Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

It’s A Great Big World Out There

Today I found these awesome websites that talk about issues that concern Tiny Living.  While they are not Tiny House related, there are huge overlaps and great resources.

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The first is technomadia.com which is a website of a couple who lives in a camping trailer and travels all around the United States.  They work online, get their power from the sun, and live a nomadic lifestyle and many other interesting solutions to issues that we face as Tiny Home dwellers.  I have linked (above) to a great article about the common excuses they encounter when people want to adopt a similar lifestyle, its great!

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The second  is called Location Independent.  It’s a great website that talks about how where you work should mean where you live.  I really like this idea and hope to transition to this workstyle once things calm down with the economy.  The great thing about the world we live in is that there are amazing places to see and amazing tools to let us work and play from those places.  One example would be Skype or vonage.  Both these services allow us talk with people anywhere like we were down the street!  I have a friend who have Vonage phone number which is a Charlotte NC phone number (704.xxx.xxxx) when you call him its crystal clear (better than what I get on my cell) but he is in Cape Verde AFRICA!   Its amazing world out there, don’t let roadblocks stop your from venturing forth!

Living Big Outdoors

One thing about The Tiny Life is that having a small hool4me encourages you to spend for time outside.  This has a huge appeal to me because I love being outside and enjoying various activities such as gardening, backpacking, grilling etc.  I plan to extend my Tiny Home’s square footage with the use of Outdoor Living areas.  I am sure most people can figure out what I mean by this, but essentially it is an outdoor space which uses natural elements to create a room like feel.

The advantages of an outdoor space is huge because it’s very cheap and can be done without permits or inspections (with exception of larger decks and electrical).  You can have a rather large area for very cheap and allows you to spend more of the year outdoors or handle having a large dinner party or cook out.  These things come in all flavors from a picnic table to 40 square feet of granite counter tops with a full on stainless steel kitchen.ol2

I have often thought of owning two or three separate plots of land where I build these outdoor spaces and just tow my house from one to the next.  This allows me to migrate with the seasons (job permitting) so I can go North for the summer, down South for the winter etc.  This way I could maximize my use of these rooms and have the outdoor spaces’ plants geared to bloom when I will be there.

So here are so design ideas and photos for some inspiration in your spaces.

Encourage the winter sun, block it out in summer

With a tree canopy or a pergola with vines, in the summer the leaves will grow to block the sun and in the winter the leaves will die to allow more sun to warm the space.ol3

Outdoor garden screens

To add privacy, define the space or block winds use hedges and boarder plants which are taller than your eye level.  This lets you establish where the space starts and ends, can give the area a bit more “room” like quality and block wind if you are in a windy areas where in others you might want the breeze for warmer climates.

Use vegetation to shelter outdoor living space

The Use of trees to create a ceiling is a great way to soften light and provide cover for when it rains.  A large tree can block allot of rain.  In addition it prevents the need for building an actual roof, which costs more and needs to be permitted.

Consider shade and shelter fabrics

Kent over at the Tiny House Blog did a great post about keeping cool with Shade Sails.  These are simply a triangle of fabric that blocks the sun, are really inexpensive and work really well.  When I traveled to Australia these where everywhere and if you have ever been in the outback, you know it’s really hot and sunny there.

The Joneses Are Wrong!

Part of the American Dream is often driven by the “keep up with the Joneses” mentality.   But who says that the Joneses are right to begin with?  Most here know this already, but even though I am acutely aware of such, I still catching myself slipping and wanting this, that or the other THING.  The deep rooted propensity is instilled in us by what sociologist call “socialization”.

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This is defined as:

The process by which culture is learned. During socialization individuals internalize a culture’s social controls, along with values and norms about right and wrong.

We are socialized from day one, but this comes to no surprise when I realize I cut my hair and nails short, while my sister has long hair and has long manicured finger nails.  The examples are endless and its hold on us is so deeply rooted it is hard to resist.

I found this post by simple organized life.  Reposted simpleorganizedlife.com Feb 2009.

The only way to even begin to live a purposeful, simple life is to give up any notion that you are in competition with any other single person. Life is not a game, it’s not a test, it’s not a winner takes all experience. It’s just life – and what happens during your time here is up to you. If you spend your time comparing your belongings, lifestyle, job, family, etc. to anyone else, well…you are being set up for a very complicated existence. How can you learn to experience your life if you are so busy trying to either get outside approval or be like everyone else?

Simple living involves being secure with your choices and your direction in life, without fearing the judgment and influence of others. It’s tough to do, and believe me I struggle with it as well. But I am doing my best to keep what the “other” people are doing in check and instead focusing on my own life and surroundings. A few things I try to keep in mind that might be of help to those of you looking to live your own simple life with your own purpose, instead of that lead by an outsider, include:

1. You can only be in competition with yourself; no one else.
2. People think way less about you than you think they do. (I fight this one often)
3. “Stuff” cannot replace real emotions, feelings or experiences.
4. You only belittle your own self by trying to keep up with someone else.
5. You probably have more than that person you are comparing yourself to.
6. No one is perfect. No one. Even if you think someone is, they aren’t. Trust me.
7. Focus on what you have and not what you don’t have.
8. The world would be a pretty boring place if everyone was the same.
9. Everyone has a path. Follow the one that is yours and ignore those of others.
10. If you cannot stop the comparisons, stay away from big triggers like TV and celebrity magazines. Over time, you won’t even remember who is popular or cool!

By trying to keep some of these 10 things in mind while focusing on the good in your life, you can start living your own real life in your own real way. But by continuing to compare yourself to anyone else, you are limiting what kind of life you can lead – nevermind the fact that you may miss your life altogether. And that is NOT living simply!

New Ikea Catalog

Today I got the new Ikea catalog and found some great things in it! I like Ikea’s approach, they really understand the need for such a market and do it well and with style. They also have a strong focus on small living, as their primary buyers are city dwellers and those in Europe (who typically live smaller).
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I like this Signun Charging Station, for $5 its a good deal. It gives a landing pad, which is good for organization and makes it easy to charge your phone and ipod.

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This Sunnan Work Lamp goes for 30 bucks and has a built in solar panel and battery. Just one way to cut down on utilities.

Nordeh

The Norbo wall mounted table is simple, it folds down to a slim profile but still give great work space. While you can make this easily, at $29 its hard to beat.

The nordeh

The Nordeh Gate Leg Table is a great peice that has been around for a while. While still small it provides storage for silverware, napkins and other kitchen stuff. Not only does it get small, but it opens really big, I think you could pack 8 around this table if you really wanted to. It would be great to bring outside on a nice night for dinner with friends. It sells for $179 and has a nice butcher block top.

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A Present For You

I often talk of the downfall of society, consumerism, political injustice, McMansions and suburban sprawl.  But today I was taking a walk and thinking about things in life and what is really important to me.  I was reminded of a saying that a middle school teacher used to preach to us, but I never really hit home till much later


Today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.

I then stumbled across this video and really liked the message so enjoy.




So TODAY take time with what is important.