Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

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Boardgames For Tiny Houses

One of my biggest hobbies is board gaming, there are times that I game a few nights a week.  I came to really love board gaming because of the personal interaction.  I haven’t used my xbox in about 4 years because with the advent of online gaming, you never have to gather as a group anymore, it wasn’t as fun anymore because it really lacked social interaction. With boardgames you get to sit across the table from friends, joke, laugh, and maybe even have some lighthearted smack talk.

So here is my top ten boardgames for a tiny house that also happen to be really small so you can fit them in any little nook in your tiny house.

lifeboatcover1. Lifeboat

The scene is set, you are stuck on a lifeboat after having to abandon ship, but supplies are running low and tensions are high!  Each person is dealt the identity of a person they hate and another of a person they love.  The name of the game is to stay alive, while you save your true love, but ensure your enemy finds their way out of the boat and into the treacherous waters.     Buy it here

8315495893_23b4e4a7bb_z2. Guillotine

It’s the French Revolution and the nobles are having a hard time of it.  They are lined up for their turn at the guillotine, the noble at the front of the line is next.  Each noble is worth a certain number of points, so its up to you to get the most points possible.  Sway the order of the line in your favor with bribes, tricks and other tom foolery.  Buy it here

fleet_top3. Fleet

Think of deadliest catch in a card game, that’s what Fleet is.  You are a fishing entrepreneur pitted against your rival fishermen and fisherwomen.   Bid for fishing licenses at auction, launch boats and hire captains as you build your fishing empire on the northern sea.  Buy it here

zombiedice4. Zombie Dice

This is a great quick dice game that brings a lot of drama and a fun theme of zombies.  Who doesn’t like zombies?  The dice have three symbols:  Brains if the zombies get you, a shotgun shot if you take one out, and feet if you end up fleeing.  The trick is to get as many zombies as possible before they get you.  If the zombies get you three times, you loose you points, if you play it too safe, you’ll be left behind.  Super simple, small, inexpensive and fun.    Buy it here

board_bang_shot15. Bang

You are in an old western town and it’s about to go down.  The sheriff in town tries to keep the peace, but there are people gunning for him.  In this game you are either the sheriff, deputies, outlaws or the renegade.  The problem is, no one knows who is who.  So in this game of six shooters, you battle it out with others, play hot potato with a lit powder keg and to restore health?…  Why you drink beer of course to shore up your hit points.    Buy it here

IMG_1073c cropped-thumb-300x260-627226. Saboteur

You and your Dwarven brethren are digging for gold deep in the mines.  All a sudden things start to happen that are beyond chance, its become aparent that there is someone in your group that is trying to foil the group’s plans and make off with the gold themselves.  Broken pick axes, extinguished lanterns and much more befall each other as you try to figure out who is the Saboteur, all while racing to the gold before time runs out.    Buy it here

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7. For Sale

The real estate market is a tough one and you as the new guy in town need to make a name for yourself as you buy and flip properties.  In this game you’ll learn how to bluff your way to victory as you climb the real estate ladder.  This is a great simple, but really fun game for kids because they can learn to count, but this is fun enough for adults too.    Buy it here

51BeRqtG3HL._SX385_8. Werewolf

This is a really great party game that has a ton of interaction and will leave you laughing for sure.  Your guide is the story teller of Miller’s Hollow.  He shares the tale of a werewolf that comes in the night to choose it’s next victim.  Everyone has a secret identity and you have to find the werewolf before he gets you, but stave of accusations as less scrupulous characters try to divert attention away from themselves and on to you!     Buy it here

51ERjMoDg8L._SX385_9. Citadels

This is a very popular game among gamers where you choose a role to play in the city and you build your empire.  Each game round players secretly take the roles of either the King, Magician, Architect, Assassin, Thief, Bishop, General, or Merchant and seek to use the powers of such offices in their efforts to win the game.  Buy it here

66915-1124-large10. Three Dragon Ante

After safely returning from a treacherous quest you and your compatriots settle down in a pub to tell the stories of your perilous journey.  At the pub you play Three Dragon Ante, where you bid on dragons to dominate your opponents.  From the people of D&D, but you’d never know if you hadn’t been told.  A fun quick card game.   Buy it here

 

What are your favorite board games that don’t take up a lot of room?

 

Top 5 Tiny House Commonalities

Recently I have been interviewing a lot of tiny house folks about their lives in their tiny house.  While I knew the story of many of these tiny house folks, I had never had a discussion to the depth as these interviews.  It was helpful that I knew a lot about these folks, their houses, and tiny houses in general because it meant we could skip the basics and get into nitty gritty.

Over the course of the interviews I realized that there were some things that were so similar it was uncanny; to the point where people started saying the exact same words.  Now in some cases these people didn’t even know each other, so I realized weather it was tiny houses or the type of person that is attracted to them, they have a lot in common.  It’s kinda eerie.

1. DIY Tiny House Builders Unusually Have The Worst Car For Hauling Materials

No this isn't me.

No this isn’t me.

Almost without fail tiny house people couldn’t be less equipped to haul building materials than the car they have.  Almost every single person I talked to didn’t have a truck, they often had smaller cars.  This is the case with me.  I drive a Smart Car, which if you didn’t know, it is the smallest road legal car in mass production today.  I quickly realized when I needed to figure something out when my boards were the standard 8 feet long, but my car only was 6.5 feet long tip to tail.

