My Most Essential Possession in our Tiny House On Wheels

When I think through the things that we chose to keep in our Tiny House there are many things that pop to mind first. Things I use every day like my frying pan or things that bring me joy like our photo books. But truthfully there is ONE THING that I consider to be an essential – and its probably not what you think!

MecoBlue Tiny Living Essential

Having 4 people in about 25m2 of space counting the lofts means there is a lot of nice warm, moist air being breathed into a small space. Plus the steam from cooking or showering means that ventilation is vital! Every space has windows and we tried to arrange cross breeze access as much as we could. Even so, to keep on top of moisture content we find the one item that is most vital in our home is actually an electric dehumidifier.

MecoBlue Tiny Living Essentials

We have lived in sub-tropical environments with 90% plus humidity in summer and now in Victorian highlands where winter is cold and damp. In both cases our dehumidifier helps us keep our home dry! It’s been really surprising actually just how much water it can suck out! In total we have 9 windows in our home plus the front door and we open up the house as much as possible! I even leave the windows open just a crack even in winter which helps immensely! The kitchen exhaust fan is run whenever cooking in the kitchen and the bathroom has a small fan that runs all the time as a part of the composting toilet set up.

MecoBlue Tiny Living Essential

Despite all that ventilation the dehumidifier still fills up at least once a week which stops all that moisture building up in places that it really shouldn’t be! I know, it’s not a particularly exciting item. Still, I consider it one of my most vital items for living as a family in a Tiny House. And it is not an item I would have really considered until such time as we moved in here and lived in the climates that we have lived in!

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I’d love to hear from you what you would consider your most essential item?


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Want To Know How to Get Started on Your Tiny House Journey?

I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you have been there like a fly on the wall watching the movement grow for a while now. You’ve seen the TV shows. You’ve heard the podcasts and you’ve stalked Pinterest building a dream board. You flip over the channel whenever your favourite talkback show features Tiny Homes.

You have been fantasizing about Tiny Living and become drawn to a life where you can walk away from so much of the stress and clutter that fills your life. You crave more time to fill your days with the things that ACTUALLY make you happy rather and feeling chained to a rhythm of work and never ending cleaning! Ultimately you want to walk away from the emotional and financial burden of a big house and pick the freedom to take control of how much you need to work.

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You and your mates talk about your plan to go Tiny, but deep down something is holding you back. You tell yourself you can’t because of kids, or cost, or because you have listened to other’s opinions telling you that its way too radical. Truthfully? You are somewhere between scared to jump in and lost where to start. It all just seems impossible.

Trust me. That is where we were once upon a time. I know the feeling of being completely overwhelmed by all the clutter we fill our homes with in the process of trying to fill our lives with happiness. I know the feeling of dismay as our houses get bigger and the feeling of finally finishing that list of cleaning gets further away.

I know how marvellous the idea of building something new and leaving all the crap behind. I also know how scary it is to jump in. Truthfully you are likely stuck somewhere between fear and simply just not know HOW or WHERE to get started.

And that is where this course comes in.

MecoBlue Tiny Living

Talking Tiny the Course is an accumulation of all things Tiny Living. This is what you need to help you set your goals, design your layout and declutter. This is what you need to hear about challenges you may face in advance so that you can avoid the mistakes that cost TIME and MONEY! This is what you need to know to guide you on your first real steps towards Tiny Living!

This is what you need to really solidify your vision and build a plan of how to get there.

This is going to build the foundations for you to transition your life into Tiny Living. Talking Tiny is about how to LIVE in a Tiny House and how to walk that path towards your goals.

I know how badly you want to leave the normality of modern life and go manifest your Tiny Living dreams.

This course is here to share with you all the things we have learned in our research, build and our own Tiny Home Living. I’ll share how to change the mindset and approach the challenges you are going to face. For more information click here! 

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Reducing Toys

Parenting is such a process of ALWAYS learning right? Recently I got frustrated with the refusal to help pick up toys after playing. I love seeing them have fun! But it has to be packed up when they are done so things don’t get broken (and I don’t go a little batty)  

So I explained that I could help them care for their toys by taking away the ones they didn’t want to put away.  

MecoBlue Tiny Living - Toys

1st time eventually everything was put away after a lot of protests. The second time I set a timer for 10mins and said I would pick up whatever hadn’t been picked up when the bell went off and again explained that I was helping them to care for their toys and play better without mess by taking away what they didn’t really want to play with.  

