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Little Houses: Small, Hand-Built, and Mortgage-Free

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Debra Jordan had a secret. “When we decided to move into our home, I was worried about what other people would think. For the first six months, I didn’t even tell my family,” said Debra, a wife, mother, and owner of the Etsy shop Minky Baby Gifts.

What was Debra hiding? “It’s just not what people do. They don’t live in 320 square foot homes,” she confessed.

Debra Jordan and family on the steps of their home.

No, most couples with a teenage son don’t live in houses that measure only 10 by 32 feet. But Debra is part of a growing movement that is serious about smaller, simpler, debt-free ways of living. And for some people, the foundation for a simpler life is a small house they own free and clear.

For Debra and her husband, Gary, the decision to downsize grew out of their struggle to maintain their 2,000 square foot Arkansas home after Gary lost his job. They first considered trailers and modular homes but found them to be a poor value for the money. Then, they discovered a builder on Craigslist who constructed a custom shotgun-style house for them in just six weeks for under $20,000. They added an 18 by 8 foot workshop next door for the family’s business. Both home and workshop sit on a lot that costs $145 a month, their entire housing expense.

The kitchen and dining area of the Jordan home.

One of the most dramatic outcomes of the move was the change it made in the family’s business. “We were selling wholesale, struggling with low profit margins with no room for mistakes,” Debra told me. “It was just so stressful. Moving into our little house changed everything. Because we had no mortgage, we didn’t need Gary to get an outside job. Now, we sell mostly on Etsy and every piece is handmade by my husband and me. I love our tiny house!”

The Jordans’ living room.

There’s no single definition of a “tiny house.” The term can be applied to anything from Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer’s trailer home – just 89 square feet – to “big” houses of 1,000 square feet or more, with decks and awnings to expand the living space. According to the Small House Society, an organization that promotes smaller housing alternatives that are more affordable and ecological, “It’s not a movement about people claiming to be ‘tinier than thou,’ but rather people making their own choices toward simpler and smaller living however they feel best fits their life.” Values that many small house enthusiasts embrace include the willingness to live with fewer possessions, aversion to debt, respect for the environment, love of personal freedom, and a strong DIY ethic.

The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Some small homes provide alternatives for “Generation Boomerang,” the 39% of U.S. adults ages 18 to 34 who say they either live with their parents or have moved back home at some point in recent years. For example, high school student Austin Hay built his own tiny trailer home that he plans to take with him when he leaves for college. “I’ll always have a house of my own,” he says. “Anyone can do it.” Debra’s son, Max, now 14, plans to build his own house when he is 18 so that he can live debt-free.

Teenager Austin Hay constructing his tiny home.

In addition to saving money, some small homeowners are making money, too. Jenine Alexander built her own tiny house for less than $3,500, using cheap or free construction materials salvaged around her upscale community of Healdsburg, California. Drawing on what she learned, she built a second house with a friend, listed it for $25,000, and sold it in a matter of days. “If you are open to making mistakes, and have patience with yourself, for sure you can do it,” she said.

There are obstacles to building small houses, including local zoning ordinances that seek to maintain high home prices by prohibiting low square footage construction. Some builders discover that historic neighborhoods are more likely to welcome smaller homes. Other homeowners, including Debra, have built their homes on trailer housings, which do not need to conform to the same zoning rules as homes built on conventional foundations.

Although Debra sold or gave away many possessions before moving into her tiny house, she doesn’t miss anything her family left behind. “I’m not focusing on what I don’t have. I have everything I need right here,” she beams.

Watch Debra’s tiny house video, seen by over 1.6 million people:

Karen Brown is an award-winning designer and creative director of the Center for Ecoliteracy. Her work has been included in the Smithsonian Institution and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and featured in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, and on Today on NBC. She believes that the handmade movement is a fundamental force for transforming society and the economy.

5 Featured Comments

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  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts says: Featured

    Very inspiring story! My father used to say that a millionaire is not who has a lot, but who needs the least. That is very true. It is better to have peace of mind than to have a lot of material things.

    1 year ago

  • Sunbreaksoaps

    Amy from SunbreakSoaps says: Featured

    I've been watching the small house movement for quite some time. As a former realtor, it appeals to me on a number of different levels. It opens the gates wide for anyone who wants to own a house, to own one. And there are AMAZING statistics out there that show the benefits of owning rather than renting: my favorite is how children do so much better in school when they don't have to move every 6-12 months due to increased rent. Anything to make home ownership more accessible gets a huge thumbs up in my book!

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says: Featured

    I have always loved the creativity and problem-solving skills of the Etsy community. It's such a profound source of positive, unexpected solutions informed by really solid, strong values.

    1 year ago

  • bojacobson

    Bo Jacobson says: Featured

    I totally get this. Being able to live as a full-time maker, without a significant overhead, and while still having all the rights and privileges of a home owner is very cool. I'm an apartment-dweller, and I've moved about 5 times in the last 10 years. Some spots have been bigger and some smaller. Every time I move I'm usually done packing the stuff I care about in a matter of hours, then I spend another day+ packing things I wish I didn't own. Most people understand that they can almost always do with less, but the hard part is realizing that we can often do better with less. Really inspiring.

    1 year ago

  • allstarorganics

    allstarorganics from allstarorganics says: Featured

    Karen's story is a reminder that a simpler life awaits anyone with the desire to lead it. As more and more people adopt human-scale solutions, tiny houses will certainly lead to tiny towns. A principle that seems to hold up under scrutiny is that, although the problems of the world may seem gargantuan, such as global warming, energy shortages, financial upheaval, cumulative debt, and stresses on communities, the solutions are inevitably, maddeningly, small. Tiny houses are a solution without a downside. Success hinges on the ability of the mind to accept limitations and work creatively within the constraints. Perhaps it is worth pointing out that a significant percentage of the world's population would trade for one of these tiny houses in a hot second, given the choice. This story provokes important questions about who we are, and how we want to live.

    1 year ago

  • MrsGingerandWasabi

    Marta DQ from tribomo says:

    Love this idea! I'm in my 30s and I could have bought a house and have to pay a mortgage for the rest of my life but I haven't, I like that freedom!! That is what works for me, although I know that a lot of people think that paying rent is a waste of money!

    1 year ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    I think this is such a smart move. The Jordan family is able to own their home outright and be debt free. There are so many people who will never have both. Live smarter not harder :)

    1 year ago

  • VoleedeMoineaux
  • solocosmo

    Jessica Grundy from solocosmo says:

    We are building a tiny home as well! We moved from San Diego to Texas to build a small house out of recycled materials! I could not applaud this feature more!

    1 year ago

  • 2TrickPony

    Rachel from 2TrickPony says:

    stick some solar panels on it and I'm home.

    1 year ago

  • 4kidzberry

    Janet from TheArtfulPen says:

    I think I may try this, I rent right now and at my age four children and having a rare disease this may be my answer, we already live simple and on very very tight budget. I love the whole process, it reminds me of the house my grandfather built in 1920-2 brm no lr and a huge eik, - raising 6 children.

    1 year ago

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    Kudos to you! Great story.

    1 year ago

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    Polkadot Magpie from ThePolkadotMagpie says:

    When we go home to our 400 sq foot apt. in Rome, I am so relaxed, and delighted to be in a kitchen that I can turn around in and touch the sink, stove and fridge! Beautiful, happy for you.

    1 year ago

  • FranceGallery

    France Gallery from FranceGallery says:

    What a cute place!

    1 year ago

  • carolanthes

    Carol Anthes from HappyBabyBottoms says:

    How fun! We also have chosen to live in an unusual home to remain debt-free. We joined two very small, old mobile homes to make a modestly sized home of about 1000 square feet for our family of 6. We totally redid the inside (which is awesome), though the outside is a bit funky to look at, and we LOVE it.

    1 year ago

  • jgaido

    Josie from JosiesBoutique says:

    Lovely home :-)

    1 year ago

  • scoutandrescue

    Dahlila S. from scoutandrescue says:

    It sounds great. I love the idea of a small space. My apt is very small & I'm comfortable with that, but I can barely build a square box, I don't see building an entire house. And where to put it? Not a lot of empty lots in my urban area, non, at least, where I'd want to live. I'm glad you shared this, but I'd like to hear a more realistic version of the creation of this small house.

    1 year ago

  • kathyjohnson3

    Kathy Johnson from kathyjohnson3 says:

    Wow, that was an amazing video! Thanks for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • droptheweasel

    Lizzie Powell from DropTheWeasel says:

    I really don't know why anyone would want a huge house! Too much cleaning and you have to find stuff to fill it too. We all have too much stuff. This little house is brilliant and lovely...well done to all involved!

    1 year ago

  • IlluminatedPerfume

    Roxana from IlluminatedPerfume says:

    How inspiring! We live in a tiny house here in the woodland that was built in the 50's as a vacation home. It's a challenge living in a small space but makes things simple that fits well with our freelance lifestyle.

    1 year ago

  • happybdaytome

    happybdaytome from happybdaytome says:

    Wow what a wonderful story !!!!

    1 year ago

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams says:

    I didn't know about this new movement in housing. Thank you for sharing the story! I have to say that I don't think I'd be happy in such a small place to share with a tall husband, a tall son, very furry collie and sheltie, two cats, lots of photo albums and books, my art studio, etc. Our house is 1300 sq ft and that seems too small sometimes to keep it all organized and clean. I'm all for downsizing when we get older but I guess it has to be the right fit for the people involved. I'm glad that this works for some people. Having no mortgage would be heavenly!

    1 year ago

  • Motleycouture

    Motleycouture from Motleycouture says:

    I love the idea of the tiny home. My brother has built 2 and they are beautiful. It's amazing how much stuff a person doesn't need. Great story!!!

    1 year ago

  • brezomayo

    Heather from Brezomayo says:

    such an inspiring video! Great feature.

