10 Lessons Living Tiny Has Taught Me! Part Two

Hi, my name is Lora, and I have been living tiny for a little over a year now.  I purchased my Tumbleweed Cypress in September of 2014, and I absolutely love it!  I am always excited when I get to share my experiences with other people who are interested in this lifestyle.

Last week, Lora shared the first FIVE lessons she learned from living tiny. This week she is sharing five more!   

6. Living tiny has encouraged me to travel more

Although I don’t currently travel with my tiny house RV, I am able to travel more than I did when I was in my conventional home.  The combination of fewer monthly expenses and fewer household chores has freed up time and money for me to spend it in other places.  Currently, I am trying to complete a half-marathon in every state, so traveling has become a way for me to meet some of my fitness goals, see the country and have fun!

Living in a smaller space encourages you to explore more.   One of my friends asked me once if I traveled so much because I was trying to “escape” my tiny space.  I can honestly say, that I don’t travel to leave my small space, but rather to explore places I’ve never been.  I believe there is so much to see in this world, and although most of my travel has been in the United States so far, I am hoping to continue my travel adventure into the future.  Where would you go if you had the money and the time?  Do you think living tiny would make travel more possible?  Take the time consider all the possibilities.

Lora's running medals hang near the front door in her Tumbleweed Cypress

7. Living tiny has given me more flexibility and freedom

One of the things I wanted to accomplish when I downsized, was to give myself more flexibility in terms of how much and where I worked as well as options regarding where I lived.  Living tiny has given me a lot more freedom in terms of how I make my living.  Although, I am not to the point where I can quit my current job (not that I want to, I actually like it most days), I am moving towards paying off debt, saving a considerable amount in an emergency fund and reducing my monthly expenses. 

All of these things have given me more flexibility in terms of what I do in the future.  That flexibility has increased my sense of excitement about the future and increased my sense of security. I know that I will always have some place to live that I own and can afford, which is a pretty awesome feeling.  What would you do with more freedom and flexibility?  How would your life look different if you decided to downsize?

8. Living tiny has reminded me of what I truly love

I can honestly say that living tiny has helped me remember what I truly love in life.  One of the reasons I downsized was because I felt trapped in my life a year ago.  I was stuck in a job I didn’t enjoy and felt like I had very few options.  I was living paycheck to paycheck and I couldn’t see a way out.  If you have ever experienced something like that, you know it can be incredibly draining and stressful.  Downsizing allowed me to slow down enough to give me room to pursue my passions, and that has made me a better person.

Downsizing allowed me to refocus my priorities, get more intentional about life and pursue things I truly enjoyed.  For me those things were reading more, traveling more, racing in half-marathons (I know that one is kind of crazy!), writing more, learning photography and sharing my experiences with other people.  Are you spending your days doing the things you love?  Are you spending your time with the people you love?  If not, why? 

Lora uses a drop leaf table in her kitchen to increase counter space for a desk 

9. Living tiny has made me a more grateful person

Living tiny has also made me a more grateful person.  Again, because my previous circumstances were challenging, I had gotten in the habit of looking at the negatives in life.  It wasn’t that I wanted to be a negative person, it was just that I didn’t have the energy or the margin in my life to focus on anything else.  I had a hard time appreciating the little things.

Living tiny has given me more margin in my life in terms of money and time, which has given me more emotional reserve.  I notice and appreciate the small things now.  I am more thankful for the things I own because instead of weighing me down my possessions add value to my life.  Living tiny has allowed me to pursue my passions and has encouraged me to be more grateful for the time I have to spend doing the things I love with the people I care about.  What are you grateful for?  Have you spent time this week thinking about the little things that make life a little brighter?  Slow down a little and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

10. Living tiny has helped me pursue my dreams

Finally, living tiny has given me the courage to pursue my dreams.  For me that means starting my own business and looking for ways to encourage others.  It means getting myself to a position financially where I can retire early (my goal is by age 45!) if I decide I want to.  It means pursuing my hobbies and spending more time with the people who make me smile. 

