It's been 10 days since I moved several suitcases full of possessions into the Fencl and called it home. It never fails to amaze me how quickly humans can adapt to a space: for me, it took about 3 seconds to feel entirely in my element!
The tiny house has been a huge hit on campus. I've gotten a number of random visitors who have all been very respectful.
I'll be opening up the house to the public on Sunday, March 3rd from 1 to 4 pm, so if you missed it last time, feel free to come by!
As far as everyday life, I'll run through a few of those beloved classic domestic categories:
I've never been a consistently organized person. But here, I find myself coming home from work at 2 am and wanting to tidy. Something about having a place for everything encourages me to put everything in its place...imagine that.The clever usage of space, rather than small size, might actually be the most novel thing about Tumbleweeds. I am someone very well suited to a large quantity of shelving and surfaces to work on. When confronted with a large empty space, I don't know what to do with my possessions, and find that I'd rather have none at all.... Read More
Here's an exclusive inside look at my brand new Fencl on Switchboard Magazine's inaugural episode of "Dwellz."The magazine co-creators Remy Schwartz and Duncan Sullivan filmed and produced this short video and have graciously agreed to share it with Tumbleweed. You'll have to endure my weird haircut and a lot of royalty free hip hop, but it's worth it!
"Nara's tiny house is one part sustainable living, one part college credit, and three parts swag.
After spending her fall semester studying various forms of American alternative housing, she hooked up with Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and got the (literal) wheels moving on a sweet deal: a semester of tiny house occupancy in exchange for promotional blogging.
Despite black ice, miscommunication with truckers, and a giant blizzard, the house finally made it all the way from Wisconsin to Hampshire College. As of Friday, she lives in it full-time.
By day, Nara works on sustainable utility solutions and writes about housing. By night, she curls up next to her tiny propane fireplace and dreams of a world where everyone lives within their means. She's happy to show you around her 130 square feet of unfinished pine, but thinks this episode of 'Dwellz' is probably enough.
Caveat: this will make more sense if you spent your adolescence watching MTV's 'Cribs'."
“These Tumbleweed Houses look great Joe...but good luck finding a girl to live with you!”
Happy Valentine’s Day, Tumbleweeders! Today we bring you a special story of one of our newest members, Joe Coover, and the role Tumbleweed Tiny House Company played in his meeting the love of his life.
Joe Coover has been a dedicated fan of Tumbleweed for over a decade. What started as a curiosity and novelty idea soon grew into a passion for tiny living. After traveling abroad during university, he found a small apartment under 200 square foot and started saving for his future home. He had almost everything figured out...almost.
Breanna was beginning her last semester at college when she got a message from Joe on an online dating website. She'd put in her profile that “If you love Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, stop what you’re doing right now and send me a message.” As a fellow tiny house lover, Joe did just that. They exchanged witty and whimsical e-mails for a few days when, without a word, she deleted her account. Hopeful Facebook searches ensued to no avail since all Breanna had was an artsy picture of her feet. It seemed the Universe didn't have it in the cards for Joe and his Tumbleweed sweetheart.
Three long months went by for Joe with no contact from Bre. Then one beautiful spring morning, Joe was unusually early for work. A familiar girl in a white dress crossed in front of his car at the stoplight. Half a block down the road, he realized it was the tiny house girl. He knew, while a bit awkward, it was his only chance.
It couldn't have been a worse time to introduce himself. Joe was looking sketchy in his undershirt and dirty car. He had no option but to honk to get the girl’s attention. Breanna later admitted that she was a little wary when the first words out of Joe’s mouth were, “Do I know you?” “I…don’t think so,” she replied, certain he was laying down a pickup line.
She didn't remember him at first glance because he had cut off a full foot of hair since the photos she had seen, but when he mentioned he was a magician, everything fell back in place. Joe opted for the no-pressure approach by giving his number to Bre with hope that she would give him a call.
One week later they were dating. Soon after, his 200 square foot apartment had one more and they thought they couldn't be happier. On the contrary, almost two years later, Joe got his dream job in Sonoma, CA working with Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. What could make this love story even better this February 14? Why, it’s also Breanna’s birthday! We’re having birthday cake, but however you choose to spend the day, we hope you enjoyed our Tumbleweed love story.