    1 year ago

  • reflectionsjewelry

    Emily Delfin from reflectionsjewelry says:

    Interesting....all for living debt free!

    1 year ago

  • FauldsForge

    Heather McGuire from FauldsForge says:

    I've always been interested in alternative housing, this is so neat! I wonder if anyone's taken the small house concept and paired it with bale-building? Talk about affordable!

    1 year ago

  • glusk

    Tara Galuska from GluskDesigns says:

    I love what Debra said about focusing on what you do have rather than on what you don't have. I much preferred this video to anything I've seen on cribs and I am glad that Debra and her family has found something that works so well for them.

    1 year ago

  • freakylittlethings

    Yve Hooson from freakylittlethings says:

    Sadly this wouldn't work in the UK, we already have tiny houses and the mortgages still cost a fortune because it's such a small country and overcrowded. Seriously though, I don't think square footage really matters if you use that space ingeniously. Good luck :o)

    1 year ago

  • Rockcakes

    Sarah Meredith from Rockcakes says:

    brilliant post, tiny but all yours!!

    1 year ago

  • scoutandrescue

    Dahlila S. from scoutandrescue says:

    Ok, I watched five of these videos. It's very intriguing, especially the low cost of living attribute. The one built from a storage container is great, plus she has a full bath tub! That's luxury. :-) When I was younger I lived out of my jeep, twice, pitching at tent here & there. With storage space to run my Etsy business, this could be awesome. Still, where do you put the small house & again, my building skills are minimal at best. It feels pretty daunting.

    1 year ago

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld says:

    I'm constantly wishing for more space in my house, but what I really need to do is get rid of all the things I don't use. A tiny house would impose discipline, limiting the items I own to prized possessions.

    1 year ago

  • RebeccaGAutin

    Rebecca Autin says:

    we lived in a 1920's 700 sq. ft. shot gun house in Baton Rouge and it was the best. So simple,peaceful and cozy.

    1 year ago

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose says:

    I've seen a lot of news on these houses and we actually saw one today when we were on the freeway...off to be delivered. I love the idea of being debt free, but initially it would be daunting to reduce to that small of a space.

    1 year ago

  • OuterKnits

    OuterKnits from OuterKnits says:

    That's awesome! A debt-solving idea too.

    1 year ago

  • ginasart8

    Gina Hammond from McGillhandmade says:

    I have a small studio of 150 feet and love it. It is my getaway from the family.I love my family but having a cozy place on my property is Heaven. Something to think about especially for single people.

    1 year ago

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from LoveButtons says:

    What a wonderful article and such a simple solution to housing needs. My husband and I downsized from a three story, four bed house down to our little bungalow 13 years ago and have never looked back. Lower heating and maintenance costs - less time cleaning and buying furniture to fill it - what's not to love? :)

    1 year ago

  • silviaberrios1

    Silvia Berrios from DesignsbySilvia says:

    Great concept, very sustainable. When I retired, I would love to live in a very small place, but close to everything: museums, shops, restaurants, parks, etc. In the meantime, I stay put in my big place, paying my small mortgage, but with a fabulous orchard that supplies me with plenty of fruit & vegetables. No complaints here.

    1 year ago

  • ranaora

    Anna Skrzynska from SilverJewelleryArt says:

    Great idea! In my country I had very big flat with room for everything . In England I rent pretty big big flat where vacuum cleaner is in my bedroom and in the corridor is no place for shoes etc... My dream is small house where i could decide how many nails can I hammer to my own walls. And this beautiful greenery around you!

    1 year ago

  • avesattic

    Avis Carty from AvesAttic says:

    Love the article! We live in a 700 sq. ft. space....my home! We love it! Actually we added a bedroom and put a wall up between the liv.rm. and din.rm. We gave the rest of the house to our married daughter and children. 4 bedrooms, bath, kitchenette (added), office and living room. We have a living room(formally our dining room), kitchen,bathroom, laundry room and bedroom. We also have a big yard, 2 story barn and full basement. Don't need any more to take care of. Their rent pays our taxes. YIPPEE!! And besides, we love having our grandchildren so close :-)

    1 year ago

  • nicolanis

    Michelle from FoamyFactory says:

    Lovely Home!

    1 year ago

  • PinkCheetahVintage

    PinkCheetahVintage from PinkCheetahVintage says:

    Seriously considering the small home option :)

    1 year ago

  • EmiliaFaith

    Edie Ann from OhHoneyHush says:

    Wow, I love the idea!

    1 year ago

  • ValliCraftEmporium

    ValliCraftEmporium from ValliCraftEmporium says:

    Charming! Hope there's a storage shed.

    1 year ago

  • kellydesigns

    Kelly Hendershot from kellydesigns says:

    This is so cool! Good for you!

    1 year ago

  • CalicoCaprice

    CalicoCaprice from CalicoCaprice says:

    This is inspiring. I too live in a small home and watch friends building large homes and am so happy to be blessed with a small space, I can clean it in just a couple hours! The trick is to avoid collecting items we don't need!

    1 year ago

  • SquidWhaleDesigns

    Elizabeth McTear from HonestAlchemyCo says:

    This is truly a dream of mine to do someday. Or to convert a smaller space in the city into something totally perfect and workable for my life. Plus, small spaces & fewer possessions = less to clean up! (And I hate hate hate cleaning!)

    1 year ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    Such a great idea! Live smarter not harder!!!

    1 year ago

  • RobiniArt

    Robin Arthur from RobiniArt says:

    Cutie patootie! I'm in Texas and there is a company here who sells those. I think they're called "Tiny Texas Houses". Anyhoo, I've always wanted one!!! Good for you!

    1 year ago

  • RobiniArt

    Robin Arthur from RobiniArt says:

    Yeah, I found their site: http://tinytexashouses.com/

    1 year ago

  • junkshopUK

    Laura Carnell from junkshopUK says:

    This is what most of us have in the UK, unfortunately here you need a whacking great mortgage just for this small space! It's so great that you can do this and it really helps your finances. I love living in a teeny tiny quirky little cottage, it definitely has its plus points - less cleaning, everything to hand, and you often come up with some ingenious ways to make the small space work for you - a fun design challenge! Have to say, I couldn't do without the strip of garden for the veggies and the tumbling down outhouses as workshops / storerooms though! So glad you found the right space for you, enjoy :)

    1 year ago

  • BijouxOdalisque

    Bijoux d'Odalisque from BijouxOdalisque says:

    My husband always says to me...Happiness is about wanting what you have, not having what you want. If there lies the truth, I can fit all of my wordly possessions in less than a shoe box. Thank you Karen for your lovely and thoughtful articles. It's always a pleasure!

    1 year ago

  • BijouxOdalisque
  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts says: Featured

    Very inspiring story! My father used to say that a millionaire is not who has a lot, but who needs the least. That is very true. It is better to have peace of mind than to have a lot of material things.

    1 year ago

  • JoyceAlice2

    JoyceAlice from JoyceAlice2 says:

    Your house is so neat! I have looked at the tumbleweed houses before and think they're really cool. We downsized in the past to where we were living and traveling in a pop-up camper for 3 months with just a few prized possessions in a small storage space. We lived in a 600 ft apt, and then built our own 1,000 square foot house on stilts. The stilt house turned out well, because we drew our own floor plan and every inch had a purpose, but I have to say I NEVER want to do our own contracting again. Very stressful. But we learned a lot. Anyway, now we're in a 1500 SF house, but actually it seems just the right size right now and I love it. But we're getting too much stuff again. It seems you just have to keep pruning and tossing.... too much stuff actually detracts from one's life, instead of enhancing it, it seems. LOVE your article and your lifestyle; LOVE your cute house!

    1 year ago

  • prissyantiques

    Hamilton Phillips from prissyantiques says:

    Wonderful, I have been looking at these plans for a while. I have a small lot in town, and this would solve ALOT of my issues with not wanting to take on a huge mortage, and getting out of renting. Kudo to you!! Love it!!

    1 year ago

  • DeathByVintage

    Jypyse from DeathByVintage says:

    Most inspiring for those of us fixing to take the plunge. Lost everything in a custody battle...that is ok. Am working on my shipping container designs to get off the grid. Not much square footage....but one small container will be for my studio..Life can be good! prayers for the planet.... xoxo jyspye

    1 year ago

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth says:

    Etsy, you might be getting some interesting emails from my husband in the near future when I pitch him this idea! haha! I'm all about living simply and debt free! I love this idea. If I had to be honest, I would say 500 square feet would be the perfect amount of space. I love the outside work area. Separate but still pretty much a work-from-home space which is perfect because working from home can be so distracting. We live in southern California and our rent is $1500 per month for a one bedroom (800 sq ft) so this sounds VERY attractive to me. ♥♥♥

    1 year ago

  • HappyWhoos

    Jessie Friedman from HappyWhoos says:

    Ever since I saw a few tiny houses last year, I have been wanting to build one. Someday I will. In the meantime, I'll keep reading articles like these, watching youtube videos, and adding ideas on my pinterest. :) Great article!

    1 year ago

  • jannio

    jannio from jannio says:

    Very Inspiring idea!

    1 year ago

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered says:

    I'm fascinated by tiny homes. Such a compact life intrigues me. Not enough for me to get rid of my massive stash of books and crafting supplies, but a girl can dream.

    1 year ago

  • enhabiten

    liane from enhabiten says:

    hearty clapping.

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says:

    I've been a fan of tiny houses for a long time. I notice when I drive by a house, I almost always like the garage or garden shed better than the house! A book that many people have used for inspiration -- and that is sometimes credited with launching the movement -- is the wonderful architect Lester Walkers's Tiny Houses. I am planning to move into a smaller space myself next year, maybe around 600 square feet.