What if you could create a lifestyle that encouraged you to Dream Big instead of just survive? 

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Click here to read PART ONE of Lora's article

If you enjoyed this post, check out Lora's website & twitter

*All photos taken by fullquiverphotography.com 

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Would you like your Tumbleweed build to be featured on this blog? 
Email: Jenna@tumbleweedhouses.com

Written by Guest Blogger — February 12, 2016

Filed under: lessons   living   teacher   tiny home   tiny house   tumbleweed  

10 Lessons Living Tiny Has Taught Me: Part One

Hi, my name is Lora, and I have been living tiny for a little over a year now.  I purchased my Tumbleweed Cypress in September of 2014, and I absolutely love it! 

I am currently living in Georgia at a wonderful RV park that allows full-time residents.  One of the advantages of having a custom built Tiny House RV from Tumbleweed, is that I am RIVA certified.  I was able to title and tag my Tiny House RV just like a traditional RV and have had no issues with the park where I am.

I am always excited when I get to share my experiences with other people who are interested in this lifestyle. Today I wanted to share 10 lessons with you that living tiny has taught me: Part 1!


   1. Living tiny has helped me differentiate between NEEDS and WANTS

I have always been a simplifier and organizer, and I never really considered myself much of a shopper, but boy was I wrong!  Once I went tiny, I realized how much of what I purchased didn’t actually add value to my life.  It was kind of an alarming and depressing realization.  On the upside, downsizing has made me much more intentional about the things I buy.  I now have a solid routine in place for each trip to the store that helps me decide if I truly “need” something or if I just “want” it and whether or not an item is worth the purchase.

Before you go tiny, get in the habit of looking at every purchase.  Ask yourself the following questions:  Does this add value to my life?  Is this item really necessary?  Do I have room for it in my new space?  These are questions I never really considered before I moved into my Tiny House RV, but they have become key components of every shopping trip I make.  Now that isn’t to say, I don’t still splurge on pure “wants,” it’s just that now when I purchase something I can tell you how it’s going to add value to my life and that has made all the difference in the world.

2. Living tiny has changed my perspective on space

If you had ask me a year ago if my Tumbleweed would fundamentally change me, I’m not sure how I would have answered. However, after a year in my Tiny House RV, I realize that it has made me more conscious of how I use space and certainly more appreciative of what I actually need and want to be comfortable in terms of square footage.

If you are just starting out on your tiny house journey, make sure you take the time to analyze how you use your current space and how you want to use future space. Make a list of the activities you want to do in your space and make sure you match your smaller living space with your “must have” list.  And the next time you are traveling take the time to pay attention to the space you use in your temporary home. Is it all really necessary? Is there anything you can do without?  Taking the time to notice the space around you, will help you immensely when it’s time to design your space and make the transition to a smaller home.

3. Living tiny has encouraged me to spend less

Closely related to the first two lessons, living tiny has encouraged me to spend less.  I spend less partly because I have less space, as I mentioned earlier, smaller spaces encourage more intentional purchases.  The fact that I try to determine if an item is truly going to add value to my day-to-day life before I buy something has greatly reduced impulse purchases.  I am much less likely to roam the aisles of a major superstore now than I was before I moved.  Again, the mindset adopted from asking myself if each purchase adds value (and fits into my space!) has made me less likely to spend money on things I don’t really need or want.

I am also no longer in a constant state of “upgrading and updating” my home.  When I lived in my townhouse, I was always spending money on the next project.  However, when I went tiny, I was able to hire Tumbleweed to build my house exactly like I wanted.  This alone has saved me thousands of dollars in renovation costs on my “traditional home.”  Ask yourself the following questions:  How much would I save if I wasn’t always trying to update my current space?  How much do I spend on non-essential decorative items in my current space?  What do I truly need for my home to feel like “home”?  Asking these questions now can help you save money in the future.

