Living in a Shed? An In Depth Guide To Turning A Shed Into A Tiny Home

Living in a Shed? An In Depth Guide To Turning A Shed Into A Tiny Home

how to live in a shed

When it comes to Tiny Houses, they come in all shapes and sizes. Many people have asked me about building a tiny house shed as an affordable option to having your own tiny house.

A tiny house

I think what’s important to keep in mind is that tiny houses have made a name for themselves because they’re willing to break the mold. Diversity of what Tiny is, is in itself, part of what makes it so fascinating to me. As people take these ideals, we share in the Tiny House Movement and manifest itself in so many forms, we find creative ways to live in small homes.

With that said, using a shed as the shell for your tiny house is a great way to get things started. I myself have considered is a prefab shed and today I was able to go see a model that I have been toying with the idea of purchasing and putting in the middle of a plot of land.

Can You Legally Live In A Shed?

get your permits

Like Tiny Homes, making this legal and meeting building codes is rather difficult when you say you want to live or dwell in it. One big advantage of the prefab shed option is that these structures are so prevalent that in many places you can just drop one off and you’re good. Some places require a permit, but it’s a formality more than anything, city hall needs to get it’s slice anyway they can.

These sheds will almost always pass code if you’re using it for storage. That means the shed would officially would have to be just a shed. It can a bit more complicated when you are not placing the shed behind a primary dwelling. This is where I find myself.

The real lynch pin when it comes to living in a shed legally if you want to connect sewer, water and power.

Connecting Water To Your Shed

water connection for a shed

Fortunately, you can get water to most properties without much hassle. Of the three main utilities, water is the simplest because it’s not terribly complicated or pose much risks. I did this on my current property in the mountains where I got a well and where my tiny house is in the city, I was able to connect to the city water for “landscaping” with zero issue.

You just pony up the cash for the permits and the install, run it to a frost proof hydrant (again saying it’s for landscaping) and get your inspections if needed. Once the inspectors are done with their checks and you have all your documents in hand, drop your shed, and connect it off the books.

NOTE: Because water is so easy to get, you can get it and the bill will provide “proof of residence” for other things like the DMV, getting a post office box etc.

Connecting Power To Your Shed

electrical hook up to shed

Getting electricity in your shed is slightly trickier because this is the part where code officials start to get warry you’re planning on living in the shed. That said, it’s not uncommon to want to have power in a shed for tools etc. What I suggest you do is get your water installed on the land so it’s about 20 feet into the property, wait a few weeks while you get your shed pad graded and shed dropped off.

Now next is what I’d do, but realize I’m not responsible for any consequence if you do this. Once the shed is dropped off, stage the inside with a few shed-like items: A lawn mower, a table top on some saw horses, a few tools scatted on top. Make it look like this is a real shed used for actual storage. That way when the electrician comes to install and the inspector does their inspection, it looks like your using it as a storage shed.

You’re most likely only going to get approved for a 50 or 100 amp service compared to a normal home is usually 200-amp service. That should be totally fine for your needs in such a small space.

Connecting Sewer To Your Shed

sewer connection

Here is the biggest hurtle and frankly I’ll be honest and say you’re not going to get any code official to let you install a flush toilet in a shed unless it’s totally above board and designated as a dwelling. I don’t mind using a composting toilet, but having water and power is a must.

For toilet you could use a composting toilet, you could use a porta potty service, or you could consider getting a septic system installed (if it’s possible). Septic systems will start to get people asking questions if they see a septic installed, a water line run to the property and power run to a “shed”. It won’t take much for anyone looking at your property or reviewing parcel tax and permit records to put two and two together.

Can You Live In A Shed?

can you live in a shed

When I was talking with the sales person at the shed store, she told me that they have had several customers live in these sheds. They call these buildings “sheds” loosely, with models up to 1000+ square feet. He had an entire wall of photos where people had converted a shed into a house, upfitting the outside with porches, accents, etc.

Why Should You Live In A Shed?

why you should live in a shed

Living in a shed comes with a lot of advantages, between their wide spread availability, cost and ease to obtain.

Easily Permittable

The ease of getting them legitimized is the biggest appeal to me. There aren’t many things these days that are easier to do, in many cases you can just drop them on your property and be done. Often municipalities have rules like “if the structure is not a dwelling and no dimension is greater than 12 feet, no permit is required”.

Very Affordable

The model I show here is 192 Square Feet. Included are the windows, doors, installations, taxes, anchoring, site leveling and delivery all for the price of $4,200! Figure adding in permits, running power, insulation and drywall (doing the work myself of course) I am looking at a sweet house for around $6,000. You could then deck it out with Ikea swag for another $500 and have a really nice place! The only drawback is there is no loft for a bed, so you have to deal with that. Possibly you could use a murphy bed.

Another angle to this is they offer payment plans of $70 a month, makes it pretty affordable, considering I have friends that pay over $1500 a month in rent.

Easily Transportable

The other advantage to these houses is that you can move them! Not as easily as a house on a trailer, but it’s possible. This is because they deliver these sheds on flat beds or even tow trucks sometimes. They even have these little crawler machines to maneuver the shed into place where a truck might not be able to get into tight back yards.

Widely Available

Unlike tiny houses where the closest builder might several states away, there is probably several shed sellers in your city. These sheds are everywhere it seems, so getting a shed is pretty simple and you can even price shop between them.

How To Convert A Shed Into A Tiny House

how to convert shed into living space

Once you buy a shed, you’re first going to want to get all your utilities to the site and setup before you do anything. Get your water, power and sewer squared away, get your copies of all the approvals, then wait a few weeks. I’ve found that sometimes there are a few little loose ends that need to happen and you don’t want an inspector around while you convert your house.

