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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 2.4 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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 :)

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • 2TrickPony

    Rachel from 2TrickPony says:

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

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    Kudos to you! Great story.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • FranceGallery

    France Gallery from FranceGallery says:

    What a cute place!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • jgaido

    Josie from JosiesBoutique says:

    Lovely home :-)

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • kathyjohnson3

    Kathy Johnson from kathyjohnson3 says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • happybdaytome

    happybdaytome from happybdaytome says:

    Wow what a wonderful story !!!!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!!!

    3 years ago

  • brezomayo

    Heather from Brezomayo says:

    such an inspiring video! Great feature.

    3 years ago

  • reflectionsjewelry

    Emily Delfin from reflectionsjewelry says:

    Interesting....all for living debt free!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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)

    3 years ago

  • Rockcakes

    Sarah Meredith from Rockcakes says:

    brilliant post, tiny but all yours!!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • OuterKnits

    OuterKnits from OuterKnits says:

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

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from FireHorseVintageHQ 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? :)

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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 :-)

    3 years ago

  • nicolanis

    Michelle from FoamyFactory says:

    Lovely Home!

    3 years ago

  • PinkCheetahVintage

    PinkCheetahVintage from PinkCheetahVintage says:

    Seriously considering the small home option :)

    3 years ago

  • EmiliaFaith

    Edie Ann from OhHoneyHush says:

    Wow, I love the idea!

    3 years ago

  • ValliCraftEmporium

    ValliCraftEmporium from ValliCraftEmporium says:

    Charming! Hope there's a storage shed.

    3 years ago

  • kellydesigns

    Kelly Hendershot from kellydesigns says:

    This is so cool! Good for you!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!)

    3 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • RobiniArt

    Robin Arthur from RobiniArt says:

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

    3 years 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 :)

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!!

    3 years 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

    3 years 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. ♥♥♥

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • jannio

    jannio from jannio says:

    Very Inspiring idea!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • enhabiten

    liane from enhabiten says:

    hearty clapping.

    3 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign 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.

    3 years ago

  • AMarigoldLife

    Lynn from AMarigoldLife says:

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

    3 years 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!!!

    3 years ago

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts says:

    Interesting and thought provoking article.

    3 years ago

  • reneeanne

    Renée Anne from reneeanne says:

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

    3 years 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 ;)

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign 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.

    3 years ago

  • knitknacknstuff

    Jessica C. from knitknacknstuff says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • 4EnvisioningVintage

    Tracy from 4EnvisioningVintage says:

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

    3 years ago

  • warnellcreations

    warnellcreations from warnellcreations says:

    Amazing story! A great way to live debt free.

    3 years ago

  • shecological

    Sheila Clancy from SheilaForever says:

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

    3 years ago

  • CypressHouse

    Ruth Angela from CypressHouse says:

    Excellent concept, Happy to see this coming around again!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • ARemarkYouMade

    Brenda from ARemarkYouMade says:

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

    3 years ago

  • messinabella

    messinabella from BandBEstate says:

    Great post!

    3 years ago

  • wildthingz

    Andrea from wildthingz says:

    Great story!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • Lipeony

    Lipeony from Lipeony says:

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

    3 years ago

  • bombastitch

    Kristy Kizzee from bombastitch says:

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

    3 years 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

    3 years ago

  • RoughMagicCreations

    Mollie Ann Meserve from RoughMagicCreations says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • raemj

    raemj from raemj says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • kristinasmiley

    Kristina Smiley from CreativeEndeavorsKS says:

    lovely home! Thank you for sharing your inspirational story!

    3 years ago

  • malloryottariano

    Mallory from DarkstarHandmade says:

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

    3 years 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)

    3 years 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/

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • kellyzkreationz

    Kelly Maupin from KellyzKreationz says:

    Wonderful story!

    3 years ago

  • allaboutromance

    Kylie Ward from allaboutromance says:

    Thank you so much for posting this amazing and inspiring story

    3 years 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

    3 years ago

  • LitKnits

    Laura Sparks from LitKnits says:

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

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • carlatepaske

    Carla TePaske from Studio206wi says:

    Great post. Thank you for sharing!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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 .

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • shayneshopson

    Sandy Hopson from LittleShopofPop says:

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

    3 years ago

  • searchnrescue2

    Beth and Bebe from searchnrescue2 says:

    absolutely LOVE this story, thank you for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop says:

    Love this post!

    3 years ago

  • diannejohnson858

    Dianne Johnson from LiteUpMyLife says:

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

    3 years 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! :)

    3 years ago

  • BGBJewelry

    BGBJewelry from SidneyAnnJewelry 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

    3 years 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 :))

    3 years ago

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!"

