Saturday, May 30, 2015

5 Things I love about My Tiny Home

Yesterday I shared 5 things I hate about my tiny home.
You can read about that HERE if you missed it.
Today I want to share with you 5 things I love about my tiny home!

#1. Financially Freeing
One of the biggest reasons we decided to move into our tiny home was the price! 
As you know my husband recently started a new job
This job required him to live in city limits and took a cut in his salary as well.
If we were still living in our old house, we wouldn't have been able to afford for him to take this new job that he loves!! Or I would have had to send the kids to daycare and find a job myself. I can't bare the thought of leaving them!
Staying home with my children has always been a personal dream and passion of mine so I'm thankful I'm able to continue doing so. It's all thanks to finding a tiny home with a tiny price! 

#2. Less Stuff
Less stuff means less upkeep. I'm easily overwhelmed with housework.
I have a 2 year old and a baby that keep me busy enough cleaning up their messes.
In our old house, I felt like it was always dirty because if I got behind, I could hardly get caught back up! 
It would take an entire day to catch up and give the whole house a really good cleaning. In our tiny house now, I'm not saying I don't get behind because I do!! In fact, my house probably looks messy more often just because it's a small space so just a few things lying around makes it look extremely messy.
 But it's much less agonizing to get caught back up if I get behind.
What used to take me all day long to get the house clean, now takes me a couple hours. 
If I'm able to stay on top of it and not get behind, it takes even less time to clean the house each day!

 #3. Tight Family
Someday I want to buy one of those signs that say, "Tiny Homes Build Tight Families" because I feel that's true. We are always together. We are always in sight of one another. Sure there are times we annoy one another just like any family. But we are a very close knit family.
We thoroughly enjoy being together and spending time with one another! 

#4. The Cuddles
Yesterday I talked about how naptime is a struggle because we only have one bedroom so if Ashton is sleeping Alaya doesn't have a place to nap...that may be on the list of things I hate. But it's also on the list of things I love about our tiny home. Because if she can't sleep in her bed, I get lots of good cuddles! Or get the laugh of her falling asleep amidst her playing.

#5. Cheaper Renovations
We have a few renovations we want to do to our tiny home.
For the most part, our house is in great condition and has been well taken care of! It's surprisingly an old house but a lot had been updated before we moved in. The only thing left we want to do is take out the carpet in our back laundry room and put in some linoleum or something easy to clean since the back room is where Samson sleeps...and well, Golden Retrievers tend to shed so it would be nice to have that area easy to clean. Hence we want to tear out the old carpet for a more broom/mop friendly flooring! The great thing about re-doing the flooring is it will be cheap!!! In fact, we can probably just go and buy a remnant that will be more than big enough for that small room. I'm so excited to get that done! Fingers crossed we go and get it done soon!

Tiny house living may not be for everyone, and we definitely don't want this to be a permanent living space. But for now, this time and place in our lives, it's perfect for us!

Thanks for following along!

5 Things I hate about my Tiny home

I decided to start this blog in order to share our experience of living in a tiny home. Experiences both good and bad. I want to be real with you and not cover up the hard times and fool you thinking it's always flowers and rainbows! We have our good days and bad days.
 Let me first start out by saying, we love our tiny home! It has provided freedom for us in so many ways.
But I would be lying to you if I said it was always easy! Come on, we are a family of four living in a one bedroom house under 500 sq feet!
So today I want to briefly share 5 things I hate about the tiny home.

#1. The clutter.
For someone who doesn't like clutter, I have a lot of it. 
It's inevidable things will start to gather and collect in the corners of a tiny home.
You must continually go through the house looking for things to get rid of because if you don't, you will drown in clutter and stuff. Especially with kids!! It's a never ending job trying to go through all of their clothes and get rid of what they grow out of. Not to mention their toys-but I'll get to that...

#2. Shoes.
I have yet to find a good way to store shoes.
I'm constantly picking up shoes that are lying around. Most shoes are now stored in some empty drawers I have in the bedroom. But since we go outside a lot, there are always 3 pairs of shoes waiting by the door. They just sit there staring at me, knowing they are driving me crazy.