1
Set A Level Pad And Grade For Drainage
Before the shed even gets delivered, I’d suggest at the very least scraping the grass away and putting down 4-6 inches of ¾” gravel. Consider burying your water and sewer connections at this point and hide the ends so the inspector doesn’t ask questions. Have the gravel base extend in all directions about 1-2 feet beyond the footprint of the shed. Make sure the space is totally level and compact the base with a plate compactor.While you’re at it, consider how the water will flow around the shed, put in French drains if any slopes will push water towards it. Also consider where the water will flow off the roof if you have gutters, consider trenching a drain pipe to flush water away from the shed.
2
Make Utility Connections To Your Shed
Once the shed is delivered on the pad you created, the inspector has come and gone, then bring your connections from wherever they are to the shed and inside. If you pre-buried your connections, uncover the connection points, and connect them. Test everything before you close up the walls.
3
Deal With Moisture On The Bottom Of The Shed
If there is one thing I don’t like about these sheds is they use OSB or similar products, which just don’t stand up well to moisture. If you have the option, I’d pay extra for plywood and make sure it is treated. The underside of the floor where it faces the ground is a place that moisture can build up and bugs can eat into.I suggest that you have you shed on blocks just high enough for you to crawl under so you can access things easier. This is even the case if you don’t need to use blocks for leveling. Having access and air flow is really great and super important to keep your floor dry and rot free. I’d also apply a thick coat of exterior deck oil based paint to the underside of the shed to seal the wood from moisture.
4
Adjust Your Shed Framing
In many cases shed builders use a smaller dimension framing than traditional 2×4’s. If you can, request your shed to be done with 2×4’s so all your building materials will work (insulation, electrical boxes, etc which are all sized for 2×4 cavities).If your walls aren’t framed with 2×4’s then you might have to figure out alternatives to every other step coming up because all building materials are sized to accommodate a 2×4 wall. You also are going to want a deeper cavity to insulate, a 1×3 wall like some sheds are will end up being a very cold home.If you can’t order the shed to have 2×4’s then you’ll need to build the wall inwards, if you go through that trouble consider getting a slightly larger shed and then you might as well go for thicker walls for more insulation.
5
Rough In Your Electrical, Water and HVAC
Next put in your electrical lines, water lines, internet connections, any HVAC needs etc. I’d also consider putting outlets and lights on the outside of the shed too.If there is one thing I’ve learned about outlets is that it’s hard to over do outlets. Because it’s a small space, you want outlets right where you need them. Consider everything you’ll be plugging in and put outlets there. Additionally, if there is any runs of wall more than 5 feet with no outlets, just put one there. Outlets are $1.50 for a box and another $2 for the receptacle itself, these are super cheap so don’t skimp here.
TIP: I’d also suggest taking a video and photos of the walls so you can remember where things are in the future if you need to fix something.
6
Seal Up Every Little Crack
If there is one thing I’ve learned about these sheds is they aren’t very air tight and because of that, bugs can get in too. The space where the roof meets the top of the wall and around the soffit/facia is usually so poorly done you can see day light!I’d start with sealing everything with a good silicone caulk. Follow all the junctions, seams, and transition points. First seal from the outside, then seal again from the inside. I’d also caulk where the walls meet the floor, the corners and inside the framing where the studs meet the sheathing. This will seem excessive to many, but a shed is so small that it will take a few hours to totally seal it up tight.Once you have that done, I’d move to spray can foam and fill in any hard to reach gaps. I’d also fill places you’re not going to be able to insulate easily and I’d go over any seams to safe guard from any leaks. Again, this is considered overboard by many, but a few hours and $50 of prevention will pay dividends, keep air and water out and the bugs at bay.
Note: You should make provision for fresh air exchange and humidity control. When you seal up the space and live in such a small space you need to take air quality seriously. I’d suggest having a mini split system that does heating and cooling (where it dehumidifies too) AND an Energy Recovery Ventilation unit (ERV). The ERV will take your indoor air, heat or cool the incoming air through an exchange, then adjust humidity levels too. The ERV will cycle your air so the indoor air is always fresh and the correct humidity.
7
Insulate Your Shed Walls And Ceiling
You have two main options for insulation spray foam or bat insulation. Bat insulation is a good option, easy to install and not that expensive. You an get bats that are sized right for your wall cavities to minimize the amount of cutting you need to do.The other option, and the one that I’d recommend, is closed cell spray foam. I specifically suggest closed cell spray foam because it is also a great vapor and air barrier. Spray foam is also a very high R value so you’ll keep your house hot or cold longer with the same amount of wall thickness.Many people will suggest open foam because it’s cheaper or some make the argument it’s easier to find the leak if a leak occurs. Because the shed is a small space, it will be more expensive, but since it’s small, you might only be talking a few extra hundred-dollar difference. The notion that you can spot leaks easier is something I flat out reject, you just bought a brand new shed and spend a few hours sealing everything, it’s not going leak any time soon and if it does, the closed cell foam adheres to the back of the roof decking, minimalizing the spread of any leaks. Open cell will allow the water to flow through it and into your wall cavity leading to mold.
8
Insulate Your Shed Floors
You want to insulate your shed floor or else you’ll have a condensing surface and your feet will be cold on the floors. You can do this by insulating under the floor on the bottom of the shed or laying foamboard on the floor and putting a new layer of plywood on top.If it was me, I’d do both. I’d order a shed that had a taller wall and then spray closed cell foam on the underside, then lay down 2 inches of polyiso foam with a compatible adhesive, then lay down a thick plywood subfloor on top of it, again with adhesive.The two downsides to laying in the foam on the sides is that you’re building into the space, reducing your overhead height (hence why getting a taller wall option on your shed is a good idea) and also your front transition of your front door will be a little weird, so you’ll need to work that out. Both are solvable problems and warm floors are a must have in my book.
Tip: If you do build up into the space by laying down foam, consider doing an in floor radiant heat!
9
Drywall, Floors And Trim
Next I’d suggest finishing with dry wall because it’s cheap. You want to make sure you are sealing all the joints and transitions of the dry wall for air tightness. This is because if you make this air tight, no water vapor can enter the wall cavity and hit a cold surface to condense, build up moisture and cause mold. This article on the proper way to air seal drywall is a great resource for this.[https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/information-sheets/air-barriers-airtight-drywall-approach]Once you’ve put up your drywall, spackled and sanded your joints, go ahead and trim out your doors and windows, then paint the whole thing. Install your floors at this point, then add your baseboards to hide the rough edges of the floors.
10
Final Finishing
At this point I’d drop in my cabinets, counters and other finishes. Consider using off the shelf premade things that are pretty affordable and make it easy. Your local big box store or Ikea will have good options for this. Bring in your appliances, add your lighting fixtures to the roughed in boxes etc. There you have it, you’ve converted a shed to a tiny house!

At this point I’d drop in my cabinets, counters and other finishes. Consider using off the shelf premade things that are pretty affordable and make it easy. Your local big box store or Ikea will have good options for this. Bring in your appliances, add your lighting fixtures to the roughed in boxes etc. There you have it, you’ve converted a shed to a tiny house!

 

How Much Does It Cost To Convert A Shed Into A Tiny House?

cost to convert shed into house

Converting a shed will cost around $75 per square foot including the cost of the shed. Depending on the shed size, utility connections and fixtures/appliances. This assumes you’re buying a pre-built shed. It could be done more cheaply if you build the shed yourself (shed companies typically mark up 60% above material cost).

Example costs:

  • Shed: $3,500 to $10,000
  • Windows: $500-$6,000
  • Insulation: $500 to $2000
  • Interior finishes: $500-$4,000
  • Electrical: $750 to $3,000
  • Water heater: $500 to $1000
  • HVAC: $500 to $1,500
  • Toilet: $20-$800
  • Fixtures: $1,000-$5,000
  • Appliances: $400 to $4,000
  • Interior wall: $500 to $1000
  • Flooring: $300 to $1,000
  • Fasteners/Adhesives: $1,500
  • Paint: $50 to $200

Living In A Shed While Build Your House

living in a shed while building your house

Many people want to live in a shed while they are building the permeant house. I myself have considered this for building my home on the property I bought in the mountains. This again falls to the legality issue. Dwelling in a shed is often not allowed because how small it is.

Additionally, I’ve found that if you do this, the code enforcement staff will require everything you normally are required to having in a full house, jumping up the cost dramatically.

Ultimately, the real answer is yes and no. Legally no you can’t. Is it possible, totally!

How do I turn my shed into living space?

This is something I have a lot of experience with, tiny houses are working on the same scale as a converted shed. There are a few critical things you want to consider when converting a shed into a living space.

Top Ways To Turn A Shed Into A living Space

  1. Run power to the shed for lights, electronics & HVAC
  2. Choose a way to climate control – Heating & Cooling
  3. Seal cracks to control moisture and bugs
  4. Insulate and Drywall for a clean look
  5. Install a durable flooring option
  6. Use a light color pallet, good lighting and natural light

Shed Design Ideas And Tips

tips for desinging your shed home

There are a so many ways to take your living space in a shed to the next level. Many of them can be borrowed from tiny houses for design inspirations. Here are a few guides I’ve created to help you design the perfect shed to live in!

Small Bathrooms For A Shed

A bathroom is one of those spaces in a shed you have to get right, there is a lot going on between power, water, fixtures and storage. Check out my post on how to design a small space bathroom.

designing a bathroom for a shed

Kitchen Designs For A Shed

The kitchen is another critical area if you want to live in a shed. You don’t have a lot of room to pack a lot into a small space. When I designed my tiny house kitchen there was a lot that went into it. Learn more about small kitchen concepts and how to design them.

kitchens in a shed

Appliances For Small Sheds

One challenge I’ve found is getting appliances for small spaces. You can’t always go to the big box hardware stores and find an appliance that will fit in your shed’s kitchen. Choosing the right appliance for small kitchens is important, here’s how to choose the right one for you!

small space appliances

Consider Adding A Sleeping Loft In Your Shed House

A sleeping loft can add a lot of room in the ground floor if you’re tight on space. Sleeping lofts are pretty straight forward, but I figure out a few tricks to make them really well.

save space in a shed with a loft for your bed

Add Solar Panels To Your Shed

Solar is a great option if you can’t get power run to your shed. I’ve written several post about how to setup solar, so here are some great I wrote about how I did it on mine.

Setting Up Solar Guides

Converted Shed To Living Space Photos And Ideas

bedroom in a shed

shed living area

gambral roof shed converted to living space

living space in shed house

bedroom in converted shed home

kitchen and bedroom in a converted shed house for living

modern cozy shed home

cottage style shed converted into a living space

 

guest room in a shed

living space with sitting area in a shed

tiny bedroom in a shed

guest room and office space in a shed

guest room in converted shed

rustic shed conversion to live in

 


a Tiny House made from a shed

Living In A Shed In Your Backyard – Is It Right For You?

Converting a shed into a house or living space is something that a lot of people have done and it’s totally possible. They are a great way to have a house quickly and pretty affordably. So I wanted to ask you all what do you think of this idea? Do you think living in a shed is right for you? Is anyone here doing this?

30-Day Declutter Challenge: Go From Stressed To Clutter Free Fast + Free Calendar

30-Day Declutter Challenge: Go From Stressed To Clutter Free Fast + Free Calendar

30 Day Declutter Challenge

I’m a big fan of bite-sized challenges to kick start new behaviors and a 30-day declutter challenge is a great (and practical) way to make a tidy house happen. I want to break down how to do this 30-day challenge and then give you tips to make it stick. Because the last thing you want to do after you declutter your home and work hard to clear away the clutter is to fall back into old habits.