    1 year ago

  • AMarigoldLife

    AMarigoldLife from AMarigoldLife says:

    LOVE this story, thanks for sharing!!!!!

    1 year ago

  • ChristieArcher

    Christie Archer from ChristieArcher says:

    This is something that I've done in the past and would love to do again. I loved it when she said that they had even thought of living in a shed before because it's something that my mother and I had looked at many years back when we were without money. Bless you for living the way you do and continue to make your life FANTASTIC!!!

    1 year ago

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts says:

    Interesting and thought provoking article.

    1 year ago

  • reneeanne

    Renée Anne from reneeanne says:

    awesome post, so exciting! thank you so much for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • thelittlestgnome

    Terri McNamara from TheLittlestGnome says:

    What a beautiful idea. I would almost consider one of these for a workshop in the backyard, particularly the smaller less-than-100 SF designs. I could live in one by myself, but my family likes to spread out. Also, I'm sure there's zoning ramifications depending on where you live (I live in NJ; I have a feeling that certain townships in NJ would be pretty difficult with zoning/ specifications for these houses, especially waste management). Very cute, though. I wish more people thought like this. If only the Jones' would buy into this ;)

    1 year ago

  • studiorandom

    Dana Seilhan from studiorandom says:

    It's great in theory and it's wonderful for people who are minimalists by nature, but (1) I can't stand the small kitchen. I need room for adequate food storage and for food prep if I'm going to cook at home, something nearly everyone is now agreeing is a far healthier thing. (2) I have something of a book collection, and I do pare it down from time to time but I don't want to have to run to the library for every little thing, nor do I like racking up late fees. I'm absent-minded and I would do that. (3) I'd never be able to host guests from out of town. Which is fine if they can afford a motel room, but not so great if they can't. And (4), where do you put the pets? If everyone did this, no one would have room for animals, and putting them outside isn't always feasible. There must be other ways to reduce one's footprint and avoid debt that are just as valid as this one.

    1 year ago

  • studiorandom

    Dana Seilhan from studiorandom says:

    oh and going back to the book point, I hate Kindles. I'm really not into having to use technology for something that is inherently low-tech, because I'd have to upgrade it all the time and replace it periodically, whereas I have books on my shelves that have been in my life since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. No Kindle has lasted that long. Then their production is not sustainable (at least a tree will grow back, and you can make paper out of other materials too) and you have to figure out what to do with them at the end of their useful life. Ah well. Just my opinion, anyway.

    1 year ago

  • AztecSunSilverMoon

    Diana Sweitzer from AztecSunSilverMoon says:

    Bravo to you and your family! will have my husband watch this later. Going back to the basics of life, equal less stress....sounds wonderful.

    1 year ago

  • bellenessa

    Vanessa from bellenessa says:

    I love this tiny little house. There's no space for unnecessary stuff. It's perfect for the minimalist and very easy to decorate. Very green and easy to maintain!

    1 year ago

  • alangood

    alangood says:

    Beautiful concept: freedom from debt. This is a wonderful way to achieve the mortgage-free life we all desire, and create something beautiful in the process.

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says:

    The thing that impressed me the most when I talked with Debra was how happy she was. She told me that she and her husband had the opportunity recently to buy a 900 sf house on some land, and because they have saved so much money by not having a mortgage, they could have bought it free and clear. But when they considered that they would need to furnish it, maintain it, and so on, they decided to stay where they were. They couldn't imagine being happier in the end than they are right now.

    1 year ago

  • knitknacknstuff

    Jessica C. from knitknacknstuff says:

    THE NEW DREAM HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Although, mine will be on 25 acres of farmland :-)

    1 year ago

  • minkeebabygifts

    Debra and Gary Jordan from MinkyBabyGifts says:

    Studiorandom - I have books - they are hidden under the bed in tubs :) I have a cat (she actually owns the house, she lets us live here to maintain her) and six fish too. I think there are many forms to simplify, you are correct in that everyone has to find what fits their lifestyle. Cheers!

    1 year ago

  • 4EnvisioningVintage

    Tracy from 4EnvisioningVintage says:

    Just watching on the national news about micro units in San Francisco ~unique and a great concept!

    1 year ago

  • warnellcreations

    warnellcreations from warnellcreations says:

    Amazing story! A great way to live debt free.

    1 year ago

  • shecological

    Sheila Clancy from shecological says:

    what a great idea, fantastic message, and really reasonable movement. thanks for sharing this story.

    1 year ago

  • CypressHouse

    Ruth Angela from CypressHouse says:

    Excellent concept, Happy to see this coming around again!

    1 year ago

  • whiteseason

    whiteseason from whiteseason says:

    Not as idyllic as one would think. I lived in a small circa 1858 home and every part of it was always dirty, there was zero privacy, no where to host a family holiday, dogs always getting tails stepped on. The kitchen was bigger than the one in the tiny house and it was way too small. I cook three meals a day for my family and without a dishwasher I would go nuts. Give me a mortgage any day over living like an elf in a tree stump. After all they are still tax deductible.

    1 year ago

  • ARemarkYouMade

    Brenda from ARemarkYouMade says:

    This is such an amazing story! Congratulations to you and your family. I was just looking at a Tumbleweed Tiny House brochure last week (no kidding). It sounds like you are living your dream!

    1 year ago

  • ARemarkYouMade

    Brenda from ARemarkYouMade says:

    P.S. We are considering one of these for a workshop in our backyard.

    1 year ago

  • messinabella

    messinabella from BandBEstate says:

    Great post!

    1 year ago

  • wildthingz

    Andrea from wildthingz says:

    Great story!

    1 year ago

  • Blinkett

    Blinkett says:

    I love small houses but my husband and son have stuff that they need to function. My hubby designs guitars and needs space for all his gear. Yeah love the idea but it would never work for me.

    1 year ago

  • Lipeony

    Lipeony from Lipeony says:

    Very inspiring. I too feel like a huge house is a bit unnecessary. =D

    1 year ago

  • bombastitch

    Kristy Kizzee from bombastitch says:

    ♥ I'm so inspired by your story! Thank you for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • minkeebabygifts

    Debra and Gary Jordan from MinkyBabyGifts says:

    Go for it, Brenda! You are correct, Whiteseason. There are some downsides, and you nailed it. We so have to have our 'systems' set up to stay organized. I do have a dishwasher, believe it or not.....it was a 'happy dance' to end all happy dances, the day I found a tiny one to fit my space. You can see it here: http://www.320squarefoothome.com/2012/08/sometimes-good-things-happen-to-bad.html

    1 year ago

  • RoughMagicCreations

    Mollie Ann Meserve from RoughMagicCreations says:

    Wonderful, inspiring story! Love these small houses!!!

    1 year ago

  • DixieMiniatures

    OYBY from DixieMiniatures says:

    Good for them! My father wanted to sell their big old house and live a simpler life, but he died before he could make it happen. I could do it if I didn't have four kids, two large dogs and a man with "hobbies". Best wishes!

    1 year ago

  • m8bonnie8d

    Monica from BonniePaperWorks says:

    I'm in the process of planning/building my own tiny home, it just seems to make so much sense! It will give me so many more options in life not having a mortgage and all the bills associated with a typical house hanging over my head. I can't wait to finally have one to call my own!

    1 year ago

  • raspberrybutterflies

    Deb from raspberrybutterflies says:

    I love your story! I also live in a small 300 sq ft studio condo right on a barrier island on the Atlantic Ocean. I work from home and I never could afford the beautiful view I have if I chose to live in a larger space. I love living simple and enjoy my unmaterialistic freedom. Its not for everyone but it works for me.

    1 year ago

  • raemj

    raemj from raemj says:

    Love this story and the houses are so cute! I want one!!

    1 year ago

  • minkeebabygifts

    Debra and Gary Jordan from MinkyBabyGifts says:

    Deb - that is awesome! That is exactly what I love to hear. Large homes are lovely, if that is what you want. What you mention is an alternative to a large home, a different choice, way of life. Well done! Do you have a blog? I would love to see photos of your work environment. How inspiring!

    1 year ago

  • kristinasmiley

    Kristina Smiley from CreativeEndeavorsKS says:

    lovely home! Thank you for sharing your inspirational story!

    1 year ago

  • malloryottariano

    Mallory from DarkstarHandmade says:

    This was a wonderfully inspiring video! What an amazing family!

    1 year ago

  • RenataandJonathan
  • EnterpriseAmericana

    Enterprise Americana from EnterpriseAmericana says:

    I miss living in the 600 Square Foot house I used to live in. I build closets and funiture to maximize it's efficiency. It was great. Now I'm in 1900square feet and filled up with stuff. Granted half my house is inventory but what I wouldn't give to go back to the little house with the garden. (My wife and 3 kids might not appreciate so much)

    1 year ago

  • NomadStudio

    NomadStudio from NomadStudio says:

    For anyone looking to purchase a tiny home, I was just perusing this site today after a friend posted it on facebook: http://tinyhouselistings.com/

    1 year ago

  • Sunbreaksoaps

    Amy from SunbreakSoaps says: Featured

    I've been watching the small house movement for quite some time. As a former realtor, it appeals to me on a number of different levels. It opens the gates wide for anyone who wants to own a house, to own one. And there are AMAZING statistics out there that show the benefits of owning rather than renting: my favorite is how children do so much better in school when they don't have to move every 6-12 months due to increased rent. Anything to make home ownership more accessible gets a huge thumbs up in my book!

    1 year ago

  • fiordalis

    fiordalis from fiordalis says:

    Beautiful! I love it. Wish I could rent my house, and build a tiny house for myself on my gigantic back yard, or turn my garage into a little country cottage. I could be very happy in a smaller house with fewer possessions.

    1 year ago

  • kellyzkreationz

    Kelly Maupin from KellyzKreationz says:

    Wonderful story!

