Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

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My Minimal Wardrobe

As of late there has been many articles about how Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama all keep a very minimal wardrobe; I was also glad to see a few articles about how women could achieve this too.  A minimal wardrobe is, in my opinion, easier socially for men to achieve than women, but certainly possible and many do.

There are many reasons to have a minimal wardrobe, for me its about saving time and reducing decisions.  Studies have been done that show the more decisions we make, the worse we become at making good judgements and the more it wears on us.  So things like “what shirt should I wear today” can actually impact our abilities later to make the right call on critical decisions later in the day.

So here is my wardrobe:


This is almost everything for when I’m traveling, when I’m at home its identical, but instead of 7 days of clothes, I have a total of 1o days.  The only thing not shown here is one jacket, a pair of dress socks, a button down shirt, and a pair of dress slacks.  I dress up once a year, so I keep those items in a garment bag in a hard to reach storage space.

  1. 7 charcoal grey short sleeve shirts
  2. 7 white undershirts
  3. 7 pairs of socks
  4. 7 pairs of underwear
  5. 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 winter hat
  6. 1 blue long sleeve shirt
  7. 1 workout shirt, 1 pair basket ball shorts
  8. 1 shirt to sleep in, 1 pair of flannel sleep pants

This has been a really great setup for me because I can just reach into the specific drawer and without looking, grab what I need in a flash.  The shirts I get are very comfortable, they are plain so they don’t have graphics or logos, and they aren’t too expensive.  At worst they cost me $10 new, sometimes I can get them on sale for a little at $1.50 from Khols.

Other things to note are I have all the same socks.  This means I don’t have to pair them during laundry, I know I can grab two socks and they’ll match.  For shoes I have one pair of sneakers, one pair of hiking boots, and one pair of dress shoes.

I’ve also have washed these clothes individually with hot water and a “color catcher” sheet, this let me remove any dye that might bleed into the whites.  So now when I do laundry, I can do it all in one batch.  Once or twice a year I’ll run an all white batch and bleach it heavily to keep the whites, white.

When I am traveling, I use packing cubes which keeps things neater and makes it easier to find things.  They’re really just square/rectangle mesh bags that you sort into them.






I travel a good bit of the year so having this translate to a easy pack is important.  The plain shirts and jeans help me blend in a little bit better as a local versus an American tourist.  The packing cubes I use are made by ebags.  I’ve heard good things about Eagle Creek too.  My suitcase is an Osprey Porter 65, which is suitcase that has pull out shoulder straps to become a backpack.  I like it because instead of being top loading like a backpack, it opens up on the front panel so when you put it on the ground, it fully opens and things are very accessible.  The backpack straps also tuck in so they are out of the way so that when in the airport, the straps don’t get caught in rollers etc.



5 Misconceptions About Tiny House People

Having been working with Tiny Houses for years now, I have run into many instances where people have some perceptions of tiny house folks that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Sometimes I feel like informing them of how it really is to live tiny, but other days, I just don’t have it in me to say anything.  So today I thought I’d lay to rest some of the common misconceptions about tiny houses and the people who live in them.

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1. We hate stuff

While it is true we don’t like the gratuitous, debt accumulating, clutter creating consumption of stuff for consumption sake, we aren’t against things.  In fact the things we own and take up space in our tiny houses, we really really like.  We have decided to only have those things that make our lives richer, happier and in some cases easier.

2. We don’t have a lot of money or a job

I remember one conversation I had with a woman that came walking off the street to see my tiny house.  After talking a while, I mentioned it had taken a while to build because I could only work on it when I wasn’t working.  She looked at me with astonishment and said “oh you have a job” she then alluded that my job must not be well paying and I informed her I had a good job white collar job that paid very well.  Her face was filled with a look of confusion.

The ironic thing is that most tiny house folks actually make more than the average American, are gainfully employed at good jobs.  What is more, we keep most of what we make, meaning we often don’t have any debt and we have more saved up.  Recently a report release by PEW showed that someone with no debt and $100 in the bank account has a higher net worth than most people in America.

3. We say no to big houses

For a long time I thought I was saying “no” to big houses, fancy cars, nice clothes, etc. but I realized one day that I wasn’t saying “no”, but in fact saying “yes”.  I am saying “yes” to a life where I have no debt, where I have exactly what I need, to a job where I only have to work a few hours a week, and “yes” to travel, pursuit of passions, hobbies and interests.

So its not so much I’m rejecting bigger houses, but embracing the benefits of smaller living.

4. You can’t have a relationship or a family in a tiny house

Time and time again I get asked about families and relationships in a tiny house.  There are plenty of examples of people who are couples and also plenty of examples of families who live in a tiny house.  The truth is it’s possible, but its not for everyone.  Don’t get caught up in “I have to be ____ number of square feet because that is what a tiny house is”  Forget that notion, do what makes sense for you and those you live with.  If I were to want to cohabitate with someone else, would I live in a tiny house with them?  HELL NO!  Would I get a bigger house than a tiny house, but small compared to most houses, most definitely.  For some though, a tiny house as a couple is great.  For some families, they might live in 800 square feet or maybe more; that’s okay too.