NAVIGATION

Everyday Clutter Zones
Problem areas for decluttering
tackling tough clutter
clean sweep

By the end of this 30-day declutter challenge you’ll be able to:

  • Declutter your home in 30-days with easy steps
  • Stop stressing and bring some order to your messy house
  • Learn some practical tips to declutter your home
  • Keep your home clean, clutter-free, and organize long term

Why Does A 30-Day Declutter Challenge Work?

Why Does A 30 Day Declutter Challenge Work

A declutter challenge is an easy step by step process that gives you one simple thing to do each day. Focusing on one little thing each day makes it easy, but after 30-days, it adds up to a big change. It can be overwhelming to think about cleaning your whole house, but if we break it down into smaller parts, it’s much easier.

How Do I Motivate Myself To Organize My House?

How Do I Motivate Myself To Organize My House

At the end of the day, there is one thing that will actually make you successful when it comes to decluttering your house and getting organized: Action. You don’t need to have the answers, you don’t need to get it all right, you don’t even need to know the best way to start decluttering, you just have to start.

You’re going to have some missteps, you might accidentally toss something you’ll need later, or you might put it away to realize it wasn’t in the right spot. But here’s the thing, you’ve made forward momentum. There will be some of you who read this post with aspirational intent, but it’s the people that get up from their computer after reading this post and just start that will actually make it happen. Even doing it badly is better than not doing it at all.

Where Do I Start Decluttering?

Where Do I Start Decluttering

A lot of people get all worked up when they think about getting rid of stuff and declutter a whole house or apartment. Something about the process makes them jump to the most extreme case. Don’t get bogged down with what you think are going to be the most challenging parts or overwhelmed by the entirety of your whole home.

My best piece of advice is: Start Small and Start Easy. Don’t take on the largest mess in your home right away and don’t start with difficult things to throw away like sentimental items. Start in one small place and things you have zero qualms getting rid of.

refrigeratorFor me, it’s the fridge. It’s a very small space and I don’t have to worry about sentimentality when I toss that third jar of mustard in my fridge that expired long ago that I never really liked anyway. Many people will start with their fridge, the bathroom vanity, a nightstand or their junk drawer (you know you have one). These are places that are a limited scope and don’t carry a lot of emotional work with them.

Once you’re done with one, try another place. Each time you finish try a little bigger space. Then start to tackle things you might have more to process emotionally around. What you’re doing here is building your “decluttering muscles” so when you get to tougher stuff, you have a practiced history to lean on.

There may come a point where you only have the really sentimental stuff or things that are wrapped up with a ton of emotions. But since you took this measured approach, even if you stop right there, you can look back at all the meaningful progress you’ve made; you came a long way!

How To Do Your Daily Declutter Challenge

How To Do Your Daily Declutter Challenge

Each day check out your free printable calendar that you can download below. Try to do this at roughly the same time of day to help build the habit. Set a timer for 15 minutes and get to work.

At the end of the time take a moment to consider the progress you made in that area and over the previous days of the challenge. If you’re feeling motivated, don’t just stop at 15 minutes, but commit to doing 15 minutes each day.

DECLUTTER CHALLENGE CHECKLIST

  1. Check your declutter challenge calendar
  2. Set a timer for 15 minutes
  3. Declutter for the full time
  4. Reflect on the progress you’ve made
  5. Keep going if you’re in the zone!

Tips To Make Your Declutter Challenge Successful

Tips To Make Your Declutter Challenge Successful

Here are some things that will make your time decluttering a bit easier and ensure success at the end of your 30-days. Use the calendar as a guide, tweak it to suit your situation and needs.

Start where it makes sense for you. Each of us have our own flavor of clutter. Start with things that will be easy to declutter and are common problem areas for you.

Even if you don’t know where to start, move towards action vs inaction, even if you do it poorly you’ll be ahead of not doing anything at all.

DECLUTTER CHALLENGE TIPS

  • Don’t try to do too much at one time
  • Take time every day to maintain
  • Take before and after photos
  • Start with the easiest areas first
  • Have a bias towards action
  • Declutter first, organize second
  • Be honest with yourself

30-Day Declutter Challenge Calendar

30 Day Declutter Challenge Calendar

This 30-day challenge will help you declutter your house from top to bottom. Working a little bit each day you’ll move from room to room to make it all happen. Below is the 30-day declutter challenge checklist and calendar laying out what you need to do each day, but feel free to make some modifications so it works for you. I’m also going to break down each day with some added resources for you to check below, so grab your calendar and keep reading!

Download the Declutter Challenge Calendar

30 day declutter challenge calendar

Day 1 – Fridge

First day of a declutter challengeStart with this small area and toss out everything that you don’t like, is expired or you have multiples of. Condiments are a place we hang onto things too long. Most of what we use day today is a small fraction of what we have in our fridge door. Worst case you toss something you need and have to buy it again down the road, so be very heavy-handed here. While you’re at it wipe down the whole fridge.

Day 2 – Kitchen countertops

Decluttering your kitchen countertopThe kitchen the center of the home for many, which also means it becomes a place where a lot of things get placed down. Take a few minutes today to not only clean things up, but look at them. Why are they ending up there and not somewhere else? Do they have a place they should be? Should you designate a place for them? What practical steps can you take to stop the flow of these items BEFORE they happen.

Try to spend a few minutes each morning cleaning this area, it’s the beachhead for your decluttering for your whole house, so hold strong here to set the tone for the rest of your decluttering!

Day 3 – Landing Zone

Making sense of the landing zone for your stuffWhen you walk into your house, most of us have a place we drop our essentials: keys, wallet, phone, mail, purse, etc. If you just drop them on the counter or don’t have a designated place, take time today to set one up. It should be a purposeful selected place that is only for this, is out of the way to keep things neat, but easy to drop when you walk in.

Take a look at what you always have with you and what gets dumped right away when you walk in the door. If you have keys, set a single hook that makes it easy to see if your keys are there or not. For your phone, consider a charging stand or wireless charger. When you get mail, how should it be sorted (I do trash, to do, to file). Your purse might get hung or just a designated spot to drop.
For me I keep a minimalist everyday carry setup, so I don’t have a lot. I have a small nook that I purchased a small tray to put things in and I have a mail sorting station.

Day 4 – Front Closet / Mudroom Area

Clearing the clutter from your front closetIf you have kids this is managed chaos at best. Take time to think about what really needs to be there and what might be cut out. You want just the bare essentials here, too often people will use an article of clothing once, but it stays hung up there for months. A whole array of shoes litters the floor, but you most likely only have 1-2 go-to pairs. Cut things down to items you use every day, anything else that gets used occasionally should be removed and stored away elsewhere.

This lets us cut down what we have to organize in the first place. For a kid you might have a backpack, a lunch box, a jacket and shoes. Designate a specific hook or nook for each of these (ex: jacket hook, lunchbox hook) for each kid. Set a pattern to place each thing in their respective place, if they just dump and run, bring them back to do it correctly to reinforce it. This way you can quickly scan to see that little Johnny is missing his lunchbox.

Download the Declutter Challenge Calendar

30 day declutter challenge calendar

Day 5 – Cleaning Supplies

Organizing cleaning suppliesPeople have a lot of cleaning supplies when you only really need a few essentials to make it all happen. You want to reduce things down to the very basics: An all-purpose cleaner, a glass cleaner, and a disinfectant. That’s it! You can choose to make your own, but I just use store-bought. I get the generic brands of Simple Green for all-purpose, Windex for glass and mirrors, and then a bleach spray to disinfect things. From there I have a few microfiber cloths, a textured sponge, a razor blade scraper, and a scrub brush. Start with those, toss the rest and if you need something else buy it later.

Day 6 – Medicine cabinet

Arranging your medicine cabinetAs a guy my medicine cabinet is pretty lean. I only keep a few core things, but I know for women this is a more complicated matter. Focus on things that you use every day and things you love. Most women have a few go-to looks, so toss the makeup that doesn’t get used for those.

Here is what I keep, use this list to keep just the bare essentials and customize to you.

Minimalist Medicine Cabinet

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen Sodium
  • Ancetaminophen
  • Cough Drops
  • Decongestant
  • Antihistamine
  • A Few Band-aids
  • Q-tips
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Anti-acids
  • Sunscreen
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Razor w/blades

Day 7 – Night Stand

Straightening up your nightstandYou start and end your day in your bed, so let’s get this cleaned so you can kick things off clutter free. A night stand is one of those places that ends up collecting a lot of things. Look at what is there now and try to understand why it got there. Figure out what the core essentials are for a night sleep and consider thinking about keeping your phone outside the bedroom.

