My good friend Alex over at Tiny House Talk just posted a interview I did with him that I wanted to share with all of you. It talks a little bit about how I arrived at Tiny Houses, then we get into my plans to build starting in November 2012. It was a lot of fun talk to Alex and you can find his full post and transcript here
Over four years ago I discovered Tiny Houses and fell in love with them. I have always been fascinated with alternative housing, from the time I was a boy I built countless forts in the woods. So we have arrived, I will be building my Tiny House starting in just a few short weeks!
I have no idea how long it is going to take me, but it will be a challenge for sure. To set the bar for you all, the biggest thing I have ever built has been a chicken coop. I have no finish carpentry experience or house building experience, but I have been researching vigorously, talking to a lot of people, and will have friends help out where they can.
Many of you might have remembered that not too long ago I thought building my Tiny House was going to be a dream differed for another year or so, but recently I received a sizable bump in income with my other job and things started to fall into place. It’s kind of crazy how everything just clicked all of a sudden. Within two weeks my income grew, I had a place to build the house, and the last few details clicked too. I then found myself sitting here asking myself, “is there anything holding me back from doing this?” The answer was no, I have arrived at the edge and all I had to do was take the plunge.
The land that I will be building on (on a trailer that is) is 2 acres right on the lake here in Charlotte, NC. I am currently house sitting for them so I am keeping an eye after it and mow the lawn.
Going forward I will be detailing all the steps of building, have videos, interviews, informational posts and once it is complete I will be opening it up to tours for those of you who are close by. Once I start doing these posts I will also have a new menu item that will easily categorize the building process for those who are building their own Tiny House.
I don’t know where the time went but The Tiny Life is 3 years old today, it’s been a great journey. With millions of readers in 160 countries, we have reached a lot of people to share our love of Tiny Houses and so much more. I thought today I would share The Tiny Life’s most popular posts so far and am looking forward to many more to come!
As of late I have seen many new faces on at The Tiny Life, particularly with our recent coverage in the New York Times, so I wanted to say Hello! Over two years ago I started this blog and could never could have imagined that there would be so many folks interested in Tiny Houses! So today, I wanted to introduce myself to everyone and once you are done reading, please introduce yourself in the comments section. I will try to say hello back to everyone that intros themselves in the comments!
My name is Ryan Mitchell, I am 28 and run The Tiny Life. It has been an interesting journey to where we are today.
It all started by getting fired, yup, that’s right, fired. About 2 years ago I found myself facing layoffs at my job; I was a recruiter. That is when the economy took a turn for the worst.
I found myself with no job, no car, had to move home, newly single, was uninsured and didn’t qualify for unemployment. It happened so fast that I could barley believe it; That is when I found Tiny Houses.
After spending a few hours looking for jobs that day, I was surfing around the web and came upon a photo of a Tiny House. I thought they were kind of neat, I had always had this affinity for alternative housing, but there was something different about Tiny Houses. To be honest I didn’t think too much of it until later I found myself on Jay Schaffer’s site. That’s when I had my a-ha! moment.
Here I was realizing that the system I was taught to go by, had essentially failed me, I had done everything “right”. I went to High School, was awarded Boy Scout’s highest rank of Eagle, I had a impressive list of extracurricular activities, which got me into college. Four years later, I graduated with my bachelors. I was quickly accepted into a Masters program, which I did well in. I landed contract after contract, making way more than I should have right out the gate. But what did it really amount to?
I was looking at Tiny Houses not just as a downsized living space, but as a lifestyle which circumvented the pitfalls of the typical framework. I began to realize that it was not about material things. It was what mattered: Relationships, Time, Freedom, & Peace of mind. You must love the life you live. You must love those you live it with. You must have time to be in the moment. Finally, in the end, it’s the choices you make in life that allow you to realize all of this. I realized my initial approach was flawed, it did not support what truly mattered.
So that’s how it started.
I researched Tiny Houses, drew literally 100’s of floor plans, talked with builders, bloggers, dreamers and skeptics. I took a trip to Canada with a friend, timed it so I could meet Jay Schaffer and toured his Tiny House. While there I met Jay and many other Tiny House folks. We stood in this Tiny House for 3 hours talking about our passions and ideas. It was nothing short of inspiring. It was there that folks urged me to start a blog, a blog that talked not just about Tiny Houses, but Tiny Living.
Tiny Living Encompasses:
- Tiny Houses
- Life Simplification
- Environmental Consciousness
- Self Sufficiency
- Sound Fiscal Plans
- Social Consciousness
So today I speak to you, employed in a job I love, in a life I love, with a future that I love. I work for a local non-profit and follow my passions. I have come a long way, but have still have a bit to go, but now it is with purpose. So I invite you to join me in this journey and share in it.
Do I Live In A Tiny House?
Not quite yet, I made two key decisions from the get go: 1) I wanted to be debt free before I got into a Tiny House 2) I wanted to save up for my house and land to pay for it with cash, in full. This isn’t any small feat, but I have been able to make some huge steps. To date I have reduced my student loans by 50%, I found a job that I love, but it also tripled my income, and I moved into a home where I house sit long term and pay no rent. The money I would pay on rent goes to debt, then saving for the Tiny House. I am so close I can taste it!
How This Blog Works
So typically I post a few days a week. I am open to anything that is related to Tiny Houses, Tiny Living, or environmental concerns. If you ever come across an interesting article, video, house etc, email me at the below email address! Have a knack for writing? Passionate about Tiny Houses? Have a great story to share? What to talk about your Tiny House? Email me, you can be a guest poster on the blog! I have 100’s of thousands of people come to The Tiny Life, have your voice heard!
Help Me Out
I try my best to post a few times a week, what really helps me is if you all have interesting stories that you want to share. You might find a neat video or article, you might have a Tiny House of your own. I would love to hear from you. This along with comments make for a great blog. If you think of something that you would like to see on here, no matter how crazy, let me know. I am happy to have guest posters share their story and their passion! Regardless, I love hearing from my readers, because I want this to be a community.
If you haven’t already, join in the conversation at these places:
Where We Have Been Featured
Well that’s about it. Enjoy the blog and I thank you for checking it out.