4.  Living tiny has helped me escape the

earn-to-spend treadmill

Before I downsized, a considerable amount of my monthly income went to housing expenses.  These included my mortgage payment, home owners association fees, utilities, upkeep and maintenance on my primary home.  I could afford these things, but I never felt like I could get ahead with my monthly budget.

Living tiny has allowed me to cut my actual living expenses by more than half, which has freed up a considerable chunk of change each month.  I have been able to use this money to pay-off debt, save in my emergency fund and have more fun!  Spend some time to understand your expenses if you downsized.  How much could you save?  How else could you spend that money to help you create the life you really want to live?  Taking some time to estimate expenses now and in the future can give you a head start in deciding if downsizing is right for you from a financial perspective.

5. Living tiny has simplified my wardrobe

One of the challenges of living tiny is the lack of storage space.  Although my Tumbleweed has some amazing storage features, it still required a big shift in the amount of stuff I owned.  When I downsized I offloaded more than 80% of my possessions in a little less than two months.  As you can imagine, that was a big adjustment!

Probably the biggest adjustments, besides getting rid of most of my books, was the change from a walk-in closet to a much smaller closet.  I now have 36” of closet space (gigantic by many tiny space standards!), which required a well-thought out strategy on purchasing and wearing clothes.  To make the transition somewhat easier, I measured out the amount of hanging space I knew I would have in my smaller space before I ever downsized.  I spent the time literally measuring the clothes I owned to determine what I could keep and what I needed to get rid of before I could transition to a smaller space.  As with most things, I realized how many clothes I owned that I never really wore.  I am actually in the process of simplifying my wardrobe even more by following the 333 project.  If you know clothes might be a challenge for you if you downsize, consider checking out this challenge.

While I still don’t consider myself a true minimalist (I still own way too many books, dishes and duvet covers to be considered a minimalist), I am much more thoughtful about the stuff in my home, particularly my clothes.  Take an honest look at your clothes and donate the stuff you don’t currently love and wear.

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Click here to read PART TWO of Lora's article

If you enjoyed this post, check out Lora's website & twitter

*All photos taken by fullquiverphotography.com 

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Would you like your Tumbleweed build to be featured on this blog? 

Email: Jenna@tumbleweedhouses.com

Written by Guest Blogger — February 08, 2016

Filed under: cypress   lessons   living   lora   teacher   tiny home   tiny house   tumbleweed   wardrobe  

You Can't Go Tiny If You're Tall. Or Can You?

Wes Sekeres enjoys small spaces but found it challenging to design a Tiny House RV for his tall frame -  6'4." He, like many others, was initially worried about feeling claustrophobic or cramped in less than 250 square feet.

"It was a necessity for me that the bathroom FEEL big; that the kitchen FEEL big; that the living area FEEL big." - Wes Sekeres

In order to achieve his open and spacious design, Wes decided to build his tiny sanctuary on Tumbleweed's new Low-Wider trailer, which maximizes height and width by building around the wheel wells. 

Wes's Tiny House RV features white walls and a simple shed roof 

Wes noted that attending last year's Tiny House Jamboree was really helpful in his design process. At the event, he was able to tour multiple designs, speak with builders and ask questions. 

He recalls discussing his plans with Tumbleweed workshop host, Mario Soto and other Tumbleweed employees at the Jamboree. "I wanted to consider everything," Wes explains. "They were very helpful."

Wes's stunning kitchen features a full size refrigerator, full-range stove and  gorgeous royal blue countertops

As a carpenter by trade, Wes was able to build the majority of his Tiny House RV alone and/or with the help his close friends. His tiny oasis has a washer/dryer combination unit, sliding barn door, the Separett composting toilet and a luxurious L-shaped couch. 

