Another Tumbleweed rises! Our friend and fan Ella just landed a sweet spot in the latest issue of Yes! Magazine. Ella's Fencl tiny house is coming along nicely and it's good to see her getting some press. You can read all about her build on her blog. One of my favorite details about Ella is that she has never built a thing before and it was attending one of our workshops that gave her the impetus to make the leap. Now look at her Fencl and tell me the workshops don't work. Sign up now to attend one in your area. Go Ella!
Enjoy this great interview featuring our friend Kent Griswold, the brains behind Tiny House Blog. Get your hands on your own tiny house plans. Who knows? One day your house might just show up on Tiny House Blog!
If you've got items to get rid of which are valuable, consider selling them but also consider the value of your own time. If you earn more than it's worth doing, just give it away and let someone else enjoy it.
If you have family valuables which are historical or just mean a lot to you, find a way to keep them whether it's through another family member or by passing it on and finally letting go of it. Always consider parting with it and keeping a smaller item instead. And if you do the latter, take a digital photo for keepsake.
If you're just overwhelmed with the amount of stuff, the last portion below is for you where I'll help you categorize and take action fast.
Organizing and processing your junk FAST!
This portion will show you how to categorize, organize, and process your unwanted stuff as fast and efficiently as possible. Most of us lose efficiency while multitasking so staying focused until your finished is going to be a key factor in getting this done.
Step 1: Pick one spot to work on and stay focused on it until it's completion. Avoid every other area of your home. You can start with your bathroom drawers, bedroom closet, ottoman, junk drawer, desk, or even something as little as one book shelf. The smaller and more specific, the better (because you'll build momentum instead of frustration).
Step 2: Pull everything out and make three piles.
The first pile is to get rid of so you can call this one give/sell. The second pile is trash. This stuff is so worthless and outdated that it would be a burden to give to someone else. Trash it or leave by the curb and don't feel bad! The manufacturer shouldn't have made such a crap product in the first place. The third pile is for you to keep. Pretty simple, right?
Step 3: Now it's time to take action since you've made your three manageable action piles.
If your categories are overwhelming it's because you need to pick something smaller and more specific to reduce next time around. Like instead of your entire bathroom, how about just one of the drawers in there instead? Either way, it's time to take action. Organize your keep file back to it's home, sell and give away your unwanted but usable stuff, and trash the rest. Congratulations, you did it!
Useful resources for selling and giving away your stuff FAST!
It is a tough time to be getting tossed out into the “real world”. That’s what a lot of them call it, the high school kids I see in my classroom every day. These kids are crazy powerful. Give them ten focused minutes and their smartphone and they can become conversant in just about any subject you throw their way. But when they make those first forays into that real world, they are finding that colleges have cut their intended major and there is a guy with an M.B.A. bussing the tables at the restaurant where they were trying to land a job. A lot of these kids come back defeated. Those of us that are in the business of working with these young women and men in the last stages before they graduate into adulthood have seen a generation ground down by constant talk of dried up jobs and foreclosed homes. Too many in this most promising generation, the group of kids who have been Googling since they were five, have given up and resigned themselves to playing X-Box and eating Hot Pockets in their parents’ living room, just waiting it out and hoping things get better.
But it is a teacher’s job to make their students grow into their potential. So a group of us are getting together to show these soon to be twenty somethings just how powerful they are. A cohort of five teachers at Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park, California are teaming up with the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and local clean technology leaders to journey with our students through a project we call “89 Square Feet Off the Grid”. Using Tumbleweed’s Epu plans as the foundation, students will build the home’s trailer in Welding class, frame and do the finish carpentry in Woods class, design and install the clean technology systems (a solar PV system, a composting toilet, and a water cistern and filtration system) in AutoCAD class, and will study the math and science behind it all in Geometry in Construction and in Physics.
We tell them that they, more than any other generation before them, have the power to design their world, to bring their dreams and ideas to life, and they are starting to get it. As they pour over the blueprints and start to see the material flowing in, there is an excitement building. The freedom and vision that a tiny house on wheels represents is winning them over. And while they might have been born into strange and challenging times that can wear at their young spirits, they are beginning to see what they are capable of building. Our hope is that while it might start by building “89 Square Feet Off the Grid”, they will take the lessons learned on this journey and continue to design and dream their way out of all the challenges they face in our rapidly evolving world.
They hold so much promise, more then we have let them see with our doomsday news cycle and our adult cynicism. They are rising up to the challenge of this project, just as they will rise up to the challenging times they have inherited. And then we will see just how powerful they truly are.
Cole Smith is an educator at Ranch-Cotate High School in Rohnert Park, CA. He will share the progress of his student build on a regular basis as a guest blogger for Tumbleweed.