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On Moving Back to the Tiny House

Too many glasses

Last weekend, Logan and I moved back to our tiny house. Moving out of our winter cottage rental wasn’t too stressful; however, it was far easier to move out of the tiny house and into the cottage than it was to move back to the tiny house.

During our time at the cottage we acquired extra stuff, otherwise we would have been living in an empty house. It wasn’t an excessive amount of stuff, but we had to figure out what to do with the things that we adopted during the winter. Bringing all of our stuff to the tiny house wasn’t an option.

For example, we ended up with 12 coffee mugs, 6 water glasses, 2 Scotch glasses, 6 wine glasses, 3 insulated Klean Kanteens, plus 3 plastics cups that came with my NutriBullet to make smoothies. And that doesn’t include the Mason jars we brought to the rental for food storage. Some of the mugs and glasses were donated to a local thrift store and some came back to the tiny house.

It took us longer than we expected to move out of the cottage and to clean the space. We spent Saturday and Sunday afternoon moving our stuff, cleaning, mowing the law, and taking care of other odds and ends. Plus, we had to swing by the house to finish up cleaning tasks earlier this week. Moving always takes more effort than I expect.

The cottage

Below are 5 lessons I learned from our recent move:

1. If you are transporting stuff in a truck, use extra bungee cords and ropes. My father-in-law let us borrow his truck to move our queen mattress. We strapped it down in the truck and thought it was secure. However, on the short drive to the ranch, the mattress came close to blowing out of the truck. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Logan pulled onto the side of the road, fixed the strap, and we continued onward.

2. Before I put Elaina in the cat carrier for transport to the tiny house, I made the mistake of giving her water. She peed in the carrier and soaked herself in the process. Elaina growled and hissed at us as we cleaned her with baby-safe soap and water at the tiny house. I felt so bad for her! She hates change. At least Elaina forgave us later in the evening.

3. Be patient. Despite the hissing and paw-boxing, the cats are adjusting to the tiny house. Before our move to the rental, they lived in the space and in various cities with us for three years. I’m sure they will sort out a turf treaty, and in the process learn to be patient again with one another.

Logan and I have to sort out our own turf treaties, too. Reorganizing the closet, pairing down our bookshelf, and sorting through our camping gear and kitchen stuff is on our to-do list. We have to be patient with each other as we reorganize our stuff and our day-to-day routine at the ranch.

4. Let go of stuff. We opted not to store the belongings we acquired during winter. We gave our double bed to Logan’s cousin and took glasses, mugs, clothes we no longer needed, and extra bedding to Goodwill. We tried to squeeze our queen bed into the loft, but it barely fit. We opted to keep our futon and give the queen bed to our in-laws. It’s a great addition to the big ranch house, and I’m happy it will be used.

5. Be grateful. I’m glad we moved into Yreka for the winter because the change was good for us at the time. However, being back in the tiny house feels good. We love our neighbors, the scenery, and the quiet. I’m grateful to be back home.

With gratitude,

Before you go …

  • It’s the last week to register for my online photography course! Details here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Gail April 28, 2015, 9:16 am

    Seriously, you gave “worn out” clothes to the GW? That takes their employees time to sort through and then $ to pay for the dumpster to dispose of your trash.
    Tammy, you are usually more thoughtful than this.

    • Tammy Strobel April 28, 2015, 9:25 am

      Gail, I meant the clothes were “worn out” to me. They were in good condition for someone else to use. I should have chosen my words more carefully, and I clarified my language above. I do the best I can to be thoughtful with my words. However, I’m human and I’m not perfect. Please be kind, or unsubscribe from my website. Thank you.

      • ET April 28, 2015, 11:59 am

        I just wanted to say it is a great response you made to the criticism.
        As always you were thoughtful and kind…..and firm…..this is a good example to remember.

        • Tammy Strobel April 28, 2015, 2:31 pm

          Thank you ET. I appreciate the kind words.

    • Nadya April 28, 2015, 10:19 am


      Tammy also would have been quite correct to donate extremely worn clothing and rags. My goodwill in MA encourages donations of rags because they recycle textiles! The article above provides more information about it.

      I rarely post but it seemed thoughtless to remark on Tammy’s post the way you did when she did nothing wrong.


    • Hinds April 28, 2015, 10:24 am

      Gail, I take it you have not worked at a GW due to your comment. The employees still sort whether the clothing is new or not. Clothing that is not new is bundled and sold in Goodwill Warehouse Outlet stores in bulk as rags to companies and corporations who either use them as rags, or recycle them. Old clothes are needed, too, not just new ones. There is no need to shame anyone for doing something useful.

  • Sandra Pawula, Always Well Within April 28, 2015, 9:53 am

    I’m glad the move went smoothly even though it took longer than expected. It’s reassuring to know that all cats seem to have these turf issues! Our three get along peacefully one minute and are hissing the next!

  • Cynthia April 28, 2015, 10:05 am

    I’ve learned that no matter how small, or organized a move is, there is always some stress or unexpected things that happen. I hope you, Logan and the kitties settle in to your tiny house routine soon! It sounds like you had an excellent moving plan, and now you know a few other things for the next move – you can’t do better than that!


  • Jill April 28, 2015, 10:12 am

    I’m glad to hear that you are back home in your tiny house, and that the move went relatively smoothly. And I’m am glad that you were able to find homes for the adopted items. It’s too bad that your queen mattress didn’t fit in the loft, but I am glad you found a good home for it.