    1 year ago

  • allaboutromance

    Kylie Ward from allaboutromance says:

    Thank you so much for posting this amazing and inspiring story

    1 year ago

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets says:

    We have always been attracted to small living, mostly for the obvious benefits of not being tied down or overburdened with the cares associated with the upkeep of a larger house. One of our favorite children's book and illustration of this topic is The Biggest House in the World by Leo Lionni. Thanks again, Karen, for bringing up such great topics! ox

    1 year ago

  • LitKnits

    Laura Sparks from LitKnits says:

    This is awesome! It makes me want a smaller living space myself. :)

    1 year ago

  • IcingOnTheMoon

    Kathy from IcingOnTheMoon says:

    Love the tiny house cozy feeling. Finding myself single after 35 years of marriage, I took all my cash & bought a well-used 5th wheel camper and a clearance marked 10 x 12 shed. The shed was transformed into a sewing and art studio where every square foot is used. It's peaceful, living under the Georgia pines on family land, perfect setting for reinventing my life.. Though I can't imagine sharing it with a teenager as the author above has done. Best wishes to them.

    1 year ago

  • carlatepaske

    Carla TePaske from Studio206wi says:

    Great post. Thank you for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • MinaMinette

    Jan Penn from MinaMinette says:

    There's so much to take away from this piece. Even if we don't downsize to a smaller home, we can downsize our possessions so that we really see and appreciate what we have. We can work to downsize the chaos of modern life...yes, that includes technology! We can downsize by shopping our local farmer's market and skipping the supermarket on occasion...makes you think!

    1 year ago

  • teacountry

    Kathleen W. from TeaBouteaque says:

    I think your house is so cute! I don't know how small I could go, but I sure could give it a try~~so love the workshop area too. Each state is different so I don't even know where something like this would work in my state.

    1 year ago

  • lazydazefarm

    lazydazefarm from lazydazefarm says:

    I have been following the tiny house movement for a couple of years. I love your home. We live on a farm with a mortgage free home already or I would be more than willing to live in a much smaller home. Our living space is 1900 sq. ft. I think 500 sq ft. would be ideal.

    1 year ago

  • EmSewCrazy

    Emily from EmSewCrazy says:

    Love looking at the tiny houses and their great use of space! I have to remember to use vertical storage and decluttering is always a good thing to do.

    1 year ago

  • whphotography

    Walter Helena Photography from walterhelena says:

    Perfect feature - love this. The only other component that goes along with a small home is property to place it on, and that is only afforded in the countryside in my part of the world. And to live in the countryside, one must be able to work from home. A lovely concept, but the creativity to make this lifestyle a reality goes deeper than just wood and nails. Thanks for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • violetsonions

    di from oldvintageclassics says:

    wonderful house. I often wonder why people think that storage in an attic of STUFF thats in boxes is necessary. your little house is perfect .

    1 year ago

  • AntoinettesWhims

    Antoinette from AntoinettesWhims says:

    How cute!!! I've lived in a 965 sq ft home for 23 years now. It's been paid for for quite some time now and having no mortgage gives such a wonderful sense of freedom. I highly recommend it.

    1 year ago

  • shayneshopson

    Sandy Hopson from LittleShopofPop says:

    Inspiring and Interesting!!! Now that's conserving!!!!

    1 year ago

  • searchnrescue2

    Beth and Bebe from searchnrescue2 says:

    absolutely LOVE this story, thank you for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop says:

    Love this post!

    1 year ago

  • diannejohnson858

    Dianne Johnson from LiteUpMyLife says:

    I love it! If I could only talk my husband into living in a small house:)

    1 year ago

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    Darlene Jones from RomanceCatsAndWhimsy says:

    Great story - very inspiring. I really love the idea - we plan to downsize and move to a smaller place early next year! :)

    1 year ago

  • BGBJewelry

    BGBJewelry from BGBJewelry says:

    I love this article! I think back now, I wish we had stayed in our smaller home. I have two wonderful children that I feel like I do not have enough time to spend with them especially on the weekends, which is when we try to clean house and do laundry. I also work on my business from home in between. My husband travels for work so I especially dread the up keep on the house when it would be best spent on family time. I'm stuck in my house for another 3 1/2 years, maybe than we can make the change of downsizing. Or rent out our current house. hmmm

    1 year ago

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags says:

    In Paris every year we are going Camping car - caravaning exposition (First week of October )and first time i saw there this sweet home, super :))

    1 year ago

  • bedouin

    bedouin from bedouin says:

    Wow ~ very interesting..these times they are a changing ~*~

    1 year ago

  • moosehaves

    Nicole from moosehaves says:

    I live in small town Alaska in a small home, that seems HUGE compared to the cherried out school bus my husband, eldest daughter and myself once lived in! (she was born in that bus-home 2009 xo) Its all really a matter of perspective....the old saying goes: less is more... haha until you start getting more and more and MORE! Hee hee. Nice story. Happy trails!

    1 year ago

  • thenakedbird

    Brooke Griffin from GideonAndBrisby says:

    i have been a fan of this company for a long time! living in LA, my love and I dream of living in an actual house rather than an apartment. These seem so affordable!

    1 year ago

  • cherylcummings

    C C from WestCoastWishes says:

    Very inspiring. Would be nice to have smaller bills to pay as cost of living rises. Getting close to retirement age one needs to consider the benefits of living in a tiny home and the freedom it would allow. Like others have said, the big question is "where" one can build - so many rules and regulations in the city.

    1 year ago

  • SchoneVintage

    Susie S. from HourglassSusie says:

    So weird that I was just researching a lot of this stuff a few days ago...still have the tabs open. I'm only in my early 20s and have been renting my whole adult life, but the idea of having a tiny house mortgage free really appeals to me. I'd love to do this.

    1 year ago

  • barbarafrondel

    barbioni from BarbionitHats says:

    Before you start out you wonder "what will my friends and neighbors think? then afterwards you know......"how are we going pay all the bills this month!"

    1 year ago

  • MissLucyA

    Lucy Ashby from bylucy says:

    I love your philosophy on live. Wonderful film.

    1 year ago

  • flamingfuchsia

    flamingfuchsia from flamingfuchsia says:

    Pity we can not do this in the UK. Like others on here have said, a lot of the homes are already small (pre and post world war homes). The mortgage is massive for even small properties so we would not see any real benefits : ( In America everything is always so BIG. It is nice to see people coming around to the smaller side of thinking, small can be very practical. Look at the Japanese, they have been living small for a long time. My apartment in Italy was not huge, but it was the most beautiful place I have ever lived in and I have been in 7 homes. Great post.

    1 year ago

  • jofoster

    jofoster from jofoster says:

    So so smart. I live next door to people who renovated and added on an extra storey, their house is huge, they have 2 kids under 5 that they never see as they work full time to pay off their mortgage. Makes no sense to me, you however are smart. Small is beautiful, enjoy your stress free life!

    1 year ago

  • 2Good2BeThrough

    Debra Webb from 2Good2BeThrough says:

    Loved this blog and video! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. What I think I liked the most about the comments were all the truisms about how happiness is found and such sage advice from so many about what it truly takes in life to make us happy.

    1 year ago

  • modernarchaeology1

    isherwood from modernarchaeology1 says:

    Great job. Let's hear it for for progressive thinkers of Micro living. Think small and live large. Small cars , houses , appliances equal big savings utilities , taxes,gas , insurance and maintaining time and $$$$$. Hats off to you and Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Dranoff and The New York Times as its time to retool and rebuild using $s efficiently with affordable , livable , walkable and bicyable thriving and self sustaining future.

    1 year ago

  • ericawalker

    Erica Walker from WalkerSilverworks says:

    Your home is lovely! Though I don't live debt free, I do live in a 500 sq. ft. home and most days can't imagine maintaining anything larger, or needing anything more. Your story is inspirational, thank you.

    1 year ago

  • keylaluna

    Keyla Luna from KeylasCorner says:

    i love it! <3 It's not what you don't have but what you do have :) aww i love this quote

    1 year ago

  • BellaTuppy

    Penny from BellaTuppy says:

    I am so happy to see this article! I have been obsessed with the tiny houses lately. It's just smart and practical.

    1 year ago

  • ohheychrisi

    Chrisi from ohheychrisi says:

    This is incredible! So excited that people aren't trying to "keep up with the Jones's" and prioritizing their needs versus wants! Congrats :] xoxo

    1 year ago

  • shoppaperclip

    Keyonna from ShopPaperClip says:

    Such a beauty! I'm in love with your tiny house!!

    1 year ago

  • joycediggins1

    Joyce from Dream2Reality says:

    Wow ! Wonderful story! Good job :)

    1 year ago

  • zafuchi

    Sarah Zafuist from zafuchi says:

    I'm single, and in my early 50's and have never owned a house, but lately I have been giving it more thought. Tiny houses definitely have an appeal for me...one large enough for a house and a work/play studio. Where to put it? That's the question. I am visualizing a tiny house park similar to mobile home parks...could happen in our area.

    1 year ago

  • HandiworkinGirls

    HandiworkinGirls from HandiworkinGirls says:

    Clever way to get around a mortage but still own a house...wish more people would consider what they really *need* and go for it, instead of comparing to what their neighbors have.

    1 year ago

  • inkOVERpaperInvites

    Alicia Markey from inkOVERpaperInvites says:

    I really enjoyed watching the video and the tour of the house! Thanks for sharing.

    1 year ago

  • eastwitching

    Alison Fennell from eastwitching says:

    I'm all for it!

    1 year ago

  • rubyfloy

    Nathalie Thompson from rubyfloy says:

    Great article. I'm inspired and encouraged. I am moving from a HUGE old house into a much smaller house and have been bemoaning having less room for "stuff". Now I can happily sell the surplus in my shop and not feel I am losing anything. Thanks for helping me embrace the change!