    3 years ago

  • MissLucyA

    Lucy Ashby from bylucy says:

    I love your philosophy on live. Wonderful film.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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

    3 years ago

  • shoppaperclip

    Keyonna from ShopPaperClip says:

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

    3 years ago

  • joycediggins1

    Joyce from Dream2Reality says:

    Wow ! Wonderful story! Good job :)

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • inkOVERpaperInvites

    Alicia Markey from inkOVERpaperInvites says:

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

    3 years ago

  • eastwitching

    Alison Fennell from eastwitching says:

    I'm all for it!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • EndQuotes

    Emily from EndQuotes says:

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

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • HighPointFarm2010

    HighPointFarm2010 from HighPointFarm2010 says:

    GREAT article! Love the whole concept.

    3 years ago

  • peaseblossomstudio

    Caroline from AnchorRoad 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.

    3 years ago

  • lcarlsonjewelry

    Liesl Carlson from lcarlsonjewelry says:

    marvolus!!!!!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty says:

    Charming!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • csburdick

    csburdick from callmebrazen says:

    great alternative to mcmansion culture!

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • mrichards7171

    Mary from folklove says:

    Great story!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects from PoetryofObjects says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • ingapeterson

    Inga Peterson from ingailze says:

    Love it! Thanks for such an inspiring story.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • dannylion

    Lauryn Quinn from thefrolickingfrog says:

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

    3 years ago

  • mmerrittdesigns

    M. Merritt from mmerrittdesigns says:

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

    3 years 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 :)

    3 years ago

  • SilverandEarth

    SilverandEarth from SilverandEarth says:

    This is a great story!! Very inspiring!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • expressyourself

    Natalia Snemis from expressyourself says:

    Awesome video, great post!

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • sgcc

    Reginald Whicker from cardcandydotcom says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • Namaz

    Nazima Banka from nazimabanka says:

    wonderful idea, thank you for highlighting this:)

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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...

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • klb00e

    Mother Lark from MotherLark says:

    so amazing. Way to go turning lemons into lemonade.

    3 years ago

  • ThinkOldThinkNew

    ThinkOldThinkNew from ThinkOldThinkNew says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!!

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop says:

    WOW! And it is SO tidy too!

    3 years 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

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • minkeebabygifts

    Debra and Gary Jordan from MinkyBabyGifts says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • PinwheelStudio

    Whitney from PinwheelStudio says:

    Interesting read.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • HighHatCouture

    Kary J. from HighHatCouture says:

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

    3 years ago

  • luckystar2009
  • CozyMoments

    Michelle from CozyMomentsLLC says:

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

    3 years ago

  • PonyAndPoppy

    Amy Stone from PonyAndPoppy says:

    brilliant!

    3 years ago

  • AdornmentsbyDebbie

    AdornmentsbyDebbie from AdornmentsbyDebbie says:

    Loved this, what a way to simplify your lifestyle.

    3 years 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

    3 years 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. : )

    3 years ago

  • JMWSilver

    Janice McKay Wiggins from JMWSilver says:

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

    3 years ago

  • theshack

    Alex Trumble from theshack says:

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

    3 years 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?

    3 years ago

  • glorygifts

    glorygifts from glorygifts says:

    What an interesting concept! :)

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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...

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • Macrame2luv

    Macrame2luv from Macrame2luv says:

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

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • EruptPrints

    Helen from EruptPrints says:

    INSPIRING and such a gorgeous home

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • sarahlounsbury

    ✿ 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

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • mlezcano

    Mary Lezcano from BellaBboutique says:

    getting creative with small spaces, how inspirational!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • takeapicturedesigns

    Lynne from RiverSpring says:

    Love this idea! from Lynne

    3 years ago

  • SundayOwl

    Lisa from SundayOwl says:

    I LOVE your tiny home. This is my dream.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • Mareesgallerytogo

    Mareesgallerytogo from Mareesgallerytogo says:

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

    3 years 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. : )

    3 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign 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

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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!

    3 years ago

  • RockaBlanky

    RockaBlanky from RoughhousersInc says:

    Loved this It literally changed my outlook on home ownership.

    3 years 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.

    3 years 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. :)

    3 years ago

  • LavenderField
  • MaejeanVINTAGE

    Mae and Jean Vintage from MaejeanVINTAGE says:

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

    3 years ago

  • LuvCherie

    Amy Darigol from LuvCherie says:

    Amazing! It really made me think. :)

    3 years 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.

