Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Determining The Needs Of Your Space

Understanding what you do in your home and work is an important step to designing any space for the perfect place for you.  The greatest thing about living The Tiny Life is that you get to design your space and your life from the ground up.  Today we’re going to focus on our physical space, what do we need in a built environment that sets the stage for our best life.

Determining

In some cases understanding your needs will show you that all you need to do is tweak a few things in the space you’re already in.  It may be the case that more drastic changes or starting from scratch may be require.  You may also be looking towards building a new space anyway so it’s time to consider what that design will be.  It’s important to understand that to live The Tiny Life, you don’t necessarily need to live in a tiny house and what you have right now may be adapted.

room-trackingThe first step in understanding what your space needs to have in it, you need to understand how you actually use it already.  We often have ideas of what we would do if… or if only I had ____ I do more of this one thing.  It can be easy to fall into the trap of future planning so let’s focus on what you do right now.

To do this I use my Room Tracking method: to start, gather a bunch of pens and some post-it notes.    Go around to each of your rooms in your house or apartment and close every door.  Put a post-it note on the door and a pen on top of the door frame of each door.  Now when you go into a room, mark down what you are going into that room for and estimate how long it will take.  On your front door (or your main door) put a post it note on it and write things down that you leave your house to do with time estimates.  Do this for a week.

What this will do is create a comprehensive list of what you actually do in your home, not just what you think you do in your home.  You can even re-purpose this exercise for your work space.  Take all the post-it notes and combined them into a list.

I put together this free worksheet to help, click here.

Once you’ve compiled a list of what you do and how long you do it, start estimating the amount of space you’ll need to do that one thing.  You can even rank your activities by which you do the longest and ask yourself, are the things I spend the most time on the most important to me?  Just think about that.

What can you outsource?

With your list consider things that could happen outside the home.  A gym membership is one example.  Instead of having a home gym, would a gym work just as well or even better?  Or have you not stepped foot in your home gym in several months, do you even need it at all?  For me I realized while I was effective at working from home, it was lonely; I then started working at a coworking space.

What things can your cut out all together?

For me I realized that I really didn’t read a book twice, so keeping books was often a waste of space.  It was then that I replaced my bookshelf with a kindle.  I did keep about 10 books that were more reference books, but the rest went.

What things can pull double duty?

Think about things that are on your list that can happen in a single area or what things are important enough to have a dedicated space.  For me I knew I wanted a work space that was just for work, but my living room could serve as a place to read, to watch TV, to hang out with friends, and to setup a table for meals.

Whittling down the list

Consider the above questions and think critically about what you really do need.  Avoid what you “hope” to do, but focus on what you actually do.  With this you can come up with a solid list of activities that can help you design your space more effectively.

Your Turn!

  • What was your most important activity in your house?
  • What other tricks have you used to determine your true needs?

Minimalist Kitchen Podcast Episode

minimalist-kitchen

This week I talk about a minimalist kitchen in my tiny house.

Listen in by clicking here

How Things Have Changed For Tiny Houses – 7 Years Blogging

Over seven years ago today I decided to start blogging about tiny houses, little did I know the journey I was taking the first steps on.  Back then I didn’t really know what a “blogger” was or even how to do it.  Fast forward to today, seven years later, and I now get to do this every day.

keycandles-19Since then my life is drastically different: I have built and have lived in my tiny house for almost 2 years now.  I’ve written two traditionally published books and 5 ebooks.  I put on a conference.  I have a job that I can’t believe is my everyday.  Finally, I went on to build another company altogether.  As I write all that I’m almost in disbelief that I did it all and yet very grateful too.

Looking back, this was my first post on this website: The Difference between a Tiny House Vs. an RV

A lot has changed since then.  First and foremost just the sheer number of people that have become involved has exploded.  When I started I knew no one that had even heard of tiny houses, now at times it seems like everyone has.  I used to know everyone involved, they all could be found on my book marks and their numbers in my cell phone.  Today I can’t even keep up with everyone, who is who, and what new houses are coming out.

The houses themselves have started to have a broader type of aesthetic and design.  There use to be only a few types of houses out there, now we have all sorts.  House on average have gotten bigger and more complex too.  When I first put in plumbing and a mini split, I was one of a handful; many friends had rudimentary plumbing and I didn’t know anyone with a mini split.  Now people have pop-outs, AC, porches, cat walkways, hot tubs, and other elaborate setups.

tinywood-homes-tiny-house-on-wheels-with-hut-tub-in-england-001

Another big change is tiny houses are now more widely used as a stepping stone instead of a lifetime option.  I think this is great, because it is more true to the mission: a housing that serves your own purpose, that empowers you.

I did a little digging and found out that so far I’ve written 479,849 words in total on this website alone since I started.  I’ve recorded close to 7,500 minutes of podcast episodes.  Made videos that have been viewed for over 1.4 million minutes.  The blog has been read by millions each year.  I look at those numbers and I’m equal parts tired (lol) and humbled.  If someone told me the day I started that anything I did was going to be seen, read or listen to by even 100,000 people, I would have to you “get outta here.”

I think most of all I’m grateful.  So that you for joining me on this journey.

Tool School 2016 – From The Field

This was a video we shot via periscope back during the 2016 Conference.  Tool School is part of our Conference where we get hands on with power tools to show folks how to use tools safely.

Ryan’s House Update – Podcast

ryans-update-tiny-house

I just released a new episode of the podcast yesterday, check it out.

Listen by clicking here