e-book reader, so that I wasn’t tripping over boxes of books.  Or a scanner so that I wouldn’t have to have a file cabinet.  Or even just a proper closet in which to put all of my crap would have been nice!

I do know that when I design the tiny house of my dreams, it will have no tv.  No movies or sitcoms to suck my life force out of me.  Instead, I plan on taking my life and doing something meaningful with it, even if it’s only meaningful to me.

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Keep your eye on the prize!

Posted August 24th, 2009 by Lelly and filed in Issue 12: Small Spaces and Finances

Money is not my forte.  What comes in goes out.  So writing about my current monetary situation would be too pathetic to publish.  So let us focus on the future!

I am not entirely sure what I will do to keep myself afloat if I ever do get off my rump and become a nomad, mostly because I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life!  So here is a list of things I’ve thought of besides just going out and getting a regular old job…

The first is fairly mundane yet I think it’s creative:

  1. I could make shoes out of old tires
  2. I could make dresses
  3. I could sell my tiny house plans (I think this is a for sure thing)

The next group is more on the spiritual/theatrical side:

  1. Kineseology or muscle testing
  2. Tarot readings (don’t roll your eyes, it’s fun!)
  3. And something I call Spirit Mapping.  It’s a way to map your life to where you are right now and also helps to determine where you want to go.  I think I need to give it a try on myself!

I can just see myself traveling down the road in my caravan and stopping in so many different cities it makes my head spin.  I could whip out the eye makeup and cards, or my fabric and tape measure, and then when I’m done, I could take a walk around the city.  And maybe on the way out, find some hiking trails or something like that!

I know, I’m a little weird and perhaps moving a little toward the carnival/freakshow circuit but I’m good at at least some of this stuff and perhaps I won’t have to just get a regular old job.  Perhaps I CAN do what I like and make money at it?  We are all chasing dreams here, why not chase more than one?hope

I Have A Plan!

Posted August 10th, 2009 by Lelly and filed in Issue 11: Obstacles and Solutions
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Alright, I’m just gonna lay it on ya.  All of this is kinda ties together so please bear with me.

Currently my house in is a state of repair.  OK!  So it’s been that way since I moved in.  It wasn’t really a handyman’s special or anything and I loved it when I first moved in but the longer I live here, the more I believe that whoever designed my house needs to be shot.  Or at least be forced to take a design class before he or she wreaks any more havoc on anyone else’s home.  Let the remodeling begin!  (Please ignore the mess and the dust)new kitchen doorway

Because of the recent downturn in the construction industry half of my household income has disappeared, which means that all of my money has been tied up in my mortgage payment.  It also means that the remodel project that never ends is at a complete standstill.  I never had a whole lot of money to begin with and almost none for myself but at least the remodel was moving forward.

Those are the biggest hurdles that I am facing at this very moment in time.  But I have a plan!

My plan is to refinance my mortgage to lower my payment.  It’s going to be great!  In my mind it’s already happened and I’ve talked to my mortgage company and they’ll be able to do it.  Now it’s up to me to get my buns in gear and get the paperwork finished.

My next move will be to get the remodel show back on the road.  I’ve only got to finish my bathroom, (which is no small feat but it’ll be fun), painting, trim, and flooring.  Then on to the the next phase.

In order to lower my income obligations a little more, I plan to add a carport and rent out my “big” house for whatever my new mortgage payment is and then I’m going to turn my garage into a 400 sq ft house.   It’ll be adorable when it’s finished!  Plus, so I don’t get pinched by the man, I’m going to leave the front looking like a garage and add parking in the back.  I know it’s even more cash stuffed into an already overly expensive house, but I figure living in a converted garage apartment will ready me to move into a 140 sq ft tiny house!  Plus, when I do move into my tiny house, I can also rent out the garage apartment to make a little extra income!garage house

The only other hurdle I can see in my future after that is which model tiny house to build, and how I’ll support myself on the road.  But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!