Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Simplicity Continues

As I have been venturing deep into the new lifestyle of simplicity there are a few things i would like to point out. Simple living requires all those material items you posses to diminished quite a bit. People buy furniture, gadgets, clothing, electronics, and many other things that are not qualified as important in life. These things tend to weigh us down and distract us from our life. As part of my simple living project my first objective is to:

Minimize Clutter
Rid myself of items that have no real use.
If an object does not have a purpose then it is a distraction.
In order to have a clear mind, more free time, less to clean, and more available space to actually live then you must get rid of which is unnecessary.

Here are a few things i have done to declutter. One point is that "Small is always better"

My computer desk i had was a huge glass desk about 3 ft deep and 4 ft wide. I needed a minimal desk. I realized that the more desk space i have the more stuff i'll stack up on it. So i went online and searched for a minimal desk, one that would last forever so i would not need to purchase another one EVER AGAIN. Here is what i found! The One Less Desk by Heckler Design

This desk was a perfect fit. It is only 12 inches deep. Very Compact, efficient and effective. Minimal and sleek in design.

I figure the only pieces of furniture that are truly important in a home is a work space and seats (Chairs, stools, sofas) For quests. Not much else is needed in a home of simplicity. For seating i figured it should double up as storage. I purchased a ottoman that doubles as seating and a place for storing objects. I'll have more on this later as i am still doing some research on seating.

One thing people forget is that even though clothing is stored away in a closet or dresser doesn't mean you shouldn't declutter that too. My philosophy on this subject is that you should only keep what your really wear. People tend to pick a few pieces of clothing for the week to wear and the rest tends to sit in the closet for years.
A little trick you can do to find out what you really don't wear:
Take the hangars and flip them around so when you do pull something out to wear you have to flip it around to get it out. By the end of a few months or a year open your closet and you have revealed what you have not worn. It's pretty sad when people have to do such a thing to see what they actually use. A world of consumption is a world of uncontrollable and unnecessary desires and wants. These have to be formed into necessities and basic needs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Doing research is a big part of the process of building a house. I'm no experienced builder, but my common sense tells me that you have to do your homework before you get your hands into the project. About 90% of building this house will be framing. And framing is the easiest part. I am very visual and like a lot of pictures to teach me how to do something. I have been going to the library and picking books and DVD's up on framing, sustainable living, gardening, plumbing, electrical, renewable energy, and basic house building skills.

I started to think a lot about living in this tiny house and i pictured myself in it living simple. I pictured a garden outside that i would use to grow fruit trees, vegetables, eggs, bees ( for honey and pollination of flowers and plants), and even chickens and grain. I would grow completely organic and even the large over loads of food i could sell.

Plumbing looks like it might be the toughest part of this hole project. Electrical should be pretty easy since i will be hooking up to solar panels and a wind turbine. Water usage should be easy enough as to filling gallon jugs and placing them above the shower and kitchen sink, although i need to figure out a plan to build a well and filter rain collection.

If I find any videos or tutorials on any of these processes i will post them.
Resources: The Carbon-Free Home by Stephen & Rebekah Hren,
Complete Idiots Guide, Miller's Guide to Framing & Roofing,

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Today i attended the Tumbleweed workshop in Indianapolis. Jay Shafer pretty much taught me how to build a house. Pretty much everything you need to know is in his book "THE SMALL HOUSE BOOK" He knows a lot about the basics of construction and some ins and outs, tips and tricks of getting around problems. He did lack the knowledge of electrical and plumbing, he suggested hiring a plumber and electrician. I found some books and have been watching you tube videos for plumbing and hooking up renewable energy. I'll let you know if any resources are worth looking into or not.

Note: That when you attend the workshop you get his book "THE SMALL HOUSE BOOK" plus if you wind up purchasing one of his plans you will get a discount because you attended the workshop.

Jay talked a lot about zoning laws and building codes and ways around those as well. It will mainly come down to if you call your home a home, or a travel trailer which will determine weather or not it will need a building code. Also Zoning laws are different in pretty much every county you go to so you will have to do research on that. From my understanding, as long as it is movable it can pass a few of the codes and regulations, especially if you build it in a deep forest away from civilization or peering satellites which is one of the ways they find out if your in a certain zone or how big the house has to be. Again I'm not 100% sure on these regulations just because every county is different.

I thought the workshop was well worth the price just because i went into not knowing anything about constructing a house and came out confident that i could build this house. It is very gratifying knowing that you learned so much in just a little amount of time. Kudos to Jay for being such a great teacher.