    3 years ago

  • leeannasjewerybox

    Leeanna from LeeannasJewelryBox says:

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

    3 years 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:)

    3 years ago

  • LisasLittleCreations

    Lisa Aldrich 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!!

    3 years ago

  • DOTTO

    NICOLE Dotto from DOTTO says:

    THIS is perfect.

    3 years ago

  • teatimeandroses

    Beverly J from teatimeandroses says:

    Totally Inspiring!!

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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

    3 years 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!

    3 years 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?

    3 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign 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.

    3 years 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! :)

    3 years 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.

    2 years ago

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    kathy johnson from ShoeClipsOnly says:

    Really enjoyed this story, I had seen the video before and I think its wonderful these small homes just seem to bring families closer (literally) and that's a good thing! wonderful post!

    1 year ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage says:

    Good for you! I love this way of living!

    1 year ago

  • WildTravels

    Tyson from WildTravels says:

    This would be a dream come true for me... Slowly have been working towards it as well.. Last year, we sold our own 2000 sq ft home, and exchanged it for a 16 ft trailer that we took across Canada. Right now, we live in a small apartment while we figure out the next step in our journey. The eventual & final goal is to free ourselves of materialism and consumerism, and along with that, all debt, and focus on the things that really matter in life - love, adventure, travel, handmade - a more meaningful life...

    1 year ago

  • RenataandJonathan
  • FranziRosi

    Franziska Rosenmueller says:

    I recommend this movie about the construction of a tiny house: http://tiny-themovie.com/. I watched it at a screening and met some of the people who made the movie, quite amazing and inspiring.

    1 year ago

  • TheNorthWayStudio

    Maria S. from TheNorthWayStudio says:

    What an incredible story--all the tiny houses are just so stunning! My fiance and I have been wanting to build our own itty bitty home for a few years now. We dream of the day that we can just drive it out to the country, plop it down on some land, garden all day and frolic about with little chickens.

    1 year ago

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney says:

    fantastic and truly inspiring post!

    1 year ago

  • BarkingDogBlanket

    BarkingDogBlanket from BarkingDogBlanket says:

    love this article, i think it's amazing what you can do with a small space. Just makes sense.

    1 year ago

  • RDress

    Landy Rol from RDress says:

    I like your mini house, I wish I can have such a house, but we can't do that in our country, Put the house in the car and drove to travel, this is a great great great thing! Wish you a happy life! LOVE LOVE your hourse!!!!

    1 year ago

  • debvasbinder

    Deb Vasbinder from BabyCuteBaby says:

    I love the tiny home idea. If I could ever clean out and get rid of the collection of "stuff" from over the years - we could do this and be very happy.

    1 year ago

  • debvasbinder

    Deb Vasbinder from BabyCuteBaby says:

    By the way- Thanks for sharing - I truly enjoyed the read and the video. In this day and age you are a very wise family.

    1 year ago

  • admspeicher
  • Meandtheboy

    Tanya and Val from Meandtheboy says:

    what a great story

    1 year ago

  • Ebrown2503

    Eleanore from FiberBeads says:

    I'm pretty sure my fiber takes up at least 320 square feet of my house :o) I'd definitely need more space.

    1 year ago

  • jenstilley

    Jen Stilley from ArtfullyYoursByJen says:

    I love the idea of a Tumbleweed house. If you are a single person or come from a small family, why not live in a tiny house? For those who have 1, 2 thousand plus square feet, how much of that space is actually used on a day to day basis? Most of the time, we feel we need more space not some much to use personally but to store stuff that usually sits around and collects dust. I love the idea of getting back to basics and simplifying life.

    1 year ago

  • inspiringanchors

    Megan Braswell from inspiringanchors says:

    My husband and I have been turned onto small homes for a few years now and dream of one day owning one. Our main reason for doing it is to become debt free but we also naturally love smaller spaces, fewer possessions and being close to one another and our son.

    1 year ago

  • smilingrabbit

    Jessica from CreativeDollCrafts says:

    Great article..so inspiring!!!

    1 year ago

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry from pinksnakejewelry says:

    Wonderful Post!!

    1 year ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat says:

    Somebody, somewhere has made a pile of money out of flogging the idea of tiny homes to hipsters. Time was, most people lived in a small home, & most old cottages in my area are literally four rooms for the whole family. I currently live in a house of about 1000 square feet, & it's the biggest place I've ever lived since I left home. We have a tiny mortgage & very small utility bills... & two rooms that we virtually never use!

