Tiny house movement

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by wldywall, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Hubbie and I have been talking, and I manage to land a job out of state, we have decided to go tiny, or at least really small.

    We talked about moving and what we would want to bring with us, and the list of things we have to have is so small, we cannot figure out why we would need a house bigger than 500-600 feet (our youngest will move with us, so need teenager room for a year at least).

    Have any of you downsized from a large house and tons of crap to a tiny space? How did it work for you? How did you decide what to leave behind (I'm worried I will want to keep all of my books, there are a LOT of them)
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I had a one bedroom apartment for a long time but the smallest they came in was 700 square feet. The biggest thing for me still is purging clothes. Most of my books live at school in my classroom library :)
     
  4. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    It is just me, but my house was over 1400 sf. I'm now in a 790 sf apartment (one bedroom). My dad still has a room full of my stuff :lol: The stuff at his house is mainly things for a second bathroom, guest bedroom, furniture that is too big for my apartment, and all of my personal books. And my washer and dryer. A lot of decor that hung on the walls (less walls here!) Some things that went on my mantel (no fireplace) or on my large entertainment center that didn't move. Oh, and old yearbooks and things like that. I left holiday decorations at his house for now as well.

    He also has my K-3 classroom stuff stored in his garage. Mainly boxes of books.

    I dislike clutter and I like the idea of getting rid of things, but some of it I spent quite a bit of money on and I will own a house again. It makes sense to keep it for now.
     
  5. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    We are so past having all of this. Even my classroom stuff has lost its mind. In my three years teaching I taught, American History, Economics, Geography, Law, Government, Psychology, GED prep, World Studies for 6th and 7th grades........ugh, I have stuff for all those classes, which means I have PILES Of things.

    If you were closer Giraffe, I would offer you one of my sets of textbooks.....yes, I own my own class set of textbooks. THREE DIFFERENT SETS.

    Plus stuff to set up for everything from middle school to an adult classroom. TOO MUCH STUFF
     
  6. chitown

    chitown Companion

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    We moved from a reasonable-sized 2 bedroom apartment to a 2 bedroom basement apartment that just feels miniscule. It seemed fine with no furniture in it, but once we got all our stuff in here...it's pure hell. I'm sorry I can't give you square footages, but this place has been a nightmare for me. We constantly get rid of things (4 of us-me, husband, 2 young kids) but there's never enough space. I feel like everything always looks cluttered because there isn't any room, and there's nowhere to go when you need some time alone. Even if you close a door, it feels like everyone is right on top of you. I hate this place with a passion. One of the perks about having a full time position is that I can FINALLY move out of this tiny hovel. Going small did not work for me!
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oh, I'm with you. I had to use the largest Uhaul (28 foot?) to move back to Michigan. :lol: For just me! But, not only did I have my classroom stuff, I had an entire furnished 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house with a living room and a family room. (The family room was just storage- holiday decorations, classroom stuff, etc...) Since I had family visiting multiple times per year, and sometimes 5-6 people at once, I had to have extra bedding and stuff. I didn't go out and buy it, but I didn't get rid of excess, either.
     
  8. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I lived in a 450 sq foot apartment with my ex-fiancée. Notice the "ex." It was MISERABLE. He was constantly just THERE, ya know? I never realized how important having the ability to be AWAY from someone was until it was gone. Granted, we lived in a studio apartment, but I can't even imagine 500 sq feet with separate room... they'd be crazy tiny.
     
  9. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    HEHE, DH is going with a career change to allow me to move out of state.

    He is starting CDL classes monday, and will be a long haul truck driver, he loves the idea and can't wait to do it.

    So I don't have to worry about it being too close with him, or him being on top of me all the time, as he will be gone frequently. Youngest will be leaving after a year or so, and he hides in his room most of the time.....so it will be like he isn't there.

    I just love the idea of living with only the things you use every single day and nothing more.
     
  10. Ms. I

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    I live in a 703 sq ft, 1 bd apt w/ a little outdoor balcony/patio area & I'm quite comfortable here, but that's the smallest I'd want to go. I do wish I had a walk-in closet though. I remember when I was apt hunting & there were a couple of 580-600 something sq ft apts I looked at & that was just a little too small.

    From time to time, I like watching YouTube videos on tiny housing, microapts, etc. They're interesting. Watch this one about a lady living in a 90 sq ft place in NY:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZSdrtEqcHU
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I have two homes so my situation is different. We were renting a house then bought a smaller home. The seasonal items like Christmas decorations are stored at the other house we own. I have purged things but I have also had to buy second items like blenders and mixers so I have them at both houses. If we only had the smaller of the two, I'd have to have a storage unit. I'm not purging my Christmas decorations by even one box! The smaller house (by only 800 square feet) is much easier to keep clean though.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I looked at a 515 sq ft. apartment and couldn't believe how tiny it was. My furniture honestly would not have fit. I joked that if my poor cat wanted to sit in the same room as me he'd have to be on my lap! I got a 650 sq. ft. one and it's amazing how much difference it makes! It's tiny but doable. I had 800 sq ft before, but this apartment is in a MUCH nicer area so it was worth it. It's just me though...there is absolutely no way you could fit three people in here. For one, I don't know how it would be even physically possible to have two bedrooms with only 500-600 sq ft. I moved across the country with only what would fit in my car at one point, and moved again two years later with two cars full (and I don't use my parents' house as free storage either), so I'm not too attached to "stuff" but I need room to at least move around!
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    My home is 1800 sq ft.

