Dump the Stuff

Storage cabinet:  I use baskets to store folded tops and bottoms

Storage cabinet:  I use baskets to store folded tops and bottoms

When I take the tiny house to festivals and markets, I open it to the public. One of the most common comments is, "I have too much stuff to live in a tiny house." The first few times I heard this statement, I responded with, "Why don't you get rid of the stuff?" The person's reaction was as if I had slapped her with a knock-out blow. I've stopped making this response. It's futile.

This brings me to a recent development with my 96 year-old Mother. The time has arrived in her life when she can no longer function independently. The bottom line: she needs professional care. A 2,000 sq. ft. house stands unoccupied, but filled with a lifetime of memories. My daughter and I are tasked with sorting, carting and disposing of the stuff. We certainly are not alone in this dilemma. 

In contrast to Mom's house, my 200 sq. ft. tiny house makes it easy to just say NO to stuff. Each item has a function and a place. No multiple sets of dishes. No collection of jeans. That shopping trip doesn't produce a bag filled with stuff. The thrill of accumulating material items is short lived. However, the joy of a new adventure lives forever. Instead of buying more stuff, the money you would spend on chotskies could go toward buying diesel to get you to your dream place.

Your legacy is not in the material things you leave behind, but in the example you set for those that come after you. Get rid of the stuff. Reclaim your life!

 

Hot Summer Markets

Vendors set up their tents in Victoria's DeLeon Plaza for the August 15th Market Days

Vendors set up their tents in Victoria's DeLeon Plaza for the August 15th Market Days

August is always blistering hot in Texas and August 15th was no exception. Over 36 vendors set up their tents and displayed their wares for the Market Day event in Victoria, Tx.

Event goers enjoyed a variety of food from cool snow cones to waffles and chicken. The shade from the trees of DeLeon Plaza was a blessing for vendors and crowd alike.

Victoria has an impressive history.

Victoria has an impressive history.

More photos from Market Days

The tiny house had lots of visitors. The most common statement: "It's bigger than it looks!" The thirteen foot ceiling of the tiny house makes it feel much more roomy than its diminutive 200 sq. ft.

Looking forward to our next market days when the weather is cooler. 

Tiny House Jamboree

 

Around 10,000 people attended the Tiny House Jamboree (Aug 7-9th) setting a record for this first national tiny house gathering. Tiny House Teas was stationed just outside of the entrance at the Western Museum of Mines and Industry in the Pro Bass parking lot. On Friday, people began viewing the tiny house beginning about 8:00. From then on, it was a steady stream of people. 

From my conversations, most attendees were there to get ideas and learn about building their on tiny house. Always the big question is, "Could I live or travel in something this small?"  The other question on everyone's mind was, "what does it look and feel like in real life...not from watching HGTV."  Most people responded with, "Wow, it's much more roomie than I expected." 

Tiny House Teas had many admirers. I would say the tiny house movement is close to the peak of  interest. About half the people I talked to expressed concern about their local regulations prohibiting tiny houses on wheels from being placed on property. I think that will change in the future.  The expense of owning a tiny home isn't just the home itself, but also the land and the truck to pull it. 

We enjoyed the experience and meeting the people.

 

Preparing to Leave for the Jamboree

My good friend, Randy, created a simple, functional cradle for the propane tank. He is a blacksmith by trade. Earlier in the building of the tiny house, he secured the tanks with braces to hold them in place. Plus last week, bolted the generator to the trailer.

The cradle acts like a girdle around the tank and a shaft in the back of the circle attaches to the tongue of the trailer. Randy tack-welded it first. Then, lifted the tank out of the cradle.

The serious welding began.

Finally,  he made a few adjustments....

And...she is snuggled in next to the generator and ready to go to the Jamboree.
This takes a lot of the stress out of pulling the generator and propane tank out of the back of the truck, getting them hooked-up and ready to go. It's like zipping along in the HOV lane!!!

 

Tiny House Jamboree, Colorado Springs

The counter top showing the dead space area
  • Tiny House Teas is headed to the Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs, August 7-9th. Preparations have been on-going for several weeks. One of my concerns has been the age 'ol problem of...where to put the trash can? Having limited space makes one creative even when she may not be. 
  • In the middle of the night, I realized I had this huge (in tiny house speak) dead space where the counter tops come together. See photo above. So I decided to remedy that by cutting a hole at the corner, slipping a small silver trash can that wasn't being used into the hole, and caulking around the can. 
This is the trash can inserted into the corner of the counter top

This is the trash can inserted into the corner of the counter top

There is a black plastic liner, but I added a plastic bag to make it easier to dispose of the kitchen scraps.  

There is a black plastic liner, but I added a plastic bag to make it easier to dispose of the kitchen scraps.

 


This how it looks with the lid on top of the plastic bag. Reminds me of a octopus in distress!!

This how it looks with the lid on top of the plastic bag. Reminds me of a octopus in distress!!

This is the image without the plastic bag. It's a much cleaner look, but not near as convenient.   

This is the image without the plastic bag. It's a much cleaner look, but not near as convenient. 

 

John and I leave tomorrow. We'll stop by Mom's house in Round Rock. We plan to overnight in Amarillo. Then, on Thursday, we will arrive in Colorado Springs for the Jamboree.

Hope to meet lots of new Tiny House people.  Safe travels to all!!!

Tips for Building a Tiny House: trailer prep

Once you have bought your trailer and found a location to begin the build, it's time to get started.

Tip #1:  Make sure your trailer is level. Use cement pads or jacks to level your trailer. Spending time getting your trailer level will ensure that your walls and roof are plumb.

If you're trailer doesn't have a bottom, you'll need to put down a wooden or metal floor so road debris won't damage your tiny home.

Tip #2: It's time to put down the insulation over the base of your trailer. Use XEP or some equivalent type of foam insulation. You will want about 3" to 3.5" of insulation. 

                               This photo shows the plywood floor covering the insulation.

                               This photo shows the plywood floor covering the insulation.

If you are using multiple sheets of foam insulation be sure to glue each layer. Use a glue such as Liquid Nails or Locktite. 

Tip #3: Put the flashing around the edges of the trailer. Since the trailer is metal, the flashing and base plate will make it easy to attach the walls to the the trailer.  You'll need self tapping screws and an impact drill. Drilling into the metal of the trailer is tough. Having a good drill helps.

Our video demonstrates these Tiny House Tips:

Our next Tips for Building a Tiny House will be Framing your Tiny House.