    1 year ago

  • EmmaKav

    Emma Kav from EmmaKav says:

    Such an interesting alternative to traditional housing. I truly think we need to support ourselves and each other, and not rely on government to make life better for us because in Ireland at least, it ain't happening. The idea of extending the concept of "living within your means" all the way to constructing your home makes so much sense, freeing yourself from the trappings of a mortgage and not being prey to economic instability.

    1 year ago

  • ForTheLoveOfFrance

    Claudia Violette from ForTheLoveOfFrance says:

    What great and timely idea! It presents a wonderful opportunity to reassess what you need and still have a beautiful space. The tiny house web site has lots of design possibilities. Thank you for sharing the video.

    1 year ago

  • EndQuotes

    Emily from EndQuotes says:

    Thanks for sharing your story- you have a beautiful home!

    1 year ago

  • decolight

    Al Prowd from decolight says:

    i built my first house on a co-op in 1976 in Nimbin Australia when I was 24. .Just 12ft x 18ft it had two split levels, a staircase, a view of a 400ft waterfall and cost just $2000 dollars to build. It is still standing and has had many residents and a number of babies born there. it is great to see the trend back to sensible living.

    1 year ago

  • hardrainlight

    Liza Sylvestre from hardrainlight says:

    So awesome!!!! I love to hear how people rearrange their lives to make them more comfortable and purposeful and live-able.

    1 year ago

  • HighPointFarm2010

    HighPointFarm2010 from HighPointFarm2010 says:

    GREAT article! Love the whole concept.

    1 year ago

  • peaseblossomstudio

    Caroline from peaseblossomstudio says:

    I love tiny houses! I live not too far from the home of Tiny Texas Houses and I think and dream every time I go by.

    1 year ago

  • lcarlsonjewelry

    Liesl Carlson from lcarlsonjewelry says:

    marvolus!!!!!

    1 year ago

  • CelibelleQc

    Céline and Isabelle Laporte from CelibelleQc says:

    I have to show this to my husband! We live in a quite large apartment and we are struggling with space. I've been working hard at getting rid of stuff. He eventually wants to buy a house so we have more space... I'm not sure about this: more space means more clean up to do and more junk that accumulates. I think the only reason I would want to buy a house would be to have more privacy.

    1 year ago

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty says:

    Charming!

    1 year ago

  • bosquecarpentry

    Gabriel Montes from bosquecarpentry says:

    I love the whole idea of these. There is a space for everything. I hope that I can start on my little retreat soon.

    1 year ago

  • sbanghart

    Sheena Lewis from BeautifulAgainBridal says:

    Such a wonderful idea. We want to have 3-4 kids, so maybe a 800-1000 square foot house is more practical for us... but we certainly don't need the 2000-5000 that is so popular right now... so much more efficient to have less!

    1 year ago

  • csburdick

    csburdick from callmebrazen says:

    great alternative to mcmansion culture!

    1 year ago

  • paintmydog

    Justine Osborne from paintmydog says:

    This is a great idea, and I am always trying to organise my little house - but I just seem to have too much stuff, too many old paintbrushes, too many bits of canvas, too many things just in case i need them! its hard being creative and keeping things to a minimum!

    1 year ago

  • mrichards7171

    Mary from folklove says:

    Great story!

    1 year ago

  • Untwistedsister

    Terri from Untwistedsister says:

    In the 1970's the average size house was 1200 sq ft. In the 1980's it was 1800 sq ft. Somewhere between the 1990's and today the average home size has grown to over 3000 sq ft in many parts of the USA all while the average size family has gotten smaller and all adults are working all day. My father taught me early on to never buy anything on time but to save up for what I wanted. buying things on time will cost you double the price. I've lived a debt free life and love it. Kudos to you for helping others to do the same!

    1 year ago

  • Ridgevales

    Lindsay from SweetThreesBoutique says:

    What an amazing housing movement that appears to be happening, especially in this economy! Amazing article and, being in the housing market, it is definitely something to consider!

    1 year ago

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects from PoetryofObjects says:

    It's perfect. We live in a very small home too!

    1 year ago

  • FireSpiritDesigns

    Tricia from FireSpiritDesigns says:

    I have to say this is one of the most interesting articles I've read in a long time! My son had to move back in with me when he lost his job & I know he feels insecure about moving into his own place....not only because of high rents around here, but also because he's not sure whether he'll be able to continue paying for it due to the economy, etc. What a great article! I'd heard of "tiny houses" years ago, but this article was really informative & interesting!

    1 year ago

  • ingapeterson

    Inga Peterson from ingailze says:

    Love it! Thanks for such an inspiring story.

    1 year ago

  • JennasRedRhino

    Jennifer Schmidt from TheCatBall says:

    Can you imagine how easy it would be to clean a house that was 500 sq. feet? Sign me up!

    1 year ago

  • jbeaudet

    Jennifer Beaudet from JBeaudetStudios says:

    I could live n a house like that. I think it's great! This is definitely the way our country should be going. I think there is so much waste here.

    1 year ago

  • austinbarnett

    Austin Barnett from RefinedInspirations says:

    We currently live in a small house... but still have a mortgage. I have been planning a new place that will be mortgage free. I am going to build something of a hybrid earthship within the next few years. Up in Minnesota heat is a big deal, and the idea that one can build a passive solar house here was amazing to me. So I have have started designing a compressed earth brick press that will speed up the process of the build and require a bit less labor than pounding tires. Check out the video "The Garbage Warrior" on youtube to check out Earthships. That is basicly what I intend to build, only with a few a slightly different method of construction.

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says: Featured

    I have always loved the creativity and problem-solving skills of the Etsy community. It's such a profound source of positive, unexpected solutions informed by really solid, strong values.

    1 year ago

  • bojacobson

    Bo Jacobson says: Featured

    I totally get this. Being able to live as a full-time maker, without a significant overhead, and while still having all the rights and privileges of a home owner is very cool. I'm an apartment-dweller, and I've moved about 5 times in the last 10 years. Some spots have been bigger and some smaller. Every time I move I'm usually done packing the stuff I care about in a matter of hours, then I spend another day+ packing things I wish I didn't own. Most people understand that they can almost always do with less, but the hard part is realizing that we can often do better with less. Really inspiring.

    1 year ago

  • dannylion

    Lauryn Quinn from thefrolickingfrog says:

    Love everything about this! A great alternative to the mortgage trap!

    1 year ago

  • mmerrittdesigns

    M. Merritt from mmerrittdesigns says:

    I'm all for it! No more "keeping up with the Joneses"!

    1 year ago

  • judemcconkey

    jude McConkey from judeMcConkeyPhotos says:

    I've been seeing shows on this on tv.. I find it to be so fascinating.. not sure I could do it, but it makes me want to downsize. We DO have so many things we don't need... how freeing this would be! Thank you for sharing :)

    1 year ago

  • SilverandEarth

    SilverandEarth from SilverandEarth says:

    This is a great story!! Very inspiring!

    1 year ago

  • DeEscalaArt

    BEATRIZ DE ESCALA from DeEscalaArt says:

    Great piece, it reminds me of my second home in the CA Dessert, I love it but my kids Don't, they are use to our big house.

    1 year ago

  • FLJewel

    Kat De from FLJewel says:

    I think this is a WONDERFUL idea! Too bad some of the rich people who waste money on cars and junk, don't buy a couple of these for homeless people and give them a great start in life!!

    1 year ago

  • sparrowsalvage

    Sparrow from sparrowsalvage says:

    I don't know...obviously these things aren't for everyone (like all things in the world) but I have to question the chair being so close to the stove, it looks like you can barely squeeze in! Where's the TV? Can that kitchen deal with vegetable and fruit preservation? Where do you store long term food needs? How do you get any privacy? Luckily there are alternatives- you can build a house quite cheaply if you do it mudbrick or earthship style, you can 'go in' with friends and co-own a house (my friend, her husband and her parents have done this) or you can just rent forever. Not such a bad option- when things break you don't have to pay for it! I plan to move to England next year- funny to see all the UK people complaining about the high cost of mortgage and the little old houses. A 'little old house' is just what I want, and the mortgages are around half of an Australian one. I can get a wonderful cottage in the West country for less than a 3 bedroom suburban box here.

    1 year ago

  • expressyourself

    Natalia Snemis from expressyourself says:

    Awesome video, great post!

    1 year ago

  • AlwaysAMemory

    Kitty Phillips from AlwaysAMemory says:

    Loved this article! Several of us in our family are getting ready to buy land and build a small community of tiny cabins. My daughter and I will probably be the sole support of the family with our Etsy shops. We want to live simpler lives and stop working jobs that take away from our enjoyment of life. We'll be growing our own food, canning and trying to do without processed food, etc. We are going to be happy AND healthy!

    1 year ago

  • sgcc

    Reginald Whicker from cardcandydotcom says:

    Nice article. Options exist and more people need to be made aware.

    1 year ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery says:

    Such sweet spaces, it would mean that every possession that you owned would really have to work for it's right to be there!

    1 year ago

  • SunshineandRavioli

    Stephanie from SunshineandRavioli says:

    This sounds perfect! House for living...workshop for working! I would love to separate the two...on my "to-do" list in the future! @ Kitty Phiilips- this is exactly what I would love to do if I could talk the rest of my family into it!

    1 year ago

  • DebsWhimsicalDesigns

    Debbie from DebsWhimsicalDesigns says:

    What an awesome interview and video. I've read a bit about these tiny houses in the last year or so. As a single woman, I could live quite comfortably in Debra's 350 sq. ft. house! I wish there was an opportunity to embrace this life style here in Chicago.

