Monday, September 10, 2012

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company's XS House

I do a lot of searches for photos & videos of all different kinds of tiny houses.  I've changed my mind a few times about which plans I'll use, but luckily I'm just in my planning stages & still have plenty of time to settle on which one I really want.
I know in one of my earlier posts I stated that I'd settled on the Tumbleweed Lusby model, but as I look around I'm really starting to warm up to the XS House!  Partly because it's much smaller & more affordable to build but also because of how cozy it looks.  Jay Shafer built one for himself & instead of a traditional ladder he used a tall step stool to get into the sleeping loft.  I really love the idea of sleeping in a loft, it's just sooo comforting...  It's almost like your bedroom is hugging you to sleep.
Here's a photo I found with the floor plans & a photo of the outside:
Another plus is the fact that it's so small I'd be forced to downsize even more than if I had a Lusby.  I really want to simplify & was thinking about the fact that I probably won't be cooking & baking like I do now because it'll just be me.  I'm starting to like the idea of eating more simply, like having more soup & sandwich type meals.  That means just having a kitchenette would be more practical & you can find all sorts of appliances that run directly off of 12 volt DC current instead of having to have a power inverter.  I'd just have cigarette lighter type outlets instead of regular outlets.  That way the solar powered option would be more efficiently utilized.  
PS, it also means even less to have to clean, LOL!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

More of my reasons for living tiny & sustainable

I make my living as a self employed house cleaner & I work in a large variety of homes from a 1,000 sq. ft. townhouse to a 6,000 sq. ft. home.   I often wonder why some of these folks want 5 or 6 bedrooms, 2 or 3 living rooms, 2 dining areas, 6 bathrooms, etc., for 2 or 3 people.  These homes are gorgeous, but have an empty feeling to them for me...  Don't get me wrong, I love my clients, they're all wonderful, generous people & I love working for them.  But I worked in a bathroom "suite" today that could actually fit my tiny home I'm going to build inside it!  Maybe more than one, that's how big it was...
I wonder what kind of shell shock some of these people would experience if they had a health or financial crisis & had to downsize.  I'd be more than willing to help them find resources & show them how it's possible to house, feed & clothe themselves on very little.  I'm a single mom & have had times when I had to get by on less than $600 a month, which included rent, utilities, food, etc...
If I suddenly came into a large sum of money I'd start building my tiny house immediately while looking for a piece of land large enough to put it & dozens more.  Then I'd start a tiny house gifting foundation with what was left over after putting away enough to live comfortably the rest of my life & a little for my daughters.  Instead of living in a house big enough to fit 50 or 60 tiny houses (that just blows me away when I really think about it) I'd want to help 50 or 60 people or more to have a place where they'd always have a roof over their heads & maybe start a little general store for the tiny house community I'd help build!!
What do you think?  If you won the lottery or came into a large sum of money would you still want to live tiny?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Expanding outdoor living space with a screen house

When I was a kid we had a summer place in the suburbs of Philly where we spent our summers.  I talk about it in more detail in my "Why I want to live tiny" post.
We had a screen house & I went searching on the web to see if they're still being sold.  Well I found them & this one's my favorite by far.
It's called the Casita Screen House & looks exactly like the one we had, but a bit smaller.  It would be ideal for an outdoor living/dining area to use here in south Florida for the 6 or so months out of the year when we don't have heat indexes topping off at over 100 degrees.

I can picture my patio set & a picnic table or outdoor dining set right alongside my tiny house!!  Plus they're pretty reasonable at less than $600 at BJ's!  You can find them here.

Tiny living & bicycling

It's been a couple of weeks since I've made an entry into my diary, today I want to talk about my mode of transportation...

I live in a small town on Florida's Treasure Coast & clean houses for a living.  I haven't had a driver's license for a long time because I lived in Philadelphia before I moved here & having a car in a big city with public transportation is kind of a waste of money to me.  I've been riding a bicycle as an adult since getting one to get to work when there was a threat of a transit strike in '03 and have been riding ever since.  Because I haven't had a car or license for so long the cost of insurance would be very high for me.  I like the idea that I'm reducing our household's carbon footprint while also getting free exercise outside in the fresh air.  Another benefit is repair costs, for less than most auto repairs I could buy a new bike if need be.

I think that I'll be riding a bike, and later on an adult tricycle, for the rest of my life.  It's a very sustainable mode of transportation & has lots of benefits.  It's nice to be able to really look at scenery & get fresh air & exercise while going to work or to run errands.

With this in mind I'm aware that I'll need to find a piece of land that's within a reasonable distance of grocery stores, pharmacies, libraries, etc...  I also want to live close to a flea market or farmer's market so I can have a table to sell the beaded jewelry & tote bags that I make for a small income.  That way I'll have the money I'll need to live on, although I don't anticipate needing that much because I already live very frugally on about $1200 a month or so...

I really love the idea of living tiny using solar & wind power, composting, having a vegetable/fruit garden & some fruit trees.  I'm also thinking about raising chickens for eggs & a great source of protein.  I can picture myself on my tiny solar homestead, working the earth, planting, harvesting, canning, collecting eggs, etc...  It just seems like such a peaceful, productive way to spend the last 30 or so years of my life.

Being able to slow down & enjoy my life will be a very welcome change for me after my youngest daughter is out on her own, it'll be nice to not have to worry about keeping up a 2 bedroom apartment!!

In conclusion, I feel that continuing to ride a bike for transportation will add to living a more sustainable lifestyle!!

What are some of your thoughts about this subject?  I'd really love to get some feedback about it...

Just thought I'd add a link to an eBay listing for plans to build a bike trailer that has a solar generator built in.  I could use this for carrying stuff to the flea market for selling & always be able to have my cell phone, laptop, and handheld TV fully charged!  It's here

It would also be great to take a cooler & stuff to the beach or on a bike camping trip...