Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Tiny House Revolution On The Horizon

jay_house Photo by Janine Borgenson. Copyright Tumbleweed Tiny House Company 2008.

Just got this email from Jay.  In it he talks about his new push to take on the International Code Council.  Here is the email

It has been nearly 14 years since I started, what I like to call, my aggressive pacifist’s campaign to make the built world a smaller place. To date, my approach has been to pretty much just live my life in a small footprint and hope that my example might inspire others to do the same.

On Wednesday, March 3 at roughly 7:00pm at the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol, CA. I’ll be taking a somewhat more active approach. Ignite Sebastopol 3 is part of Global Ignite Week. Roughly a dozen speakers from the Bay Area will be given just twenty slides and five minutes each to present their subjects. I will be using my time to rip America’s system of imposed excess a new body part. My distain for the building codes that restrict how small a house can be is no secret. On March 3rd I’ll be making my position all the more clear. All presentations will be recorded and posted for international viewing.

I see this as a great way to kick off a period of more active activism in which I will be working to convince the International Code Council that International Residential Code (sections 304.1,2 &3 in particular) needs revision. I don’t expect this to be easy. The road ahead is likely to be a long one for all opposed to size prohibition- one full of marches and demonstrations, possible jail time and the all the fun stuff seemingly integral to social change. I’m already working on my “I Have a Tiny Dream” speech and bracing for the possibility of my own tiny Waco. I hope everyone else out there in favor of housing rights will start thinking about what they can do to help. I will, of course, be using our website to keep folks posted about marches, sit-ins, stand-offs and other fun ways to get involved.

I’m including a copy of my proposal to amend codes here. It’s still a work in progress, so feedback is very welcome.

Viva la Tiny Revolution!

Jay Shafer

Stats on Clutter & Too Much Stuff

  • The u.s. department of energy reports that one-quarter of people with two-car garages have so much stuff in there that they can’t park a car.
  • According to the national soap and detergent association, getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of housework in the average home.
  • The national association of professional organizers says we spend one year of our lives looking for lost items.
  • Harris interactive reports that 23 percent of adults say they pay bills late (and incur fees) because they lose them.
  • If you rent a storage facility to store your excess belongings, you’re contributing to a $154 billion industry – bigger than the hollywood film business!
  • 1 in 11 american households rents a self-storage space and they spend over $1000 a year in rent.
  • It costs an average of $10/square foot to store items in your home.
  • In a 2008 napo survey of 400 consumers nationwide, 27 percent said they feel disorganized at work, and of those, 91 percent said they would be more effective and efficient if their workspace was better organized. 28 percent said they would save over an hour per day and 27 percent said they would save 31 to 60 minutes each day.
  • Stephanie winston, author of the organized executive, estimates a manager loses 1 hour/day to disorder, costing the business up to $4,000/yr if earning $35,000/yr – or $8,125/yr at $65,000).


12 Cubed

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 21 13.40You might have heard about a new guy to the Tiny House movement, James Stuart of 12 Cubed.   I am excited to have him doing a set of articles for us in the coming weeks talking about his Tiny House.

His home is showcased at So check it and learn about his Tiny House.

Awesome Concept Hotel / Tiny House


Found this awesome concept for a hotel that would translate nicely to a Tiny House.  The really neat thing about this is that the skin of the structure is highly reflective so when placed in a forest it reflects the forest and almost blends in.  The skin more specifically is mirrored so it reflects outside, but you can see through it from the inside.  This affords a 360 degree view of the natural surroundings.  The architect says it would be “hung” from the tree, which seems both unrealistic and very high impact on the tree even if it could hold it.  None the less its a great idea!  Check the architect’s firm out here



Tiny Living & Dating…

I have often wondered how living in a Tiny Home would affect my relationships, would it improve them?  Would it scare girls off to tell their friends about this crazy guy who lives in a house the size of their walk in closet?  It’s an interesting question because Tiny Living is not for everyone, idating1t is not for most of us in fact, but there are those who love it!  I remember in one of the many videos about Jay Schaffer’s house the news reporter questions him about sex in a Tiny House and low and behold he said “it has happened more”  There was obviously some tension in the air as the new caster was a very attractive women, but alas Jay is now married.

