Beginning a journey to live more simply…

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

An invitation to share our story at the 2013 TEDxSFA event.

A Little Bit on Living More Simply

Always an opportunity to educate the curious!

Many thanks to the WPSD Local 6 news team for their interest in our home.

WPSD Local 6: living-large-in-tiny-houses

Nacogdoches Co. couple enjoying tiny house – KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches Co. couple enjoying tiny house – KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas.

Its always good to reflect…

A Tiny Garden

Saturday, March 24th, 2012:

We have been settling in to our new home and location quite nicely. It really is quite amazing how well the house traveled. Nothing rattled loose, no pipes broken, the front door still closes snugly. All of the things that run through your mind over 600 miles of bumps, pot holes, and rough patches of road can drive you mad.

We have opted to rent a spot in an RV park for the time being. It is quiet, has water and electricity readily available, and comes complete with friendly RVer’s for neighbors and kind landlords. Getting to know more about the RV crowd and sub-culture is going to be an unexpected treat. There are more than a few folks whom we’ve met already who have deliberately chosen a more simple and paired down life in the form of RV living.

The next major phase of our tiny house experience will be finding a small patch of land to purchase that not only has water and electricity available, but also isn’t laden with restrictions that will bar a couple living in a house under 200 square feet / Hand-built RV.

In the mean time, we’ve taken advantage of the great spring weather to plant a small ‘square foot’ garden on our rented lot. Put in some summer crops -Tomatoes and squash- as well as several herbs.

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NOW it feels like a home!

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The Move.

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012:

One of the many things that attracted us as we considered building a Tiny House was the concept that we’d always have our home, no matter where our lives may take us. We said goodbyes to our Southern Illinois community and the many dear friends who helped make our dream possible and hitched our tiny house up to a 14′ one-ton U-Haul to pursue a Ph.D. and a new job coordinating a university outdoor program.

At 7,800 pounds, the tiny house was quite a load, but hauled smooth and steady. Aside from keeping the speed between 55 and 60mph, after a while it was hard to tell it was even there.

Our first experience of having a house that goes where we go came as we pulled into a rest stop for the night, about half way to our goal. We parked the U-Haul and crawled straight into the loft. While others slept in their vehicles, we were right at home.

This entire experience has been incredibly educational and paradigm changing. An example of the drastic adjustment in our lives became clear as we realized how empty the U-Haul box still looked once we’d finished loading all of our things. We had filled only a small portion of the front of the 14′ box, only 1 layer of packing boxes deep.

To put this in perspective, I had moved to Southern Illinois exactly 10 years prior and had completely filled a 24′ U-Haul with just one person’s stuff.

A satisfying moment of clarity, to say the least.

Beginning a Journey to Live More Simply.

Saturday, January 14th, 2012:

The first few weeks have been a BLAST!

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Moving IN.

Friday, December 30th, 2011:

Time to give this thing a try…

A year and a half of learning, community, and dreaming. An investment in sweat, splinters and smashed fingers. A life time of possessions down-sized. A life-time partnership strengthened. An education. A HOME.

Paring Down: Preparing to Move In

Monday, December 26th, 2011:

One of the things that drew us to this project was a desire to simplify our lives through paring down our belongings. While liberating, we knew that this would be one of the biggest challenges of the entire tiny house experience. With construction complete, we took a deep breath, squared our shoulders -revisited The Story of Stuff a couple of times- and dug in.

We had a basic plan of attack -categorize our stuff into four areas: Stuff to be Gifted; Stuff to be Donated; Stuff to be Stored-long-term-for-future-use; and Stuff to Join Us in the Tiny House. While simple, the plan turned out to be every bit as hard as anticipated.

We’ve been gifting many belongings throughout the past year, which has been enjoyable. Deciding what belongings to take with us in the Tiny House has been exciting as well. The hard part turned out to be deciding what things we’d choose to keep in the limited long-term storage space offered by Gabby’s Mom and what we’d donate to the local Goodwill store.

The desire to hold on to “keepsakes” can be overwhelmingly strong, but what do things really mean to us, anyway? Attaching a memory or an emotion to an item is likely fairly common to most. For us, this resulted in box upon box of things competing for a pardon as we lined them of for the chop.

While often difficult, the experience was a great exercise in examining each belonging with a deliberate and critical eye. Utilitarianism became our marching orders, and when some thing tugged at our heart-strings it was set aside to be reconsidered at another time. Some items needed to go through the ‘set aside and reexamine’ process several times before we were able to come to terms with its keeping or giving up. The secret weapon ended up being the ability to truly give ourselves permission to look at our things with intentionality.

Though this was an exhausting process, we have come out the other end with a tiny house containing just the things we need to live and thrive as well as a few storage shelves holding the items that have true family, utilitarian, and sentimental value.

Several truck loads of other items that were really just consuming space in our lives were either given away to friends and family or donated to the Goodwill. While some folks have suggested that we are misguided and have expressed concern about us parting with so much of what we’ve worked to accumulate over the years, the process has been incredibly liberating. We are able to enter this next chapter more lean and light hearted…

A couple good articles.

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011:

We’ve recently seen a couple of on-line articles highlighting our project that we really like. We’d like to thank Christina Nellemann at the Tiny House Blog and Alex Pino at Tiny House Talk for both their interest in our project as well as their thoughtful and accurate depiction.

Both of these blogs provide some really great resources for folks interested in simple living. We are grateful to be included.

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