#3. Counter & Cabinet Space
I cook for 4 people and hate grocery shoppping, which in turn, means I buy a lot of groceries at once.
I run out of cabinet space rather quickly, so groceries tend to invade my already small counter space or clutters on top of the fridge.
Have I mentioned I hate clutter?

#4. Toys.
I could swim in all the toys my children have. When we first moved in, we had gotten rid of a lot of the toys.
Slowly but surely, they are beginning to multiply.
Today I'll be pulling out the trash bag to make a trip to Salvation Army or putting some away in the closet for a rainy day.
When I get overwhelmed by toys, I try not to look at this picture of the toy room of our old house...
(Just look at all the space!!)

Moving on...

..And last but not least..

#5. One bedroom.
I really don't mind sharing a bedroom with my children. I like having them close by.
I love the security of it especially on nights my husband is at work. In fact, I think I'll struggle when we move into a bigger house and my kids have their own bedrooms. But at the same time, I wouldn't mind at all having a bed of my own. We plan to get a couch that pulls out into a bed but we have yet to find a good price on one. So for now, the three of us share a bed and Alaya in her pack&play. Another downfall to once bedroom is once one person wakes up, we are all up! Normally it's Alaya who wakes up first.

 One bedroom also means that if big brother is napping, Alaya can't go in the bedroom to take a nap. Unless I'm lucky enough to get a day they take a nap at the same time! If not, I don't like to risk putting her in the bedroom if Ashton is already in there sleeping. Never wake the dragon!

So there are just a few not-so-grand aspects of living in a tiny home as a family.
I can't wait to share with you 5 things I love about my tiny home tomorrow!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Making Memories

For the longest time my husband has wanted to show me the place he likes to hunt. He says it's beautiful in the fall and always asked if I could go there with him. Time slipped away and I was never able to go sit with him hunting (busy taking care of 2 kids) and really sitting out in the freezing cold hunting isn't something I really want to hire a babysitter for. So now that it's warming up I thought we could take advantage of his day home and go for a hike.
     So off into the wilderness we went! It must have been a long winter because, wow, I forgot how many bugs there are outside!! I was swinging at flies left and right and who knows how many gnats I probably ate. Not to mention our hiking trail...wasn't actually a trail. I'm lucky I don't have any rips in my jeans from all the thorn bushes we walked through. 
Mental note: If we decide to go on another adventure like this, we are going to need to invest in a baby carrier. Hiking with a squirmy 18lb baby girl is quite the workout, especially when you have to walk up the steepest hill imaginable. Climbing up that mountain with kids was quite a sight I'm sure. On the way down Ashton was crying for daddy to help him and not mommy because apparently I was making him nervous and he was scared he is going to fall down the hill. Not going to lie, I was a little nervous about that happening too.
But we made it home safely without any bumps, bruises, and surprisingly no only 2 ticks. 
Looking back at what we called our adventure, it's easy complain and say that the whole trip was a bad idea. But I would do it all again in a heartbeat because today we made a memory.
I'm learning memories don't always have to be glamorous.
Sometimes they are down right dirty and itchy.
But they are memories nonetheless. 
And today was a memory we made together as a family.
In my mind, those are the best memories we make.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Tiny Home Kitchen

One of the biggest challenges of a tiny home, is the kitchen area.
I have to cook for four people and doing it in a tight space can be difficult at times.
Especially because I enjoy making freezer meals and usually make a handful of meals in one afternoon. 
My counterspace doesn't allow for a lot of food & utensils to be out at once.
But on the bright side, it also doesn't allow for much clutter or mess to be left so I've learned to just clean as I go to keep the counters clean! 
What you see here are ALL of my couterspace and cabinetry.
I had to get rid of a lot of extra kitchen gadgets and gizmos.
As well as extra plates, cups, and mugs.
If you come to my house you will find I only have 4 cups, 4 plates, and 4 bowls. 
Just enough for the four of us.

Grocery day can sometimes be a bit of a challenge too. 
You have to be creative and very organized to make room for everything.
My cabinets don't stay cramped very long though because I have a husband and son who eat & eat & EAT!
Seriously, how do we go through a box of cereal in one day?

