Category: Small House Living

There is Reason to Report on the Small House Movement, or My Math is Better Than Your Math

Ah, here I am again, blogging about the tiny/small house movement in an effort to try to explain it to someone who obviously will never get it.

I ran across an article yesterday on Housing Wire, intelligently entitled, “Nope, Tiny Houses are not the Next Big Thing: Sorry man – size matters.”

In the article, author Trey Garrison lambasts journalists for not being good with numbers. He goes on with his argument that the media coverage on the tiny/small house movement is unwarranted because the statistics show that homes are, in fact, getting bigger.

He then goes on by taking barbs at tiny house dwellers as “a few hipsters and other assorted folks who make bad decisions.”

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Finding Stuff we Forgot we Even Have

Cleaning the clutter from a home, garage, basement, attic or storage area has many benefits, including ridding our lives of the unnecessary.

Last week, I wrote about cleaning out our closets and the laundry/pantry area off our kitchen and just feeling like we had so much more space.

The other main benefit, of course, is finding things you don’t even remember you have.

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We Have Added More Space at Our Little House

This is the top of the pantry/laundry room (see floorplan on this site). We store needed kitchen appliances and hang coats in this area.

 

Ha! Gotcha. No, we’re not abandoning small house living and didn’t add on, but when completely cleaning out pantries and closets, it does feel as though we’ve added space to Our Little House.

I am a terrible organizer and cleaning is the last thing I like to do. I do rotate the closets every season so we have in-season clothes, but quite honestly, I don’t think in the 17 years we lived in our other house, I ever actually completely cleaned out a closet until we moved. We had plenty of extra room and storage space, so we just kept adding to it.

That’s why living in a little house is good for people like me. There aren’t 2 extra bedroom closets, a country kitchen full of cabinet space and a huge storage closet under the stairs in which to pile what is mostly just unneeded crap.

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Mugged at Our Little House

We get up before the sun at Our Little House. During the week, we get up at 4:30 and I help get Dale out the door. Then I sit down with my hot cup of coffee – on the covered front porch if it’s nice, on the sofa if it’s not – and read the latest news.

It’s my favorite time of day. There isn’t a sound in our world except for the early rising birds and sometimes Sade’s snoring.

But it’s the coffee I love most. That first sip is like nirvana.

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Forget the Numbers: Living Large is a State of Mind

My Friend, Candy's, dining room

 

After posting a photo of a cabin on the Living Large Facebook page the other day, one of our Living Largers wrote, “Don’t get me wrong, I think this house looks divine, but I must not have the same understanding of the phrase ‘little house’ as everyone else that considers this house to be little.”

This reader’s comments aren’t uncommon. When the story I wrote about our house ran in Mother Earth News Magazine in 2009, there were some who said they didn’t think we had a “true” little house since we have out buildings and I have The Belle Writer’s Studio from which I work every day.

As the tiny/small house movement has continued to grow in popularity and more people learn about it, I’ve read many more comments defining what is and isn’t a tiny/small house.  Is it tiny if it’s under 400 square feet? Small or little if under 600, 800, 1,000? I have to admit, I was even confused for a while on what exactly defines a small home.

But after living in Our Little House (480 square feet) for seven years, my thoughts have evolved away from numbers and square footage to what the movement is really all about: Living happily in the home you need with only the things you need and love surrounding you.

In other words, Living Large is really a state of mind.

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Dear Litter Bug

Dear Litterbugs,

Do you really believe that tossing your trash out of your car window into the brush of our country road hides it?

It might be out of sight and out of mind for you, but it isn’t for us.

Sometimes it isn’t hard to find at all, like the balloons you release in town that land in the middle of the road. Unless, of course, a bird or other wildlife finds it first and either chokes because it tried to eat it or gets itself tangled in the colorful strings. Believe me when I say when you release these in memoriam of someone, they don’t end up in heaven, but they do help spoil paradise when they return to earth.

Did you know helium balloons can even cause house fires? There was one in Lodi, Calif. not too long ago.

And what about you, the inconsiderate smoker who tosses out butts onto the ground: Have you never seen the heartbreaking photos of wildfires? We would just as soon not lose Our Little House, our lives or that of our animals because of your negligence.

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Enjoying (Some) of the Wildlife at Our Little House

With cameras on most of our cell phones, it isn’t very often that many of us don’t have one available.

But why is it when I don’t have a camera with me that a great photo opportunity always comes up?

I had just placed a fresh bottle of homemade hummingbird food out the other morning and was standing on the deck waiting for Dakota to do her business when one of the little buggers hovered and then landed on the feeder for at least two minutes, not more than 3 feet away. Of course, I didn’t even have my cell phone with me. Darn!

Photographing wildlife, lizards and cool insects is just one of the many rewards I’ve found of living in the country.

A couple of weeks ago, I was startled by a really high pitched screeching sound. It was night and again, I was out with Dakota. We both scurried back in pretty fast and the next morning, I asked my friends on social media what it could be.

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