May 02, 2019
For this week's Q&A series, @kennedha22 asked our #DreamTeam what is something you made room for, but hardly ever use in your tiny house?
While you don't need to design the absolute perfect space with every nook and cranny efficiently used, you definitely want to design your tiny house with function at the forefront. But don't sweat it, there is always time to refine and reassess your things!
I worried about my downsizing process ENDLESSLY when I was preparing to move into my tiny house. I was so sure that even though I was getting rid of about 80% of my belongings, that I somehow would still have too much stuff to fit in everything.
I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of stuff I kept! I do not have a storage unit, so everything I own is in my house, and shockingly, it's not an overwhelming amount of stuff. Granted, I have a few boxes laying around, but that's primarily because I still need to build a couch with storage inside, as well a staircase that will house a pantry and some compartments for additional storage.
When I was planning my build, I started to make room in my budget, and in my floor plan for a few amenities like dish washing and laundry. But I was on a pretty short financial leash, so aside from the necessities, I couldn't really 'make room' for anything I didn't already have. I had the plumber include hookups for a washer/dryer, but I didn't have the money to buy the actual machine, so that luxury is tabled for a while.
I researched a dishwasher that I could easily connect to my kitchen faucet, but, again, set that idea aside until later when I had some money to spare. Thus far, though, I don't really miss those amenities! I rarely make enough dishes that would make running a load in the dishwasher worth it, and I still house-sit often enough that I have regular access to a washer and dryer.
When it comes to things I couldn't get rid of, my biggest issue was kitchen appliances. I did get rid of a lot of appliances (i.e. the bulky juicer I hadn't use in 3 years and my rinky-dink coffee machine), but there were some I just couldn't part with, and I can't say I've made use of all of them just yet.
I would say the two things that take up the most room, but have yet to be used once: my Kitchen-Aid standing mixer, and my pasta making machine. They both have a designated spot in the available storage for my kitchen, but since moving in, they've both been gathering dust. I do love baking, when I have the time to do it, which is why I kept the mixer (it was also expensive, and a present from my parents!). But I haven't exactly figured out how to use my little propane oven without burning my banana bread and leaving the insides raw, so baking stays on the 'To Figure Out Later' list.
And I knew I wouldn't all of a sudden start making pasta every weekend, so the pasta machine was the least logical of all of the things I kept. That being said, I do love making pasta, however labor intensive it may be, and I loved the idea of making it for my friends in my new home too much to let that go. All this talk of baking and pasta has me thinking that maybe I'll finally dust those machines off this weekend and get back to it!
This was a hard one. There's really not a ton that we don't use in our house come to think of it. I think I would say our tub, though. Ironically, we just made a post about it last week explaining that it was made out of an old telephone pole, but we don't use it as its original intention.
It's a nice small Japanese soak-style tub so it fits well but typically we just shower in it. Every once in a while, it’s nice to use but really unnecessary if I had to pitch one thing. Sam has some extra clothes she is donating and a couple of kitchen gadgets she wants to give away, but it doesn't take up too much room. I think we use our space pretty well.
Basically, every inch in our tiny home is maximized. Over the last three and a half years, we slowly perfected our use of space. The smallest tweaks can make all the difference. Though one thing that hasn’t changed is our kitchen set-up, featuring an apartment-sized propane range.
During our build, I was adamant to make space for an oven and stovetop, especially since we do a lot of home cooking. Without a microwave, the cooktop gets used every day, multiple times a day. There just aren’t many occasions to bake. But when it is used, like for cookies or casseroles over the holidays, I’m thrilled that we have the option.
This is a really tough question because I spent a lot of time thinking about every small space in my house before it was built, to desperately try and avoid this. Given this, I can happily say there are not many things in my space that I don’t use!
However, there are a couple of small changes I would make if I had my time again. My sink is pretty big—I probably don’t need a sink as big as what I have and I could halve its size to give me some more bench space. I’m not sure how, but I would also look at including additional hanging space in my wardrobe. Otherwise, I’m really happy with how I planned my home to include everything that I need and use.
Dan & I just looked at each other and said “nothing!” A lot of planning and living a simpler life before we moved into our Tiny Haus, made us realize what we did and didn’t need.
Being in our small space means that every single space gets used every day for multiple reasons, like our dining table is a place where we have meals, do homework, work or art & craft. There is no room to have something that isn’t used!
As a few others have said, nothing!!! We are constantly re-assessing and changing things. So if something isn’t used, or isn’t totally functional, it’s gone. We’ve changed dining stools THREE times, haha. In a traditional home, it’s all too easy to simply put something in the unused guest room, or in the closet. That doesn’t work in a tiny house.
A cross-country move, knowing you’re going tiny, are great ways to force a reduction in the number of unnecessary and unneeded things. Having access to a storage facility (or even under the house storage boxes) can make it easy to avoid going truly minimal; but there really isn’t much space for unused things.
While it may seem like a daunting task to downsize your life into 200-square-feet, take it from the pros—design with intention, but give yourself time to adjust to your new space as well!
There may be things that you bring into your home that you expect will be used every single day, but over time your needs will become very clear in a small space.
If you'd like to submit a question for next week's Q&A series, be sure to tune in to our Instagram Stories every Thursday night to ask away!
September 13, 2019 47 Comments
September 13, 2019 10 Comments
My name is Alan—founder at Dream Big Live Tiny Co! A few years ago, I quit my consulting job to pursue a life full of adventure. After traveling around the world for a year, I sold most of my stuff and moved into an 160-sqft tiny house. Now I spend most of my time showcasing incredible people living with less in pursuit of more freedom, as well as incredible tiny houses around the world!
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