5. A tiny house isn’t a real house

Every time someone learns that I live in a tiny house that don’t know what they are I get all the same questions.  Does it have a bathroom, a sink, a kitchen, a shower, a toilet, a bed, electricity, water, internet?  The answer is yes, yes, and yes.  My house has every creature comfort you could want and so do most tiny houses.  Tiny houses have all the same systems that a traditional house has, it is built the same way (mostly) and uses most of the same materials.  There are some things that I have chosen  not to have like a dish washer and microwave, but that’s because I didn’t want them.


Design Ideas for a Kid’s Room in a Tiny Apartment

When we imagine tiny living, our minds automatically conjure images of the traditional tiny house built on a trailer. However, for some, tiny living simply means choosing a smaller housing option, such as a small apartment. In this post, we’ve put together some really cool (and simple!) design ideas for a kid’s room in a tiny apartment – although these unique ideas can easily be applied to any small space, however you define tiny living!

It can be difficult to find apartments that are big enough for all of the stuff your child has and wants. Not only is there a constant stream of new clothes coming in and old clothes that no longer fit going out, children also typically have tons of toys, books and electronics. Of course, it’s even better if your child has a desk to do homework at and a comfy place to read or watch TV. Check out these design ideas for organizing everything your child wants and needs in a tiny apartment.

Find Space-Saving Furniture

You aren’t likely to find apartments with big bedrooms for your child. One of the first things to do when trying to design a child’s bedroom in a tiny apartment is to look at the furniture. There’s just no place for bulky, inefficient furniture. Check out places like Ikea and Target for functional, space-saving items – or check out the rest of this site for more unique ideas! Beds that have drawers built in underneath the mattress or at the foot of the bed can provide a lot of extra storage space without taking up any extra floor space.

2 Image Credit:  http://www.wetwillieblog.com/

Go Up

Bunk beds are a great idea if you have more than one child sharing a room, and loft beds are the perfect choice for single children. Under the loft bed you can find designs that have a desk, dresser or even a seating area. You can also maximize floor space by buying taller furniture, rather than wide, low-to-the-ground options. Tall dressers hold quite a bit of stuff, as do shelves and bins for storing toys, books and clothes. See the image above for a beautiful example of how to maximize tiny spaces by building up instead of out!

Use the Walls

While many apartments for rent lack floor space, there’s most likely going to be plenty of wall space. Once you’ve built up and maximized all of the space in the room, start looking at the walls. A hook near the bedroom door is perfect for backpacks and jackets. Hooks in the closet can store hats, belts and scarfs. You can even find storage containers that attach right to the wall! These are perfect for storing toys, art supplies, school stuff and even diapers or baby wipes. The image below is a beautiful example of how to open up space by utilizing effective storage ideas – from the wall-mounted storage shelves to the drawers underneath the bed!

1Image Credit:  http://themaisonette.net


When you just can’t fit anything else in the room, it’s time to customize. This is a great idea, especially if your child can’t fit everything in his or her own room – or if they aren’t quite as excited as you are about living in a tiny apartment. Let your child personalize the room and have fun with it! It may be as simple as adding some pictures or painting the furniture. All that matters is your kid feels at home in your tiny apartment, and the best way to do that is by letting them help you decorate – they’ll love the idea of finding a funky chair or putting removable stars on the ceiling. Speaking of removable, you can also find large stickers that adhere to the wall and just peel off when it’s time to move out! This is a great option if your landlord does not allow you to paint the walls, or if you know your kid will want to redecorate again in a few months!

The most important thing to remember when you find a tiny apartment with even smaller rooms is not to throw out your dreams of living in a tiny home because you think your son or daughter won’t enjoy it. Remember, with a little bit of planning and organization, your child can still have a room that he or she will absolutely adore!

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Frank’s Tiny House

We have a new tiny house coming to the Tiny House Conference!  Frank is a carpenter and cabinet maker who travels for work.  He built this tiny house so he can take it with him while he is on longer jobs away from his home in NC.







Have you got your tickets yet for the Conference?

Our holiday sale ends soon!  Use code: TINY2013 for $50


Have You Retired In A Tiny House?


Today I wanted to see how many of our readers have actually retired in a tiny house?  I am am doing some research for a project and wanted to see if I could find and talk with a few of you about you experiences.

If you have already retired into a tiny house email me:  ryan@thetinylife.com

For the rest of you who are thinking about retirement into a tiny house.  What are your top three questions you have specific to retiring into a tiny house?  Let me know in the comments!

 Your Turn!

  • What are your top 3 questions specific to retirement in a tiny house?
  • What are the biggest barriers to retiring into a tiny house?


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