    And poor Elaina! A ride in the car and then a bath too? It’s just too much for one little kitty to handle!

  • Suny April 28, 2015, 10:16 am

    Also, in our area, the thrift stores sell worn out fabrics for rag making, etc so they still are able to profit from the donations.

  • JL April 28, 2015, 11:22 am

    Poor Elaina…and Tammy and Logan! We had a cat that would get diarrhea 5 mins into ANY car trip; she also hated being sedated. Our solution: We bought a plastic dog carrier, one large enough to fit the cat up front and a small dishpan (“litter box”) in back. The top and bottom of the carrier detached and stacked for easy storage. A real life saver for all of us, and on many moving trips, the cat had, by far, the roomiest accommodations! Just wanted to pass this on…

    • Tammy Strobel April 28, 2015, 2:33 pm

      Thank you JL! That is a fantastic tip. I felt so bad for Elaina. She’s doing better now and is currently romping around the ranch. She’s a happy cat. 😉

  • diane April 28, 2015, 5:26 pm

    Tammy, I love how you share your journey with us and don’t just have ‘the answer’ that is once and for all. I’ve been on my way toward a more simple, minimalist lifestyle and it’s always a matter of being open to what works for our situation as our life moves into different phases. Your openness with working through the good as well as the challenging aspects of your life is so encouraging–thank you!

  • Erica April 28, 2015, 11:38 pm

    My Sally girl always piddles herself when we move. We’ve taken to laying down a pee pad in her carrier. I also spray it down with some calming spray I bought at the vets office. I feel so bad for her, but she’s a neurotic little baby and I love her to the moon and back. Thank God for pee pads and our fur babies! Thanks too for the great post about moving. I so enjoy your thoughts and find great inspiration from you.

  • Katie April 29, 2015, 11:26 am

    Hey Tammy,
    So excited for you and Logan and the kitties to be back in the Tiny House for the summer – once again we are moving in opposite ways as you move into the tiny house, I move out of mine! Despite the tiny size of our van, it took me and Toby a good few days of sorting, throwing, donating, packing, cleaning – it’s quite impressive the amount of STUFF we managed to squeeze into our space! HAHA! Great to have a huge sort out every six months.

    I can’t wait to read more of your adventures from the Tiny House this summer. Sending you all love and big hugs, Katie. XX

  • GK April 29, 2015, 11:30 am

    Hi Tammy,
    I’m a recent reader of your blog, so this topic may have already been covered, but where does your cat do her business? Is the litter box in the tiny house or do you have a designated place outdoors where she goes?

    • Tammy Strobel April 29, 2015, 5:46 pm

      We have a litter box in the house. We had our carpenter build a special spot in the house for the litter box. It’s out of sight. They use the box and go outside. 🙂

  • Anne-Marie April 29, 2015, 12:16 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how much stuff you accumulate so quickly.
    And also, it takes more time than you can imagine to clean a rental when you leave. I usually end up cleaning when I move in as well as when I move out as the standard of cleaning in this area definitely is not up to what I consider clean.
    Glad that all of you are readjusting well. 🙂
    Well written response to the first commenter. I usually do the same – I am firm but still polite.

  • Martina April 30, 2015, 2:09 am

    Hi Tammy,
    do you know you are in the current issue of the German edition of “Flow” magazine? Seems to be a chapter from your book, with delightful illustrations by Rebecca Green. Your blog is a place I visit regularly when being online, so you feel like a friend. What a joy to see you so unexpectedly in print!
    I am also very glad your way of life is made known in Germany. The world would be a better place if more people used less stuff or bought more deliberately like Logan and you do.
    I am sure the cats will adapt quickly to their former life. They will love to be outside, especially now with all those spring scents.
    Looking forward to your new tiny house adventures and wishing you a lovely spring! Martina

    • Tammy Strobel April 30, 2015, 8:12 am


      I just heard about the German issue! The article you read originally appeared in the Dutch version of Flow Magazine in 2014. Also, Rebecca gifted us her beautiful illustrations. They are hanging up in our little house.

      Thank you for the kind words!!!


      • Martina May 1, 2015, 12:52 am

        I am glad you got those lovely illustrations – I was already thinking about mailing the print article to you. But so I can hang them on MY walls ;-)!
        Best also, Martina

  • Shannon April 30, 2015, 7:00 am

    Great post. Nice to hear it went well. Thanks for the tips. We will be moving in a couple months and I will keep these tips in mind. We also have two cats and I expect they won’t care for the change, but they will forgive us later when they find new nooks to sleep in. 🙂

  • Frank May 1, 2015, 5:50 am

    Hi Tammy,

    We lost our cat Sweep a couple of years ago but he did not like car journeys however short, to the vets.

    He used to make a really horrible whining noise and would invariably wee in his cage.

    If I was really unlucky he would poo as well. The first thing the vet would do would when we arrived there would be to clean his fur.

    Glad to hear your move went as well as could be expected.

  • Harriet May 13, 2015, 7:15 am

    The house is lovely! It is so cute! There are few benefits if living in a smaller house like there will be much less work to do (cleaning and organizing) and it feels cozier, doesn’t it? 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience! All the best, London Removals Ltd. !

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