Creating The Layout of Our Tiny House.

After looking at dozens of tiny house floor plans, hundreds of photos, reading endless articles and blog posts about building tiny homes, and considering what we want to keep in our home, we’ve had a pretty clear idea in our mind of what we wanted the inside of our house to look like. We even spent a couple evenings drafting out floor plans on paper and pencil, but still didn’t spend enough time together to really finish the layout.

Thanks to this post on the Tiny House Blog, I discovered the Icovia Room Planner on the Urban Barn website. It’s an easy program and allowed me to quickly draft out the floor plan concept that we had for our tiny house. We were able to move things around until things looked perfect. Right now, we’re in love with the design.

What’s inside the house right now:

  • full-sized range and oven (I want gas, he wants electric)
  • compact-sized fridge with upper freezer compartment
  • kitchen counter with double sink
  • RV toilet (we have a septic system on the land)
  • shower stall
  • several shelving units and closets
  • sleeping loft with queen-sized bed
  • second loft area for storage or twin-sized bed
  • ladder to lofts
  • L-shaped seating area/window nook/guest bed
  • foldaway dining table
  • small heater
  • many windows
  • plenty of room for our cat to play

Goals for outside the house:

  • outdoor habitats for our rabbits
  • vegetable garden
  • compost pile
  • storage shed for ATV, lawn mower, etc.
  • some kind of garage for my husband to work on cars
  • run some electricity out onto the land

I feel like our outdoor living space will be so much larger than our indoor living space!! But that’s OK — one of the reasons for building the tiny house is to spend more time appreciate what the world has to offer rather than stay cooped up indoors all the time. Also, we won’t be building the garage until we know we will be there permanently (there’s always a chance we may want to move the house elsewhere after a couple years).

Everything is still subject to change depending on the size of the trailer we find, accommodations on our land, and other issues that may come up during construction, but we love what we have right now! The next thing we want to do with our design is select the materials for the walls, floors, counters, etc. We are going slow with our design is because we don’t have the trailer yet. I’m so ready to find a trailer and just start building! Patience, Laura…

Working For The Tiny House Dream.

Over a year ago, I wrote a post about how I quit my part-time job to free up some more time in my life and focus on what I really cared about. At that point in my life, I was working full-time, working part-time, going to graduate school nearly full-time, trying to build a side business (which I eventually stopped), and feeling very overwhelmed. Plus, the store I worked at just wasn’t me. I quit the job, gained more free time, reduced my stress, improved my relationships, and felt much better. I never wanted to work in retail again.

Flash forward to January 2012. Money is tight, bills are high, and little is left over for savings. I work full-time as a teaching assistant in a therapeutic day school for students with severe emotional and behavioral issues. Every day is a beautiful challenge. It’s a tough job and yet, I love it. The downside? I make about $18,000 a year. For someone who has a master’s degree and certification, that is not much at all. Something needs to change.

In order to get tiny house rolling, I really need to step it up and save a lot more money than I am right now. While I am always on the lookout for a teaching position, I decided to look for a part-time job again, applying at places that I already enjoy. Shortly after applying at one place, I was offered a job. I am now a cashier an at upscale grocery store two miles from my home.

Glamorous, right? Actually, I’m very excited for this job. Employees are highly valued, the place has a high morale, everyone is very friendly and happy to be there, and it’s in a store that I love with lots of healthy food. On top of that, I’ll be able to save more money quicker as all the earnings from this job will go towards tiny house. That alone motivates me enough to persevere. I’ll have a little less time than usual in the next few months, but I don’t mind. Hard work now pays off later. I’ll still be able to create time for cooking, reading, relationships and my once-a-week-Sabbath. Tiny house, you’re getting closer!