    1 year ago

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns says:

    After reading this article I started looking at all of the videos and all I can siay is "Wow" they are so neat and very pretty. I love the container houses and I could live in one.

    1 year ago

  • dimlim

    Ragga Katla from Dimlim says:

    I live in a house thats under 300 sq ft and I absolutely love it.

    1 year ago

  • BarDulce

    BarDulce from BarDulce says:

    Amazing. Well done!

    1 year ago

  • studiorandom

    Dana Seilhan from studiorandom says:

    I like the idea *for those who want it*, but it doesn't work for me. It's supposedly healthier to cook at home, but having a teeny kitchen in a 300 sq ft house isn't enough room to do a lot of home cooking or to store staples. There isn't enough room to store supplies for seasonal changes, either, without having to build a separate shed or something. Plus I love books (what if I didn't live near a library?) and I craft (that storage shed solution again? Not ideal). And I want *space*. I hate feeling crammed into an itsy building. I don't think it necessarily follows that you must fill a house with junk if you have more space. Yes, it takes discipline to keep from amassing clutter but frankly, you'd have that same struggle in a 300 sq foot house. How many of us had roommates in our 20s who managed to fill their entire room with clutter? Exactly like that. So, to each their own--let's not jump to the conclusion that because one person does this, we all must do it now. You can build larger buildings with less money too. I like the natural building movement, techniques such as cob and rammed earth, because it accomplishes just that goal and the houses they come out with are just gorgeous.

    1 year ago

  • thevintagepainting

    Geometricink lunzer from GeometricInk says:

    LOVE this! I have been watching documentaries on small homes and it is fascinating. This would be my dream...to be able to love in a tiny, yet beautiful house that can be moved across country. What a perfect way to live...it must be freeing in a lot of ways, especially all the savings that will add up when you don't have to pay al the $$ that goes along with owning a large home.

    1 year ago

  • TheDrunkenWord

    Kimberly Hadlock from LeccareLollipops says:

    I love this idea! I have been watching the "small home" movement for a while now. I think of my grandparents home and it was what one would consider "tiny" and I like the fact that people are getting back to that. I myself am planning on building a cob home that will maybe be 1,000 sq. ft. This will include a separate area for our new bakery. Getting back to basics and being rich in friendship and family. Making wonderful products and helping your community :)

    1 year ago

  • taropatch

    taropatch from taropatch says:

    I love tiny homes. From the first time I laid eyes on one I wanted to live that way. As it turns out our own home is under 1000 feet so I guess you can say we already live it. Not like those though. Maybe some day we could hit the road in a real tiny home.

    1 year ago

  • TheJoyofColor

    Yael Berger from TheJoyofColor says:

    I really liked your sentence about ... its not about what you don't have but on what you do have. We also moved from a very big to a smaller apartment (rented) and on the way got rid of lots of unnecessary stuff that i don't miss. We are more organized and tidy now. we don't buy thing we don't need I really enjoyed the movie and your attitude

    1 year ago

  • ModPod4U

    Mathilda White from ModPod4U says:

    I am so trying to down size as I have gotten older. I am on a mission to eventually live in a small home. And if they can do it with a teenager, then I have no excuse. Thank you for sharing.

    1 year ago

  • knightofcrafts

    Casey Knight from CraftingbyKnight says:

    Love! My husband and I are planning on building a tiny house in the next few years!

    1 year ago

  • PaperPicker

    Paper Picker from PaperPicker says:

    Thank you for writing about this. I love the video and ended up a whole documentary on it on youtube when I was done. Makes we want to purge my house of things I don't need or use on a regular basis.

    1 year ago

  • naomigeter1

    Naomi Geter from NaomisSweetStuff says:

    I love these small homes, they look so cozy! Thanks for sharing this, big is not always better.

    1 year ago

  • lannapants

    Bangkokpants Pants from bangkokpants says:

    Wow That 's awesome ......

    1 year ago

  • andersonleexv

    EcclecticCities from EcclectiCities says:

    A home is where the Heart is regardless of its size. And Your are Debt Free!!! Fabulousness!!

    1 year ago

  • flytie

    flytie from flyTieClothing says:

    i'm always intrigued by stories such as these. thanks for sharing.~

    1 year ago

  • boohoostudio

    Kameliya Kiricheva, Cveti Velinova from BOOHOOstudio says:

    Interesting story and such a cute house! :)

    1 year ago

  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork says:

    Puts things into perspective. Pretty cool story.

    1 year ago

  • salllman

    Gulabo from Cooldesires4u says:

    Beautiful …!!