Within 5 mins they had picked up what they wanted and gone back to playing. When the bell rang I sat down with them and asked if they were ready for me to help them now and pick up all the toys they didn’t want to play with. 

Yep.  

So I picked the rest up. It wasn’t a huge amount (we didn’t have tons to start with anyway but in such a small space it made a significant difference.  

MecoBlue Tiny Living - Toys

3 months later and they haven’t asked for a single thing in that bag. They play better with what’s left and fight less. 

But it was their choice.  

It has been about 4 months now and they have actually asked me to take away a few more things because cleaning up was too hard and they like it being easier! Interesting right? There are actually studies that back up the fact that children tend to play better with fewer toys too. When presented with too much choice kids can find the stimulation quite overwhelming and get frustrated rather than engaging in play.  

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The very first thing you need to do if you want to Build a Tiny House on Wheels

A few years ago, my husband and I came to the point of realising that ‘normal’ was never going to give us what we wanted. We didn’t want the 9-5, the huge house (and mortgage), every moment spent cleaning and our whole live spent trying to keep up.  

We wanted freedom. The freedom to follow opportunity, set our own work schedule and live by our own values. We realised our goals in a nutshell were Self-sufficiency – as much as possible without giving up our freedom and our plans to home-school, volunteer and explore. Family time where we really get to put in the quality time with our kids while they are still little and wanting our time. And control – or as much control as we really have in a world that’s always working.  

Build a Tiny House on Wheels

Like magic – we wrote down our list and suddenly appeared this idea of Tiny Houses. It was after posting in a mum’s group about our desires that a friend suggested I search for Tiny Houses. So, we researched. A lot. For most of a year! We paid for engineered plans to get an idea of materials and cost which showed us this was a viable option! Next step was to order our trailer, jump in and do it! After 11 months of work there we were standing in our new home! We have lived in our DIY Tiny House on Wheels now for coming up to a year and a half! This has been an awesome, wild and fun time of learning and transitioning done WITH 2 small kids!  

If you are at that same point and wondering how you could do the same, I want to give you the very first thing you need to do. This is your homework. Ready?  

Work out what you want from your home.  

Everything. Budget. Style. Location. Design. Time frame. All come down to this.  You need to know exactly what you want from your home. It sounds obvious right? Well I guess in a way it is. But this is the absolute foundation of planning your project. Knowing where you are going to end up is vital!  

So work out what your goals are. 

  • Do you want something as cheap as possible? 
  • Do you want to travel?
  • Do you want the flexibility to be able to move it? 
  • Do you want to be off grid? 
  • How many people will live there? For how long? Permanently or just part time? 
  • What can you afford to spend? 
  • How much time do you spend at home?  

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Get your intention right before you do anything else. I’ll give you some examples of why this is so important.  

Let’s say that you really want to travel for 2 years and explore the country in something as cheap as possible, sell it and then go back to ‘normal’ life. I can tell you a Tiny House on Wheels is unlikely to be the best option for you. A bus conversion project or even a caravan is probably more suitable. 

Now lets say that your goal is to live full time, save up money and then use your new asset as a home base while you build a home perhaps even setting it up as a B&B as an income stream. That sounds like your intention is to build something comfortable and practical that is going to last well! A Tiny House sounds PERFECT.  

Both of those options fall in the realm of Tiny Houses and both are amazing options! But do you see how different that path is? Setting your intention is vital! The thing I love most about Tiny Houses is they way they can be completely built to your vision! You need to have that clarity around your intention first though so you can set your direction. 

Once that is done then you can sit there with Pinterest or Tiny House TV shows making a list of the functions you want or need in your home. This is the fun bit.  

The clearer you can make this picture of what you want the easier it is going to be to start drawing up plans, making estimates, working through logistics and planning 

I found it really helpul to have a notepad nearby whenever I was looking at Tiny Houses online. I made a list of my non negotiables for my house. These were the things like a full size oven and 2 separate lofts that for me were vital pieces of the puzzle. Then I made a list of the things I wanted but were not essential. Some of them eventuated and some did not. The point of the exercise though is to get a picture of what you need in your home so you can start thinking about the floorplan with your intentions in mind. 

