Welcome to Issue Two: Downsizing

Posted April 4th, 2009 by Stephanie Reiley and filed in Issue 2: Downsizing


I would like to begin by saying thank you to everyone who has taken the time to stop by Small Living Journal and read our first issue.  Your warm welcome and thoughtful comments have been really wonderful for the writers after a couple of months of working in silence to prepare for our launch.  We’ve been deeply touched by your enthusiasm for the project.

We’ve also been rather surprised by the volume of interest we’ve received from people wanting to participate as guest writers on SLJ.  In this issue, we have included articles from three new participants: Heather from The GreenestDollar; Christina from DeclutterLife, and Jonathan, an educator who’s passionate about what he refers to as “mainstream small”. If you would be interested in participating yourself in a future issue, please refer to our Guest Submission guidelines.

While  you may have noticed the same name on the top of the first two issues, beginning with Issue 3 you will see a rotating schedule of editors for each issue.  The responsibility for choosing the topic of the issue, sorting through guest submissions, and formatting and publishing the actual issue will circulate amongst all of the key contributors at SLJ.  The hope is that by taking this approach, each of the writers will help shape SLJ’s directon and voice, making the journal far stronger than it would be with any one person on the masthead.

With that, I’d like to turn to the topic of our current issue–downsizing…

I think pretty much every writer in the small home movement has had the experience of sharing with someone the details of where they live.  Initially, the listener responds with enthusiasm about the concept of small home living.  However, upon further contemplation–particularly in terms of the feasibility of a similar living arrangement for themselves–some combination of abject horror, terror, and nausea crosses their face and they wail the all-too-familiar question to tiny home dwellers: “But what would I do with ALL MY STUFF??”

This issue of Small Living Journal  is an attempt to provide answers to all of you who have considered this very dilemma.  We hope you find our collection of articles both useful and enjoyable.  And we look forward to your comments and suggestions.

4 Responses to “Welcome to Issue Two: Downsizing”

  1. Laura @ move to portugalNo Gravatar says:

    I’m finding this site invaluable; thank you :)

  2. Joseph KenyonNo Gravatar says:

    What a timely and appropriate article ! Being I am in the middle of constructing my new tiny house on wheels, Im currently simultaneously downsizing by selling off mounds of items in preparation for moving in to it this summer!
    Incidently the plans I am using to build my house are currently available for everyone to see , download, and copy and give away to anyone else interested at my site http://www.josephkenyon.com
    So, instead of having multiple dressers, tables, desks, chairs, and numerous other pieces of furniture, I am going to be using the built in features in my tiny house in stead . For example, I am building in a desk with computer “slot” for a desktop PC case, a place for the monitor etc, and am also building in a drawing board/desk, which i will be using in place of my current glass top table. I am also building into the wall a easle for painting (portraits- abstracts- illustrations and other paintings) which will take the place of a large aluminum easle I currently use. I am also building into the house a permanent “tool box” with drawers to hold all of my household and other tools to take the place of multiple tool boxes.
    Joseph Kenyon
    (The Small House Project)

  3. RobynNo Gravatar says:

    I am wondering if anyone knows of cities that allow for tiny house construction – I’ve heard that many places require a minimum square footage for homes – usually around 1000sf. It would be interesting to know what towns allow, even encourage, small building, in support of environmental concerns, the small house movement, etc.
    It would be great if a list were compiled – maybe a group effort of readers and authors of this blog?
    I’m currently trying to find out the zoning/building rules for my town.

  4. Tammy "RowdyKittens"No Gravatar says:

    Hi Robyn, thanks for leaving a comment. :) I’m not sure about specific towns that encourage small building. We’ve done some research on ordinances in Sacramento and Yolo counties (in California). The city officials/planners I’ve talked with indicated we could build or park a tiny home outside the city limits.

    Also, the City of Davis seemed really intrigued by our project. The planner I corresponded with late last year didn’t think it would be a problem parking a tiny home in someone’s backyard or driveway. :)

    Have you talked with your local community development department?