    1 year ago

  • AuntHattiesAttic

    AuntHattiesAttic from AuntHattiesAttic says:

    Love the concept! We built a Not-So-Big home 7 years ago and love it. It was planned around how we wanted to live. It is also very well insulated and a real passive solar house with 2 floors. I find it funny that we live in larger houses but may find deep contentment vacationing in a cozy little cottage or cabin that has just what is needed but no excesses. We could live in your home. The only thing I would add is a large screen house across the backs of both buildings to take advantage of the outdoor living in the better months. It could even access to both buildings for the ease of "commuting" to your jobs on a rainy day! Well done and great video blog.

    1 year ago

  • ericawalker

    Erica Walker from WalkerSilverworks says:

    I have lived in a 500 square foot home for 12 years now and have never looked back.

    1 year ago

  • AmoreBride

    AmoreBride from AmoreBride says:

    As an empty nester, my husband and I have been very intrigued by these very small homes, wonderful retirement idea!

    1 year ago

  • katishainy

    Katyooshjewelry jewelry from Kattyoosh says:

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

    1 year ago

  • AGORAA

    AGORAA from AGORAA says:

    Love this idea!

    1 year ago

  • Circa810

    Thom Aten from Circa810 says:

    Bigger is not always better... along with size comes more problems and expense. Living in a small dwelling has so many benefits but it hard to see past the loss of space to see them mostly because we all have to much stuff.

    1 year ago

  • ehstarr

    Es Griffith from EstherGriffith says:

    So inspiring!

    1 year ago

  • NinisHandmades

    Nini from NinisHandmades says:

    There is no reason to feel weird about living in a small space. It actually gets a lot smaller once you live in the City!!!

    1 year ago

  • katehines

    Kate from bitpartjewelry says:

    Hoorah! Give more - use Less! You guys are Inspiring!

    1 year ago

  • bjowens47

    Brenda and Noodle from PetBlessings says:

    Enjoyed reading this as we're interested in downsizing and simplifying. We'd love to live and tour in an Airstream for a period and then settle in a small debt free home. It's interesting to read people's different perspectives about small living.

    1 year ago

  • nicolesweavingart

    Nicole Neal from Dreamingacrestextile says:

    My husband, kids, and I are going to be converting a large shed into a small home in the next couple of years. I love the idea of living on an acre in a small house that we can actually afford instead of our current second-floor apartment. Also, why the re-post of this article from a year ago?

    1 year ago

  • janaandmark71

    Jana-lyn Schuler from PibbleLane says:

    As someone who is six foot tall (as is my hubbie)..and who loves putting togethor family gatherings....300 square feet is not realistic...maybe in the Florida Keys or something to put up huge amounts of outdoor space and it is warm year round. Although I did live in a 1200 sf home one time and LOVED it....and it was enough for the family and friends gatherings and it was enough for storage.

    1 year ago

  • questdesigns

    olga cave from QUESTDESIGNS says:

    Wow. I saw a preview for the show and really wasnt interested. I am now. What a fantastic idea!

    1 year ago

  • InMaterial

    Peggy McCallum from InMaterial says:

    This is the future - what freedom. This is a trend I can get behind.

    1 year ago

  • PruAtelier

    Jeanne B from PruAtelier says:

    I absolutely LOVE the first picture...that house is gorgeous! Sadly, this size house would not even fit my fabrics! It would be a great idea for me though, if I had a large workroom in the back along with a pocket park yard!

    1 year ago

  • PattyMora

    patty mora from PattyMora says:

    I have downsized a great deal to fit into 450 square feet. It's worth it!

    1 year ago

  • threadlady58

    Robin McSwain from TangledThreadShoppe says:

    I love these little houses!! And I was thinking of buying a small motor home. Now I've changed my mind!

    1 year ago

  • showbelles

    Rhonda Griffin from Showbelles says:

    Smart move...less stuff...more freedom... Soooo Smart!!!!!!

    1 year ago

  • ChYMieRa

    Chymiera from Chymiera says:

    My husband & I have decided we are going to do this - when all our 6 sons are grown. We will give them our 3000 sq ft plantation house, and he & I are going to build a tiny house for just the two of us. That way we can travel as we've always dreamed of doing :)

    1 year ago

  • effy

    effy says:

    Wonderful - and better for the environment too. We're too used to wasteful excess in our lives. This article is so inspirational and Debra's house is so perfect!