"I love that other people love it! I'm big on hospitality, so it's nice to have a Tiny House RV that others find unique and exciting." - Wes Sekeres

One item that Wes really wanted in his design was a tile bathroom. Many Tiny House RV owners shy away from tile due to weight, expense and durability on the road. This is also why drywall is not recommended for many Tiny House RV designs. That being said, can you have tile and/or drywall in your Tiny House RV? Of course! Wes researched a variety of products and chose a tile that is extra durable and lighter than many others on the market. 

Wes has subway tile on the back wall of his tiny bathroom and his entire shower. His contemporary interior design gives his Tiny House RV a "big city" feel.  

"My Tiny House RV is a perfect blend of two things I really love: a simple life and custom carpentry." - Wes Sekeres

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To learn more about Tumbleweed's Low-Wider trailer, and other trailer designs, click here

Follow Wes on Instagram: @wsekeres

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about Tiny Homes and their adventure. Follow their informative blog. 
 
     

 

Written by Jenna Spesard — January 13, 2016

Filed under: comtemporary   jamboree   lifestyle   low wider   low-wider trailer   maximize space   modern   spacious   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   tiny house rv   trailer   Tumbleweed  

New Years Resolutions that will help you "Go Tiny" by 2017

We want to make owning a Tiny House RV easy for our customers, so if you're ready to own a Tumbleweed but you're struggling to accomplish your goal, we've created a list of resolutions that will help you "Go Tiny" by the end of 2017!

Choose several of the resolutions listed below and cross them off one at a time. Try adapting resolutions into your daily routine. Happy New Year!

      1. Downsize your belongings. Get rid of one unnecessary possession a day. Here's a trick - go through your closet and sort your clothes by the items you wear: daily, weekly, monthly and the clothes you haven't worn in years. Slowly remove the items you use infrequently and/or have no emotional attachment. DO NOT replace items with new clothing until they are stained, torn or they no longer fit. By the end of the year, your wardrobe will only include items you use and love. 
        Photo credit
        : Embrace Minimalism
      2. Reduce your footprint. Work on using less and wasting less. Conserve your water usage by turning off the faucet while lathering up in the shower. Practice using less electricity by shutting off lights, replacing regular bulbs with LEDs, and only running appliances (such as the dishwasher and washing machine) when they are absolutely full. Read up on solar and wind power. Try composting! There are many ways you can begin transitioning toward an eco-friendly lifestyle before you ever own a Tiny House RV!
      3. Reduce your debt. Many Tiny House RV owners value financial freedom. Sell your unwanted belongings that are worth something (such as furniture, jewelry, collectables and electronics). Place the money you earn into a savings account or pay off your loans/credit cards. *Bonus, resolutions #1 & #2 you will also save you money!*
      4. Research insurance and financing. There are more and more insurance and loan companies that are backing Tiny House RVs.
        "Fy Nyth" Tumbleweed Cypress parked in Wyoming 
      5. Plan your parking spot. If you want to own a Tiny House RV by the end of the year, you'll want to secure the perfect parking spot. Begin by learning about your county's RV parking codes and/or research traveling with a Tiny House RV. Tour various campgrounds that could serve as a potential permanent parking spot. Ask around on various online communities or post an advert on Craigslist. 
      6. Gather tools. If you're going to build your own Tiny House RV, you'll need the proper tools. Ask your friends if you can borrow tools or explore resale shops and garage sales for deals. Check out this tool sharing website to see if there is a tool library near you.
      7. Gather materials. Whether you find the perfect reclaimed windows, space saving kitchen gadget or discounted appliance, you will save time and money on your future Tiny House RV by securing your materials in advance. Also read up on securing sponsors for your project.
      8. Learn to build. If you intend on building your own Tiny House RV harness your skills by taking a Tumbleweed workshop, purchasing a How-To-DVD and/or volunteering for your local Habitat for Humanity. These skills will be invaluable once you begin construction.
        Photo credit
        : Miranda's Hearth
      9. Secure a build site. If you're interested in building your own Tiny House RV, this resolution will be at the top of your list! Find the ideal place for construction, with with storage for your materials and adequate access to electricity, by advertising online and asking around in your local tiny house community. Tap into the community by attending a local workshop, joining local meetups and facebook groups. Tumbleweed Colorado Springs showroom. Photo credit.
      10. Experience the lifestyle. If you're concerned that "Going Tiny" may not be for you, it might be beneficial to actually stay the night in a Tiny House RV!  By physically experiencing the lifestyle, you'll prepare yourself mentally for ownership and you might even get a few great space saving ideas. Check out more vacation rental listings here and here. You can also make an appointment to tour a Tumbleweed at our Colorado Springs showroom. 