Day 8 – Junk Drawer

Cleaning out your junk drawerA junk drawer is a place for things without a place. Let that sink in. Either it’s not worthy of a designated place or it isn’t getting a place it really deserves. Both are undesirable. We tend to toss things in here that we are saving “just in case”, that are useful for “something”, or we haven’t taken the time to find a place for. Take some time to be an archeologist on your junk drawer, fix the underlying issues and clean it out. Consider adding a drawer organizer so you can segment the items in there going forward. Use your “junk drawer” as a place for things without a place, once a month go through it and toss it or find a place for it, regularly clearing it out.

Day 9 – Socks and Underwear

Sorting socks and underwearIt may not be for everyone, but many years ago I went to a single type of underwear and a multiple of identical socks. This lets me have some uniformity with things, I stopped wasting time matching socks and it lets me rotate underwear and socks easily. When things start to get worn out, I buy a whole new set, toss out the old and replace with all new.

Most people have their favorites or things they wear most days. In general, I suggest cutting out everything else. If you don’t love it, toss it. If you have something that you don’t like or something that bothers you about it, replace it now. The cost of most of these things isn’t high, so be pretty heavy-handed here.

how to embrace a minimalist wardrobe

Day 10 – Linen Closet

Thinning out the linen closetGo through and toss out the things that are getting worn out or maybe don’t fit the beds you have. If your linens are running thin, consider doing a clean sweep and buying all new bed sheets and towels; from time to time it’s good to start totally fresh. Try to only have 2 sets of linens for each bed: one on the bed, the other in the wash or waiting.

Day 11 – Laundry Room

Laundry room organizationGo through all your cabinets and drawers, toss things that you haven’t used or just adding clutter. Focus on things you use daily or weekly, toss things that are used rarely. Go through you cleaning products here and pare down the bare essentials. If you have time, consider what bothers you when you do laundry, take the time to fix it now.

Day 12 – Desk

Straightening up your office deskThis might be the first big challenge for some of us. What I suggest doing is taking your paperwork and sorting into three piles: to do, to file, to shred. I give more tips about how to declutter your office here and how to maintain a simple office in this post.

Once you’ve pulled out all the papers in the office, next I want you to use what I call “the box method”. To start get a big box and go through your entire desk and put everything in that desk into this box. Put the box in a closet somewhere for 60 days, set a calendar reminder for two months out. Don’t leave a single thing on your desk except your computer, keyboard, mouse and a lamp.

Then when you sit down to do something, if you need something that was in your desk, go to the box and pull out that single item. If you need a pen, get only one pen (might as well make it your favorite pen!). If you need to staple something, you can get the stapler, use it, then put it in your desk.

At the end of 60 days, you’ll have only the core items you need in your desk and nothing else. Go through the remaining items to double-check nothing super important is in there, then toss it all.

Day 13 – Bedroom closet

Bedroom closet organizationThis is another big one, so set some more time aside for this one. Most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe, meaning 80% of your clothes you don’t actually wear. I suggest you make three piles: to keep, to donate, to toss. Then go to town sorting. Realize this is a journey, not a destination, so make a solid effort here keeping only what you wear and love, but realize too, this is the first of many cleanouts.

how to embrace a minimalist wardrobe

how to build a capsule wardrobe

Day 14 – Toiletries, Makeup, and Shower

Simplifying your bathroom suppliesI’ll be honest here; I’m a guy and I don’t get all that goes into women’s morning routines. I’ll just say this: Think about each item you have, consider your wants vs. needs, and question everything. I have one bottle of shampoo, one bottle of body wash, deodorant, razor, shaving cream, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and nail clippers.

Day 15 – Car

Cleaning stuff out your carCars are a place that can collect a lot of stuff, if you have kids, this is doubly so. How I do this is I bring my trash can out and remove all the trash that might have collected there. Then I pull out everything and put it into two piles: keep in car and things that need to be put back in the house. I grab all those house items and put them away where they go right then.

Then I’ll declutter, toss and organize what I want to keep in the car. One thing I’ve started doing is things I use every day in my car, those go in my center console storage. The rest get neatly organized into a small bin that gets put in my trunk. This lets me have the things I need, but not get bogged down in the items I have to have in my car, but are rarely used.

From there I make it easy on myself, I drive down to a local car wash/vac and have them clean it. Bonus: grab a coffee while you kick back and watch them clean your car, you’ve made it halfway!

Day 16 – Garage – Part 1

Organizing the garageHere is a big one, most likely the biggest on this list. An astounding 23% of Americans can’t even park in their own garage because they have so much junk.

Because this is such a big challenge, I’m going to give you three whole days to work on this. Consider doing these days on a weekend because it’s going to take some time. Start with taking a photo of your garage as a “before photo”.

homeowner garage stats

For this I’d start with three piles: keep, toss, donate. Get one big box of black garbage bags and one box of a different color. Black trash bags get tossed; the other color gets donated. If you are in a house with two cars, when you fill a bag, put it right into the car until its full. One car for donation runs and the other for dump runs.

Day 17 – Garage – Part II

Clearing junk out of the garageContinue your progress clearing things out. When you’ve pulled out everything and sorted, make your final runs to the dump and donation location. Then I want you to come back and take your keep pile and go through it one more time. Ask yourself critical questions about each item. Are you really going to use this in the next 6 months? What stories are you telling yourself about these items? Are you keeping this item out of guilt because how much it cost, was it a gift or other hang up?

Day 18 – Garage Part III

Garage maintenanceToday is about bringing it all back into the garage and organizing it. Take a step back and really question what you’re about to bring back in and keep. The trick here isn’t to organize your clutter, it’s to reduce the items you have to organize in the first place.

I’d set yourself up with some good shelving and storage containers, and label things clearly. I’d suggest trying to use a uniform container and one or very few sizes, this will make things look very orderly and keep it organized too. Put things that you don’t use often up higher and things you’ll use a lot in easier to reach places. Don’t stack things so you can’t get to them easily and try to only put containers one row deep.

Download the Declutter Challenge Calendar

30 day declutter challenge calendar

Day 19 – Maintenance Tidy Up

Guide to tidy up your houseYou had a big few days with the garage. So today go around to all the places you’ve already gone through and do a quick maintenance tidy on them. This will help keep your momentum going!

Day 20 – Kids Toys

Donate unused kids toysGo through and remove broken toys, toys that are no longer age-appropriate and items they haven’t played with in a long time. Donate where it makes sense.

Day 21 – Kids Closet

Sorting through kids closetFollow the same rules you learned with your own closet. Use the lessons you learned from your own experience to teach your kids in this moment. Involve them in the process.

Day 22 – Outdoor/Patio

Clear out outdoor patio spaceGo through your outdoor space and tidy up. Clear out dead plants, unused pots, and clean up outdoor furniture. Clear out your flower beds, coil the hose properly, rake leaves and fix whatever bothers you. Consider calling in a professional power washer for the house and deck, often these cost $200-$300 for the whole house and make a big impact.

Day 23 – Purse/Daily Bag

Decluttering your purseAnother place where things just naturally collect. Go through and clean out your bag, get down to the bare essentials. Take this time to think about the things you have in your bag, , magazines and replace things that never worked well for you or you didn’t like. Consider how you could better organize the items in your bag or purse with smaller pouches, reserving the main pockets and organization for only those things you use every day.

Day 24 – Family Room

Family room cleaningTake time to tidy up, remove things that collect there. Toys are big offender here if you have kids, so take the time to pare down again on toys if you can. Think about what messes are made, why it happened and how you could prevent them before they happen.

declutter your home room by room

Day 25 – Magazines and Books

Toss old magazinesGo through and make three piles: keep, toss, and donate. If you have a pile of unread books consider setting a goal of reading 10 pages each night to start making headway.

Day 26 – Powder Room

Tidy up powder roomTidy up the room, clear out the vanity of extra stuff, and consider adding a setup of your basic cleaning items right there for easy use. If you have extra time today, do some maintenance tidying in the previous areas.

Day 27 – Kitchen Pantry

Sorting out the kitchen pantryMuch like the fridge, go through items and toss things that your family doesn’t love or are expired. The pantry is a place where a lot of things that we used once to make a single dish and never again end up. Pare down your spices to a basic collection of your favorites. Here I’d suggest being pretty aggressive with toss (or donate) items because the cost of replacing is pretty low, so a mistake isn’t a big deal here. Focus on things you use every week.

how to stock a minimalist kitchen

Day 28 – Food Storage Containers And Pans

Use food storage containersEvery time I go into someone’s kitchen, I see them have a lot of pots and pans, but they often have their favorites. Saying things like “eggs stick to that pan” or something that signals it’s not really working well for them.

