Monthly archive for February 2013

New Comment Policy

Today I have a bit of housekeeping to do with The Tiny Life, I wanted to include you in this because I wanted  to hear your feedback on this.

Over the past few months we have had a few comments that required attention because of inappropriate language.  After running this blog for several years I am happy to say that I can still count the number of comments I have had to delete on one hand.  I like to promote transparency, so I leave practically every comment up, even if it looks bad on me.  The exception of to this is of course blatant spam, for some reason spammers think we all want Coach purses to the tune of 50,000 spam comments a month!

So below is the rough draft of our new comment policy, I’d like to hear your feedback on it.  You can also find this under the “about us” tab.


We encourage your comments on The Tiny Life and hope you will join the discussions. While we try our best, we can’t always respond to every comment. We encourage discussion and welcome constructive criticism as we see them a way to broaden our understanding of the subject. At the same time, we expect a basic level of civility; disagreements are fine, but mutual respect is a must.

Commenting is considered an acknowledgement that you agree that you will not:

  1. Post material that infringes on the rights of any third party, including intellectual property, privacy or publicity rights.
  2. Post material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, slanderous, hateful, or embarrassing to any other person or entity as determined by The Tiny Life in its sole discretion.
  3. Post advertisements or solicitations of business.
  4. Impersonate another person.
  5. Post the same note more than once or “spam”

The Tiny Life has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to discriminatory comments based on age, gender, orientation, race, nationality, religious affiliation, political affiliations.

We reserve the right, but not obligated to:

  1. Remove communications that are abusive, illegal or disruptive, or that otherwise fail to conform with the above

By posting any comments or other material on The Tiny Life, you understand we don’t own your comments, but understand that we may use your submission for post ideas, marketing, and other related endeavors.  Commenting is considered to be acknowledgment of this.

If you feel there is a comment that requires attention, please send a link to the comment to us via that contact us tab.

Working From Home, A Tiny Home That Is

One of the things I have been trying to workout is in the future I plan to work remotely, which means a good bit of work will be done inside my tiny house.  It is one thing to live in a tiny house, but it is another to also run a business out of it.  Now working from home is fine if you have a job that is all done in the cloud, but with my work I need to have a good number of materials, resources, and tools on hand to do my job.  So how do I balance this in a tiny home.


I guess the first the real first question I feel I should ask is SHOULD I work from home?  There is a lot of research to suggest that you should have a dedicated space to work out of.  I also feel like philosophically I should separate work and life to ensure a good work life balance.  One thing that people know about me is that when it comes to work, I work hard at work, but at 5pm, the computer and the phone goes off and I leave work at work.

I think this is an important step in living in a tiny house, developing boundaries to things that would intrude upon the life you wish to live.  While you should work hard, deliver results, work well with your co-workers: understand your responsibility to it, but realize that a career is a means to live the life you want to live.  You do not live to work, you work to live.

So on this line of thinking I am beginning to think that I might be looking at building a tiny house office for when I do shift to full time work from home.  It get’s the gears turning in my head about what it might look like.  I want to be able to work in a place that is beatutiful, that is bathed in natural light, that is functional and inspires creativity.

Your Turn!

  • How do you keep a work life balance working at home?
  • Do you have any links to amazing tiny offices?

Sneaky Cabin

I found this awesome little house today which has an interesting feature… The decks fold up so that it looks like an old shed, but then come down to form a porch and reveal a tiny home.  The wood in the house is gorgeous with chunky beams and the post and beam style is amazing.

The Foresters Cabin was originally erected at the 1996. This cabin 24′ x 12′ has drop sides so it looks like a shed when closed up. The structure is a pegged green oak frame. It has a double bed alcove, small washroom/wc and kitchenette.

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Tiny House Living: Security and Simplicity?

After Ryan’s post earlier this week, I got to thinking about sense of security. Living in a tiny house definitely decreases dependence on money but living the tiny life does not necessarily mean a life free of worries.

happinessBefore jumping in, I have to say that the completion of La Casita came at a time of great upheaval in the lives of my fiancee and I. Our rental had been foreclosed on, the bank had kicked us out, the tiny house was 3/4 done and we were essentially homeless. Luckily I had family in the greater Charleston area that took us in but it was a harsh reality for a couple of months. Since moving in to our house, life has been easier in terms of money but in terms of legal shelter there have been distinct challenges.

I guess my first question for someone thinking about a tiny house would be:zoning do you mind living in an illegal situation according to most zoning codes? If this doesn’t bother you then my second question would be: does possibly not having a home address, which can make acquiring a driver’s license, a post office box or your citizenship difficult, concern you?

These are some of the realities we’ve faced living in a tiny house. Without a home address, it is very difficult to get our driver’s licenses in Vermont. Without a home address my fiance can’t start his citizenship application and in Charleston I couldn’t get a po box without a street address. Not everyone has this issue when it comes to tiny living but it has been a constant for us since moving in to La Casita and I never considered this would be one of the issues I would face.

Having just moved to a new community in Vermont, we’re slowly meeting folks and people are incredibly nice and open to what we are doing but we’ve already had a town official contact us about living in the house and its questionable legality. In a town of 3800 people, it’s not going to take long for us to be noticed. In a city of 100,000 it was much easier to hide from zone enforcement although they would roll by in their truck about once a month. They never stopped and asked questions but the possibility was there and we knew it. La Casita was a “temporary studio space”  to anyone official who asked but it was fairly obvious we were living in it. Luckily, we planted it in the ghetto where cops and officials were more worried about busting drug dealing than some illegal zoning issue. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that neighborhood and living there was wonderful. We had great neighbors and no one ever messed with us but if we had parked anywhere else in the historic district of downtown Charleston, I’m certain we would have been forced to move.

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A Renewed Perspective

6506783.cmsI wanted to share a renewed perspective on why I – along with many of you – am attracted to living in tiny houses.  The last week has been an emotional roller coaster for me, I was called in to my boss’s office to find out I was being laid off.  This was  a huge surprise considering I had just finished up glowing performance review, but there I was, being told I had 30 days before my last pay check.

So obviously my mind was reeling with things like: How will I pay my bills? What if I get sick?  I still have to finish my tiny house, where will that money come from?  It was a nightmare week to say the least.

simplicityNow as I write this I am happy to say I was able to pull some contacts of mine to land a new job in a few short days, a miracle by any standard.  The worry of not having a way to earn a living was very scary, it meant sleepless nights, it meant trimming my budget and worrying over bills.  The event was a nightmare and yet at the same time I was lucky when considering how many people are looking for jobs and have faced layoffs.

So the perspective I gained out of this experience was this.  How would have this experience been different if I had my tiny house finished?  If we were to say this story happened next year it would have been a lot different.  By that time my house would have been done, my car loan a thing of the past, my bills would be reduced down to $450 monthly expenses and I’d have roughly $10,000 in the bank; enough to last me almost two years!

So what this shows us is that tiny houses bring not only a sense of home, a sense of responsibility to our environment, to a simpler way of living, but it brings security from the ups and downs of life.  Not having a mortgage is a huge deal, it changes the game when it comes to your monthly finances and to weathering the tough times in life.  I am constantly reminded of a song lyric that goes:

“There is no dollar sign on peace of mind, this I have come to know”

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