List Love: How I Prepare for a Tiny House Move

by Tammy Strobel on June 30, 2013

tiny house move

Our upcoming move — from Red Bluff to Chico — should be relatively easy. The drive is short and our new yard is big, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get the house into the space. However, moving a tiny house requires preparation. It usually takes us a few days to prepare for a tiny house move and then there is travel and set-up time as well. Simply hooking up the house and rolling into the sunset isn’t realistic. It’s important to prepare the house so that it’s safe on the highway.

Before we move the house, I always make a to-do list. Creating a list helps me stay organized and the process reduces my stress. Today, I thought it would be fun to share my tiny house moving list. As a side note, this list does not include the steps we took to find a parking space for the little house in Chico. The following list is specific to moving day:

1. Finish summer projects, which include staining the cork floor, making new steps for the front entrance, and staining the front porch.

2. Reassess belongings and donate extra stuff to Goodwill before moving day.

3. Put mason jars, books, electronics gadgets, kitchen ware, etc. into boxes or in a secure storage location within the tiny house.

4. Clean the cat carriers.

5. Clean the composting toilet and grey water container.

6. Make sure my mom’s FordF350 is filled with diesel before the tiny house is hooked up to the truck.

7. Set-up Mahlon’s old wheel chair ramp and roll the Powermover into the bed of the truck.

8. Put the bicycles, tiny deck, front door steps, and food storage containers into the truck bed.

9. Screw plywood on the windows facing the truck hitch.

10. Secure the kitchen cabinets and drawers with tape.

11. Take the AC unit out of window, wrap it in blankets and stow it under the bench.

12. Check the tire pressure on the truck and tiny house.

13. Hook-up the tiny house to the truck, test the brakes, and the lights.

14. Lock all doors and windows and don’t forget to close the loft window.

15. Put the cats into their carriers and into the cab of the truck.

I hope my tiny house moving list gives you a better idea of what we need to get done before we tow the house down the road. If you have additional questions, ask in the comments section.

Best,
Tammy

P.S. Our move to Chico, CA is happening on Monday, July 1st. If you see us rolling down Highway 5, please wave or give us a thumbs up!

1 Trish Lau June 30, 2013

Best to you as you make your move and may you have peace, joy, and exciting adventures in your new location!

2 Linda June 30, 2013

Awesome list! Good luck with the move, look forward to seeing pictures of Chico! :)

3 Sarah June 30, 2013

Good luck:) I wish I would be on that highway to give you guys a wave:) hopefully it’s not too hot up there!

4 Dan Garner June 30, 2013

The simple life. So much easier than moving with a lot of ‘stuff’. Good luck in Chico.

Dan
Zen Presence – Ideas for Meaningful Living

5 Sandra Pawula June 30, 2013

I’m focused on getting more organized so I love this example of how a precise list can help us do that. Thanks and have a beautiful move!

6 Chris Baskind June 30, 2013

Here’s wishing you a safe & happy move. :-)

7 Delicia June 30, 2013

Happy travels and safe moving! I look forward to seeing your photos of this move ;) x

8 Indika July 1, 2013

Good luck Tammy, Logan and Kittens! Looking forward to the new views and vistas that will be captured on your iPhone Tammy : )

9 Rosie July 1, 2013

Good luck!! Wish I could be there to wave and wish you well!

My partner and I are in the beginning stages of building out tiny house I was just commenting to her how encouraging it is to see that you are living in your house and able to move it without much fuss.

Best of luck, enjoy your new perch!

10 Tammy Strobel July 1, 2013

@Rosie – Thank you! It still takes a while to prep the house for a move; longer than you might expect. It’s similar to an RV in that respect. Good luck with your tiny house project!

11 Carrie July 1, 2013

Best wishes for you your move today!!!
I had a random thought/question tho that if I don’t ask now I’ll forget!! With all the moving a tiny house might see – would the area around the windows/wood be damaged from the “constant” screwing and unscrewing the plywood sheets? Maybe there’s a more permanent way of installing some type of mount/screw system/vice/etc. to hold the plywood in place that doesn’t detract from the look of the house? Fancy shutters disguised as highway moving protectors?? :-)

12 Logan July 2, 2013

Hi Carrie,

Thanks for reading! Tammy asked me to help respond to a few blog comments. You are quite right. We didn’t design the house to move as frequently as we have and the window trim is getting a bit beat up at this point. My goal is to install window shutters before summers end like Brittany Yunker’s house. Here is a great article on moving Brittany’s house and there is mention the shutters: http://thisisthelittlelife.com/2012/07/21/tiny-house-on-the-road/

13 L.McG.-E. July 1, 2013

Best wishes for the journey. It looks amazing tucked up into the truck.