Friday, July 10, 2009

For Starters

For Starters: I will be building the Fencl from Tumbleweed Houses.

House width: 8′ Porch: 2 ½’ x 2 ½’
House length: 19′ Main Room: 7 ½’ x 6 ½’
Trailer Size: What's this? 7′ x 18′ Kitchen: 6′ x 4′
Road Height: 13′ 5″ Bathroom: 6′ x 3′
Dry Weight: What's this? 5700 lbs Ceiling height: 6′ 3″
all measurements are approximate Loft height: 3′ 8″
I have no construction background so if your wondering if i am a master at this already the answer is no. I will be doing this with friends and family and will be relying on books from the library (will have a list posted), the $995.00 blueprints/ Fencl Plans from Tumbleweed Houses and a Tiny House workshop with Jay Shafer this Saturday.

This Saturday i will be attending the Tiny house Workshop in Indianapolis IN. I hope to get most of my questions answered then. When i return on Saturday night i should have a good idea of what I'll need and some of the common questions from the newbie builders like me.

I will be going to the library tomorrow to check out some basic construction books on framing, plumbing, and electrical. Part of my added plans will be to add solar panels to the home to power my appliances and electronics, plus a wind turbine and possibly a solar water heater depending on costs, time, and knowledge. I will post more on this later...

Some Building resources recommended by Tumbleweed House Company: Building Resources
(i'll let you know if i use any of these or if any of these are helpful to the process.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why a Tiny House?

Hi, and Welcome to my blog about my tiny house adventure. I am posting this blog to share my tiny house experience with others that are interested in the process and to help others decide weather or not it is for them. I am also creating this blog because i would like to document my experience building it and living in it to show others how it is very possible to live simply and still live comfortably.

The reason i got hooked on building a tiny house is mainly my love for the environment and my addiction to finding new ways of living lightly upon the earth. We can live in harmony with the planet and still use all the things you would normally use in a regular sized house. My passion for the planet started a few years ago when i plopped in the DVD An Inconvenient Truth. I was growing in my independent life and wasn't really aware of the destruction i was causing to the environment and what it was doing to me. My awareness of people's actions have multiplied by the thousands since i seen that film. As i developed my new sense of awareness i started to develop a taste for living green. I found a new excitement in life as i found new ways of recreating living styles and re thinking processes and items in my life.

I took this new skill i had of thinking differently and took my new views and put them to action. I started replacing light bulbs with energy efficient CFL's, buying house plants to naturally filter indoor air, replacing inefficient appliances and electronics with energy star rated ones, and even went as far as buying a solar charger for my cell phone. I watched closely what i was purchasing; from food's ingredients, how things were made and how they were packaged, shipped, and even disposed of. There was a site i came across which was very influential in my life. Films like The 11th Hour, and shows like Living with Ed, or new electric car companies like
These were all things that made me think differently and change the way i lived my life in a more efficient and conscious way.

The tiny house movement didn't kick in until my sister mentioned a guy living in a really small space. She mentioned it was really tiny almost like a closet size, She jokingly said, "yea, I know your really sustainable and all maybe you should try it out." I thought nothing of it until she sent me a link to The Small House Society website.
I checked it out and then thought i should dig some more. So, me being a visual person wanted to see some more photos and videos of these so called tiny houses. I went on you tube and found a good amount of visuals that astounded me. These houses were tiny yet beautiful and functional. Not only were they sustainable but they were simple. Simple living in a tiny house on wheels.

It dawned on me that we as human beings should be living simple lives. We go through our busy days worrying about paying our bills paying off our house mortgages and we are never even home to enjoy them. Simple living allows us to live like humans were intended to live. Simply live, no stress, no rushing around paying bills, no worrying about cleaning or even worrying about losing your home to a hurricane. The simple solution that everyone can afford is to build a tiny sustainable home.

The tiny house provides you with power through the sun or wind, and you have no utility bill. Your space is probably less than 100 sq ft so your cleaning that is needed is limited, your work time is reduced because you need less money to pay bills. No mortgage and more time to enjoy life that is passing us all by.

For me this made simple sense and I plan on accomplishing my goal. The home i wish to build is called the Fencl It is made up of 130 sq ft of pure genius and beauty. Jay Shafer's Design from I hope to show you that it can be done and i will bring you along on my journey towards a more sustainable and simple living.