    1 year ago

  • allstarorganics

    allstarorganics from allstarorganics says: Featured

    Karen's story is a reminder that a simpler life awaits anyone with the desire to lead it. As more and more people adopt human-scale solutions, tiny houses will certainly lead to tiny towns. A principle that seems to hold up under scrutiny is that, although the problems of the world may seem gargantuan, such as global warming, energy shortages, financial upheaval, cumulative debt, and stresses on communities, the solutions are inevitably, maddeningly, small. Tiny houses are a solution without a downside. Success hinges on the ability of the mind to accept limitations and work creatively within the constraints. Perhaps it is worth pointing out that a significant percentage of the world's population would trade for one of these tiny houses in a hot second, given the choice. This story provokes important questions about who we are, and how we want to live.

    1 year ago

  • minkeebabygifts

    Debra and Gary Jordan from MinkyBabyGifts says:

    "Success hinges on the ability of the mind to accept limitations and work creatively within the constraints" this is beautiful - thanks, allstarorganics!

    1 year ago

  • christinamiller

    Christina Miller from christinamiller says:

    thanks for putting this up on your blog, so fabulous, I am thinking of friends and relatives who are having a hard time with jobs and money, this tiny house could really work for them.

    1 year ago

  • DewyMorningVintage

    DewyMorningVintage from DewyMorningVintage says:

    I'm sure living debt and stress free is far more pleasing than having a huge house that causes stress and probably having to work at a job for hours on end that drains you to pay for that house. I think this is something to be proud of! Our world would change dramatically if everyone decided to live a debt and stress free existence. You may have taken away square footage but you have probably added years to your lifespan! Congratulations on your new life!

    1 year ago

  • Namaz

    Nazima Banka from nazimabanka says:

    wonderful idea, thank you for highlighting this:)

    1 year ago

  • NLeeArt

    Lee from LeeWallaceDesigns says:

    That's what I call frugal and living like a queen. What a fantastic idea!!! What if most of us lived this way. I just read somewhere were they are thinking about building 250sqt feet apartments in San Francisco. Wow!

    1 year ago

  • CrazyAngelArt

    Susanne Snyder from TheVintageHippy says:

    I live in a very small home, approx.850 sq. ft. and I would never desire anything bigger. Small homes are a wonderful way to live...especially in todays world of high cost utilities. Living in a small space also requires one to be very creative within the space...which is in itself an art. Kudos on your choice for small home living...Peace...

    1 year ago

  • elisasherejewelry

    Elisa Shere from elisasherejewelry says:

    Thanks for sharing this amazing story! We live in a tiny house (875 sq feet + an unfinished basement) in Seattle and love it - but sadly, we still have a large mortgage to deal with because our city is so expensive. We LOVE living in a small space, even with two dogs, one kid and two adults. Plenty of space for everything! I actually have friends/family members who live in 2500 sq feet + houses who complain about space. it's amazing how you can live with so much and still not be happy. Simple is best!

    1 year ago

  • Katrina090909

    Katrina Gordon from CarolsNiece says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this article! Now that I've left my day job I NEVER want to go back to the stress of my former career. I am so appreciative of the time I have to spend with my husband and the time I have for me! I feel that I have a new lease on life and I refuse to give it up. As my husband and I prepare to be parents I started to panic about space. After reading tons of great articles I know that we can live comfortably in our current one bedroom with our baby and this article helps me to see that home ownership is also still within our grasp. Thanks!

    1 year ago

  • klb00e

    Mother Lark from MotherLark says:

    so amazing. Way to go turning lemons into lemonade.

    1 year ago

  • ThinkOldThinkNew

    ThinkOldThinkNew from ThinkOldThinkNew says:

    Wonderful story. Living simply, and with family. Thank you for sharing.

    1 year ago

  • AbleAprons

    Erika Kelly from PortlandApronCompany says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article! I am happy to hear that so many other people are finding out how cool, and do-able, small house living is! Amazing!

    1 year ago

  • erbranham

    E. R. Branham from ThoreauFair says:

    This is listed as one of my dream homes. Thanks for the inspiring me to step in this direction.

    1 year ago

  • earthartbybianca

    Bianca-Jane from earthartbybianca says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article! Very inspiring and definitely makes sense, even better if these homes can be built with re-claimed materials. Good on you guys!!

    1 year ago

  • Mystiquebijoux

    Annik-Michele from Mystiquebijoux says:

    VERY inspiring! We should always be happy with what we have instead of what we don't have! Thanks for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop says:

    WOW! And it is SO tidy too!

    1 year ago

  • bunnynicky

    kathrine narducci from KathrinesArtFair says:

    I love this story so much and i figured out why . I think I love the freedom of all the overhead we put on our self when we really don't need it. I look at all my bill's and i say to myself every month I didn't need half the crap on this damm bill !!!! I'm sure they can live in bigger place with bigger bills and more overhead and just be a middle american robot working to just pay bills and have a little extra in ya pocket after you killed your self at work , At least they now live with out fear of not having money to pay all those bill's because they were smart enough to down size . I say WAT TO GO PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!! LOVE NARDUCH

    1 year ago

  • ansluasi

    ansluasi from OnceUponABookshop says:

    As heating bills and other utilities skyrocket, littler home just make more sense. I wish builders would go back to making small neighborhood houses like they did in the 1950s. More people could afford them too. It would be a lot easier to shell out around 75K for a house than 250K or more, even a mortgage for that amount would be do-able.

    1 year ago

  • DreadnaughtDarling

    Kera from DreadnaughtDarling says:

    I live in a tiny house myself of 144 square feet ( http://dreadnaughtdarling.com for my blog). I have been living in my house for over a year and I adore it. My total bills are a few hundred dollars (mostly various forms of insurance). I work from home in my small space. I live in the backyard of some friends who are urban homesteaders. We have our own little community now. The existence is simple and beautiful and I love it and would recommend it to anyone.

    1 year ago

  • minkeebabygifts

    Debra and Gary Jordan from MinkyBabyGifts says:

    Yay Kera! - I am off to see your blog :)

    1 year ago

  • BeautifulSoaps

    Heather Rai from FattysSoapCo says:

    I love this story. I'm obsessed with the tiny house blog. Every Saturday as I have my coffee I sit and dream about tiny houses. I recently was allowed to live my fantasy in a tiny little barn/house with a loft. It was super cute and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have done it. Live tiny, dream big :-) great post!

    1 year ago

  • mbueb

    Monica Bueb from MonicaBags says:

    This is fantastic! (What an adorable home.) I've more-or-less given up on owning (again), but with this idea, it just may be possible. Thank you, Karen for another wonderful hope-provocing story!

    1 year ago

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl says:

    I am not sure if this is something brilliant or horrible. Sure, we don't need those huge houses that are popular, in fact the three of us that live in my house still don't use it all, and it isn't big at all. However, I can see so many problems with this tiny house. There are certain codes for building for a reason, and the fact that some places won't even let you build these proves my point. It almost seems like you aren't living in a house at all, but a shack, which seems like you are going backward in time instead of progressing. There seems to be a better way to live sustainablity and debt free that would allow you to build a real house.

    1 year ago

  • PinwheelStudio

    Whitney from PinwheelStudio says:

    Interesting read.

    1 year ago

  • mirabellamorello

    mirabellamorello from mirabellamorello says:

    I say it's a great idea. I think too many people have the whole idea of "bigger is better" when it comes to home ownership. Seeing the pictures of your kitchen makes my heart happy! I grew up in a small house and it was always a joke in my family that when we were seated for dinner, my mother could reach around and get another drink of water from the sink, I could reach around and grab something from the fridge and my father could reach up to answer the phone! There is absolutely no shame in not being in debt forever and why must so many people keep up with some standard of "big enough" or "grand enough"? It is ridiculous and unnecessary. I am so very happy for you and your family on your very beautiful new home! Congratulations! I wish I lived close so I could bring you a plate of cookies and a plant for your windowsill!

    1 year ago

  • OncleHope

    Oncle Hope from OncleHope says:

    What an eye opener. Especially the way this family thinks: its not what you dont have but what you have. And espeically in this economy - its just hard. The house it very well organized and pretty. And I would considered a house like that too but i must say bit bigger. Sounds so bad now.....but its true. Also I adore the cuteness of their son!!! What a humble little big man.

    1 year ago

  • JollyPollyPickins

    Lindsey from JollyPollyPickins says:

    Interesting article. As others have said I have had my eye on the small house movement for a few years now and have even drawn up some plans for my own home. For me it's not if I will live in one, it;s simply a matter of when. I have already started the process by doing purges every few months and have reduced the items I own by at least 60% in the last few years. (My normal size house is beginning to feel a little empty which I actually take pleasure in) I have also put a lot of time into looking at alternative housing energy as I'd love to live mostly off the grid, generating my own power.

    1 year ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat says:

    Having spent a total of 8 years living in an 8' x 28' home (the last 5 year stretch with two Great Danes & four cats!) I really can't see why people make such a fuss about the fact that it's possible. As long as the storage space is well designed it's not only possible, it's actually remarkably easy. To anyone who would like to try it, I'd say go for it. Don't think about it for too long, just do it! It doesn't have to be for ever, but you'll be glad you proved to yourself that it's possible.

    1 year ago

  • HighHatCouture

    Kary J. from HighHatCouture says:

    Simplify. Make your life easy to live in. Fo sho.

    1 year ago

  • luckystar2009
  • CozyMoments

    Michelle from CozyMoments says:

    What an awesome article, thank you for sharing! Your house is adorable! ♥

    1 year ago

  • PonyAndPoppy

    Amy Stone from PonyAndPoppy says:

    brilliant!

    1 year ago

  • AdornmentsbyDebbie

    AdornmentsbyDebbie from AdornmentsbyDebbie says:

    Loved this, what a way to simplify your lifestyle.

