Tag Archives: tiny house

Enjoying Full-Time Living in Our Airstream Trailer

Enjoyed a few cups of coffee with friends today and returned to the house mid-morning. What to do with all that morning caffeine? Turned on some energy music, pulled out a few cleaning supplies, and started burning calories. Cleaned ceilings, walls, floors and doors of all our rooms. How long does that take? About two albums worth, listened to all of Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II.

Airstream walls and ceilings all clean

cleaning’s ez pz

This brings up a benefit of living in a tiny house. Our former home was 3,000 feet on two floors plus a detached 1.5 story 2 car garage. We lived in four rooms of that large house, the bedroom, small den, breakfast nook, and kitchen. With company, we’d use more space. How often would that happen? We’ve known homeowners of all ages who lived similarly, gravitating toward the cozy space for reading or browsing, eating in the kitchen, sleeping in the bedroom, while supporting a house of anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet. The less-used spaces still require upkeep of dusting and vacuuming. Somehow all the washrooms seem to need cleaning. There are lots more windows to clean.

For now, we’re enjoying the benefits of living well in our tiny house. Do NOT get rid of your nice home. We love visiting you. We love occasionally housesitting for you (we call it “playing house.”) You love your home and we do too. In a way we don’t really know what we’re missing. Some ask us, “What d’ya miss most about your house?” Our answer varies with the season or our moods.

How do you answer about something that, in a way, never was? Sometimes we reply, “We never lived in it as retirees – as soon as we quit our jobs, we sold our stuff and the house and split. We don’t know what it would be like to live there now.” We also fondly recall hosting folks for large gatherings, like Jim’s high school class during Christmas holidays 2007, or a sister’s wedding brunch with family from near and far, and baby showers for friends and family. Just can’t invite as many into this tiny house. Those are nice memories. Would those occasions still arise if we had a large enough house? Do we miss doing those?

How many camping stoves does a fast-hiking 4-person backpacking team need to carry? Does everyone need a car in case they want to run an errand, or can we share cars or support mass-transit and taxi solutions more economically (and with less carbon footprint?) Do we all need enough house to host family and neighborhood gatherings? Is it fair for the tiny house people to not share in the cost of the host homes? Are we willing to own and maintain a “big home” again?

A large fixed location house isn’t currently one of our needs. We don’t miss owning a large home. Taxes, maintenance, and utilities comprise the large portion of an annual household budget. We’re saving, by not supporting a large home, nearly half of our current entire annual budget. We’re enjoying volunteer leadership for the Wally Byam Airstream Club, life in our Airstream trailer, and our ability to travel where, when and for how long we want.

How much Spring Cleaning time do we save by living tiny? It’s not really the point. We’re enjoying living full-time in our Airstream tiny house. Easy maintenance, inside and out, is a great feature of Airstream trailers. We love living in ours.

See you down the road,

Jim and Debbie
see us at dreamstreamr odyssey, chasing 75 degrees
see what’s going on at WBCCI, The Wally Byam Airstream Club

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Illuminating Discovery

Jim and Debbie rarely pass up the opportunity to browse an IKEA store. Not so much that it’s a destination for us, IKEA trips are entertaining diversions sometimes. For a full timer, the urge could hit anywhere. How better to spend a few (or more) hours than browsing the tremendous variety of fun stuff we don’t need and probably don’t have room for in our tiny tiny house?

Many stays in Vancouver BC included visits to the Coquitlam store, near Burnaby Cariboo RV resort, and to the Richmond store on the south side of Vancouver. Closer to our normal haunts is the Charlotte NC store, one we visit at least annually. They make it fun, offering good coffee free and tempting us with sweet rolls in the café. Too, they have entrees and marzipan in the “cafeteria” upstairs. Stay long enough and the body needs fuel to continue browsing.

Our clear favorite target at IKEA stores is the kitchen layouts. A close second is the arranged apartments, showing complete living quarters in under 600sf. Jim likes the display of chairs, particularly the comfortable armchairs and the lighting section. He sits in the POÄNG armchair every visit and wonders if this could be the thing most missed from having a roomier house these past eight years.

Ah, but the lighting section. Now there’s something we can sdd in our 188sf house, can’t we? Debbie’s practical and reasoning voice patiently says, “What problem does this solve?” Jim sometimes admits, “But isn’t this light (or switch, or whatever) just cool?” IKEA is the first big store to convert widely to LED lighting. Their LED product offerings are coming along gradually too.

Last year we finally succumbed to the inevitable. We bought and installed this little light. We waited till now to share it, after making sure we like it (did we delay too long? Can’t find it online now.) Would it hold up with mobile living? Do the batteries keep on or wane quickly? Is the light worth it’s cost and small weight? Probably!

Automatic LED light shines just when we need it.

Automatic LED light shines just when we need it.

A year and one set of AAA batteries later, this light is a win. It hasn’t fallen off, chipped, started any fires, or failed to light when we open the cabinet. Its biggest workout is when we show off our Airstream (and remember to open this cabinet.) Not all cabinets need this lighting. This one is the apt application for “appropriate technology.” We like it.

Hmm, what other treasures can we find at an IKEA store? So many displays, so much marzipan and coffee. . .

See you down the road,

Jim and Debbie

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