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about Tiny Homes and their adventure. Follow their informative blog. 
 
     

Written by Jenna Spesard — January 04, 2016

Filed under: debt   eco-friendly   finanicing   go green   go tiny   insurance   lifestyle   loans   new years   resolutions   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   Tumbleweed   workshop  

What you WISH you knew before building your Tumbleweed...

This past week our 2016 Tumbleweed Workshop presenters and hosts met to discuss the coming year and to share what they WISH they knew before building their Tumbleweed.

As a team passionate about Tiny House RVs, the workshop hosts and presenters collaborated to create an even better workshop for the 2016 season! Get ready to hear some fun personal stories, partake in a few team activities and learn new building practices specific to Tiny House RVs. This year is going to be the best year of workshops yet! 

What do you WISH you knew before building your Tumbleweed?

Our hosts and presenters were happy to share an aw-shucks moment, explaining what they wish they knew before building their Tumbleweed. 

Miranda Aisling is building a Tumbleweed Cypress in Boston, Massachusetts. She will be hosting several Tumbleweed workshops in 2016. More on her build / story here. 

What do you WISH you knew?

"(I didn't realize that) trimming out the roof takes a really looooong time. It is the first stage where any off measurements really start to matter. This is the one area that I didn't budget enough time for, and it set us back a couple weekends." - Miranda

Art Cormier built a Tiny House RV in 2012 to be used as a backyard abode behind his rock climbing gym in Lafayette, Louisiana. He has presented Tumbleweed workshops for the past few years to thousands who wish to achieve their tiny dream. More on his build / story here

What do you WISH you knew?

"I did not think about how useful flat counter space is, and how little is available with standard appliances. For example, my cooktop burners are elevated (not flush with my counter). The available flat counter space for unloading grocery bags in my Tiny House RV is very limited. In retrospect, I would choose appliances with covers or that are flush with my counters to extend my usable space." - Art 
Jenna Spesard built a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, in 2014. Over the past year they have towed their Tiny House RV over 22,000 miles across the United States and Canada. In 2016, she will be hosting various Tumbleweed workshops. More on her story / build here.
What do you WISH you knew?
"I carefully planned out my interior design, but one item I forgot was to leave space for my laundry hamper. I don't want to sidestep my hamper every time I enter my bathroom, so our solution is to place the hamper in the shower when we're not showering. In retrospect, I wish I had an allocated space for my hamper that didn't require me moving it in and out of the shower." - Jenna
Guillaume Dutilh built a Tumbleweed Cypress with his partner, Jenna, in 2014. Over the past year they have towed their Tiny House RV over 22,000 miles across the United States and Canada. In 2016, he will be presenting and hosting various Tumbleweed workshops. More on his story / build here.
What do you WISH you knew?
"I wish I had a better game plan for changing a tire on our trailer. It's actually pretty technical since the our Tiny House RV weighs 10,100 pounds fully loaded. It would have been a good idea to practice once before setting out on our trip, but instead I had to learn on a dirt road in the backcountry of Alaska!"- Guillaume  

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about Tiny Homes and their adventure. Follow their informative blog. 
 
     

Written by Jenna Spesard — December 29, 2015

Filed under: build   host   presenter   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   Tiny House RV   Tumbleweed   workshop  

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