    1 year ago

  • kateemarie

    Katie from KateeMarie says:

    Love this! Trying to talk hubby into this idea for retirement, thankfully, I have about 20 years to convince him! :)

    1 year ago

  • DancingClouds

    Pam from DancingClouds says:

    Thank you for sharing your home, it is so inviting. I agree bigger is not always better. My husband & I lived in our 38" RV one winter and it was great. As my husband said we can have 6 for dinner, 4 for the night, but it is made for 2. I think we would all be better off we lived a simpler life...

    1 year ago

  • BarnshopAntiques

    Carol Bender from BarnshopAntiques says:

    We are selling our huge home now....hoping to find something small and simple. I really enjoyed reading this.

    1 year ago

  • GardenDesignsinClay

    Joanna Pheil from GardenDesignsinClay says:

    Love grows big in little houses! ...and to be debt free, is icing on the cake! Way to go!

    1 year ago

  • pcianfl1

    Patricia Cianflone from FernwaterStudio says:

    I recently watched a program about the beautiful, contemporary, small homes that are being created from metal shipping containers... loved them!

    1 year ago

  • zipadeedoodah94

    Sharon from Zipadeedoodah94 says:

    I loved watching the video. I think more people could find happiness with the simple things of life. It's Great what this family has done!!

    1 year ago

  • overthefenceart

    Amy Wright from overthefenceart says:

    I am headed this direction in about a year. Can't wait to downsize and enjoy the simplicity. Kudos to this family!!

    1 year ago

  • misswoof

    Helga from bitsydoodle says:

    The creativity of people never ceases to astound me!

    1 year ago

  • PiacereMioPaperie

    Nancy from PiacereMioPaperie says:

    I love your tiny house too!!

    1 year ago

  • tamilopez

    Tami Lopez from TamiLopezDesigns says:

    Who can possibly argue with the brilliance of this?! I love your story. Thanks so much for a really inspiring feature! All the very best to you.

    1 year ago

  • InfiniteWithin

    Alexandra Queen from alexandracatalina says:

    Great article and links; thanks! I agree, the do it yourself Etsy community is amazing and always inspiring. I'm proud to be a part of it.

    1 year ago

  • ohmyNessy

    Jade from acloudymoon says:

    This is too amazing.

    1 year ago

  • MangoLover

    MangoLover from MangoLover says:

    No mortgage, yeah! Good for you & your family!

    1 year ago

  • LookBackVintage

    LookBackVintage from LookBackVintage says:

    I too am fascinated by tiny homes, not sure why! Just two weeks ago I got a book from the library called "Tiny Home, Simple Shelter" by Lloyd Kahn. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in this subject. It's chock full of fascinating small structures and interesting people. I applaud you for living a simpler, debt-free life!

    1 year ago

  • anothertimeantiques

    Barbara Boyce from AnotherTimeAntiques says:

    my heart strings are singing! Beautifully designed and gracious peaceful

    1 year ago

  • CraftMix

    sara from CraftMix says:

    I love this little home. It has everything you need.

    1 year ago

  • barrycarry

    Tam from BarryCarry says:

    lovin it <3<3<3

    1 year ago

  • richdon1

    Rich and Dona from TheCottageMouse says:

    Nice, just not my cup of tea. I like space in a home.

    1 year ago

  • bittersweetdesign

    Elizabeth Pickett from bittersweetdesign says:

    I have been part of the small home movement for 26 years in my county of McMansions. I live in the historic village of Paeonian Springs, in a self restored 1909 house that measures 952 square feet. We are blessed to have a porch across the front of the house with a side porch that fills in the fourth 'square' of our 6 room "I House with a Kitchen Ell". We are also fortunate to have a clapboard sided 'garage' - 20 x 20 - that I operate as my shop, and a two story shed out back - downstairs is for Sweet Pea the pony and Donkey the miniature donkey - but the upstairs - 12 x 12 - is my supply storage and workroom. I love living small - it gives me more time to do what I love - cool hunt vintage for my MissingHeirloom shop and create lovelies for my handmade shop BittersweetDesign.

    1 year ago

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin says:

    Love small homes , they are perfect for some. It is a lifestyle. I used to travel a lot and did well living out of a back pack. I now have a very old home and love the spacious rooms.

    1 year ago

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth says:

    LOVE these! ♥︎♥︎♥︎

    1 year ago

  • ginnypenny

    Susie Lee from GinnyPenny says:

    Fantastic read. This was a really high quality article. Thanks so much! It really gave me a lot of perspective about how much excess we have. It has inspired me to work on living a simpler life. Thanks to those who shared their living spaces!