 On the other side of the kitchen we have the fridge & oven.
Thankfully it's a large full size refrigerator.
BUT the oven is not.
 I learned that the first time I tried to make cookies.
Needless to say, those cookies didn't turn out.
I had to buy new pans.

I love the ceiling in my kitchen. 
I think it's actually some sort of backsplash, but it looks neat above too!

Straight through the kitchen, you'll find the bathroom.
Unlike a lot of tiny homes, I have a full bath.
It's a tight squeeze in there, but not terrible!
It has the same backsplash ceiling as the kitchen does.

So there you have it.
A peek into my kitchen and bathroom. 
Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tiny Home Bedroom

Living in a tiny home takes some sacrifices. For us, the biggest one is the fact that it's a one bedroom house and there are 4 of us. 
Until we get a sleeper sofa for the living room all four of us share this one bedroom together.
So now you're probably wondering where do we all sleep?
At the moment, Alaya sleeps in a pack & play that I set up each night.
Ryan, Ashton, and myself all share the bed you see.
The bed is actually two twin mattresses resting on the floor. We just slide the top one off and make one large bed on the floor. 
The plan for this room, after my husband and I get a sleeper sofa for the living room, is to then get a trundle bed. It will be the kids room so when Alaya grows out of the pack & play she can sleep on a trundle bed that rolls out from Ashton's bed.

I'm not minding the set up the way it is right now actually. 
Except for the fact the mattress seem rock hard, it's not that bad. I like it much better now than how it was when we first moved in!
For the first few weeks there was a full size bed in the room!
It took up nearly the entire room!
There was just enough space for the pack & play but nothing else! It was quite cramped.
So I'm loving this set up much better because of all the floor space we have now!
It's now the bedroom AND toy room!
Not to mention, Alaya is getting quite mobile so it's nice to be able to put her on a carpeted area since the rest of the house has hard wood flooring.

So that's our bedroom for now.
Hopefully soon it will just be the kid's room.
Until then, I'll cherish the closeness we have and the cuddles we share.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tiny Living Room

Hey there!
I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Easter!
I know many of you are anxious to see pictures of the inside of our tiny homes.
I want to talk a little bit about each room and the likes and dislikes of that room or the plans for changing such rooms. The house came fully furnished when we bought it. That means the tv, table, couch, decor, appliances, everything came already with the house! Woot woot! So I'm going to share pictures of what it looks like now.
We have only been in the house for a few weeks so it's a working progress making it "ours" and arranging and rearranging everything until we find everything in it's perfect place.
The entire house is wallpapered so I don't plan on changing that for awhile. I guess it kind of goes with the "cottage" look. It's not my favorite but I despise taking wallpaper down so it will be staying for quite awhile.

Today I'll share with you some pictures of the living room and dining room. 
Which of course, is just one room.
Complete with toys on the floor & decorations I have yet to hang.
Alaya's exersaucer seems to take up a lot of space, but she loves it so it was essential to keep and have in the living room where we spend most of our time. The great thing about it is it also turns into a play mat and also an activity table. It's a 3 in 1! Dual purpose items are a necessity for tiny house living. 

We plan to buy a sleeper sofa for my husband and I to sleep on. 
It's a one bedroom house so we are getting antsy to have our own bed again without all four of us being cramped in the one tiny bedroom.
But we are still on the hunt for a sleeper sofa for a decent price so we are still saving our pennies at the moment. Until then, you can see a peek of the bedroom there to the left.
 Ashton's in there probably getting into something he shouldn't.

And on the other side of the room is the dining area.
Normally there are toys and books on the floor, smudges on the mirror, and mail on the table, so it's a rare moment I'm sharing here of the dining area clean! Obviously the kids are napping.
So until they wake up, I enjoy the look of a clean table and floor!
I love the original hardwood flooring!
& the original hardwood front door!

