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
Lets move forward together. . .
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.
The 3 big hesitations I hear from people about their dreams to build a Tiny House are 1) “But I have kids” 2) “Where can I put it?” and 3) I don’t have the money.
To the first hesitation – I say sooo? Kids are actually highly adaptable! They actually thrive on less (note I’m not talking about neglect here! I am talking about intentional lifestyles and minimalism.) Kids thrive on more time outside and more time with YOU.
To the second hesitation – see my video here where I talk about out experiences. There is no 1 national or even state wide classification or policy for Tiny Homes. Every council has a different interpretation of and so its impossible to make any kind of blanket statement. However there are options and there are councils getting on board with the Tiny House Movement.
For now though I wanted to take a moment to talk about the other big hesitation – finances. There are different options to consider that may or may not be applicable to you.
I want to start by stating that at this stage in time most banks are not ready to offer a mortgage on a Tiny House. It is a totally different set of liabilities for them and it really doesn’t belong in the same box as a mortgage. Some people have had success with securing a caravan loan for a pre-built Tiny, but I haven’t heard of anyone managing this for a DIY build through a major bank. Some have taken on personal loans knowing that despite this being a high interest rate they will be able to pay it off quickly and end off much further ahead once they can get rid of their rent bill. Another option may be to find out if your chosen bank offers any kind of loan that would accommodate a vehicle undergoing major conversions in the case of a bus home.
In any of these situations it is also vital to be aware of your ability to service a loan during the build time (if applicable).
Another option is to enquire about financing through a Tiny House building company or through a trailer maker. This is an alternative to a bank loan that allows you to commit to your plan without all the money up front. Be sure you are away of all of the terms and conditions as well as the companies reputation. If you are trusting someone to build your home you need to know they are going to build it WELL!
You could also plan to build it bursts. So save (or get a small personal loan) do to ‘phase one’. For example you could plan a phase to buy your trailer/bus/van, then a phase to get your build to ‘lock-up stage’, then another phase to finish the interior, and then a final phase to finish it. You can save for each burst and tackle your project in pieces. This still requires careful attention to your spending and a desire to put that money aside! But it means you can start working on your project ASAP rather than trying to save the whole chunk (I guess I could liken this to saving your home deposit rather than having to save the whole purchase value).
Another option is to jump in head first and put that chunk of money you have been stashing away for a home mortgage and build with that. More or less this is what we did. We had a chunk of money there ready to buy land. In fact we actually went looking and seriously considered a piece of land with a hilltop view. But we took that chunk of money and built our home instead. This fitted with our goals, dream and values so much better and we know it was the right decision.
Whatever option you choose you are acting on your dreams. Crunch the numbers. See what works. Find extra ways to bring savings in. And always have your eyes open with your creative cap nearby – you never know when some kind of bonus, initiative or grant might just pop up and be just the right fit for you in your unique situation as you take your steps on your Tiny House Journey.