How exciting is that? So, what are you waiting for? 

Build tiny house

If you have read this but you are still feeling a little overwhelmed I encouraging you to reach out to us at www.mecoblue.com and one of our helpful team will help talk you through your goals and intentions so they become clearer for you!  

Good luck in whatever path you choose. I truly believe that your Tiny Living Dreams are there for a reason. 

Sarah 



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Identifying Your Intentions

Its time to talk about intentions.

I know – its a big word that gets pulled out when its time to talk about something seriously right? Well, maybe so!

But identifying your intentions are really important and can also be really fun. You see, this is about setting the direction that you are going to go.

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Like scanning all those travel brochures and looking at the pretty pictures before you set your itinerary. See – fun right? The number 1 thing you need to do before going Tiny is set your intention!

Tiny houses are SO diverse and there are a lot of different types. Start by getting a really clear picture of what your intention is with Tiny Living.

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Maybe you are looking just to downsize to a smaller place than you have now

Maybe you want to travel

Maybe you want accommodation on that bit of land your great uncle left you 3 hrs away

Maybe you want to put a Tiny House in the backyard as extra accommodation/income

Maybe you are wanting to jump into Tiny Living full time and cut back on stuff, expenses and stress?

Once you work that out your destination is selected; so finding the right Tiny House for you just got a whole bunch easier!

Then slip that word ‘intention’ right back in there as you sort out what to keep, what and where to build things in your home, and where to prioritize your budget/resources.

Meco Blue Tiny Living

This applies outside of the build process too. If your intention is to practice living in a smaller space by moving into a small unit then you are going to need to be really intentional about what you bring into that space.

Intention is a funny thing. Having clarity is like the magic that allows our goals come to life!

So what are your Tiny Living intentions?

Are you still not sure if Tiny Houses are for you?

Or is it time to pick a destination and start planning your route?


 

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Mess and Minimalism – Living your Best Life

There’s been a bit of a theme lately. Somehow Minimalism has become this construct that is defined by white walls, perfect décor and a perfectly tidy home that looks like no one actually lives there. Social Media and Pinterest have created this standard of perfectionism that most of us will never achieve – and the process of trying to achieve that standard leaves us feeling like frauds and failures.  

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Have I hit a nerve there?  

What I’m seeing is people (but mums especially) getting so caught up in trying to achieve this perfect magazine worthy home that they miss the whole point of the exercise.  I know because I have been so guilty of this. 100% have I got caught up in wanting my home to be perfect so much so that minimalism (or the process of minimising) became a  burden.  

So what is the whole point?  

In my opinion – minimalism is a process of learning to be intentional. To ask yourself what it is that deserves to be in your life. What truly adds value or brings you joy. Its learning to work out what is important to you. And then it is about getting to a place you can release the rest of it. Its about turning your back on the programming to consume and be deliberate about what you let into your life. This process should actually help us feel calmer, happier and less stressed. It should remove the surface clutter than doesn’t deserve to be taking up our emotional, physical and mental space so that we have more time and energy for the things that matter.  

For most people the things that matter are not things at all but people and the relationships that we have with those people. It is also about getting our time back and having freedom to work on the projects than interest us the most. So it’s a little counter-productive if we end up stressed out by this mission to achieve that white walled, mess free, magazine like home.  

Meco Blue Tiny Living

Now don’t get me wrong, lots of clutter and mess overwhelm me. I remember walking into my home and feeling like the entire weight of my home settled on my shoulders. I could never ever get on top of the cleaning – it really felt like by the time I finished just one area it needed doing again and that was only a small portion of the home. I couldn’t live like that anymore. We HAD to cull our things. That process led us towards Tiny House Living as well which I’m so thankful for! We have been able to gain so much freedom!  

However – life can still be messy. But you know what? That’s part of what makes it beautiful!   

Play makes mess. Creating amazing meals makes mess. Getting all the clothes clean can make a mess. Being creative makes mess. Exploring the outdoors makes mess!  

And that’s ok!  

At some point we need to learn to find balance and embrace the mess. We put the hard work in to select what deserves its place in our home and let go of the things that don’t add value. At some point the scales tip and it becomes easier to get the house tidy after mess. But that doesn’t mean its going to be clean ALL of the time. Because your house is your home not a magazine backdrop and you are busy living your BEST life.  