I hope to have more pics of the house up later this week so stay tuned!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mama's New Mini

What a crazy week it's been.
My husband started his new job this past week as a firefighter!
Ashton LOVES going down to the station to see all the big trucks and equipment.
 With a new job, comes a new work schedule which much different from when he was a teacher. He now works 24 hours and then has 48 hours off. My weeks and days are all jumbled now because ever few days feels like it should be the weekend with him home! nonetheless I love having him around more and putting him to work helping with the kids or washing dishes. Hehe It's much easier to get tasks done around the house now or run errands.

We took advantage of his days off and have been on the hunt for a new vehicle. We had an old 96 buick lesabre with 155k miles on it. She's still had a lot of life left in her but we desired something a little more convenient for a growing family. We lucked out and found a great deal on a new mini van!

And when I say new, I  mean new to us! It's actually a 2003 model but that doesn't bother me. Like I said, I was driving a 1996 buick lesabre  (aka grandma car ).
We cringe at the idea of making payments on anything so knew we wanted to pay cash for a vehicle.
I'm not sure how long we would have had to wait to 
get a van if we still lived in our "Big House" as Ashton calls it.
In our bigger house our financial situation was quite tight.
I'm a stay at home mom so we live on one income and that income is quite small! Our old house's mortgage was twice the size of our house now! Not to mention in our old house the taxes were $2,400 a year compared to our now tiny $180 payment a year. So our tax payment for the entire year in our tiny house is less than the MONTHLY tax payment we were making on our old house. Jeesh! 
Did I mention I love my tiny house?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tiny House Love

We have gotten a lot of mixed comments since moving into our tiny home. 
That was to be expected though. 
We knew not everyone would understand why or how we could possibly live in a house under 500 sq ft with 4 people and throw in a less-than-small puppy! 
When we tell people we love our tiny home some ask "Do you really love it?"
As if we aren't telling the full truth or don't want to admit if we don't like it.

So I want to take a moment and express my true thoughts & opinion of our tiny home.
I DO love it! Honest.
Here are a few brief reasons why....
I love having less stuff.
I love having my kids close by.
I love having a smaller mortgage.
I love having smaller energy bills.
I love that it makes me less needy.
I love living closer to my sister.
And my favorite, I love having less to CLEAN!!! 

I'll dwell a little more on these reasons another time. 
But to answer the common questions we get... 
No we aren't crazy.
It's a one bedroom home. 
476 square feet to be exact.
Yes there is room for you to come visit us.

And yes, we really do love it!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

All Moved In

We are all moved in!! 
Now I can take a seat & catch my breath.
Downsizing and getting rid of everything out of our old house was a lot of work. 
Especially considering...
#1. I didn't have a truck to haul junk away
#2. I have a 2 year old and a 5 month old (they are time consuming in & of themselves)
#3. It's the middle of winter
#4. In one weeks time 

Had it been summer, I would have just thrown everything in my front drive and had a garage sale & giveaway. But I couldn't because the windchill was like -10 degrees. 
A truck also would've made my life much easier. The house came fully furnished so they only thing we packed was clothes, toys, & some kitchen utensils. That means I got rid of garbage bags upon garbage bags FULL of stuff!! Most was given away, thrown away, or donated to Salvation Army. I'm amazed it all got done in one weeks time. Did I mention I have a 2 year old and a 5 month old?! Those two alone are a full time job-add on having to pack you can probably imagine how overwhelmed I felt.
In the end, this is all we took to our new home.

And not even that much because I went through everything again to get rid of even more!
(And yes, my tiny house now is pretty much the size of the living room in my old house.)

My sister was a HUGE help in watching my kids, offering her van to haul stuff away, & helping with an extra hand in downsizing and packing. She kept me sane in the week of insanity. Now that the crazy week is over & we are all moved in I think it's time to relax and settle in.

So good to be home.

Samson thinks so too.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The (A)typical Tiny Family

Hi there!
We are Ryan & Whitney.
Our family of 4 is anything but typical when it comes to our dream of living "small". 
Join us as we share our adventures of moving our growing family into a tiny home!

In the next month not only will my husband be changing career, but we will be moving our family of 4 (& a puppy) from a 1,200 sq ft house into a home under 500 sq feet! We are as thrilled as can be!
This blog is my outlet to share the ups & downs of downsizing, decluttering, & life as a family in a tiny home!