So many places have posted this, but I have decided that this video simply because it is one of the best video on the subject to date. Thus is important to post for those who didn’t get a chance to see it. I watched an interview where the person spoke about Jay’s way with words on the matter, how he can take what seems to seem like a crazy idea and make it sound reasonable. I couldn’t agree more, the idea of living in 130 square feet is kinda nuts in a way, but you watch this video and you begin to see a concept evolving. Anyway, this is a must see video, enjoy!
This is a interesting structure, all the sides and top opens up to allow a view of nature, but it closes up tight when you are away or in bad weather. It is a prefab house that can be set on the ground or suspended in a tree or on a pole. The house was designed to be very simple, to bring about introspection and foster solitude.
This weekend it was cold and dreary out, so I decided to tackle all my belongings, start to thin things out in preparation for moving into a Tiny House. While I am about 1-2 years away from such a move (purchase the land and build my house), I knew there was a lot of things that I could get rid off. I was able to reduce my belonging by about 50% by removing unessential things, junk and stuff I didn’t need anymore. I should note I first donated, then recycled and finally if I had to, threw away.
The exercise got me thinking about what do you need? I started a Mind Map (using xmind, a favorite of mine) to consider how I would integrate my tiny house, my stuff, food production, water, and energy. When I got to stuff, I started to think, what does it mean to live simply? The idea came to me, it’s a lot like going to college, simple, small etc. When you move into a dorm room you have next to no space, but you need to have everything you need to live.
Now some will be quick to point out often in college you have a cafeteria, a gym, laundry facilities, etc. I agree, but I really like what Gregory Johnson over at Resources For Life says about this, living in a Tiny House means you need to “outsource” things. So instead of a bowflex, you get a gym membership, instead of a full kitchen, you eat out (quite common in NYC). Etc. Etc. These things cost money, but in the end, you are saving a lot and with no debt it isn’t as bad, plus it afford you more free time.
So when we consider moving to a college dorm room we know a few things: it is small, must be multifunctional, must be meet all your needs. Sounds like similar circumstances in a Tiny House. So if I were to make a list of what would it include? Well here is suggested shopping list for a dorm Click Here.
The other thing to consider when trying to have a rough idea of what you will need is the 100 item challenge. Here is Tammy’s list of things that she has in her house.
Finally I realize that no matter how slim I get things I will need to thin out some more when I make the final move. So here is my plan. Once I have constructed my Tiny House I plan to park it outside where I am currently living for 1 month. I will move into my Tiny House with nothing. The idea behind this is that any time I need something, I go into my old place and get just that one item. Now this means I do have to pay rent for 1 month extra, but I should be able to swing it. As I need things I will go get them, extra exercise for sure, but the point of the exercise to shift to an intentional way of life, so if I have to get on my shoes, go outside, unlock the door, walk up the stairs, find that one thing, then I will think about it. At the end of the month I will have stuff left in my old place where I will sort through it all. Is there things that I can do without or absolutely need? I figure at the end of the month there isn’t much that I absolutely need need need if I didn’t use it in that time.
Below are two things that will help you along your way to reducing your things.
Here is a great book on getting your stuff under control and life simplification:
Here is a video that I like about one guys quest to simplify:
For those of you who haven’t checked out Jay’s Small House Book, I highly recommend it. I have a copy and really enjoyed it. It allows people to really wrap their head around the design approach Jay uses, talks in depth about building a Tiny House and shows off some of his designs. It is currently on sale for $29.95
Click the image above to check it out!
It is official! The Tiny House Conference is happening. The conference will be in Charlotte NC, April 16th from 10am to 7pm. The conference is completely free for all that wish to attend. I know this is less than a month away, but I recently ironed out the details. To be able to offer you all a huge array to things to do, I decided to combined forces with Charlotte’s Center for Sustainability, which is a larger event, but gives us more to do. They have agreed to combined efforts, their Green Eco-friendly festival, with my Tiny House education sessions. So we are officially under the umbrella of the Charlotte Clean and Green Festival, which boasts a huge array of things to do. I have arranged to also have tours of a completely off the grid container home. During the day I will be teaching classes on Tiny Houses, running a booth on urban chickens, and running tours of the container home.
You can do all these things that I offer, plus they will have a full schedule of free classes on all sorts of green topics. I will be posting the class schedule in the next few classes, but rest assure there are going to be some awesome ones! There will be 100+ booths on all sorts of green /ecofriendly things. After the classes have ended we will break off from the larger festival as a Tiny House Group and will be heading to a large community garden where we will be giving a tour of the garden, the chickens, quail and an informal talk on local sustainable agriculture. If folks still have it in them we will grab dinner after and talk.