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From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three

The Little Engine Is Temporarily Delayed, But Please Enjoy These Recommendations Instead…

As usual the best schemes have gone awry around here, but I still have two days left to get some of the dreaded packing done! Unfortunately Brandy’s truck is still having issues and he had to spend all day doing school work as well, so very little was accomplished on the sorting/packing/tossing front today. I literally dug through one bag and one box in the garage, but on the upside I found a pair of Brandy’s jeans he didn’t remember ever owning and washed them. After years of working construction-type jobs it’s a damn miracle to find whole jeans with no, well, holes in them. We’ll take ’em! Unfortunately we’ll still have to burn through the morning and early afternoon tomorrow dealing with the truck some more, but hopefully by afternoon we can really get going out in the garage. Fingers crossed that by this time tomorrow we own one less vehicle since we have inherited my mother’s old 4Runner and would LOVE to not have a 2nd car payment. That money would most definitely be better spent on the tiny house!

As I mentioned earlier, we have own copies of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Co’s construction video and “The Small House Book” where we’ve been reviewing the basics of building our new house and checking out ideas for the interior finishes. In addition to reading all the great info Tumbleweed has on its site I have also been scouring the interwebs to find other means of educating ourselves not just on building the house itself but also on how to pare down our ridiculously large collect of crap (not in the literal sense of course) that has accumulated over the last decade plus. I came across an add for a downsizing e-course hosted by the owner/designer of The Comet Camper on another blog and signed up immediately. I’m really looking forward to hearing from Mariah and absorbing some of her wisdom on just how exactly I’m supposed to let go of all this junk without losing my sanity. Even more important, though, is that I’m hoping she’ll cover what items she found to be essential in her tiny life so that we don’t end up getting carried away and toss something vital that might not seem as important in our current situation.

Brandy still hasn’t decided on just what and how much of his beloved comic and action figure collection he’ll part with just yet, but the very fact he was even willing to discuss it (and brought it up all on his own, I might add!) was a flipping miracle. I’ve been looking at RAD’s vast toy collection and making mental notes about what goes vs. stays, so I do at least think we can manage his stuff. I had an amazing book (and its same name website) recommended to me by the teacher of the Waldorf parent/child class I took RAD to when he was a little over a year old called Simplicity Parenting, and the philosophies it contains may very well have been the final push we needed into not just simplifying our parenting skills and home life but also our physical home as well. One of the things the author discusses is just how much we are affected by having too much stuff and too much information at just too fast of a pace in our lives, and that by physically removing possessions from our environment we can clear our mental and emotional environment as well. We started applying it to Rogan’s toys and trade them out from time to time so he thinks he’s getting something new, and Brandy has vastly diminished his societal anxieties by deleting his Facebook profile (which is why I’m usually the one doing the writing in case you were wondering) and refraining from watching the news every day.

It may seem counterintuitive to some, but just shutting out the constant chatter of the 24 hour news cycle has a remarkably calming effect that actually allows us to focus more on the pertinent information the news presents rather than getting bogged down in celebrity gossip, fashion police reports, and commercials constantly bombarding us with materialism. Anyone, parent or otherwise, who is looking for genuinely useful ways to de-stress their environment, particularly when you are simultaneously trying to exponentially reduce the size of your living space as we are, will find this book helpful. One caveat, though, is that if you, like me, just “get it” (the message of the book I mean) after reading the first couple of chapters, you might find the remaining ones to be a little redundant. I look at it as though the author wrote the book for genuinely hard-headed folks who need constant reinforcement and repetition of new ideas before they accept them, but I quite literally said, “Well, duh, of course that makes sense,” about ten times in the first chapter. I don’t usually recommend books to people, particularly anything that might be classified as “self help,” but I’m serious when I say that this one has been life changing for both Brandy and me.

I also purchased the Tiny House Plans e-book by Michael Janzen to see if it would spark any additional ideas for customizations inside the house should we opt to completely reconfigure it. There’s definitely some great ideas in there, including some really cool ways to have space of a business on one end of the house and yet still have a private residence on the other end. Totally cool idea to say the least, and it’s rather unfortunate neither of us makes anything worth selling. Another childhood dream of mine was to have an old brownstone somewhere on the East Coast (I have lots of family back East actually) where I’d have a shop of some kind on the ground floor and live above it in an apartment. As much as I don’t want to be trapped so close to my neighbors as we would be in a city, I do have to admit the appeal of literally only having to walk down a flight of stairs to be at work. Perhaps in another lifetime. For now, though, I’m trying to focus on ways to fit a small staircase into the design so we don’t have to pass RAD up and down to the loft if he wants to come up there. Besides that, I’m a total klutz and NOT a morning person (I worked nights for 10+ years before taking a promotion that involved switching to day shift in September), and I can absolutely see me getting tangled up in the rungs trying to climb down at five o’clock in the morning. As if I didn’t hate “AM” enough already, I would definitely despise it more if I managed to break something (like my leg!) just trying to get to work on time. No thank you very much. Besides…. the folks at Molecule Tiny Homes have done an excellent job of proving stairs are possible in tiny houses, so now I just need to apply that to the interior plan we choose and have them do triple duty with both storage and the kitchen sink built into the design.

How’s that for throwing everything AND the kitchen sink into a design for ya?! 😉

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