Our friend Ryan Mitchell from The Tiny Life is raising funds for an awesome infographic about tiny houses and their occupants. Be sure to read all about his idea, and check out the cool incentives he's offering through Kickstarter.
A week ago people from all corners of the world participated in Tiny House Survey where we wanted to compare how people in tiny houses compared to the rest of America. What started out as a simple question, lead to more than 2,400 people responding! We were so humbled and excited by the response that we wanted to do something special. So we wanted to make an infographic about people who live in Tiny Houses.
Wondering where this college girl's house is? If you haven't heard, Nara is in the process of obtaining a Fencl to live in for her last semester of school. Her plans have been delayed ever so slightly, but she's keeping strong. Read about her initial process here, and find out about how black ice, blizzards, and mandatory driving bans can be small impediments to tiny house transport below.
What is an infographic? Infographics are a visual way to share data about an interesting topic. Instead of boring graphs and spreadsheets, we are working with a graphic designer to tell the story with color and vivid graphics. You can find many examples of Infographics on the web to get an idea of what we hope to put together.
So we invite you to join us in telling the tale of tiny house people, but we also have some neat rewards for your help in our project!
KICK STARTER PROJECT PAGE HERE:
Last Friday, I learned one important thing about a housewarming: you need a house. Upon failing to produce one of those despite a good deal of self-promotion, I felt a little something like ashamed. "Is it so tiny I can't see it?" asked my supportive friends. A very patient staff stood by day after day, while I postponed the Facebook event not once, but thrice.
But it just so happens that when other things aren't warm, like say the roads in Ohio, pretty much anything can go wrong. In other words, some pesky black ice led to a minor hiccup with my house delivery. After already being behind schedule, the waiting game continued through the weekend as the trailer awaited repair some hundreds of miles away. Finally, I got word that it would arrive by the end of that week. And then....
A blizzard hit the East Coast.
A lovely Saturday morning view
Yup. We got slammed. As much as I want to say "just my luck," I have enough life experience (and access to news channels) to realize that I'm far from being the only poor soul affected by bad weather conditions, and that ultimately my tiny house woes are very, well, tiny. I'm glad to be warm, safe, and kind of well fed.
As some of you may have heard, this whole state-wide driving ban thing led to a bummer of a weekend for everyone planning on attending the Tumbleweed workshop
. Several Californians flew out on Thursday only to be cooped up in a hotel for a long weekend. I myself drove up from Western Massachusetts in the early hours of the snowstorm to find a ghost town. And most importantly, my apologies to all of the would-be-attendees.
On the plus side, all this time lounging around in a king sized bed has certainly given me the opportunity to think things over.
What can you do? Watch HBO, I guess.
It's hard to have things that directly affect you be entirely out of your control. I've come to peace with it, for the most part, but I won't deny that I've been going through a little bit of emotional turmoil. It's been over two weeks since I expected a delivery, and I still don't know when I'll see the house!
I'm learning everyday that it's important to be flexible, and it's an amazing source of comfort to have a network of friends that will help you out. I will have squatted with my dear friends in Northampton, rent-free, for exactly a month. They've been incredibly patient and supportive, even if they think they're entitled to all of my groceries. I guess it's fair: my backpacks and suitcases have lined the living room wall, half unpacked, day in and day out, and my ferret has been eating everybody's headphones.
Wreaking havoc on personal electronics AND personal relationships
But as all of the older, wiser folks in my life have told me, it's a part of the experience. My mom's number one piece of comfort for me in darker days has always been "it will give you something to write about." So here I am, writing about it. (That said, my first attempt at 'writing about it', during which I was seeing red and occasionally punching the table, would probably make my mom disown me.)
The reality is, it's no one's fault. These things happen, and there's a certain risk involved in pulling any kind of trailer when the roads are icy- I knew that at the beginning. I appreciate the work of all of those involved, like the truck driver who went through hell and still sent me a very sweet apology note.
This is not so much a lesson about transporting tiny houses as it is about remaining patient. It's not the end of the world. It's important to keep weather in mind when you're attempting to transport a small house in the winter- just ask Molly
- but it's also not inevitable that something will go wrong. You just have to keep your chin up, and be grateful that a better future is on it's way, storm or no storm.
Thanks for your patience, everyone, and thanks for being so understanding about the workshop cancellation- we'll make it up to you!