Once we decided tiny living was for us, we began planning. And planning. And planning. And, I kid you not, planning some more. You think it’d be easy just throwing everything out and building a box to live it with hardly any “stuff” to crowd you… Well, surprise! Not quite that simple.
First off, I had to research toilets. There will be more details on this later, but let me tell you if it involved a bucket, the tiny house for the Maravillas wouldn’t be happening. Can I hear an amen on that?! AMEN.
Secondly, we had to figure out where we could build the house. Fortunately, my in-laws have a nice, big garage with almost every tool you can imagine and plenty of yard space to take on this big of a project. An additional bonus is Eric’s grandmother lives next door, and we live with her while this whole thing goes down. Honestly, there was a lot of luck involved in this.
Thirdly, we had to plan to basically get rid of everything. One thing about living in 200 sq. ft. is you can’t bring it with you. We sold or gave away every piece of furniture we owned and then went through everything. And, I mean everything: clothing, dishes, shoes, craft supplies, pots and pans, bedding, pictures, books, shoes, DVDs, games, decorations, Christmas lights, random stuff that doesn’t fall into a specific category, tools, Halloween costumes, dog toys, human toys, vases, shoes, important paperwork, kitchen tools (blender, mixer, serving trays, toaster, serving bowls, etc,) jewelry, cleaning supplies, beauty supplies (all Eric’s, of course) and shoes. After selling what we could, we donated 3 completely full Jeep loads to Goodwill and put items out on the street for people to take, and we still filled over 2 dumpsters with trash. At this point, I’d like to point out that we weren’t even messy people that hoarded stuff. What we experienced by going through everything we owned only confirmed what we were already learning: living in a big house means filling it up, even with stuff we didn’t need.
The next phase of planning turns into drawing. Drawing every different layout of a house you can think of. While giving away multiple pairs of shoes that I still loved was not fun, this part was! I became an interior designer, architect, and carpenter all at once. Eric became all those of those things, too, but with a more practical and realistic approach. Researching and drawing really become complimentary stages, because with every new blog article you read and every new picture you see, the drawing changes. I quickly realized I needed to leaving the building, structural elements to Eric since he was much more qualified, and my priority would be on the inside aesthetic and functionality. I’ll tell ya, we make a great team.
Drawing is fun! Eric’s plans…that eventually changed.
What step are we on now? Fifth? Sure, we’ll go with that. Fifthly, drawing is fun and all, but then things get real. Measurements have to be exact, placement has to be perfect, and the drawings become THE PLAN. We measured everything out about 2,386 times. That’s a rough estimate, but I think I’m close.
And, then, you send The Plan off to the trailer manufacturer and pray to God those measurements were right.