I suggest a small soup pot, a large soup pot, a good 8” pan, a 12” pan, a Dutch oven, two baking sheets, and a casserole dish. Keep those things and donate the rest.

For food storage containers I’d suggest something a little drastic. Toss everything. The problem people run into with storage containers is they have mismatched containers that don’t nest and they then have to go find a matching lid. If you stick to only one container type, every container will fit every lid. They then will also neatly stack in your fridge every time.

Then go find one container you really like and buy 10-20 of them. I found a great container that was pretty cheap so if it got funky, I could toss it without much guilt. It’s a decent size to hold a fair bit, but small enough so I can take with me if I want to pack a lunch in it.

equipping a minimallist kitchen

Day – 29 Kitchen Final Sweep

Declutter Challenge Kitchen cleanupYou’ve tackled the fridge, counters, pantry, cleaning products, landing zone, pans, storage containers, and spices. Now let’s round out the kitchen with a final declutter from top to bottom. Plan to give yourself a little bit more time today to get this done.

Start with re-tidying everything you’ve already done to keep it going. Now tackle any outstanding areas in your kitchen. Use your three piles to sort and if you’re really hung up on something, try the box method sparingly. Consider the items you use every day or weekly, the rest should be a candidate to get rid of or at the very least find a place to store them out of way and off the countertops. Be judicious about what makes the cut to have a home on top of the countertops, aim to have very few things on the counter.

Download the Declutter Challenge Calendar

30 day declutter challenge calendar

Day 30 – Final Push

Final push to decluttering your houseAt this point, there isn’t much you haven’t touched in your home. Think about things that you might want to do a second sort on to declutter a bit more, do those first. Now go back through the above list and do a quick tidy on all your previous work. Finally, tackle any extra things that aren’t on this list.

Take the time to really round out the whole 30-days, even if you have to work an extra day or two. You’ve come so far, finish strong!

How To Make Your Decluttering Stick For The Long Term

How To Make Your Decluttering Stick For The Long Term

Now that you’ve done so much work, we want to maintain it. I’d suggest you take before and after photos so you can remind yourself where you came from and how much better it really is to be on the other end of it.

  • Build a habit of maintenance tidying each day
  • If you keep cleaning up the same mess, ask why then fix that
  • Involve others you live with and gain buy-in, build their habits too
  • If something bothers you, take five minutes and fix it right then
  • Take a step back and question items in your space
  • Calendar times to clean up and tidy monthly
  • In 6 months, do another 30-day declutter challenge for a deeper clean

 

Download the Declutter Challenge Calendar

30 day declutter challenge calendar

Your Turn!

  • What tips do you have from your own decluttering?

30 day declutter challenge post

Living A Level 10 Life? Finding Direction With The Wheel of Life + FREE Worksheet

Living A Level 10 Life?  Finding Direction With The Wheel of Life + FREE Worksheet

are you living a level 10 life

When I built my tiny house and started to simplify my life, it was because my life was out of control. My career had experienced a significant shakeup and I was in debt. I found myself between a rock and a hard place. I was struggling to figure out how to move my life forward. Clutter was weighing me down.

But through these struggles I learned a lot of ways to move my life forward when things got tough. I found tools to guide me when I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do next in life. I finally started to get my life under control and one of the main tools that helped me get on track was called the Level 10 Life Wheel.

I’ve found one of the strongest motivators for achievement is need. This fact seems obvious, but it’s often ignored. Many people set goals that don’t address their needs and then wonder why they aren’t motivated to achieve those goals. They ask why their life isn’t track or when they never seem to be getting ahead.

level 10 worksheet downloadable PDF

For those of you unfamiliar with the Wheel of Life assessment tool aka Level 10 Life Wheel, it’s a simple way of writing down and assessing the critical areas of your life that you’d like to focus on. From there, you determine where you stand in terms of satisfaction in each area, set goals, and track your progress. For me, it’s been a really useful to orient my focus to the areas of my life I need to improve.

Ready to get started? Here’s how to use the Wheel of Life assessment to reach a Level 10 Life!

Why the Wheel of Life Assessment Tool Works

why level 10 life tool works

Before explaining the nuances of the Wheel of Life tool, I thought I’d give you a little background on why it works.

For many people, goal setting becomes scattered or unfocused. We set goals because we think we need to or because we think those items are what we want, but we haven’t assessed the areas of our life and where we need to focus our attention.

You may think, “I want more money,” or “I want to get a new job,” but you aren’t looking at the reasons why you want those things. Similarly, without using goal setting tools and SMART techniques, you might miss the path to accomplish your goals.

mountains notebookAs I said before, I came upon the Wheel of Life assessment tool because I was struggling to get a handle on several areas in my own life. After researching solutions, I realized cutting out all of the extra stuff in my life weighing me down was the key to finding success and fulfillment. I started my blog, and I started building my tiny house. It was a long road, but one that brought me a lot of satisfaction, and it came out of need.

When people set a goal like, “I want to get rich,” it doesn’t have the same motivating effect. The state of being “rich” isn’t really measurable—for some people, rich means being able to pay your bills with your paycheck. For others, it may mean buying anything you want at the grocery store and taking vacations a few times per year. Others may define rich as owning a private jet and a yacht.

But if you can pay your bills and you don’t have an urgent need for a yacht, are you going to feel motivated to do the work to turn yourself “rich”? If you do achieve the status of being “rich” does that actually solve the underlying drive and need we are truly seeking? If I had to guess the answer would be no. We must look at each area of our life and figure out what it is we want to at a deeper level.

For each of us, these areas might look a little different. But once we identify them, we can use the Wheel of Life as a goal-setting tool to track and move toward achieving a Level 10 Life in all areas.

How to Set Up a Wheel of Life

how to set up wheel of life

When I started working on simplifying my life, I found it helpful to divide up my areas of focus into distinct categories. For example, career, living space, relationships, time, and health. This allowed me to examine each area, identify where I stood, and pinpoint goals in the areas I wanted to work on.

I found the Wheel of Life tool very useful in determining how I should progress and what steps I should take next. The initial exercise is pretty quick, but it’s also super effective. The way I filled in each section of the circle let me quickly see where I was weak and what needed to improve. In some areas I realized I was doing pretty well, so I could just work to maintain there while I dedicated more time to areas where I was weaker. Of all the self-help tools I’ve found out there, this one was one of the best fits for me.

I’ve created a Wheel of Life template for you to use in your bullet journal. This will give you a good starting point, especially if this is your first time working on this type of life assessment tool. (Note: you definitely don’t need a bullet journal to work on the Wheel of Life assessment, but the tool lends itself well to this type of goal setting program.)

Download
The Level 10 Life Worksheet

printable level 10 life / Wheel of life pdf

The wheel starts with a circle on the page. You’ll divide the circle into 6-10 wedges (like a pie). Divide each wedge into ten levels (hence, the “Level 10 Life” moniker. Each pie stands for an area of your life you deem essential.

Wheel of Life Categories

  • Physical Environment
  • Personal Growth
  • Education
  • Spirituality
  • Health
  • Romantic Relationships
  • Friendships
  • Family
  • Career
  • Finances

Those are several examples of the areas, but you can undoubtedly choose anything that resonates with you. You may want to include your mental health, creativity, outlook/attitude, or another area aligned with your life. What’s important to you?

Don’t spend too much time worrying about getting it right; follow your gut feeling. I found it was helpful to do the categories fairly quickly. If I couldn’t think of it in a few minutes, it must not be vital to me.

wheel of life journal Once you’ve chosen the components, you’re going to go through the wheel and rate each category based on where you are today on a scale of 1-10. How satisfied are you with each area? Where do you feel you’re at? Assign it a number, and then color in the pie piece up to the level. Once the wheel is colored in, you’ll get a very clear idea of where you are and how each piece stacks up against the other.

I like this goal setting tool because it helps you visualize your problem areas. If work is a three and everything else is at an eight, then you know your career needs improvement and focus. For example, when I did the Level 10 Life assessment, I realized I wasn’t spending enough time on creative activities. This gave me a clear area I could work on, so I laid out a plan to weave in creative activities into my life. I knew it was a weak point for me, and this tool really helped me understand where I stood.

The Wheel of Life tool helps bring you clarity. You’ll destress your life by eliminating activities that aren’t moving you toward what you want. You may find your career is fully filled in but at the expense of your friendships. Think about what you could do to shift your schedule and make time for your social connections.

