INTERVIEW: Living in a Tiny House

I recently spoke to Melissa, a resident of Washington who lives in a tiny house. Her small home is less than 250 sq ft, and she’s fortunate enough to be able to travel the country with her two dogs. Melissa and I spoke via Skype video, and I’ve compiled her answers below.

So, tell us a little bit of history? How did you become a tiny house homeowner?

Roughly 3 years ago I first heard about tiny house living. The idea of being confined to such a small area was almost frightening. I couldn’t grasp why people would subject themselves to such restrictions. Even though I was discouraged by the idea, I couldn’t get tiny houses out of my thoughts. I loved the freedom and ability to move whenever and wherever, and you would ALWAYS have a place to call home everywhere you go. I researched companies and building plans, but few were available. I think Tumbleweed was one of the few out there at the time, although since then the industry has certainly expanded. I purchased a building plan and then made my own adjustments to accommodate my girls (her dogs).

Do you find it difficult to live in a tiny home?

It definitely has it’s challenges, but overall I have enjoyed the opportunities that are only available to tiny house living, such as travelling and no mortgage payments. The biggest adjustment for me was not having a huge, fully stocked kitchen. I LOVE to cook. But my small kitchen has everything I need to make a delicious meal, it just takes a little longer.

Describe your tiny house to us.

The floor plan I purchased was the standard one to begin with: Open kitchen and living room, small bathroom, and upstairs loft. I modified it slightly to allow for a tiny office on the bottom floor by building a wall about a third into the living room. I also installed shallow stairs instead of a ladder so that the girls could come upstairs, although they seem to prefer sleeping downstairs.

Typically, how much money do you spend a month on expenses?

My expenses are very minimal. Most of my budget is allotted to food and gas. I probably spend about $300 – $600 a month total, depending on if I have to pay for parking somewhere (i.e., at a campground) and if I am travelling that month. The only other expenses I have are my cell phone and internet bill.

Do you think your dogs enjoy tiny house living?

They’re rarely inside the house unless the weather is horrible, or they’re sleeping. I take them with me everywhere and they seem to love it!

How many belonging would you say you have?

When I first moved into my home I tried to bring about half of my belongings with me. Unfortunately, that did not work, AT ALL! I wound up halving that again before I got to a reasonable amount. Later, I ended up halving that once more, bringing me to what I have now. I probably have about 20 things in the kitchen, 5 or 6 things in the bathroom, a dozen or so books, and maybe 25 pieces of clothing. Living in 200 sq ft you have to carefully select what you bring with you; you just do not have the room for silly pieces. For furniture, I have my small loveseat that pulls out into a spare bed. A pub table with chairs that fit underneath. A murphy style desk that can be folded up when not in use. And a small dresser that is just the right height for the loft. That’s about it. The rest of my storage space is all built into the walls.

Thank you for sharing with us, Melissa! 

Please note, these answers are not word-for-word, but I’m sure Melissa will correct me if I’ve gotten anything incorrect. 🙂

Do you have a question for Melissa? Are you thinking about becoming a tiny house homeowner?

Are you a current tiny house homeowner? We would love to interview you as well! Send us an email to info@minimalismissimple.com if you’re interested in being interviewed.

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