In the spring of 2013 we moved to our property and started our tiny house adventure.
We started by adding insulation and Sheetrock to a shed that was 10×14 ft. This was just a temporary solution and would eventually become mostly storage later.
We built our tiny house in another shed that was 12 ft by 32 feet. It has a sleeping loft on both sides with a door in the middle. When you enter through the front door there is a kitchen and bathroom on one side and a small living area and a bedroom on there side.
We used a camp chef cooking stove until we were able to purchase and install a propane oven. We designed the house with all of our plumbing on one side. We lived in our tiny house for the first two years and then added a second shed that was also 12 by 32 ft in which we built two more bedrooms and a family room. We have done a lot, but we still have a lot to do to finish our home. Sometimes we finish an area one way with materials we already have or use what we can afford at the time, and down the road as we learn more or get additional resources or new ideas we change up what we have done. One example is we put a standard door on our bathroom and later found a door that we loved on clearance. At the time we had the money to purchase the door on clearance and wanted a more attractive door so we replaced the door we had with a new one.
Plus, if you look at the shelves on the right side of both pictures above, you will notice that we moved our books and replaced them with some of our kitchen items. We did this because we were able to build a bookshelf in another place in our home.
I also improved on my bookshelf making skills. At this time in our journey, I just determined that I was willing to build what I wanted. For example we purchased a table when we built our tiny house, but although it fit the space, it didn’t fit our family. To solve that problem I just made the biggest table that I could that would fit the space and increased the number of people who would fit around it at the same time.
People who live in tiny houses usually find that they need custom furniture. This bookshelf is another example of needing custom furniture. I needed a bookshelf that was the width of the bed and the height from the bed to the ceiling. Making it myself allowed me to make it the perfect size for the space.
Although we seem weird really we are super normal. Literally millions of people live in spaces with families as large as our around the world. One day when I was talking to my mother-in-law about our temporary door made from a blanket she replied that some of her family in Thailand had temporary walls similar to what I had done that they had used for years.
But living in a tiny house with a large family may seem a little unusual in the United States. However we have loved our tiny house homestead from the beginning, and there are so many reasons to love this lifestyle.
We are often asked how do we do it? Well there isn’t one answer, there are a lot of answers. My most common answer is that we traded our indoor space for outdoor space.
Another reason we make a tiny house work for our family is we LOVE to spend time together.
We also play together often. We have what we lovingly call forced family fun. We love game night and we play together as much as possible. We love card games, but sometimes you will find us all gathered around playing the Nintendo Wii together. We just love to play together. Some of our favorite games include Settlers of Catan or Killer Bunnies. We also love to hike, swim, fish, and go camping together. However we don’t go camping as much as we use to because our homesteading experience seems a lot like camping in a cabin. We love that we can start up a campfire and roast marshmallows any day of the year that isn’t too windy or too wet.
Last, but definitely not least, we have a strong love for a God who takes care of of and showers us with his tender mercies.