    1 year ago

  • LizzyClara

    Dale Coykendall from LizzyClara says:

    I appreciated the "walk through" clearly showing the space. I love looking at books about tiny houses and never get the full sense of space (or lack thereof ) thanks Dale

    1 year ago

  • DylanRBrown

    Dylan from DBStampDesigns says:

    That's really unique. You don't have to have a lot of money to feel rich in a small home. : )

    1 year ago

  • JMWSilver

    Janice McKay Wiggins from JMWSilver says:

    Congratulations on taking control of your life and living your dreams. Janice

    1 year ago

  • theshack

    Alex Trumble from theshack says:

    Simplify! Pay a little more for the location, design well, and enjoy your home with your family.

    1 year ago

  • CinPhoto

    CinPhoto from CinPhoto says:

    I've come across articles/info on tiny homes before, and think it would be great for me, as I do not believe in debt. But ... where do you park it? You're not going to own land with a big home, rent the big home and live in the small one, are you? Living in a trailer park would be a deal breaker-- i need a nice yard or nature...... Are there places where the ordinances let you put a tiny house on a regular sized lot? .....suggestions?

    1 year ago

  • glorygifts

    glorygifts from glorygifts says:

    What an interesting concept! :)

    1 year ago

  • WoodlandiaHandmade

    Emily from WoodlandiaHandmade says:

    It probably sounds strange as a maker of Things, but I truly love the idea of tiny living. A tiny home is our ultimate goal, Eco Dome style! They are a series of adobe domes and have a beautiful, organic quality to them. Our current space is quite small, at 600 sq ft, and the biggest challenge has been convincing our wonderful, thoughtful families not to send us gifts!

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says:

    CinPhoto -- It's difficult to give a single answer to your question because site options for tiny homes vary depending on local zoning, and can vary right down to the specific street. It's a very local phenomenon. Some neighborhoods permit a smaller minimum home size than others, however, zoning laws can change or be worked with -- after all, laws ultimately are designed to serve local needs and can change with local pressure. Out here where I live, Tiny House on the Trailer, a tiny home builder in Petaluma, California, offers site and zoning variance consultation along with its building services. Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed envisions a new kind of "trailer park" designed specifically for tiny hand built homes. It would be modeled somewhat on the beautiful courtyard housing once built in Los Angeles -- low density, tiny homes arrayed around a central courtyard garden, which could serve as a productive food garden for the residents. I see great creativity and resourcefulness being applied to site issues -- as much as to tiny home design itself.

    1 year ago

  • theresamiles

    Theresa Garcia says:

    Wow I think that small houses are a great idea i would love to do the same thing as you did,thank you for sharing with us you and your family are very inspiring to me.

    1 year ago

  • lesbijouxdeSylvie

    Sylvie from lesbijouxdeSylvie says:

    Those prices may not be realistic up here in Canada, we do need winter insulation and all, but letting go of our current house in favour of a small, exquisitely decorated one is a dream I have had for some time. Not having all of our earnings go into maintaining the place is extremely appealing. Now to convince the rest of the family...

    1 year ago

  • tambocollection

    Charmaine from tambocollection says:

    Sometimes that's the price you have to pay to achieve your dreams. Who says you have to live in a big house? I admire their spirit.

    1 year ago

  • Macrame2luv

    Macrame2luv from Macrame2luv says:

    I have been fascinated with all these small houses for years and Love seeing them!

    1 year ago

  • BSandBuf

    Natalie Durham from brightstarandbuffalo says:

    I read "Small Is Beautiful" in my early twenties and it stuck. My daughter was born in a 525 square foot stone cottage. We "upgraded" to a 950 square foot farm house (and my mother moved in). Outdoor covered space helps, great storage (for the essentials...nothing extra needed) and big windows. We LOVE living small (the largest way to live). We can "afford" to work in the creative arts, home school and spend lots of time together as a family. We are gentle on the planet too. Thumbs up to Debra and her family for making this kind of lifestyle choice!

    1 year ago

  • tribenouveau

    Danni Dee from tribenouveau says:

    Less is more, better to be living comfortably than beyond your means and in debt. Congrats to this family for having the courage and humbleness to live this lifestyle. It inspires me to live more simply, and yes its not what you don't have , but what you do have. Words to live by. best of luck to them and to future small home dwellers!

    1 year ago

  • annmarienguyen

    ANN-MARIE NGUYEN says:

    I'm feeling seriously claustrophobic watching the video that I had to turn it off. You have so much land around your home, I would literally freak out. But I do applaud that you can do it philosophically and physically!

    1 year ago

  • LittlebirdRelics

    Jennifer Strohm from alifewelllived says:

    So inspiring! Love the tiny house and the idea of having less. You appreciate what you do have so much more. Wishing you all the best with your business!

    1 year ago

  • KaushiB

    Kaushala Bandara says:

    I love it! My husband and I are moving to Munich (from Victoria, Canada) and are looking around our 900 sq.ft apartment and thinking "why the hell do we have so much stuff?" We will definitely look for a smaller place in Munich, which will save us money on rent and utilities. I'd much rather have a smaller place and decorate it with a limited number of high quality furniture than have a big place and struggle to fill it up with lesser quality stuff. Quantity does not necessarily equal quality!

    1 year ago

  • calicodaisy

    Michele Chisholm from calicodaisy says:

    Marvelous! Great story and inspiring not only for those who want to downsize in an efficient and smart way but also for those who think that if they can't afford even a midsize home that there IS a way to have something darling and safe that is very affordable. Less than some midsize cars!

    1 year ago

  • MiaFrancesca

    MiaFrancesca from MiaFrancesca says:

    What a lovely house and an even lovelier family! I do have to wonder about the opinions in general though - is the support for the aesthetic of the house, or for the small footprint, simple living, and downsizing? Because mobile homes also offer a simpler alternative, but there seems to be such a negative view on these. I wish there would be support and praise for all people trying to sustain a simple lifestyle, whether by choice or by need.

    1 year ago

  • EruptPrints

    EruptPrints from EruptPrints says:

    INSPIRING and such a gorgeous home

    1 year ago

  • contrariety

    Amy King-Painter from contrariety says:

    I grew up in house that was less than 1,000 sq. ft. with my parents and sister. And my father, his parents and 3 siblings lived in it before us! Lots of my friends parents bought much bigger homes, but there were spaces that were never used, and living rooms they weren't allowed to sit in. I loved our smaller house, and we used and lived in every part of it. My parents had very little debt because they chose to spend their money on vacations and experiences, not the biggest, latest, and greatest of material possessions. So glad they raised my sister and I with those values. And even happier that there is a trend in our country to return to those values. It means there is hope for our children to inherit a better world.

    1 year ago

  • bbel

    Bbel from bbel says:

    Great post - here in the UK, many people are finding it hard to buy houses, with house prices superficially inflated over the last few decades. I love not just the affordability of these small houses, but how they also inspire us to simplify our lives.

    1 year ago

  • sarahlounsbury

    Sensible Sarah Lounsbury from SensibleSarah says:

    You make me want to live in a small house but definitely functional house! Thanks for sharing Have a great day! Sensible Sarah

    1 year ago

  • OldSchoolTools

    OldSchoolTools from OldSchoolTools says:

    Great stuff! I grew up in a small (650 sq/ft) house, and now my wife and I live in a similarly small home. We love our little house...the small size is definitely easier to keep clean, and is plenty of space for our lifestyle. I think the focus on large homes and resale values has made it more difficult for average people to afford one...a sad development, IMO. I applaud any return to smaller, owner built homes, and it's neat to see this being promoted here on Etsy.

    1 year ago

  • ToosDetectiveAgency

    Sara Schroeder from ToosDetectiveAgency says:

    I'm glad this option is working for some people, but the whole thing is over-the-top, very all-or-nothing, very American to me. Personally, I don't see the need of going from a 2000 sq ft home to a 300 sq ft home when there are extant options in between. I love my 1100 square foot house, built in the 1940s. There is more than enough room for me, my boyf, and our three dogs. Guests can stay as long as they need to, and we'll still have room for a kid someday.

    1 year ago

  • mlezcano

    Mary Lezcano from BellaBboutique says:

    getting creative with small spaces, how inspirational!

    1 year ago

  • perlesdeverre

    Erin Dubrow from perlesdeverre says:

    Love this concept. I have always said, "who wants a big house, it is just more to clean" I would rather have quality then quanity.

    1 year ago

  • takeapicturedesigns

    Lynne from RiverSpring says:

    Love this idea! from Lynne

    1 year ago

  • SundayOwl

    Lisa from SundayOwl says:

    I LOVE your tiny home. This is my dream.

    1 year ago

  • microbio

    Helena from microbio says:

    Very inspiring post! re-thinking our entire lives in these troubled days and finding new and sustainable lodging solutions is a must. And this one seems so right and comes with two magic words = mortgage free.

    1 year ago

  • itsasimplelife

    Penny from itsasimplelife says:

    After losing my career, our home and everything we worked for when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 47 years old, we downsized to a 1400 square foot cabin in the woods. I LOVE IT! Two years ago we got permanent legal guardianship of our mentally handicapped grandson who is now 20 years old. That is when I began my research on "tiny houses". We plan to put a tiny house on our property for Joey so that he can have some measure of independence. It is really disappointing that so many communities have restrictions limiting this lifestyle choice. With so many out of work or underemployed, others who are widowed, single or, like my grandson, incapable of managing a full size home due to disability, this is a perfect solution. We have a small college near my home and I am thinking what a great alternative this would be for those who are struggling to pay for their education. So many fall into the "tiny house" niche! I love our simplelife!

    1 year ago

  • SquirrelsSpot

    Ashley M. from SquirrelsSpot says:

    This is a great idea, but I don't think it would fit in with my dreams of a bunch of kids, lots of pets, and room to spare for guests. And my husband's book collection. But, if this fits your lifestyle, that's awesome. It appeals to the part of me that likes small and cozy things.