    I rarely use the formal dining room (except during the holidays) and my guest bedroom has only been used twice in six years.

    I made another bedroom into a home gym, which is super convenient.

    I used to live in a 800 sq ft apartment and it was fine at the time. It would be hard to go back to that, though.
     
  14. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    The apartment complex that I stayed in for a couple of months earlier in the year had tiny apartments. 1 bedrooms were 550. 2 bedrooms were 650. I'm sure places have 2 bedrooms even smaller, but probably not outside of a big city.
    As for the tiny apartment, I only brought what fit in a car load. I can't imagine bringing more stuff!
     
  15. 1st-yr-teacher

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    My house is 1,060 square feet. It is just what I need. I only wish it was a more open concept so to make my living room look bigger. It is perfect for me. :)
     
  16. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Ugh, I hate open concepts in big houses. My last house was like that, 2,000 square feet on the main floor and almost all open. No matter how far away you got from someone it STILL felt like you were on top of them. You could hear everything in every room. The high ceilings didn't help.

    Of course all the kids were either middle school or high school at the time and their friends were always over.....so I am sure that didnt' help :p
     
  17. kaeco510

    kaeco510 Companion

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    Have you seen the show Tiny House Nation? It's on the FYI channel in my area. I watched an episode last night where this couple was downsizing from a 1600sq ft house into a 230 sq ft house. Very interesting...definitely not for everyone!
     
  18. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    That is what helped DH and I to finally discuss what we had both been thinking.

    I don't want to go that small, but the more we go through the house discussing what we would move across country with us, if I get a job, the more we find things we DON'T want to take with us.

    Sad really that we own so much stuff we don't want.
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Coincidentally, I ran across this show while flipping channels & watched it. I couldn't do it.
     
  20. ECE ABC

    ECE ABC Comrade

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    I live in a 1,000 sq. ft, 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo and I live alone, so for me this is roomy!

    I did look at the 1 bedrooms in this complex and a few other places and they were half the size...kinda small but for me would have been doable..my 2nd bedroom really is a home office and for extra storage (big closet with shelves) and I have a walk-in closet too, which is really a utility closet but I have bins of decorations, old teaching materials, etc. all lined up along one of the walls.

    But the saving grace is all the units here, no matter what the size all have an outside area..i have a big deck and I am on the 2nd floor..so you can be outside and even entertain if you want.

    Its one of the reasons I chose this place. Its great!!! We are surrounded by trees, flowers, squirrels, and sometimes even turkeys...nature everywhere! And it has an in ground pool too which is nice.

     
  21. John Lee

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    I think it is a great movement on your part. One of the biggest things in our American society, is the accumulation of junk. To go toward a more simplistic way of living--I think that is great.

    "Live simply, so that others can simply live." -Gandhi
     
  22. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Yeah, I like that thought.

    Even better none of it will go to a landfill, save for some old lesson plans (we have to pay a fee to recycle here and it is very expensive):eek:

    But my adult children will split what we don't want (the oldest and his family would love all the new furniture) and the rest will be taken away by the salvation army, books, linens and all. They come and move it for you here and we support jobs programs in the area.

    The idea is to move with what I need in my yellow bug, followed by my husband in his blazer with a small trailer pulling the two beds, one nice leather chair and the boxes of stuff we are keeping.

    Other than that, IT ALL GOES!
     
  23. ECE ABC

    ECE ABC Comrade

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    You can check out videos online of small space living..200, 300, 400 sq. ft its amazing how creative people are and how they make it work..its usually someone who is single..but I did see a retired couple move into a tiny cottage under 300 sq ft and they loved it...........very interesting!
     
  24. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    We lived in an 800 sq ft. duplex, 1/2 of that space was a cold, unfinished basement. Our daughter was only 2 yr. old at the time. It was quite cozy. I don't know if I could be comfortable in that small of a space again.
     
  25. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    http://tinyhousebuild.com/home-plans/ There are you some house plans!

    We stay in the den all together most of the time but bedtime, I sleep on the couch for the most part. I can't stand his snoring! LOL
     
  26. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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  27. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Those are cute!!!!!
     
  28. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Just cause its tiny doesn't mean it can't be cute!
    :D
     
  29. Harper

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    I just moved from 1000 sq ft -2/1 - and we had 4 humans and 1 dog. It was FINE! I loved it really. We had to get rid of a bunch of stuff to live there (there was another word for "stuff" that I really wanted to use). Many books had to go - that was hard. But libraries and Kindles exist... Now, we had a large storage space and that was helpful with the kids - bikes, scooters, laundry, etc. and that made it doable. Without kids - we would have had room to spare! I will say with a 2nd bathroom I would have been in heaven - there I would have liked more privacy. :)
    our house now is double the size - it's too big. Too much room to have clutter, stuff, and nonsense. Too much to clean.
    And I miss being close to everyone, it was comforting and cozy. I know that is not the norm, but that's me. Small can be great! Go for it and have a great time!
     
