Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

DIY Your Tiny Life

For me, living the tiny life means living a do-it-yourself kinda life. It goes beyond the building of a house on wheels and becomes a style of living that is conscious of so much more. Occupying 98 square feet makes me carefully consider everything I use in the house, from the all-purpose cleaner to the face wash I make! For me, it means an awareness and attempt at less toxicity in my everyday environment. My friend just sent me some great links to recipes concerning this exact subject that I thought would be fun to share.

natural cleannerWhile there are lots of green house cleaning products out there I love making my own. Check out Ryan’s post about the effectiveness of homemade cleaners! It’s so easy to do and is 100% toxin-free. Plus, it’s so cheap to make and you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard right now! This recipe takes all of five minutes to whip together and will keep on the shelf for up to a month.

You will need:

a spray bottle

one cup water

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

10 drops tea tree oil

10 drops lavender oil

make your placeNow it’s as easy as adding all your liquids together in the spray bottle, shaking it up and your good to go! Pretty easy, right? You can also experiment with different essential oils. I’ve used peppermint, orange and eucalyptus to great effect although lavender and tea tree is my favorite combination. I’ve also made excellent cleaner by soaking lemon rinds in vinegar for a couple days and then draining the liquid in to a spray bottle as an all-purpose sanitizing agent. The rinds are great scrubbers for the sink as well, leaving a lovely lemony smell to my kitchen!Here you can find my review of an excellent book on sustainable, affordable cleaning products for your home! I highly recommend checking out these alternatives.

Coconut-milk-shampoo-ingredientsBesides cleaning agents, I love to make homemade beauty products. I so enjoy the natural, chemical-free body care items made in my kitchen. I am super anti-parabens and chemicals I can’t pronounce so this recently acquired recipe via the Free People blog for coconut milk shampoo was right up my alley! Give it a try and see how it makes you feel!


1/2 cup coconut milk

2/3 cup castile soap

1 tsp vitamin E oil

1 tsp coconut oil

Warm the coconut oil til melted and then mix with other ingredients in a jar. Shake well. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons with each wash. Will keep for up to a month.  I normally use Bronner’s castile soap for much of my cleaning needs but it does tend to dry out my skin and hair so the coconut milk and oil is perfect for adding the moisture I need in a cold, Vermont climate!


Your Turn!

  • Got any go to recipes to share for living a less toxic tiny life? Please share! I love to learn new tricks and ideas for healthy living!





  1. I haven’t used shampoo for over 4 years. My scalp is not oily – and my daily activities don’t fill my hair with dirt. My hair is fine and thin with a tendency toward breaking. I decided to see if the combination of warm water and the action of massaging my scalp (along with the addition of a light commercial conditioner) would be sufficient. It was. My hair has stopped breaking off, is the longest that it has ever been in my 52 years & is very soft. My stylist is speechless. I am in the planning stages of my tiny home – and am exploring organic solutions (kitchen & laundry soaps, conditioner, facial/body soaps, moisturizer). I plan on leaching all water back into the ground, so everything must be organic. What suggestions do you have for conditioner?

    • I use white vinegar in water to rinse my hair. Works great. My hair is softer and healthier than ever. It is not supposed to, but appears to be lightening my hair.

      I use shampoo, but a mixture of baking soda disolved in water should work well. I use that for dishes and laundry. I would rinse it out before using vinegar rinse. The reaction between the baking soda and vinegar will not hurt you, but it might feel very strange.

  2. I love DIY household products. I don’t have any specific recipes to share, if I need something I just look it up online and there will be a how-to, probably even a video and tons of reviews. Vinegar and baking soda are the basics for so many useful formulas. I like having simple raw materials on hand that I can combine in various ways.

    I use a very tiny amount of shampoo on my long but somewhat thin hair. The less you use the less water you need to rinse it out and the longer it lasts. When making a new product try a small batch first in case you don’t like it or need to fiddle with the recipe. Be careful scaling up or down though, some things don’t work quite as well if just halved or doubled or whatever.

    • I doubt that their testing would involve any chemical sensitivities as not enough people are aware of them. Medical facilities, etc. are using Lysol and other products made with ethanol which is a neurotoxin. I can’t go to a doctor’s office because of the cleaning / sanitizing products used there.

  3. Steep fresh rosemary in vinegar for about two weeks and use it for a really great hair rinse. Not sure why, but the rosemary acts as a clarifier, getting any gunk and excess oil out. I’ve used it and loved it.

    Also, Better Home & Garden tested several different types of cleaners to use on high def television screens. Vinegar mixed with water came in number two. The best overall was some obnoxiously expensive mix of chemicals. I’ll take the vinegar, thanks.

    • I am going to try that (I have lots of rosemary in my garden)! What type of vinegar? Stored in the fridge? Room temperature? Clear or dark glass? Sealed (like canning…air-tight), or not? Periodically stir or not? Strain when finished or not?

    • The vinegar with water is a clarifier. It gets all the soap out and, for me, all the tangles.

  4. Green cleaning products are especially important if you wish to live off-grid and manage your own grey water.

    • Depends on your defination of green. Most “green” stuff is at least as bad as the “other” stuff. Home made stuff where you actually think about the stuff going into it, are the best. Only use what you need to. No need to add scents to everything. There are so many folks that are very sensitive to scents, even natural ones. I met a lady who could not come into my camper because I used cedar for the studs. Keep scents as a special treat. I find that most recipes for things that use vinegar and something else work just fine without the “something else”. Keep it all as simple as you can. May even be cheaper that way.

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