Publicity

A Tiny Step in Our Journey Home (Tiny House Magazine Article)

By Carrie Caverly. October 30, 2014

(an article I wrote for Tiny House Magazine…)

When we built our Tiny House in 2012 we wanted it to be temporary – a stepping stone toward owning our own self-sufficient home, mortgage free. And even though I struggled with living in 200 SF for a year and a half, I feel so much gratitude for our tiny house because (two years later) it actually did enable us to buy land and start building a modest home of our own, without borrowing money.

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Our first rental lot in Prescott, AZ. Set up for an RV, this site was tucked into a residential neighborhood and I cropped them out of this photo, but there are neighbors 50 feet away on both sides.

Family Portrait

Family Portrait

Living in our Tiny House near Santa Fe, NM. Next to our parents on their 5 acres of land, the freeway was just north of us and visible from the front deck. The Harleys were the loudest.

In theory, I think tiny homes are the cure for what ails us – a lack of home. Mortgages can feel like indentured servitude and when the economy fluctuates and our income declines we see how fragile our ownership really was. Or decades of rental homes where we can never truly settle into our surroundings, never invest in our environment.

One of my favorite design books, ‘A Pattern Language’, lists home ownership as a mandatory requirement. Pattern 79: Your Own Home – “People cannot be genuinely comfortable and healthy in a house which is not theirs. … Give every household its own home, with space enough for a garden. … In all cases give people the … physical opportunity to modify and repair their own places … each family can build, and change, and add on to their house as they wish.”

pattern language book cover

Pattern 79: Your Own Home from ‘A Pattern Language’

A tiny house is a means to fulfilling this requirement: the need to nest. And without Daddy Warbucks giving us all a house… it’s up to us. Being small, tiny houses are within the financial grasp of most people. You can build one yourself, with the help of a few professionals, for $15,000-$20,000 – or buy one new for $40,000-$50,000. In our area, a normal modest sized house (1,000-1,400sf) would cost around $200,000, not including land. Being mobile, tiny houses allow the freedom to move with work as the economy ebbs and flows.  We’ve moved twice with our Tiny House to find better work.

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Moving the house from Prescott to Santa Fe when work slowed to a trickle.

In reality, Tiny Houses fall short in a few necessary categories of home. Be prepared to wrestle your demons when living in a tiny house. I dealt with feelings of poverty, scarcity, instability, claustrophobia, and lack of personal space. At a minimum, a home should provide privacy and a room of one’s own for all occupants, which is nearly impossible in 140-200sf.

To live Tiny or not is perhaps a question of whether home ownership and mobility trumps all other needs in a home. That will be up to each individual resident to discover. I was reluctant to go Tiny and was only convinced after an extensive pros and cons list.

I really disliked living in the Tiny House at times, but looking back, I am so glad we did it. Nothing else could have freed us up financially to take a huge leap forward into independent self-sufficient living. I am starting to see the value of taking a step forward – any step – when life seems stagnant. Sometimes moving in a different direction, even if it doesn’t feel like the right direction, can free up the flow of more possibilities.

Almost a year ago we were finding more work up in Colorado and decided to move again, but this time without the Tiny House. We left it on our parents’ land in Santa Fe and went up to Colorado where we rented a house – a large cathedral-like space that made us miss our low ceilings and tiny space that was so easy to keep warm. The ceilings were actually as high as our Tiny House is long: 24’-0. We burned 4 cords of wood in one winter.

In March of 2014 we found a piece of land in Colorado and started building our own house, 1,000 SF with designs for the Tiny House to function as a guest house, enabling us to keep the house small and within our budget. We’ve been working on our main house on the weekends and are finishing out the interior with hopes to be finished by Christmas.

In October 2014 we moved out of the rental and back into the tiny house again, next to our new house. And this time it feels fine – great even – cozy but not cramped – stylish and truly ours. By living in the Tiny House we’re saving $1200 a month that we would have paid for rent and utilities at the rental house.

Clothesline Tiny House interior.

Clothesline Tiny House interior.

Setting up the Tiny House again.

The south side of our new house and the tiny house entry.

The south side of our new house and the tiny house entry.

Living in the Tiny House on our land in Colorado while we finish building our house.

So what’s different this time around? Have I changed? Have I transcended into some higher level of minimalist contented enlightenment? I’d like to think so! But honestly, it’s probably because:

  1. We are on our own land. Privacy is always important to feel at home but when your house is tiny it’s crucial to have privacy outside. Privacy could be found in a friend’s backyard alley lot, surrounded by garden walls; it doesn’t have to be big, you just need to feel sheltered; observing the world around you from the safety of your own nook.
  2. We have an office set up in our house next door. I think a lot of my struggle with living tiny could have been alleviated by going to work at an office (preferably Google, where they have great food, slides, and napping pods). It feels so good to go to work next door and I’m glad to go home to the tiny house after a productive work day.
  3. We have a flushing toilet now! I was initially a huge proponent of an alternative toilet in our tiny house – Shane wanted to install an RV toilet with a blackwater tank that we would empty periodically. That sounded disgusting to me. But burning poop?! Bring it on! Our first toilet was an Incinolet, and maybe the problems stemmed from its secondhand acquisition… but I cannot imagine burning fecal matter ever smelling tolerable. It did not. Next, after a brief foray into cat litter, we used a low-tech sawdust bucket toilet (outside) and that worked fine, better than the incinerator, though we used a trash can full of sawdust every month and had to discard the bags of waste at the dump, which is unsanitary at best, possibly illegal. Now the tiny house is connected directly to our septic system. Happy, sanitary flushing. I have so much respect and appreciation for modern sewer systems. And with a septic system the flushed water is returned to the ground it came from.
Flushing toilet in the tiny house - hooked up to our main plumbing and septic system.

