14 Days

by Tammy Strobel on October 8, 2011

Gneti kept biting Logan’s ankles as we sat in the sun and talked with Dee. We were on the front lawn of our soon to be home. The sun was shining and we all had our shoes and socks off. It was a perfect fall day and playing puppy games with Gneti made it both fun and relaxing.

As we played with Gneti, Dee asked, “What are you looking forward to most in your new home?”

On the surface this seemed like a simple question, yet it was difficult to answer. So I told Dee, “We’re looking forward to a lot of things, like living in a quiet neighborhood and being in tune with the seasons.”

Logan looked up from his tug of war game with Gneti and said, “We’re really looking forward to hearing the rain on the roof.”

Dee retorted, “Well, you’ll get a lot of that.”

After we visited with Dee we went to a local coffee shop and relaxed with some Rooibos tea and an americano coffee. Logan looked up directions to a local bike shop and I thought about Dee’s question. I wrote a more extensive response in my journal and wanted to share a small snapshot with you.

I’m looking forward to . . .

- Living in a home that fits like a glove.
- Sitting on our front porch.
- Living in a beautiful backyard and having access to green space.
- Watching the light stream through the french doors.
- Observing how the experience of living in a little house will change me.
- Cleaning less.
- Being more generous with my time.

We’ve been living in the belly of an apartment building and we’re looking forward to being outside more. Our apartment is cute, but it doesn’t get much light and sometimes I feel like I’m living in a cave. In 14 days, that’s going to change. We’ll be moving into our little house on October 23rd!

How does your home give you a sense of peace and happiness? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

1 Megyn @ Minimalist Mommi October 8, 2011

Oh goodness…about the only thing I can muster up about our house is that it’ll make a good rental lol! I guess it’s nice being close to parks and relatives, but I’d choose location over those almost any day!

2 Derek and Sara October 9, 2011

Nice to see Dee! I haven’t been to your site in a while, but wanted to check in on your house progress. My wife and I were moving forward with a tiny house plan when we were offered a bedroom out in the country for $200 a month and we jumped on it. Rented out our home in Olympia, donated and sold most all of our stuff(except the bicycle collection and are happily living in a spot where we can see three mountains and with the exception of power lines way off in the destination, no evidence of human habitation :) We live close enough to town to ride bikes there and have decided we’re happy as pigs in mud right here. If this ever comes to an end we will revisit tiny home living and are very much looking forward to your experience with it.
Cheers!

3 Tammy Strobel October 9, 2011

@Derek and Sara – Great hearing from you. It sounds like your home is wonderful. :) We might have an open house in January. Although we haven’t made any firm plans yet. Once we get settled and figure out the details, I’ll let you know.

4 Derek and Sara October 9, 2011

We’d also love to see it if you are taking guests, I know we’ve never met but Dee will vouch for us! I shoot for a living and would be more than happy to take some new house photos!

5 Sunday October 9, 2011

I am SO excited for you guys!!! I know I’ve said this a gagillion times but I’m totally living vicariously through you while I pay off debt and save to do the same thing.

There’s one room of my home and a portion of my backyard that give me peace and happiness. The room has a large window and a large sliding glass door and a sun light. All these things make it light, and bright, and airy. It is my most favorite room so I turned it into my bedroom. I love that I don’t need lights after 6 am and before 7 pm. There’s one patch of my backyard where the chicken house/run is and the raised bed garden. Both provide countless hours of entertainment as well as extra food. The raised beds are currently covered in chicken manure/bermuda for the winter and I can’t wait for next spring/summers planting!

6 traci sabia October 9, 2011

i am so excited for you both. anything new no matter what it may be is so thrilling. good luck guys.

7 Caroline McGraw / A Wish Come Clear October 9, 2011

Tammy, congratulations! It’s so exciting that your move-in day has nearly arrived!
Like you, I really value natural light, and our current apartment doesn’t allow for a lot of that. But I do enjoy the snugness of the space, and the way that we’ve downsized to live a simpler life within it. I also appreciate how close it is to spaces that are important to me: the L’Arche home where I used to live and work, the yoga studio I love, the used bookshop and sunny park.

Again, congratulations! Can’t wait to see photos of you guys in your tiny house! :)

8 Kane October 9, 2011

Tammy this is one of, if not, your best post ever.

That picture is so joyful and is matched by the those things that you are looking forward to.

Profound.

And that says something coming from an Englishman. We are supposed to be awfully buttoned up don’t you know.