Despite having the least suited cars, we make it work.

2. We Are Over Saying We Live In A Tiny House

After building and living in a tiny house, most people are tired of having to explain what a tiny house is, then having to explain why, then having to defend the choice.  As Ella from Little Yellow Door puts it “its just a house, it just happens to be very small”.  Luckily for me I have gotten through that process with most of my friends and family.  I now just say I am building a house, never mentioning that its tiny or I’m building it with my own two hands.  The only time I feel it really necessary to explain is when it comes up that my houses is tiny or on dates (I figure they should get the heads up).

3. Everything Has a Place And It Needs To Go Back There.

il_570xN_184465424We don’t have a lot of stuff, but the stuff we do have has its rightful place in our homes.  Every tiny house person I’ve talked to has said this to me, that they have a place for everything and they have to put it right back when they are done.  They don’t have room for clutter and if something is out of place, you can tell because its such a small space.

4.  Buy A New Trailer

I have now talked to about 40 people about this particular topic and almost every time, almost without fail, they say that if they bought a used trailer, they had wished they had took the leap for a new trailer.  I already know there will be some people that disagree with this, I can see the comments now, but I’m sticking to my guns on this one.

Most of the people who bought a used trailer ended up spending days cleaning up their trailer.  They also spent money on fixing and replacing most of the trailer.  About 80% of the people I spoke to ended up replacing tires and axles on their trailer, which meant a lot of those people spent the same or more than what they would have if they just bought new.

Macy Miller of Mini Motives also pointed out that in your first few months you have a lot of energy, excitement and drive, buying a used trailer sapped most of that energy as she toiled on getting her trailer to a point where she could then start building.  I think this is a really good point, its better to use this energy getting building done, not days with an angle grinder trying to root out rust.  The other aspect to this is that when you buy new, you know exactly what you are getting.

5. Tiny House People Are Grateful

Without exception tiny house people are very grateful for the lives that they live.  They know the value of everything they have, whether it is a possession, a relationship or an opportunity.  I recently was reading a study that one of the biggest factors in people who were happy was gratitude and expressing that gratitude.  I think this comes into play in a major way with tiny houses, because they understand the value of what they have.

Urban Eden

For those of you who have been following, the Solar Decathlon is going on right now.  The Decathlon features innovative homes that are solar powered built by universities around the US.  Its a pretty big production as a dozen houses are constructed on site to compete and showcase to thousands of visitors.

Well my home city of Charlotte NC has a team going to the Decathlon from UNCC.  Here is their house called Urban Eden.  Some of the neat features of this house is the rolling solar panel array that allows you to control the solar exposure in the summer months.  They also have an interesting polymer cement that reduces the buildings impact.  Check out the video below to see it all!

 

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Lina Joins Us For The Tiny House Conference

Things are really gearing up for the Tiny House Conference, in a short time people will be converging from all over!  Today I wanted to let you know about an exciting announcement.   Lina Menard will be joining us at the conference as one of our expert speakers.  We are very excited to have her!

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Come meet Lina and Many others!  Early bird tickets end on the 1st of Oct. 

TinyHouseConference.com

Lina is a tiny house designer, builder, blogger, dweller, and advocate. She keeps a blog called This Is The Little Life, featuring vignettes about simple living in small spaces. Lina holds a Sustainable Building & Design Certification from Yestermorrow, a Master’s in Urban & Regional Planning from Portland State University, and certificates in Urban Design and Sustainable Building Advising. Lina has been featured in the Portland Tribune, OR Magazine, Vermont Public Radio, and Portlandia.

 

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Should Tiny Houses Have Bathrooms?

One area of my tiny house that I have come to think about a lot is the bathroom.  Now of course you need a bathroom, a place to use the restroom, a place to shower, etc.  It can range from in your tiny house flush toilet or composting, to an “outhouse” style with a properly designed system or even a flush toilet;  But I am beginning to wonder if a bathroom should be outside the tiny home.  It might be using the extra bathroom of the house you’re parked in the back yard of or it might be like Drew over at Tiny R(e)volution who build his “shower shack” photos at bottom of post.  I’m not saying you should do this, but I think it warrants discussion.

tiny-midwest-tiny-house-07-600x400The reason I’ve been thinking this is because while a bathroom of some form is a necessity, as it is in a tiny house, it takes up so much space and is used so little.  This is a really important factor when it comes to small spaces.  The amount of square footage should be directly proportional to the amount you use it.  So for example your mattress takes up about 30 square feet if you have a queen size bed, which is a lot of space, but you use it for 8 hours every day.  Compare that to the bathroom, about 22 square feet, I use it for maybe 30 or less minutes a day for showering, shaving, brushing teeth and going to the bathroom.  If you simply look at it like a return on investment a bathroom is not that great use of space.

Now you can reduce your space by building a wet bath (frankly I’m not keen on that idea).  You could also setup bathroom and shower outside, using an outdoor shower and bathroom, but there are a few months a year this wouldn’t work well.  You also could arrange for whoever house you park your tiny house behind that you can use their bathroom.   Obviously nothing will beat the convenience of having a shower and toilet in the actual tiny house, but I still struggle with how much space it uses versus how much I use it.


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