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.
While 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
Now 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.
Besides 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!
- 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!
Books are my biggest weakness when it comes to living the tiny life. I love to read and if I could just have a tiny house filled with books, my life would be complete. I got rid of a lot of my books when we moved in to La Casita and while I’m debating getting a Nook or other such tablet, I love the feel of reading a book. I’m not sure I can adapt wholeheartedly to the technological versions of reading. Below are some quirky and creative solutions to the book storage dilemma!
The ultimate in utility! I wouldn’t even have to get up to grab my favorite novel! I can live with that. Question is can I fit it in the house?
What a great idea for an old ladder! Love re-purposed projects like this. It’s what our tiny house is all about!
Brilliant storage idea for rafter space.
Super fun mod chair. Not the best for storage but I love the design!
This modern couch could double as a sleeping space on top of being storage. I’m always looking for multiple functions in any piece of furniture for a tiny house. If I was really going to fulfill my heart’s desire I would ask the public library to let me park in their backyard. That would be he perfect living situation for me!
- What do you have the most trouble storing in a tiny house?
- What have you parted with in order to live the tiny life?
My favorite tiny house news of the week…first tiny house hotel now open in Portland, Oregon! This news is very inspiring to me! I would love to open a tiny house bed and breakfast. It’s been a scheme of a dream which Cedric and I have been tossing around for some time. I’m excited to see if this type of tourist accommodation attracts more folks to the lifestyle. It’s definitely a great way to get ideas and stay in a cool space in a rad city. I wish I could have hung out in a tiny house before we started building. It would have really helped me conceptualize our design before building.
Ranging in size from 100-200 square feet of custom built coziness, they sport all the amenities you would expect from a hotel. Flush toilets, hot showers, full kitchen and outdoor covered seating. Add in hammocks and fire pits and you’ve got yourself an excellent set-up! The Pearl, shown here, is the smallest of the three tiny houses coming in at 90 square feet. A modern design with gorgeous custom wood work, it was designed and built by Shelterwise LLC. With a dining room table that converts in to a queen size bed, this accommodation truly meets the challenge of small space design with creative solutions.
The three houses definitely have their own personalities. The Rosebud, shown left, is the next size up at 120 square feet and provides that woodsy, cabin-like appeal. According to their website this is best rented for 1-2 people. The Tandem, their largest accommodation can hold 4 but they recommend that family or close friends share the space due to it’s open floor plan. At 160 square feet it would definitely be a cozy fit for four. The pictures suggest a bright and comfy stay no matter which house you choose!
If I ever make out to Portland I will definitely check this place out!
- Would you pay to stay at a tiny house hotel?
How can tiny houses get any better? By attaching them to bikes of course! I love these designs and the mobility without the petrol dependency is right up my alley. Also check out this awesome bike trailer design posted by Ryan. My question is: could I actually tow one of these and live out of it? Not sure but it’d be fun to find out!
Last summer when Cedric and I bike toured we were living out of a tent. After three months I could have really used one of these! It’s probably not the most versatile way to travel by bike but it would sure get a lot of attention. I’m really interested in the extreme ways that people are solving housing issues and creatively using small spaces. I think these bike trailers are such an exceptional example of human ingenuity. I’m continually trying to live a less petrol based lifestyle and while having a tiny house definitely moves me in that direction, this would be the maximum form of commitment! Plus, if I am having a hard time living in 98 sq. feet, how hard would it be to downsize further! These bike pulled tiny spaces are certainly an extreme in the small space revolution but the impact on society could be huge! At the very least it might be able to provide housing to a growing population who don’t have the means to build a tiny house and pull such a structure but most everyone can get a hold of a bike. Although, to call this “housing” may be stretching things a bit. Shelter may be more apt!
I think it’d be great if bicycle cooperatives and shops could start assisting with constructing spaces such as these. There’s definitely a marketable perspective to such structures as well, for example, with travelers of the two-wheeled variety. I could see some bike enthusiasts wanting to take on the challenge of travel with such equipment. I don’t think it would be easy and you would be limited to terrain you could tackle with such a load but it just makes me itch to take a winter cruise through Florida with one of these rigs! I’d definitely have to stick to flat lands but it would be good fun and it would sure beat a tent! The slow traveler in me feels drawn to the people power of such a set-up plus the attention you’d get traveling with this would be great entertainment. Pretty much the best collision of bicycles and tiny living ever!
- Would you consider living such a tiny life?
When it comes to tiny houses when is small too small? 50 square feet? 100 square feet? 200 square feet? A lot of it has to do with individual circumstances, needs and number of people living in the space. After over a year in La Casita Cedric and I have come to the conclusion that as cozy as our home is, 98 square feet for two people and a stocky corgi is pushing some limits. We need more room in order to work on hobbies, store our bulk items and fulfill our need for independence. In the South it seemed a lot easier to fulfill these needs. We didn’t worry about freezing hoses, there was no need to store bulky winter clothes or gear and going outside was bliss in the winter months. Now that we live somewhere with a serious winter, we have more gear, more clothes and less and less space to put it in and as a tiny house fills, the more claustrophobic it feels. So how do you figure out how small is too small before you’re already living the tiny life? Here are few suggestion from our experience.
First, carefully consider needs. For example, we did not thoroughly consider the impact a tiny house would have on our social lives. We would host 30+ people a year in our apartment and threw lots of social events and fundraisers for different project we were a part of. While I’ve found lots of solutions to the issue of hosting events and entertaining, it’s difficult not having a place for family and friends to stay if they want to visit us up North. This has been one of the hardest parts for me and it wasn’t even something I considered as seriously as I should have. Also, my crafting time has diminished due to lack of space for supplies and the room to actually do projects. My advice is make a list of what is most important to your happiness in your space. Is it being able to cook delicious meals, soak in a tub, host potlucks or a space to do hobbies and crafts in? Number your list with 5 being most important and 1 being least. Make compromises from this list, tweak it as you build and use it throughout construction to remind yourself of your needs and how you plan to meet them.
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