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 »
by Gabriella Morrison
Grab your favorite mug, fill it with delicious tea or coffee and enjoy this interview with Andrew Morrison (from StrawBale.com) about “Living SMALL In A big World”. Andrew covers everything from how he converted his closet into a master bedroom, to living in a 125 sqft pop up tent trailer in Baja with his 12 year old daughter and wife, to designing your home to reflect your personal connection and love with nature, to living small with a teenager, to the role of straw bale construction in the tiny house movement, and how to create your own off-grid forever home with your own two hands.
Andrew is set to launch his new book, “A Modern Look at Straw Bale Construction” on November 23, 2012. If you’d like a free chapter from his book, please click here. You’ll also have the chance to enter your name to be one of the 25 people that receives the book for free.
If you live in a ski town, keep an eye out for a truck towing an elegant tiny house and five ski bums on the lookout for some great powder and free Wi-Fi. For six weeks, Molly Baker, Zack Griffin, Neil Provo and their videographers Sam Griffin and Andy Walbon will be road tripping around North America in a 112 square foot house on wheels and will be posting their videos online. The idea behind the trip is to find grassroots ambassadors for the outdoor gear company, Outdoor Research, ski some of winter’s best deep powder and meet fellow ski enthusiasts. They also wanted to take this trip in a tiny house to show that a passionate and low-impact lifestyle could be had for little cost.
“We are refining the entire process of living as ski bums,” Zack said. “It is really about figuring out what you do and don’t need. For me, I want to ski and there isn’t much else that I need.”
Initially, the group thought they would take the trip in a van with a wood stove – similar to one that Zack lived in in the parking lot of Mt. Baker. But, after seeing some of the Tumbleweed tiny houses, the crew decided a custom built house would meet all their needs. Continue Reading »
Ellen Dawson-Witt was recently featured in her local newspaper because of her tiny house and her downshifted life. Ellen’s 192 square foot house is located on her property in Yellow Springs, Ohio where she grows some of her own food and carries water from a well for washing, uses solar panels for a lamp, CD player and laptop and uses a composting toilet. She does her cooking on a gas range from 1934.
Dawson-Witt, a freelance editor and government contractor, has avoided television and fashion and wanted to live her life like that of Henry David Thoreau.
“I wanted to live deliberately and to not be on automatic pilot,” she said. “I wanted to be connected to the elements.”
However, she is not able to live in her tiny house full-time. The county in which the home is located does not allow full-time living in a home without indoor plumbing. She keeps another house close to her work.
Inside the tiny house, there are three chairs, one table, one desk, a kitchen cabinet from the 1920s, one bookcase, a loft with one bed and one small chest that contains an extra blanket. About 75 percent of all she owns fits in the tiny house. (Ironically, she has a whole shelf of books on voluntary simplicity, she said.) She has her clothes and a file drawer in her other house and her tools and camping gear in a nearby shed.
Dawson-Witt will be leading a seven-week discussion on sustainability at her tiny house. The sessions started on October 4, 2011. Her talks will cover simplicity, ecology, food, money and more for those who want to live more lightly on the earth. Continue Reading »