:-)

9 Tammy Strobel October 9, 2011

WOW! Thank you Kane. :)

10 Donna October 9, 2011

Well, I can’t find any sort of employment in my locale, but I like my 1930 house a lot. It was my childhood home and needs a LOT of work, inside and out. I especially enjoy the large living room with gas logs and the dining room (connected to the LR by an archway). After the old plaster ceiling in the LR collapsed a couple of years ago, we had a new sheetrock ceiling put in, painted all the walls a calming peaceful shade of blue, and minimized the furnishings. It wouldn’t win any raves from Martha Stewart, but we love it. Very simple and serene. Oh, and we let the old pine hardwood flooring show, except a small area covered by a cream-colored area rug. Much of the time, I want to downsize and go much smaller, but I am soooo spoiled….until time to cut the big lawn rolls around, then I fuss ‘n grumble.

11 Helen October 9, 2011

How exciting! But where will your tiny house be? You have mentioned several places over time as well as leaving Portland all together. Just curious. I live in Portland and I like thinking that you may be out and about in places where I am too sometimes. It gives me a feeling of belonging and community. Thanks for all the inspirational sharing of yourself and your life.

12 Tammy Strobel October 9, 2011

Hi Helen – You’re sweet! Thanks for reading. :) We’ll be in north Portland. We’re still thinking of moving, but that won’t happen until next summer.

13 Susan October 9, 2011

Like others I am also living vicariously through your Small Home posts. At times when I feel hard done by or have to explain my home situation, at this “later in life time “, you remind me that this may not be the norm but it gives a tangible and profound satisfaction.
My peace and happiness comes from looking out my wall of windows from my south facing studio condo. The open balcony door on this fifth floor almost bumps up against a huge elm/maple tree that hides other city dwellings and harbors some wildlife. After years of living large and isolated, I am happy to be in this vibrant west coast city, occupying only a 500 sq. footprint.
Thank you for your connection, Tammy.

14 Gina October 9, 2011

Tammy,
CONGRATS!!! :0)
I’m so excited for you guys and look forward to seeing more pics, and reading more about life in your tiny house! All the best!

Ps… I don’t comment often, but I visit rowdykittens regularly. It’s one of my favorite sites… Just wanted to say that I enjoy the new style! :0)

15 Tammy Strobel October 9, 2011

Thanks Gina! :) I’m so happy you like the new style.

16 Debbie October 9, 2011

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your writing and photos. I have to say watching the tiny house story unfold has been my all-time favorite. I just long for a small space some day. So I soak up all the info you put out and study the pictures you take. Your little house will be delightful. I recently had the good fortune to spend several days in Portland. What a great city, such a joyful place to visit. I now live in 1200 square feet but I am slowly giving my possessions away and moving toward smaller. It is a very liberating feeling. Thanks for all your info. I do have one question about the new tiny house…how does one do laundry? Do you have to go out to do it?

17 Tammy Strobel October 9, 2011

@Debbie – Yup. We’ll go to the laundromat. It’s only a mile away from our new place, so it’s doable. I’m actually excited about the new ritual. I can read, write, or draw in my journal while the laundry tumbles.

18 mary lou October 9, 2011

hi Tammy, Congrats on your new house. In a pinch you might want to invest in a laundry pod. Its like a large salad spinner. That is what I will be using when my tiny house become more than just a dream. ML

19 Val October 9, 2011

The tiny homes sound lovely.

On a side note, can you ask Dee if she was ever at the Noble’s solstice parties? I think I may have met her, years ago.

20 Zann October 9, 2011

Peace & happiness in my home usually comes with the afternoon light in the living room at play on the wood floors–in the fall the light & shadows move with the wind in the trees outside. I also spend as much time as I can on my screened back porch. I take my knitting and weaving & other creative work out there, have my tea and meals – it’s especially blissful when the trellised rose bush is abloom.

21 Laura Bradshaw October 10, 2011

Hi Tammy,

I’m another vicarious reader (lurker). I read Joe Dominguez in about 1991 right before I moved from Portland after a 12 year stint and while the philosophy spoke to me, it also scared the heck out of me. I had not yet arrived at the consumerist “dream” so I wasn’t ready to leave it, especially since I was raised in a comfortable middle class home. Our roots of consumerism can be deep and sticky and difficult to release.