If you are striving for Minimalism and feeling really stuck I’d like to invite you to check out my module on Decluttering and Minimalism so we can break through some of these blocks together.

 Sarah


Meco Blue Tiny Home Specialists

 

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My Favourite Homemade Zero Waste Mayonnaise

One of the things that really makes me happy is learning to swap out just one more purchase to a more sustainable option. Sometimes this means buying it in better packaging, package free or learning to make it myself. Mayonnaise is accessible in reusable glass jars – but the reality is that it is so much more expensive!  

So recently I decided to adapt my sisters Mayo recipe to use the very simple ingredients I had on hand. The original recipe has lemon juice, mustard and a blend of oils in it. However, in my Tiny House Kitchen I don’t always have these things on hand.  

The majority of us in our home are actually dairy free so we swap this out of sour cream in dishes like potato salad or nachos. Its thick, creamy and satisfying! 

You are going to want to do this in a blender and add the oil very slowly. If you go too fast it will split! So turn that baby on and take your time! 

  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 Tab vinegar (Coconut or Apple Cider Vinegar) 
  • Pinch salt 
  • 1 cup lite olive oil 

Blend the eggs, salt and vinegar to combine. With the blender still running slowly add the oil as a slow, steady stream. Blend until thick.

About half way through you will hear the may start to thicken and the sound will change. Keep going until you blend in that whole cup of oil. Once finished store in a clean container in the fridge.  

I used lite olive oil to avoid the heavy olive oil taste and because it was on hand. However my sister’s favourite combination is a 50/50 mix of extra virgin olive oil with a lighter oil such as peanut or ricebran oil.  

Feel free to jazz this up with some garlic, lemon juice or mustard.  


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What If – Addressing Hesitations

You know that moment you are standing on the edge of something really awesome ready to jump in but you remain there frozen thinking to yourself… What if? 

What if I hate it? 
What if this is a huge mistake?
What if what if what if 

I have to be honest with you and tell you we had that hesitation when we made the decision to “Go Tiny” 

Truthfully I think the moment I stood there hesitating the most was actually after we started our project. 

You see I had just spent days on the phone trying to get insurance only to find out NO-ONE would cover a DIY Tiny House on Wheels while under construction.. so we had no insurance. And then we had a huge rain and the water leaked through the tarp onto our sub floor. 

So there I was going “Oh Shit.” 

And about that same time when we finished the subfloor we got on the trailer and marked out the floorplan. Interestingly standing on the trailer with no walls and the whole wide world in our view, our house felt tinier than I can express to you. 

I stood there and my heart sank. 

I literally thought the words “What have we done?” 

We had invested money into our trailer, engineered building plans and materials. We had already forked over half of our build budget and suddenly I found myself Thinking “What if we have just spent all this money and we literally hate it? What if we have just made a HUGE mistake?” 

I’ve been there. 
I know how freaking scary it is to stand there and wonder if investing money is the right choice. 

The thing is there literally is no “Right” choice 

Everything in life is a risk. 
You could buy a house and then the market could crash 
You could buy shares and the company could go bust
You could invest into super or bank accounts and STILL lose everything 

Meco Blue Tiny Living

So it is time to 1) make sure we are looking at money with gratitude not fear 2) accept that it IS renewable (even if it takes hard work – it is always possible to go make more) and 3) get really clear on WHY we are spending it. 

We can combat that fear, hesitation and “What if” with reminding ourselves of our goals and our intentions. 

For me when I stood there going “What the heck have we done” we sat down and went back to our list of whys. All those things that we wrote down about WHY we wanted to Live in a Tiny House on Wheels

-Less stuff
-Less cleaning
-More Time
-More Freedom
-Steps towards Self-Sufficiency
-The ability to move our house with us onto land when we buy it 

Sitting with those reasons and intentions helped settle my fear. 

I was still nervous if we would like Tiny Living. But I knew that there was so much benefit it was worth at least trying it. 

And truthfully it has been amazing. 

Yep – there is still a house to clean. But now it takes me 20-40mins to tidy compared to a few hours or even days to tidy just one room. 

Meco Blue Tiny Living

Yep – it is small. But it is actually so much bigger than I thought it would be that day that I walked it out on the trailer. It is our home. Its is where the girls play. Its where our baby learnt to walk. It is where I work at the table and feel proud of what we created. Amazing meals come out of our kitchen. We all enjoy snuggles in bed and reading stories. And outside time has become a part of every single day which is so important. 