    1 year ago

  • debcita429

    Deborah S from DJDeodorants says:

    These houses really appeal to me, although I find that my soul feels very cramped when there are not spaces that are just bare and clutter-free. I find most houses' spaces wasteful though, so a well-planned in between sounds great to me.

    1 year ago

  • jennapavlotzky

    Jenna Pavlotzky from JrpArt says:

    amazing!!!

    1 year ago

  • jennapavlotzky

    Jenna Pavlotzky from JrpArt says:

    this is amazing!! very inspiring

    1 year ago

  • glitterandstones

    glitterandstones from glitterandstones says:

    I loved watching the video and fell in love with your beautiful little home. Thanks for sharing!

    1 year ago

  • stuartroadvintage

    Jeanne from stuartroadvintage says:

    The video was very interesting and the house is adorable! You definitely need to love the people you live with.....

    1 year ago

  • PetiteCo

    Vanessa from PetiteCo says:

    I've heard about modular houses for a while and think it's a great way of getting a great house at a great price. And if you need more space later in life, you can add further modules.

    1 year ago

  • EmpireJune

    EmpireJune from EmpireJune says:

    This is what I have been planning on doing for the last 4 years but materials cost $30,000 and that doesn't include Labor. I would take out a loan but I'm not a fan of borrowing money.

    1 year ago

  • metroretrovintage

    metroretrovintage from metroretrovintage says:

    I have a relative who is interested in making the switch to a smaller home, and really appreciate this feature and the video. It's great to see this lovely family, and the rewards of living practically debt free.

    1 year ago

  • Sarahwoodlovesu

    Sarah Wood from FashionStreets says:

    WOW, SUCH BIG HOUSE. love it!!! In china, it is very difficult to get a big mansion if you are in a big city. It is so expensive and for most people, you can not even get it in your whole life. I am also one of them to get more freedom by living and creating by myself. I believe freedom is the most important for creation and imagination.

    1 year ago

  • Prink

    Phing Chutima from CraftingMode says:

    Very impressive and powerful house : ))

    1 year ago

  • vectorvintageshop

    Vector Vintage from vectorvintageshop says:

    Wonderful article! My H was involved with the tiny house movement people - great folks! And 320-ft home is doable - that was the size of my NYC apartment, me, my 2 cats and the H. Just make sure you get out of the home a lot :)

    1 year ago

  • mojovint

    mojovint from VoilaVintageMarket says:

    Wonderful! Inspiring! :)

    1 year ago

  • payMeNpeonies

    Shawna from CityGirlAntiques says:

    great story! Lots of love make a home... not the size!! Less is certainly more!!!

    1 year ago

  • sagebespoke

    Adela Sivewright from sagebespoke says:

    This story is really encouraging as we live in a 'small'4 x 2 in Australia. As our business failed we never got the games room, study, extra bedroom or parents retreat that seem to be standard out here. Instead, we divided rooms in half and looked to international homes for design ideas to accommodate a teenage girl and two boys and the friends we like to have in. Your article has encouraged me afresh - I'm going to get rid of some more stuff and not feel bad about it!

    1 year ago

  • dayslonggone

    Gwynne Collins from DaysLongGone says:

    I love tiny houses! Thanks for sharing this story!

    1 year ago

  • silpionelf

    Karen from KnitPeddler says:

    Love it! One day I hope to have one of my own <3

    1 year ago

  • da2323

    Mrs. Adams from ThoughtfulLadies says:

    I love this! As my photo implies, Colonial Williamsburg styling would come into full play for me, I have always loved loved loved those small Colonial homes, knowing in my heart that I could easily and happily live in one of those small quaint residences. Thank you for sharing, I am new to Etsy, and this blog has really "spoken" to me. :-)

    1 year ago

  • vickshirley

    Shirley Vick and Mary Gary from byRickMarsh says:

    Tiny house living is smart. Those are not much different than a manufactured home except they are smaller and it is so much easier to move them. Travel trailers are much larger than those tiny houses I think that all of this is just genius.

    1 year ago

  • mulch

    mulch from mulch says:

    Such a great article! This is what I call downsizing, I am so there. Love it!

    1 year ago

  • EngravableCharm

    Ellen from EngravableCharm says:

    Love this feature! So cute.

    1 year ago

  • embellishedlife

    sharon from EmbellishedLife says:

    I couldn't do it, I love open space. Not to fill up, I purge often and am zealous about no cluttering. I could see living like that by myself but I have a huge extended family, 2 kids and possible future grandkids. I don't need a lot of space but love company and friends over.

    1 year ago

  • artypharty

    Pat from artypharty says:

    What an inspiring story! It has made me look around at all the 'stuff' I just don't need. Thank you for sharing your home.