14 Diane July 1, 2013

Safe journey!

15 Rebecca July 1, 2013

Why do you put plywood over the windows facing the hitch? Is that so rocks and other things that might be kicked up by the tires wont damage your windows? Just curious and yes I do know what happened to the cat but, just cant help myself lol.

16 Logan July 2, 2013

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for reading! Tammy asked me to help respond to a few blog comments. Your instincts are correct. the window covers help protect the travel facing window from road debris. Plywood is cheaper than a new window. ;)

17 Alex July 1, 2013

Tammy, I really liked and appreciated the short audio piece describing how you looked for land for your tiny house. It really illuminated a lot of the details. How do you broach the subject of composting toilets with potential landlords? Do they have issues with the 50 gal drum composting waste? I imagine some do, some don’t. how do you make this work? what do you do with the drum when you move (assuming it is say, 6 months into the composting process? I imagine it would be easiest to leave it. Sorry, I am one of those you described that feels anxious if all the “i”s aren’t dotted before taking the plunge into a tiny house. Also, I know PAD is all about fitting the tiny house to individual needs, however I really think the set up of your house is way cool. Any chance you or PAD would sell copies of the blueprints? thanks again, I enjoy the site.

18 Logan July 2, 2013

Hi Alex,

Thanks for reading! Tammy asked me to help respond to a few blog comments. :)

I have a blog post on FAQ regarding our compost system and how we’ve learned to adapt. Also we covered a bit of how we negotiate with our neighbors on sticky topics in a joint interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting. When we spoke with Dee and Joan at Yestermorrow it sounded like PAD is gearing up to launch a whole new set of plans including those for our home later this summer.

We are still learning as we go on the composting thing and I’ll share my insights on the process at my smalltopia blog. :) Cheers!

19 Carol July 2, 2013

I just love the picture with the bird watching over your safe travels! :)
Your list reminds me of my Mom’s preparations for our cross country travels in the station wagon with our Cardinal travel trailer. No pets, but Dad, Mom, & 5 kids!!!
Happy Trails~

20 Jerilyn Paul July 2, 2013

I have some concerns, I have 3 inside cats and wonder is it hard on them to adapt to a smaller place? I’m close to 55 but wanted to build me a tiny house but my cats are my family so we all have to be able to live together in harmony. I love listening to your pod casts and reading your site. Thanks

21 Tammy Strobel July 2, 2013

Hi Jerilyn,

I’d suggest reading this post. It should answer your question. Thanks for reading!

Best,
Tammy

22 Frank l Modern Monkey Mind July 2, 2013

Hey Tammy! Hope the move went well. Two questions:

1) How DID you find a place to park the house? (I imagine the process is different in a small town versus a big city, or is it?)

2) What do you do with books during the move? Do they get packed away in boxes or do you have some other way to secure them?

23 Tammy Strobel July 2, 2013

Hi Frank,

To answer your questions . . .

1. Listen to this podcast; I talk about how we found a spot for the house.

2. Logan packed his books in a small box and my books stayed in the loft. I only have six paperback books, plus a Kindle.

Best,
Tammy

24 Computer Repair Chico July 3, 2013

I saw a big story on Yahoo News about this, are you the same gal? What an interesting concept and you can move around too! Love your concept of consolidating your books with technology… Kindle and tablets are great for that

25 Tammy Strobel July 3, 2013

@Computer Repair Chico – The little house is fun! I haven’t been contacted by Yahoo News, so it probably isn’t me. :) Thanks for stopping by.

26 Kathy Parker July 4, 2013

Hi Tammy,
We travel in a converted van and I have a list too. Stowing things that sit on counters, emptying holding tanks, and closing steps and windows are also on my list. I’ve been doing this for about 30 years… it’s always exciting to move onto a new place. Wising you well on YOUR new adventure! Be safe.

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