What the Wheel of Life Tells Us

what the wheel of life tells us

The Wheel of Life gives us a snapshot of where we are in terms of satisfaction with our experience. The goal of a Level 10 Life is to live so we’re fully satisfied in every single area. Bloggers and bullet journalists have found the next helpful step is to assign a goal in each area to bring you closer to a level 10 satisfaction.

Ask Yourself

  • Why does this area need attention?
  • What steps could you take to bring your satisfaction up one level? Two? Use those steps to set your goal.
  • How will you break down the bigger goal into actionable steps?
  • What barriers could come up to achieving this and how could you address them ahead of time?
  • What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve the goal?
Now, I think it’s also helpful to look at the areas you’ve rated highly—even those you’ve rated at 10. We often fail to grow in areas of our life where we get too comfortable. So, even if certain areas seem great, you may still want to set goals to maintain those areas and keep them up. Don’t become complacent.

Honesty is also fundamental to your assessment. Many people, including myself, have a strong desire to do everything “right.” We want to prove (even to ourselves) we’re satisfied with all aspects of our life. We worry about what we should answer as opposed to answering the truth.

wheel of life assessment toolRemind yourself this is a life assessment tool to help you know where you stand in your life and help you figure out what areas you want to work on. It doesn’t mean your life is terrible, or you’re failing in an area. If we’re being honest the fact that you’re stepping up and doing something to improve your life sets you apart, most people are lazy and content being miserable. This process simply means you may want to shift your focus to those areas needing additional attention. There are no right or wrong answers, and even motivational speakers and lifestyle gurus would probably admit they aren’t living a Level 10 Life in every single category.

If you’re overwhelmed by setting goals in all areas of your Wheel of Life, pick the areas you’re the weakest in and focusing your efforts there. Set two or three actions you will take in the next few weeks or months to improve in those areas.

What I like about the Wheel of Life tool is that it tells us a lot about our blind spots and the areas where we need to put in additional effort. It also helps us realize the areas of our life where we derive the most satisfaction. It gives a beautiful visual representation and map to follow to reach our version of a Level 10 Life.

I recommend using the Wheel of Life assessment tool on a monthly or quarterly basis. Monthly is an excellent place to start. If you feel you aren’t staying on track, you may want to start checking it weekly. If you feel like you need a little more time, stretch out your checks to once a quarter (especially once you’ve built up momentum).

Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to living a Level 10 Life in every area. Get started with the Wheel of Life assessment tool today.

Your Turn!

  • What categories are most important to you?
  • What goals will you set today based on your Wheel of Life assessment?

Designing Your Dream Tiny House Bathroom – Advice From A Full Time Tiny Houser

Designing Your Dream Tiny House Bathroom - Advice From A Full Time Tiny Houser

Designing your dream tiny house bathroomA tiny house bathroom is the subject of many of the questions I get from people interested in making the leap. Everything from what kind of shower do I have, do I have a sink in my bathroom, what about a toilet? There’s a lot that goes into a tiny house bathroom design and since I’ve been living in my tiny house full time since 2014, I thought I’d share some advice on how to design your dream tiny house bathroom.

The Basics Of Tiny House Bathroom Design

basics of designing a tiny house bathroom

Before we get into all the details let’s take a step back and think about what a bathroom is and does. This is an important step because we can orient ourselves correctly to what the function of the design needs to be. This lets us get clear on what the bathroom really needs to be included and what should be cut out.

Depending on your habits, on a given day, you will wake up and brush your teeth. Then you might hop in the shower, wash, step out of the shower and dry off. You’ll dry your hair, maybe with a hair dryer, brush it and maybe style it. From there you might put on some jewelry, maybe a watch or earrings. You’ll put away your dirty clothes and put on new clothes. You might then do your makeup if you wear it and so on.

Later in the day, you’ll need to go to the bathroom, so you use the toilet. You think to yourself the toilet could use a wipe down, so you reach for some cleaning supplies. You have a headache, so you go in search of some medicine. You may think to yourself it’s time to change the towels, so you put them in the hamper and reach for clean ones; while you’re at it, you think to change the bed sheets too.

Think through your day, what are the things you do regularly and every now and then. Write down everything you do in your bathroom, everything you reach for, the things you store there, the items required to make it all work. Then take a moment to ask, what don’t I like about my bathroom? What is a need – as opposed to a want – that isn’t being met by my current bathroom?


 

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I use this or do this daily, weekly, monthly?
  2. Does this absolutely need to be on this list?
  3. Is there a way I could eliminate the need for this item or function entirely?
  4. Do I have multiples of an item and why? Could I reduce it to my favorites?
  5. What am I trying to achieve, what are other ways to achieve the same thing?

Write all this down and then take a figurative step back and look at everything

Once you work through your list, clear out the extraneous bits to hone down to the bare essentials. At this point I suggest you do a dry run in your current bathroom. Pare down to the bare essentials you want to take with you into your tiny house bathroom and see if it works for you. Is it practical? After a few weeks you’ll find there are things you really do need and a few that you don’t miss. You now have a solid list of what your bathroom needs to do and what needs to be in it.

How To Design A Tiny House Bathroom

how to design a tiny house bath

There is a lot that goes into a tiny house bathroom, there is plumbing, fixtures, lighting, electrical and all sorts of materials that have to work together. The kitchen and the bathroom are two of the most complex rooms in the house and they require a lot of planning. Spend the time here to make solid plans and your time and effort will pay dividends for years to come.

Start by working from your list you just created of what your bathroom needs to do and has to hold. My suggestion is to actually pull out all those items and figure out the ideal location and organization for them, then design your storage around those items. I’d also take what you think you need in terms of storage and double it for room to be more flexible and grow into if need be. Storage in a bathroom will make or break a tiny house.

So now that we know exactly what our storage is going to be and look like, we want to layer in our fixtures. These are a critical component of any tiny house bathroom. Typically, you have a sink, shower, vanity, cabinets, toilet, mirror, towel rack and maybe a tub.

For some people they couldn’t imagine life without a tub, others are fine with a shower. Other have a lot of hair care items and makeup. Whatever your thing is, try to take a step back and see what really needs to be there. Again, I’d encourage you to try it out in your current bathroom.

For example, what would life be without a bathtub , just taking showers? What if you only kept enough makeup to fit into a small plastic caddy, the rest you set aside in a box in the closet for your experiment? What if you had a maximum of three bottles of product in your shower? Just try it, if after a few weeks in your current bathroom it’s still not working, you’ve proven that these are important. You’ll also discover that you didn’t really need some things you thought were “a must”.

How Big Is A Tiny House Bathroom?

how big is a tiny house bathroom

A tiny house bathroom usually ranges 25 square feet to 50 square feet. My rule of thumb is it should be 25% of your ground floor, assuming your bed is in a loft. The reason for this is that while a bathroom is very necessary for using a toilet and hygiene needs, you typically only use it for 1-2 hours a day; that’s a lot of square footage only to use it for so little of a time.

What Are The Dimensions Of A Tiny House Bathroom?

tiny house bathroom dimensions

The width of a tiny house bathroom is usually driven from the width of your shower. The smallest shower I’ve been able to find at a big box hardware stores is around 32” by 32”, in an ideal world I’d rather go for a 36” wide shower, but your design may not allow for it.

The length of a tiny house bathroom is usually the depth of your shower + the depth of your toilet + walking space in between, usually 4-6 feet.

That all adds up to about 3 feet wide by 10 feet long at minimum. If you have a tub, especially a stand-alone tub, your square footage will balloon to 2-3 times that.

Tiny House Bathroom Layouts

bathroom layouts for tiny house

The layout of a tiny house bathroom can be challenging, so here are some tiny house bathroom floorplans that might spark some ideas.

tiny house bathroom with glass shower
tiny house bathroom layout with corner shower

A glass corner shower is a great way to pack a lot into your little bathroom. Since you have a glass wall, you gain several inches as compared to a standard frame wall, which usually ends up being at least 4 inches thick before you add your shower stall walls. The glass also extends your sight line, making the space feel bigger while still doing a lot. A prefabricated shower base keeps water where you want it while reducing costs and time to install. At $100-$150, it’s about as cheap as you’re going to get, plus you don’t have to worry about slopping your floor correctly because it’s done for you.

tiny house bathroom with composting toilet and laundry
tiny house bathroom with laundry floorplan layout

This is such a great layout because not only does it have a good amount of storage, but it also integrates a combo washer/dryer into the space while adding a lot of counter top space. Featuring a full tub, a great sink, and a composting toilet, it has a lot going for it. This space also has a very light pallet and good natural light from the windows. Subway tiles make this look great and vinyl flooring means wet floors are no big deal.

small bathroom layout in a tiny house
super small floorplan for a tiny house bathroom

I feel like this layout is the perfect mix between full function and a really efficient use of space. A stand-up shower stall is roomy enough to clean up but doesn’t take up the space of a shower tub. A great little nook allows for plenty of storage for linens and bathroom items, and a small sink is just enough space to do most of what you need.