Flushing toilet in the tiny house – hooked up to our main plumbing and septic system.

The new flushing toilet installed in our Tiny House bathroom.

There are many ways to achieve financial independence and find a home of one’s own. The definition of home is different for everyone. A Tiny House was a key step in our journey home. And because Tiny Homes are mobile, who knows, maybe we’ll hitch up again someday.

(originally published in Tiny House Magazine Issue 23)

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

TINY: The Movie

Have you seen this documentary TINY yet?

TINY: A Story About Living Small, the Movie by Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller.

TINY: A Story About Living Small, the Movie by Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller.

Continue reading

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Treehugger article

I have to share this hilarious comment that appeared after an article about our tiny house / Clothesline Tiny Homes on Treehugger.com:

Young, clever couples like this are going to doom the species! They are the ones who should be contributing to the future gene pool – no way that’s going to happen while they’re living in their hipster sardine can. Quick! Everyone with an education – couple up, have no kids, and leave the future to those with lifestyles you disdained while bending down to fit into your hamster wheels.

- coati-boy

Categories: Publicity | 9 Comments

Another article online…

wow, another story about us living in a tiny house and our website is going crazy!  almost 8,000 hits today.

this one was on “Mail Online” a UK online news website.  a really great story they wrote, click the photo below to read the story.

Article about living in our tiny house...

Article about living in our tiny house…

And I really need to do a post about progress on our current tiny house project underway, the Beehive Mobile Mini Mart.  Soon!  We’re just so busy working on it, I haven’t had time to blog.

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | Tags: | 1 Comment

NY Daily News Article about Clothesline Tiny Homes

The NY Daily News wrote a really nice article about us living in our tiny house.  Click the photo to read the article…

NY Daily News wrote a story about Clothesline Tiny Homes.

NY Daily News wrote a story about Clothesline Tiny Homes.

And… we’ve had over 200,000 hits on our website!  We created the website a little over a year ago, so I guess there is a lot of interest in living tiny.  We’ve been working on the Beehive tiny house and I’ll do an update soon.  Hope everyone is well!

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Clothesline Tiny Homes website additions

Hello everyone!

hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I wanted to show you a few additions I’ve been making to our website…

  • shop page – will feature goods and services we’re offering for sale.  hover over the ‘shop’ heading at the top of the website for options
  • publicity page – we’ve had the honor of being featured in several news outlets and I compiled them on one page so you can read the articles and view the video and photo tours of our home.

contact us for more info of goods and services and stay tuned for plans available for download.

take care,

Carrie

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Clothesline Tiny Homes on Huffington Post!

Huffington Post just wrote an article about our tiny house!  Check it out by clicking the link.

The reporter really went a different direction with this story, and I like it!  You never know what portion of an interview is going to be published, or if the journalists will mock you (like one news anchor with ABC15 in Phoenix did)….but this was a really nice article by Amy Marturana of Huffington Post.

(Happy Thanksgiving too!  In addition to our wonderful families, friends, and our sweet followers here on the blog, I am so thankful for my husband, who persuaded me to make drastic changes and start this tiny adventure that we’re on…)

- Carrie

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | 4 Comments

Clothesline Tiny Homes on Facebook

hey everyone!

we have had a facebook page for a while but have sort of left it alone… until today!  when I finally cleaned up our photo albums, added labels etc.

http://www.facebook.com/ClotheslineTinyHomes

so check out our facebook page (and like us… if you’d… like.) especially check out the photo album of our entire build!  I hope it’s very informative.

hope all is well,

Carrie

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House Tour and Interview on CNN’s Headline News!

 

Check out a tour of our tiny house on HLN / CNN’s Headline News!

 

(sorry I can’t embed the video directly, but if you click the link above it will take you to the video tour and article)

they also wrote an article about the mortgage crisis and Tiny House living: click here.

Shane was live (via phone…) on the show “Making It In America” today at 4pm ET and I’ll share the link with you when HLN posts it on their website.

Also, we watched a really great movie last night: Surviving Progress.  (with appearances from Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, David Suzuki, Margaret Atwood, and No Impact Man.)  It really encouraged us that we ARE on the right path with living differently, living simply, and living smaller.  Props to everyone else who is trying to make a change and treat our home planet with care and respect.  It’s not easy to change the way we are used to living, but it is paramount that we all do so.

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Clothesline Tiny Homes on HLNtv: Making It In America

Hello friends!

wanted to let you know we’ll be featured on a television show tomorrow afternoon: HLNtv’s Making It In America.  It airs at 4pm ET and we did some fresh video tours of the house and we’ll be doing a live interview too!  I’ll let you know how that goes….  :)

I’ll post a link to it once it’s on their website too.

Here are a few photos I took during when a thunderstorm was blowing over our area…

Stormy weather over Santa Fe. Our new greenhouse in the foreground.

Storm clouds over the tiny house…

 

Categories: Living In the Tiny House, Publicity | 2 Comments

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