  30. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Those seem very live-able! I think the key is getting creative with storage.

    I don't really have a lot of "stuff." I've always been a thrower. For example, I allowed myself only 1 storage tote of childhood toys. (I wish my MIL had this mentality...Every time they visit they bring more of my husband's childhood things that I "can't get rid of." :( )

    Our house is just over 1,000 square feet. I clean out our cupboards and closets about once per month, and I'm always bringing more and more bags to Goodwill. You'd be surprised at how little you actually need to live a happy life. :) I don't think I could survive without my basement, though! It's such great storage.
     
  31. kaeco510

    kaeco510 Companion

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    That's my reaction every time I watch it - "NOPE!" :)

    Although I do love watching them get rid of the majority of their stuff - I need to do this!
     
  32. ECE ABC

    ECE ABC Comrade

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    I love this thread :) I've been going online and checking out these tiny homes and getting some ideas about organizing and decluttering (throwing more cr@p away!!!!) even more than I have this summer....
     
  33. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I'm one of those people who like my own space. I have a 1400sq ft house and sometimes it just seems too small for my husband and me (and dog). Even the dog likes his own space sometimes and will go into the spare bedroom alone to nap. I have to have a designated space to do school work so having the spare bedroom is handy.
     
  34. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    SubCT

    As a former military wife, I have moved TONS. My rule has always been if I put it in a box, and am not in a hurry to open said box at the new place, it goes.

    I was always at the barest minimum of weight for the military, however 14 years of being in the same area means we have collected crap, and moved it with us. Now we have a household full of stuff even my youngest is asking "why do we have this? It's stupid"

    If an 18 year old realizes something is stupid, you've had your head in the sand too long.
     
  35. ECE ABC

    ECE ABC Comrade

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    I know....



    I like that rule :):):)

    I have been in my condo for 6 years now and I can't believe the amount of stuff I have accumulated...clothes, accessories and small appliances have been given away to the Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Salvation Army several times over the years. I have also thrown away things I just don't need or use anymore...and I still have things I could get rid of!!!!

    I plan on emptying another bin or two of my clothing before school starts and bagging it to donate as well.

    Last night I was so inspired after watching those videos and cleaned out my bathroom cabinet where I seem to accumulate a lot of things. I placed two big baskets (under the sink) and now I have better organization, so much easier to clean as well...can't believe how much stuff I tossed out. Annnnd I did that, at 1 o'clock in the morning:haha:



    So I know exactly what you (and your 18 yr old) are saying.


     
  36. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    DH and I just came up with another idea, if the job across country comes through.

    We have decided to have a free garage sale. We belong to a frecycling group here, but you can only post things one at a time....too long! So we will hold a traditional garage sale but all the prices will be $0! :eek:

    I also think we have decided if it doesn't fit into the two cars (one will tow the other) it stays.....the only things that need to go are the dishes, clothes, the beds (they all soft and will smooch or roll) and things that will hurt out heart if they are gone. Oh, and the teaching things I need. Other than that......bye bye!
     
  37. DrivingPigeon

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    Just out of curiosity, what will you do with keepsake items? For example, photo albums, HS yearbooks, childhood items? These are the things that would take up a lot of space for me, but I couldn't part with.
     
  38. ECE ABC

    ECE ABC Comrade

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    That's a great idea. You are sure to get rid of your unwanted things then and helping people who maybe can't afford to get the things they need:love::love:


    I hope the job comes through for you!!


    Keep us posted :)
     
  39. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Those are the things that are coming, if things work out the blazer and the beetle will be filled to the gills with those things, bed, clothes and dishes (most of the dishes are in the heart break category). They are all coming. We had a fire in our building years ago, and while we only got smoke in our house, we realized that there were very few things that we would want to bring with us. Now it is a few more things, but still very little. We are still cutting things from the list as it is.

    As long as I get the job, er, one of the 12 I applied for there, we are golden.
     
  40. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    My mom & stepdad recently retired, sold their house and most of their belongings, and moved into an RV full-time. It is pretty jam-packed with stuff, but they are creative with the storage. Oh, and as they visit family across country, they drop off "gifts" which are really the things they couldn't bear to part with -- yearbooks, childhood toys and clothes (just in case we decide to have kids some time soon?), etc... I inherited three huge boxes full of this stuff and now am doing the work of going through and donating most of it myself. But I am really proud of them for the amount of stuff they let go of, including two classic cars! They are so happy and I don't think they regret any of it (although I know my SD misses his Corvette!).
     
  41. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Went through two of the hardest rooms today.....I'm keeping more than I though, or is it that I haven't figured out where to put the things I don't want? Not sure, all I know is I am glad that I don't have to go through my teaching stuff alone, my sister is coming to help. The goal is if it is not SPED, then I don't take it.

    Any social studies teachers in West Michigan want some expensive gifts? Textbooks sets, Document Based Questions, lesson plans, posters, binder (empty), nice wooden and glass wipeable calendar, custom made, set of small white boards, crayons, and more!
     

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