A tiny house wet bath
tiny house wet bath floorplan

Here is a wet bath concept that allows you to draw back the curtain to open up the space. Small white tiles make upthe space, but the dark wood sets it off with a contrasting texture. It’s also great to see a tiny house bathroom with a flush toilet, instead of a composting one.

tiny house bathroom with soaking tub
tiny house bathroom floorplan design with tub

This layout was interesting because it had a deep soak tub for a small space that doesn’t take up much more room than a normal shower. It’s the best of both worlds, a shower size cove with a tub function. This bathroom also features a nice homemade composting toilet that’s simple to build and affordable.

Should I Build A Tiny House Wet Bath?

tiny house wet bath

wet bath and composting toiltA Wet Bathroom in a tiny house is a small room where everything is essentially in the shower. The toilet seals up, the floor is seamless between the shower floor and the bathroom floor. Everything is designed to be wet, which allows you to minimize your bathroom foot print.

Should you do this? In short, no. You certainly can if you want, but from every single friend of mine that tried it, they ended up wishing they hadn’t. I’ve also spent time on boats and in RV’s that had these and I found them to be workable for the short term, but for day to day living, I felt like they were way more hassle than they were worth. I also really like keeping the toilet firmly separated from my shower, call me a germaphobe if you want.

The biggest thing is I like to step out of my shower, the wet space, onto my bathroom floor, the dry space. I don’t need much space, but I do want some space to finish toweling off, to put on clothes and stand in dry socks while I comb my hair and brush my teeth. Wet baths serve their purpose and work great for a weekend or short trip, but think about it being your reality every day of your life, and you might come around to my thinking on this.

Take Bathroom Ventilation Seriously In A Tiny House

ventilation for a tiny house bathroom

One thing that is tricky in any bathroom, let alone a tiny house bathroom, is ventilation. If you don’t choose the right materials and vent properly, you’ll end up with mold issues and poor indoor air quality. If you are running HVAC, it will have to work harder to maintain a comfortable environment.

I suggest you have a fan that you can set on a timer, so that it vents while you’re taking a shower, but continues to run for 30 minutes after you’ve headed out for the day. Add to this a way to dehumidify your air in the tiny house as a whole, you’ll have a comfortable and safe living environment.

How To Choose Tiny House Bathroom Fixtures

how to choose tiny house bathroom fixtures

The right fixtures (sinks, vanity, showers, tubs, etc) will make or break your tiny house bathroom. Take your time choosing the right items and if you aren’t 100% thrilled with them, keep looking. It can be hard to find some of these because they’re not always something your local hardware store carries or in some cases, they may not even be able to special order!

Tiny House Bathroom Sinks

tiny house bathroom sinks

The first question you need to ask yourself is, do you even need a sink in your bathroom? I thought about what I did in my bathroom sink and came up with this list for myself:

  • Get a drink of water
  • Wet my toothbrush and rinse
  • Rinse my razor while shaving
  • Wash my hands

I think I started to consider sinks that might fit that need and I realized I really only needed a very small sink, really just a few inches wide really. I found that it was really hard to find really small sinks. In fact, there were only a few options out there and they were kinda expensive and still bigger than I was hoping.

small sink for a tiny house bath
The first was the Lordear Corner Sink which was 18 inches long, 10 inches wide and 4.3 inches thick for $55 without a faucet. That was way too big for what I wanted, I was hoping for something that was roughly 10 x 6, so it didn’t stick out into the bathroom space so much.
small corner sink
The other common option was the Aweson small corner wall mount vessel sink which was $85 which might have worked but the only corners I had in my bathroom were on the backside of the toilet, so I’d have to awkwardly reach over the toilet to do anything.
Ryan's bathroom sink in his tiny house

In the end, I looked at all the options available to me and I realized that I had two options: expand my bathroom footprint by about 4 square feet or just use my kitchen sink. I decided 4 square feet just to have a separate sink wasn’t worth it. If I wasn’t living alone it might be a different story, but being on my own, it was a simple decision.

This is what I ended up with for my bathroom sink in my tiny house: I used these Hang Away toothbrush Clips holder to store my toothbrush up off the countertop and they work great. I added a wall-mounted mirror that folds neatly out of the way and I had a setup that met all my bathroom sink needs! I tuck my toothpaste right above the sink on an open shelf and all the extra bathroom toiletries I keep in my bathroom itself.

Tiny House Shower Options

tiny house bathroom shower options

A shower is about the smallest way to wash yourself practically. For a good part of the year I actually shower outside in my outdoor shower, living on 32 acres I don’t have to worry about putting on a show for anyone and showering outside is amazing. For the winter months, I move inside to my shower which is 32” by 32” and while it’s pretty workable, I wish I had a 36 x 36 shower, that would be perfect!

tiny house shower
tiny house shower option
tiny house shower design

source

Your shower is going to be whatever you can get locally, so I’d just head over to your local hardware store and ask them for option, plan on having to special order it, which typically take 4-6 weeks. I’d suggest going with a one-piece unit made of fiberglass, this will prevent water leaking in from the seams of a panelized system.

The downside to this is you’ll need to put it inside your walls when you tip them up and build the house around the shower stall because you might not be able to fit it through the front door. There might be a larger window hole that you could slide it through right before you drop in that window.

As for tiny house shower brands, I’d stick with the name brand options you can find at most stores. If it’s a larger brand they all do a good job with their build quality, so just go with what works for your design and your needs and you’ll be fine. I’d avoid custom systems because they’re often much more expensive and fall prey to having seams where water could get through.

Tiny House Toilet Options

tiny house toilet options

You have a few options for toilets in your tiny house, while I initially wanted a standard flush toilet, I ended up with a basic composting toilet after I got a $50,000 quote to run the sewer line to my house. That wasn’t in the budget and I also didn’t want all the inspections that came with it, so I ended up with a basic bucket system.

TOILET OPTIONS

STANDARD FLUSH TOILET

Pros

  • Widely available
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple use
  • No real maintenance

Cons

  • Requires sewer hookup
  • Subject to more codes
  • 1-3 gallons per flush 3
  • More complicated plumbing
composting toilet in a tiny house

COMPOSTING TOILET

Pros

  • Simple setup
  • Cheap to build
  • Materials widely available
  • Doesn’t use any water

Cons

  • Has that “ick” factor
  • More smells to content with
  • Requires emptying
  • Guests might not want to use
incinerator toilet made by incinolet

INCINERATING TOILET

Pros

  • Off-grid option
  • Less “ick” factor
  • More approachable by guests
  • Doesn’t use water

Cons

  • Requires venting and power
  • Some smells
  • Reviews are mixed
  • Expensive

Now that it’s been 6 years using a composting toilet, I don’t even think about it much. It’s a much different story when people come to visit. Using the composting toilet requires a tutorial and conversation with everyone that comes to the house, it’s kinda a hassle to be honest. By in large, most of my guests just stop off at a gas station before they come over or wait till we are out at a restaurant. Being a guy makes this much easier for me.

lugable loo review post

Tiny House Bathroom Vanity

tiny house bathroom vanity

In your tiny house bathroom, you’ll need a place to put your sink, if you have one, plus you’re going to want to pack as much storage in as you can. Think back to your list of what you wanted to keep in your bathroom and design around that. I’d go as far as laying out custom storage solutions and custom build pull out drawer organizers and other storage features.

tiny house bathroom vanity
This is a great example of a great vanity with open shelving, which you see they’ve put things that they use every day. Open shelving will let you increase the storage space, but not make the space feel as cramped. While you’ll need to dress up these spaces because they are visible, make sure they’re also functional. The one downside to this setup is that the space below the wood slab is left open, that’s a lot of storage space that is being left unused.[/two_half_last]
tiny house bath vanity

I love this color and the vanity walks the line between a functional sink, but not too big while having great cabinetry to maximize the storage in the square footage. There is an outlet right there for things like a hair dryer (make sure you wire it for GFCI) and the counter top is just wide enough to hold soap and a small container for things like tooth brush etc. The last thing I wanted to call out here is the smart design choice of putting a full-length mirror on the back of the pocket door.