I now live on the east coast married to a man who has long espoused living “independently poor”. We live in a suburb of D.C. and spend most of our summer vacations in the NW visiting old haunts and friends. Our townhouse is nicknamed “the stair master” because it has 5 (count’em) levels and regularly gives us a work out. I’ve been paring down significantly in anticipation of empty nesting which still 4 years off. We won’t be ready to retire yet, that will come after college is paid for but I’m continually encouraged by your choices and others among the minimalist community to divine what is my personal “minimum” now. At this point we could easily lop off the basement of our house and loose next to nothing in the way of possessions and function, well there is a guest “womb” there, but not much else.

I have a couple of questions for you. One is, do you ever think about having or otherwise parenting a child? If so do you think you could make it work in the tiny home you’re about to inhabit?….or would it need to grow some. Two: I understand that the community you are building would provide a strong safety net in the case of unwelcome eventualities (illness or injury) but what about retirement or long term care? I never hear any of the minimalists talk about saving for a time when needing an income but not being able or interested in creating one might come along?

I’m signed up for next summer’s WDS and looking forward to finding like minded older types to see how they are shaping their lives in more minimalist directions AND I thought I’d ask you as well.

Best wishes and give that amazing canine in the photo and ear scratch for me next time you see her (him?).

Laura

22 Tammy Strobel October 12, 2011

@Laura – WOW! Lots of questions. I’ve answered some of these questions previously. You can find my responses here > http://rowdykittens.com/our-tiny-house/

As far as money management goes, this post is a good starting point > http://rowdykittens.com/2010/04/simple-finances/ I would suggest digging through the archives for more info. In short, saving for retirement / long-term care is a good idea.

Looking forward to meeting you at WDS!

23 Megan Swicegood October 10, 2011

I always take an abundance of natural light for granted. We’ve recently moved into an apartment with only two small windows and a sliding glass door – all west facing and all in the shadow of large trees. With our coco colored walls I really do feel like I live in a cave. The only way I survive it is lots and lots of time sitting on my patio. I miss east facing morning light and floor to ceiling windows that let it all stream in. Enjoy those french doors and lots of time outside, I envy you that.

24 James Gordon October 10, 2011

Tammy,

Awesome! I know how much you two have been looking forward to that!

I hope you both have a grand time living within the little house, and that your move in is swift, smooth, and lovely. :)

Warmly,

James

25 Maria October 10, 2011

Thank you for making me think. I’ve recently only started to follow your blog but I’m always impressed by how you have such a connection to everything around you and how you make me think and inspire me to feel.

It’s exciting to see you downsize to such an extreme. My husband and I have been downsizing and minimizing for the last 2 years for reasons that are not even altruistic necessarily. I still am attached to some stuff for now until we pull the trigger on a tiny/small home and I will rethink stuff even more then. We are debt free except the mortgage which we will pay off next year. I really like my home, but we’ve eliminated so much stuff the house is slowly emptying out of itself. Is it a home or a house? Right now, it feels like both.

I will continue to just let you inspire me further with the downsizing and minimizing. Good luck and best of everything in your new home! I can’t wait to read your first post after you have settled in!

26 Victoria October 10, 2011

Even though we’re only renting this 2-acre farmette and there is much I would change if I could, I LOVE having access to view the sunsets over the neighbor’s field from our yard! This is the first home I’ve ever lived in where I could view the sunset!

I also love having critters here (the first place we’ve lived where we could have our alpacas and chickens on-site). My favorite times of the day are hanging around outside with the herd or flock, even doing chores is peaceful and the chickens are endlessly amusing!

27 Kera October 12, 2011

I am in a tiny home too. What gives me peace and happiness.

-cleaning less
-the sound of the rain when laying in bed
-tea in the morning using my propane stove
-how bright my house is in the daytime
- I find more time for me, my friends, my family and my dog, Riley
- having less expenses leads to a happier existence. Less is more
- I greet the day in such a better mindset
- inspiration to be more creative
- cooking with propane is the best thing ever

I love, love, love, love my house. I am excited for you getting to be in your new home soon!

Kera

28 Mike | Homeless On Wheels October 14, 2011

My home gives me a sense of peace and happiness knowing that it is a simple matter to move, house and all, any time I want or need. Having a house with wheels affords that freedom.

29 Jennifer V October 17, 2011

We’re renting our house out and living with my mom to save up to build out tiny house but my mom’s house is out in the wood with a 1/4 mile driveway to the closest road so it’s wonderful and all the pine trees here in GA make everything smell amazing!

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