So I just wanted to write down some of my musings about this topic and generate a conversation on this topic, see what happens.

I guess I should disclose that I am currently single, I am a straight man who is 25 years old, a “yougin” as many refer to me as.  With a handful of serious girl friends through college, love, as in many people’s cases, has been elusive for many reason, some my own fault while others were out of my hands.  I am a weird mix of old world acts like holding doors for women – though at odds with it being a self described feminist – to a progressive stance on sex, co-habitation and pro choice etcetera.  Oddly I am a meat eater, but am always attracted to vegetarians, even before I know they are vegetarians.

Being a single male I know there are several things which a women generally seeks in a potential partner.  While I make no claims to understand women in the least, there are some universal things that I have seen as a trend.  Things like being funny, smart, to some extent good looking, monogamous, and successful.

These things are valued and interpreted for people differently.  dating3But there is some expectation, I feel, to get settled down in a nice house with white picket fence.  Our culture has pre-established several status symbols which we are measured, house being one of them.  There is a paradigm which exists what IS a good house.  A good house is generally large, it is generally in a city or planned community in the suburb.  It includes an SUV parked in the driveway, a formal sitting room, formal dining room and lots of extra space.  We are given formal dining sets at our weddings that we will use almost never.  There is the expectation to keep up with the Joneses, which we have already covered.

This, in general, I feel is what many potential partners are looking for in a man, but it is at odds with what Tiny Living is, what it stands for and how it manifests itself in our lives.  It is this manifestation that I really worry about that will turn off some many partners.

While there is value having dialogue with others about Tiny Houses and Living, it will not convince many to overcome such strong socialization of our culture.  Even as I am generally informed about many issues surrounding this topic, I still feel the pull of our consumer society to buy buy buy, when I know in my head and heart that this is society’s influence bearing down on me.dating2

Some will say I must simply seek company of those who are like minded, that would move into a Tiny House with me in a heartbeat.  While I agree with this I must realize two things.  The first is that this is a small pool of people, which I am not currently in close proximity to;  And second is that it is important for me to interact with those who are not of the same thinking, in order to share my ideas and learn from theirs, this dialogue allows me to refine my ideas and change them where I am wrong.  I worry often about preaching to the choir.

I maintain friendships with all my ex-girlfriends and have seen their reactions when they learned of my goal of living in a Tiny House.  The first was intrigued and was all on board, I jokingly refer to her as having “hippie tendencies”.  The second one who is a very grounded person looked at me like I was crazy.  Even after she listened and could appreciate my views, I fielded the question.  Would you ever date a man (other than myself) who lived such a manner?  She honestly answered no, her reasoning was that she felt there would be so much backlash from her family and that her socialization was too strong.  She felt her family wouldn’t be able to see the value of sustainability and eco-friendliness and simply interpret as sub par living, of me being cheap, a hermit or in some fashion unfit for her.

I know of a few people who live in Tiny Houses, one couple is Tammy over at Rowdy kittens, she and Logan made a decision as a couple to diverge from the status quo to be better stewards of the earth, their life and money.  They are recently married if I am remembering right and as far as I know they are doing well.  Jay Schaffer has recently been married and with a child on the way they are moving into a 600 square foot house.

I know at some point in the dating process I would need to show my partner my home.  It is a big part of me, what I represent.  I love cooking and often cook nice dinners for my significant other, it might be a bit more interesting in a Tiny House.  I often wonder if it would be better to live in a normal house that was junky to a Tiny House that was nice, how would they react?  What would they tell their friends when they got home?  Would they go on the next date?  Which would they value more, a dirty house where they could change the man, or a nice Tiny House where they have very little chance of changing his principles.

This is all from the male perspective, straight one at that, I would be interested in seeing what women would think.  What effect a younger women or older women would have.

In searching for some graphics, I found a great blog post about Green Dating sites, sites that connects environmentally conscious people for dating.   HERE