No. I don’t hate it. 
Not even a bit. 

There are days I feel overwhelmed by the noise or how quickly the floor gets messy. 

But I wouldn’t take our decision back for anything. 

We are so much closer as a family. 
I know I am so much more aware of our culture of consumerism and much more intentional with what we buy.  

I’ve gone from being someone who would hide away at home for an entire week dwelling in my own thoughts to someone who frequently plans the week around outings and friendships.  

And we have loved living in our Tiny House. 


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We are 18 months in – Now its your turn

This month finished our first 18 MONTHS Living Tiny! Yep we’ve been living our version of freedom, intentionality and simplicity for 18 months while sharing, teaching and inspiring others to do the same. I have to confess that we really didn’t know just how big (pun intended) would be when we decided to go Tiny.

The research, planning, designing and building was such a learning curve! But we really didn’t truly understand what life would be like in a small footprint. I think many people are in the same boat. They are keen, but are really unsure about if they could do it. So I have shared. You have watched. People have asked questions because they really want to know HOW they could do the same! So many DMs, phone calls and questions. Each one from someone who has felt drawn to Live Tiny but has not known where to next.

Stop putting it off! You want it. You CAN do it (We did!). Honestly there is never going to be a perfect time. But there is a reason that your dream is there.

There is a reason you are here in front of me with my mission to help you move into your Tiny Living lifestyle. Its time to listen to that little voice inside of you and show up for yourself.

And for the record.. Tiny Living with kids is possible! Tiny Living without being a perfect minimalist is possible! Your version of Tiny Living is about YOUR needs, goals and values not a picture-perfect image you saw on Pinterest.

Nothing changes without change right? Make the decision now that you don’t want to keep living to work to pay bills and repeat. Make the decision now that YOU want to take a leap and trust your dream is there to pave the way to a life that aligns with your values and gives you freedom back. Or I mean you could do nothing and keep things the same? (yawn..) I’ve got the answers to your questions. You can take on this project with experience rather than facing costly mistakes! Coz seriously do you want to do this the hard way or the fun way?

Link to my course Talking Tiny is

www.mecoblue.com/talking-tiny-registration/

Lets move forward together. . .

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My Favourite Things in our Tiny House Kitchen

When we designed the Tiny House we knew we wanted a functional kitchen. We eat mostly home cooked meals and I spend a fair chunk of time in the kitchen. As such the space is carefully planned and each item in the kitchen has earned its place.  

I thought I’d share a few of my essential things!  

  • My big blue enamelled cast iron casserole dish! This gets used on the stove as a pot as well as in the oven. Honestly I owned this for a long time before moving into our Tiny and it wasn’t used much. It was hidden in the back of an awkward cupboard, and given its weight, wasn’t pulled out very often! But it has become a favourite! It only takes cooking a casserole in the oven to warm up the house nicely on a cold night.
  • Glass cookware with lids! Gone are the days of cupboards full of coloured plastic containers! Our space is precious! Using oven safe glass cookware that can then double as storage in the fridge or freezer with a lid is much smarter for us. Plus it’s a lot harder to lose leftovers in the fridge if you can see the contents! 
  • Recycled glass jars. I use glass jars for everything from pantry/fridge/freezer storage, snack boxes, coffee cups and drinking glasses! They are so easy to come by from every day grocery shopping and so multi purpose. Plus its always better to re-use rather than buy  brand new (even an eco friendly option)!
  • Chopping board big enough to bridge the sink. Originally the plan had been to use the sink cut away to make a board that slipped back into the sink and created extra working space. But unfortunately this was not possible after an issue during installation. So instead a nicely sized bamboo chopping board is perfect!
  • Wall mounted drying rack! This has been a perfect solution for us! Mounting the drying rack to the wall above the sink meant it wasn’t taking up the limited working space and it actually becomes the storage location for our plates! Win Win

There are many other things I have found amazing in my tiny kitchen like a multi-function cooker, beeswax wraps, glass mixing bowl that is used to make and serve anything, my kettle and my thermos. However the above mentioned 5 things are my essentials. The things that are the most useful to me in my small space as I go about making delicious food for my family.  

Sarah  


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