    1 year ago

  • deepmidnightbathery

    Catrianna from DeepMidnightPerfumes says:

    We've been fans of the Tumbleweed House Company for years! I still have a dream of being able to build one some day. The Bodega and Sebastarosa are my favorite house plans. I also love the Popomo but it would be too small. A good documentary on one couples experience building a tiny home is on Netflix and it's called: Tiny: A Story About Living Small.

    1 year ago

  • TastefullyMismatched

    Mandy Spivey from TastefullyMismatched says:

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing your story!

    1 year ago

  • Walkingquail

    Terry Blair from Walkingquail says:

    lots of good ideas even if one has a smaller but not small home housing 2 businesses.

    1 year ago

  • margiepease

    Margie from MaggieMadeDesigns says:

    This is pretty amazing, it puts everything in perspective, and I can relate to this as I am downsizing, in our material world...........truly enjoyed this story. thank you!

    1 year ago

  • georgiatest

    Georgia Leiby from CenterCeramics says:

    My husband, daughter and I live in an 800 square foot home. We have to be conscious about what we bring into our space because we have to use every inch to the fullest. I feel like we're a bit more mindful about our choices now because every item has to be functional and efficient. Living with less has not diminished our lifestyle at all. In fact we have more fun money than ever before!

    1 year ago

  • bestbudsbabysitting2

    Olivia and Abby from TinyForestPrints says:

    How great to do something out of the ordinary! It looks amazing:)

    1 year ago

  • paulaura5

    Laura Mitchell from GreatRunCabin says:

    I love this families story...so true when you have lost of thing it becomes a burden...I have one more daughter at home until October this year and everything we have will be gutted...we are most definitely down sizing... This house reminds me of the movie "Calmity Jane" when the girl are cleaning the dirty old cabin with a women's touch...I so wanted one when I was little for when I grew up...you have made that come true...I know I can do it too... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pG7vBVT3SCM

    1 year ago

  • reyes0505
  • FawningInLove

    Fawning Inlove from FawningInLove says:

    I loved this article the first time it was posted and still do! It also came to mind recently when I saw the commercial for this new series called Tiny House Nation! ♥

    1 year ago

  • illuminativeharvest

    Jennifer Presler from IlluminativeHarvest says:

    Great article! It really touches home, our house is completely hand constructed by my husband and myself will mostly salvaged material. We value every peice of it!

    1 year ago

  • MyKreativeSolutions

    David from MyKreativeSolutions says:

    This is one of the best posts ever. Our goal is to become homesteaders and this just goes to show you that it can work. I applaud the mom for home schooling too.

    1 year ago

  • kishorebhatk

    Dee Bhat from PinkLotusWorks says:

    This is amazing. I always thought I was weird because I liked small houses without too much clutter. I clean up every month and do not let the garage fill up with too many things which I have no use for and do not require. This article shows me how many people choose to live a simpler life!! Probably one of the best articles reinforcing my beliefs.

    1 year ago

  • BraceletInnovactions

    Bracelet Innovations from BraceletInnovations says:

    Awesome story. thanks for sharing it with us.

    1 year ago

  • monlyn25

    Monica C from MomoSeaJewelry says:

    It makes me want to take every single item We have stored in our closets and toss it all right into the dumpster! We don't NEED all the stuff we have! I wish we could live more simply, and this article inspires me to do so!!!

    1 year ago

  • RoxyRoundhouse

    Ella Wild from HeartJewelryAlways says:

    Having a tumbleweed of my own has been my dream for since about 2010. i have lived all over the world in 16 towns / cites over both hemispheres. Traveling for that long this teaches who you are. what is important to you and what you were conditioned into thinking mattered when in reality it real didn't/doesn't. Sad thing is i live in Montreal and the 20- to 40- winter which lasts 6 months kills my dream. Canadian winter has lit my dream aflame, sat back and laughed as it burned till nothing but ashes were left.

    1 year ago

  • shersplace

    Sherry R. from Sharsjewelrysplash says:

    Great things comes in small packages! This is awesome living.

    1 year ago

  • kirstypaterson

    Kirsty Paterson from Chillilimeboutique says:

    Looks amazing. But its the land thats the porblem here in the UK. Theres no chance you'd afford that here!

    1 year ago

  • MAMALULUS

    VIPOTCHI from VIPOTCHI says:

    Amazing

    1 year ago

  • carlissam

    C. Maree from CasaBelmont says:

    liven' it up tiny...the way to go :o) "...making petite grand" XO C. Maree

    1 year ago