    1 year ago

  • lilyofthewaves

    lilyofthewaves says:

    This s a wonderful idea. I have a small home now and the saving on utilities is amazing. I too search second hand stores and opportunity shops here is Australia for things for my house, old china, manchester etc. When people come to my house they always say"I love this house". Big houses are not always better houses, its the love put into a home and the comfort it provides that is really important!

    1 year ago

  • annamariapotamiti

    Annamaria Potamiti from annamariapotamiti says:

    Great story- thank you for posting. We are selling our house and hoping to move into something much smaller now that three of our four children have moved out. I don't htink we would go this small but it's really an exciting and interesting concept.

    1 year ago

  • Mareesgallerytogo

    Mareesgallerytogo from Mareesgallerytogo says:

    Love the home..great article. I really like the idea of living simply.

    1 year ago

  • MissyEagle

    Melissa Eagle from melissasgiftgallery says:

    Great story! Very humbling as well, I struggle for room in my 1,400 sq ft home. I’m motivated to do make better use of my space. : )

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says:

    Debra just sent me an updated video of her small house story, unavailable when this story posted. For $700 and some serious DIY, she and her husband have raised the roof on their son's bedroom, remodeled the bathroom, added new kitchen counters and a dishwasher, and engineered additional storage throughout their home. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i6Y6NB9tLk&feature=youtu.be

    1 year ago

  • pookdesignz

    Amanda Gwynne-Farrish from pookdesignz says:

    This is an incredible movement - imagine how they are able to sleep so soundly at night and haven't any stress related to debt - they are the lucky ones and I would say, very, very smart.

    1 year ago

  • OceansideStudio

    Diane Dagmar Lane from OceansideStudio says:

    This article warms my heart! However,I am somewhat surprised and saddened by the negative comments that have been posted by some members of this community and I think they have perhaps misunderstood the author’s intentions in some ways. The choice of some individuals, families and business to exist within their means, I think, should be celebrated (as this article, I thought, certainly does) and does not intend to tout a “one size/style shoe should fit every foot” philosophy. With that said, I have lived for more than 20 years ( with my two children) in a 2 bedroom 460 sq ft (42.7sq meters) mobile home, that is now over 40 years old (that was sadly NOT constructed to survive the damp weather conditions of the Pacific NW for more than a decade or two at the most.) So, the idea of value for money where mobile homes are concerned is most certainly in the eye of the checkbook holder. I would give my eyeteeth (had not my orthodontist extracted them) for a quality stick or stone built home to replace this tin-can I lovingly call home. As for the space, yes, for an avid creator, it has proven to be an ongoing experiment in smart storage and I do have an 8x16 studio building outside that I would love to see five time larger! As humble as my place (and the scrub of dirt it sits on) is, it has always been mortgage free. And that's the point I am seeing expressed in the above article. Whether it is out of choice or necessity, living a “simplified lifestyle” (inject what you, individually consider to be “simplified”) can create happiness. For some, flouting wealth is happiness and if one can do so without harm to others than joy be to them! However, for many, flouting wealth is actually an existence in eye-watering debt that is all too often unsustainable in the less than fruitful times. The community all too often bears the brunt of the foolish vanity of the later (as we have seen in the housing boom-bust of recent years.) To some size matters and to others there are factors that rate higher in importance when choosing a lifestyle. My feet prefer comfortable flats but I do admire sexy stilettos on the feet of one who exemplifies humble sophistication. And I do not think it is a stretch of intelligence, to assume a TV could be nicely hidden away inside the cabinet opposite the sofa. I'm off to view the updated video before returning to business. Much love to all of the small home dwellers of the world!

    1 year ago

  • redenjewelry

    Reija Eden from redenjewelry says:

    Great story! Thank you for sharing! I love your home. I really like the concept of learning to live with less. Tiny houses/condos are the norm from where I'm from (Scandinavia). It's all about using the space effectively. Mortgage free living is an excellent idea.

    1 year ago

  • Kittenscloset

    kitten from Kittenscloset says:

    This concept has appealed to me for many years. I love the idea of a small cozy space that is all functional space, not large and useless space. I also love the idea of a workshop on property, a space for keeping all the tools needed for bringing the creative ideas to life. Neat story, makes me warm and happy.

    1 year ago

  • suemichaud

    Sue Michaud from FindsofaKind says:

    Loved your beautiful home. A clear mind is priceless and your family is very rich in my eyes. Your work space built next door is so smart. Good for you!

    1 year ago

  • RockaBlanky

    RockaBlanky from RoughhousersInc says:

    Loved this It literally changed my outlook on home ownership.

    1 year ago

  • elkarbnav

    Gretchen Smith from GretchenSmithJewelry says:

    As a member of the residential building industry, this idea fascinates me. The era of the "McMansions" is over and people are really coming to terms with needs verses wants and these tiny homes are an incredible example of this. If people aren't building small homes, they are staying where they are and making the most of their current homes, which is great for their wallets and the environment. To be able to not only have a small home, but also run a business out of it is incredibly resourceful and I think this is a trend we are going to see grow over the next few years.

    1 year ago

  • LisaHarrisonDesign

    Lisa Harrison from FleurdeLisaStudio says:

    Wonderful story, beautiful home. In our community, though, the land on which to sit a home of any size is more and more unaffordable. (Situated between Philadelphia and New York.) But I love this story and will share it. :)

    1 year ago

  • LavenderField
  • MaejeanVINTAGE

    Mae and Jean Vintage from MaejeanVINTAGE says:

    Wow, I really enjoyed your story! I love your office space too. :-)

    1 year ago

  • LuvCherie

    Amy Darigol from LuvCherie says:

    Amazing! It really made me think. :)

    1 year ago

  • moonstonemp

    Mary Phillips from moonstonemp says:

    This is a great article. We've been discussing buying a small country home needing TLC for cash rather than remodeling the kitchen in our current home which is underwater. That way, if we have to walk away from the mortgage we have a place we can live and don't need to have the bigger income to support it. Thanks for posting this. I shared on Facebook.

    1 year ago

  • leeannasjewerybox

    Leeanna from LeeannasJewelryBox says:

    I love how everything has it's place. That takes skill. I wish that family luck.

    1 year ago

  • mzopf

    Megan Zopf from CayleeBeadedJewelry says:

    This would be perfect for me and my jewelry! As it is now, I live in a one bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor in a town where most of my family and friends do not live. I am alone most of the time. My children are all grown and I am single... in a relationship but he works out of State and only home on weekends. So for the most part, my apt. serves more for storage than anything else and I have no problem down sizing and getting rid of things I store except for my photo albums, cameras and computers. I don't even watch the TV I bought new a couple of years ago. The things I enjoy most would never be kept inside as they are outside in nature! My only requirement is windows or sky window...my vision is getting worse. But this has a porch and I could sit outside:)

    1 year ago

  • LisasLittleCreations

    LisasLittleCreations from LisasLittleCreations says:

    I am truly amazed by this little house. It looks bigger on the inside and so quaint. I love it!! I'm planning on moving to Alabama and will definitely look into this. Paying a high rent now is a necessity but this is so cost effective to be debt free. I have 1 1/2 years and my daughter is done with college so I'll be adding this idea to my wish list! Thank you so much for sharing. Congrats!!

    1 year ago

  • DOTTO

    NICOLE Dotto from DOTTO says:

    THIS is perfect.

    1 year ago

  • teatimeandroses

    Beverly J from teatimeandroses says:

    Totally Inspiring!!

    1 year ago

  • jakesleutel

    jake sleutel from jakebuilt says:

    Love this. Living with less and in a smaller space can have a large impact on the worlds Gross Domestic Happiness. Thanx for this!

    1 year ago

  • blufaerie

    Tishana Trainor from bluknotsoriginals says:

    This is amazing! I have been following the Tiny House movement. I have two teens and my partner's mom lives with us, so this is out of the question, but truly inspirational. I've also seen ppl living in buses. It's all so interesting! <3

    1 year ago

  • LaECLECTICa

    LaECLECTICa from Laeclectica says:

    I have been down sizing for years with my ultimate goal to live in a one room cabin. Micro housing really appeals to me. It is easier to stay pure and focused when we are not surrounded and weighed down with possessions and excess. Great article thank you!

    1 year ago

  • myvictoriancottage

    Vic from MyVictorianCottage says:

    Even with a small house and no mortgage how can their housing expense be only be $145.00. Don't they have to pay property taxes, heat, hydro, phone, cable, internet, property insurance? Did I miss something? Where do they live?

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says:

    Hi Vic. The $145 a month that Debra and her family pay is for the space they rent in a trailer park. So no, there are no property taxes, etc. Parks across the country differ in the amenities that are provided with each rental space. You can check with some of the links provided in this post for more information about how small house dwellers handle additional living expenses.

    1 year ago

  • CandleMomma

    Pam from MadeByPamela says:

    I think it would be wonderful to live in a tiny house. Its not how big its how happy you are for sure! I wouldn't care what others think at all BC its my life I'm living and all I want is to be happy! Life is to short and you only live once! I want to build and live green! I'm going to start by building my own studio first and then an outside building out of Cob yes clay and straw bales. Then I'm going to build my own straw bale home and yes its going to be tiny about 500 square feet! Thats counting the porches as living space! Straw bale homes are so beautiful and you can't tell the difference in a traditional home. If you have never seen a straw bale home you should check them out. I live in east TN and straw costs about $4.00 per bale now what does that tell you how inexpensive a straw bale house would be to build. Ive done the re search and I'm ready to build my straw bale tiny home! :)

    1 year ago

  • larrysleatherwork

    Larry Bruhn from larrysleatherwork says:

    I would not mind living in a small home but off grid completely. I look at the straw bale homes, sheds, homes on wheels. It gets cold here near st louis, mo so I want my floor warm and good windows. Wife and I are retired so we may do something crazy like this...never know. Enjoyed this blog.

    174 days ago