Can you not only live, but thrive, with less? A group of six college students from Michigan decided to take some time out of what they felt were lives of excess to live more minimally. They filmed the lifestyle experiment last year and made it into a documentary called Thrive With Less. In their journey, they were introduced to Jay Shafer and his tiny houses while attempting to live within only 25 square feet of their own homes.
Their raw footage videos and vlogs cover not only tiny houses, but decluttering, reducing social media, Dumpster diving, commuting by bicycle, and living more simply. Several of their self-imposed challenges included holding community dinners with items only found in their pantries, volunteering at various charitable organizations, wearing only four shirts and one pair of pants for the whole month, not driving within a 2-mile radius of their homes, and taking time to pursue their passions.
Photos and video by Thrive With Less
Debt free – healthy, happy, and with lots of friends. Where the best things in life are not things, where less is more and, where just enough is plenty!
The lifestyle model includes:
- Sustainable living – shelter, food, water, energy, transport, waste, environment
- Community participation – volunteering, active citizenship
- Education – learning, simple sustainable choices, self-sufficiency, and rich experiences
A model for life and an educational project to learn from with information and inspiration.
Of most interest to the Tiny House community this website will be the Happy, simply home – a 10m2 house built by a group of volunteers using mainly reused, recycled, or left-over materials in two weeks for under $8000 NZ ($6700USD).
To live simply is the ultimate sophistication and luckily I have been fortunate to live and learn from the world’s poorest who, unfortunately, don’t get to choose simplicity, but are masters of living simply and being more connected to their families, communities, and the environment around them.
Simplicity has so many amazing benefits to the individual, the people around them, the environment, and towards a more just and connected global community. This was the starting point that I wanted to have a home that implemented these ideologies in a tangible way through a dwelling to live in and be an active part of a community.
After traveling to almost 60 on top of my native home of Australia, I stumbled upon a town named Paekakariki (where the girls are cheeky – as the local rhyme goes) and fell in love with the surrounding beach and mountains and also the community. It’s a small but distinct community that cares about where they live and those who live within the community. I was there this time last year and then had to leave for the remainder of the year. I returned in late January to set up the Happy, simply project and the home. Continue Reading »
by Jane Roarski
There are plenty of advantages to living in small spaces: fewer possessions, reduced impact on the earth, and lower living expenses are just a few of them. More people are choosing to live more simply, and for some that means using the bare minimum of living space.
While living in limited square footage poses many challenges, a growing number of people are proving that minimizing essentials, combined with some innovative custom remodeling, is enough to meet the task of tiny house living.
Whether your small living space is 1000 square feet or 100 square feet, these ideas can help cushion the transition from a bigger home.
Less is more. If you’re making the effort to live in a smaller space, you’ve probably realized that tiny house living leads to liberation from unnecessary stuff. Moving to a tiny space means letting go of non-essentials. In return, you’ll be rewarded with more time and money, as a smaller home takes a lot less of both to maintain.
Storage closets and a kitchen find room under a sleeping loft. Photo credit: Koch Architects.
Love the loft life. Bedrooms can take up a lot of space, but sleeping doesn’t have to. The sleeping quarters in a smaller home are often the same size as the bed itself. With a loft design, the bedroom can be located directly above another room, even though most tiny houses are single level. And when placed on a custom platform, a loft bed can rest on top of essential storage. Continue Reading »
This last summer, my husband and I took a three day whitewater rafting trip on the South Fork of the American River in central California. This area of the state has a culture of its own. While the mountains and the coast have the ski and surf bum, the American River is home to the seasonal river guide. Many of these river guides come from all over the country to raft and kayak one of the most popular rivers in the West and they live from May to October in a hodgepodge of dwellings.
The river guides we rafted, ate and played in the water with lived in tents at nearby campgrounds, in temporary buildings on land leased by various rafting companies or in VW buses in the parking lot. One of the guides even lived the entire summer in a hammock strung up between two live oak trees. The guides used the campground bathrooms and showers and cooked in outdoor kitchens. Around the river, and in the massive, thorny blackberry bushes these free spirits squat in what might seem like terrible living conditions, but what they see as the best way to experience the river. Continue Reading »