Pocket doors are great for small bathrooms and tiny houses in general. You’ll need enough room in the wall cavity to accommodate the door when its pushed into the wall, which is bigger than the door itself. Adding the mirror on the back of this door makes it very functional as you get ready in the morning.

tiny house vanity
If a custom vanity cabinet isn’t in your budget, a lot of the big box hardware stores are now selling standalone furniture vanities, which will let you have a great looking option where you can choose your own counter top, basin and faucet to make an off the shelf vanity feel very custom. I was able to find a similar vanity including a stone countertop , basin, and faucet, for $358!
Here is another off the shelf vanity, I found this one for sale at my local big box store for $119 for the cabinet and sink, no faucet. Faucets are one of those things you can spend a lot of money on, I personally want something that has a metal housing for durability and looks, as opposed to the plastic. Starting at around $50 you can get a name brand budget all metal faucet, but you can spend hundreds if you really wanted to. I’ve found the sweet spot to be between $75-$125 for bathroom faucets (kitchen faucets are more expensive and feature packed).

Tiny House Bathroom Storage And Organization

tiny house bathroom storage

Storage is a big deal, while you want to keep the items you have down to a minimum. Even so, you do need some things and those things need to be organized. If I’ve learned anything from my tiny in a tiny house is a small mess really gets in the way and I know something as simple as a t-shirt on the floor can add to stress in such a small space.

above the door storage

Above The Door Storage

Above your door is a great place to make some extra space on the inside. This is because it’s often vertical space that’s empty and above your natural sight line, meaning it’s out of sight and out of mind. A simple shelf or a cabinet can be a great place to stash towels or bins of less frequently used items.

in-wall storage nooks

In Wall Storage Nooks

I have several of these in my tiny house and they’re great. For most of your interior walls, you don’t need to insulate them, except if you’d like sound dampening bats like Rockwool Safe’n Sound. You also have to consider where your pipes run for your shower, connections for kitchen items, and pocket doors. Assuming you don’t have any of these things, you can add very low profile storage to your walls wherever you need it. Next to your sink, a nook for toilet paper and medicine cabinet are all great examples of how you can build into the walls.

pull-out bathroom organizers

Pull Out Bathroom Organizers

This form factor is a really great way to take advantage of the last few inches in your bathroom. The pull out organizer is tall enough you can house tall items like a broom, which is often a forgotten item to have to store. The tall form of the pull out lets you have a ton of shallow shelves so you can see a lot of what you have and not lose them behind other items like you do in a deep shelf or cabinet.

pull out medicine cabinet

Pull Out Medicine Cabinet

This design is a major improvement over your traditional medicine cabinet because you can open it up and still use the mirror while getting ready. The pull outs will stay open, making things really accessible while you dress.

organize around your sink drain

Organize Around Your Sink Drain

There is a lot of room under your sink if you can avoid the P-trap of the sink drain. You can keep it simple with stacking storage to go on either side of things or you can have a fancy custom made shelving or drawers that go around the drain.

in-drawer power outlet

In-Drawer Power Outlet

There are a few things that we keep plugged in because we use them every day. With a little bit of planning, we can figure out exactly what we need to keep plugged in and keep our countertops clear. Electric toothbrushes, hairdryers , and curlers are all common items that we clutter up the countertop with. Add an outlet to one or more of your drawers to keep them plugged in and ready to go.

drawer organizers

Drawer Organizers

There are a lot of fiddly items that need to be kept in our bathroom. From jewelry to makeup, and other various items that if we don’t keep in check, can create a huge mess. Take the time to figure out what you need to keep in the drawers and either get organizers custom made or buy off the shelf kits.

take advantage of backs of cabinet doors

Take Advantage Of The Backs Of Cabinet Doors

There are some items that we can mount on the backs of the cabinet doors to keep things neat. A special holder made of PVC like these for curling irons or something put on a small low profile door rack.

shower caddies

Shower Caddies For Every Person

I learned this when I lived in the dorm at college, sharing too few bathrooms with too many people. If you have a bunch of people in your tiny house, consider having space for each member to keep a shower caddy. This lets you keep the shower or tub clutter free while still allowing for personal preferences and letting people have what they need at hand. Design specific storage to hold the caddies when not in use and have a designated spot near the shower/tub and near the sink to rest the caddy on to be easily accessible

clear stackable storage containers

Clear Stackable Storage Containers

Use clear storage containers to keep things organized, while still being able to find them quickly. If you use containers of a modular design, you can mix and match sizes while still stacking them neatly. A really great source for modular caddies and storage bins for bathrooms and kitchens is a company called MDesign.

corner hampers and built in hampers

Corner Hampers Or Built In Hampers

A hamper is an essential part of your bathroom and one that I didn’t think about until later. Luckily, I figured out a solution that worked in my tiny house, but you want to make sure you plan for this. A corner hamper is a great way to solve this need and you can find them around for pretty cheap. Also, consider having a custom-built cabinet to hide away your dirty laundry.

above the toilet storage

Above The Toilet Storage

Much like above the door storage, having cabinets above your toilet is a great way to take advantage of otherwise wasted vertical space. Make sure you have enough clearance for when you’re sitting on the toilet and getting up/down too.

take advantage of empty voids

Take Advantage Of Empty Voids

Sometimes your design might have a weird space that isn’t being used very well, places like under the stairs if you have a raised floor, etc. Sometimes you have storage in another part of the house that’s very deep. Instead of having this cavernous storage area where things get lost in the back, split the difference by having two storage spaces that are half as deep on either side of the wall.

Use Nice Containers And Boxes To Hide Necessary Clutter

If you have open shelving or even things behind a door, consider organizing them into nice looking storage containers. There are a small number of things that are just necessary for everyday living, so group them together in ways that make sense, then show them off with a nice looking box or jar.

Final Tiny House Bathroom Tips

tiny house bathroom tips

When designing your dream tiny house bathroom, start with making a list of what it needs to do for you and what things you want to store there. Taking time to plan ahead here will save you a lot of headaches and the complexity of such a small bathroom means every inch matters. Here are some additional tiny house bathroom design tips for you to consider.

Ryan’s Tiny House Bathroom Design Tips

  1. Plan your drains carefully to avoid metal crossmembers of your trailer
  2. Where possible, put the fixtures requiring water close together for easier plumbing
  3. Don’t forget places for trash and dirty laundry, most people do
  4. Don’t forget a place to hang your towels
  5. Consider a place for clean towels, linens and cleaning supplies
  6. Make sure your shower, tub, and sink can fit through the front door or build it in
  7. Use pocket doors to make small spaces more functional
  8. Make sure you have a bathroom vent fan
  9. Always have extra storage, above what you expect your needs to be

Your Turn!

  • What feature is a must have in your tiny house bathroom?
  • What tips do you have about designing your dream bathroom?

Tiny House Magazine

Tiny House Magazine

My good friend Kent over at Tiny House Blog has been working on a neat project for a while now: Tiny House Magazine. I’ve heard rave reviews about it and everything I’ve seen has been really amazing looking. Each month Kent puts out an electronic magazine that covers some really awesome tiny houses and other neat topics. Here is the scoop on the magazine:

tiny houe magazine covers

SPECIAL DEAL: Buy 1 Year, Get 8 Bonus Issues For Free!

Tiny House Magazine Review:

Tiny House magazine has been part of this community for many years now, which translates to them knowing a lot of people and connecting to great stories for them to write about. Having personally been writing about tiny houses for over a decade now, I’ve seen many other publishers, bloggers and the like come and go. Kent (the Editor of the magazine) has been putting out an issue each month for close to 7 years! Which is no small feat to consider that he has been delivering a well crafted digital magazine for so long.

I also know a lot of the writers that make up the team there at the magazine, contributing a lot of articles you simply can’t find anywhere else. Each month I look forward to seeing what’s new in the magazine and it’s always been fun when the new edition comes out. For those of you who want to have a digital magazine delivered each moth, this is the one to check out.

See A Sample Of The Tiny House Magazine:

It’s often hard to explain what the magazine is like without showing someone in person. Being that it’s a digital magazine, I was able to put together some of these samples of the magazine for you to get an idea of it.

You can see samples of the Tiny House Magazine in PDF the 76th edition here and the 68th edition here.

76th Edition

tiny house magazine: issue 76
tiny house magainze feature article cover
tiny house magazine photos of tiny houses
tiny house feature in tiny house magazine

68th Edition

tiny house magazine: issue 68
contributors page to tiny house magazine
tiny house owner feature article
article about simple living in the magazine

Tiny House Magazine Coupons:

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from readers if there is any coupons for the Tiny House Magazine for them to check it out. Here is special deal I was able to convince Kent to offer my readers since I’ve been a fan of his magazine for so many years:

Save $40 and get 8 bonus back issues when you sign up for a year subscription: Click This Link, The Discount Will Automatically Applied

tiny house magazine discount coupon code

Example pages from this month’s edition:

THM11-cover-600
THM11-3-600
THM116-600
THM116-600

THM11-21-600