Almost exactly a year ago, I posted a series about living tiny with a family. At that time, we were finding our way in the 31ft RV trailer after living in a large house in the city. We are moved in and have been living in the tiny house on wheels for almost a month!
Here are those posts: part 1, part 2, part 3.
When we went from the big house to an RV that wasn’t really suited for full-time living, it gave us a kind of reverse tiny experience. We were able to see how we functioned in the smaller space and what didn’t work as we designed our tiny house floor plan. Our tiny house on wheels is slightly bigger, and is built to our specifications. We knew exactly how we wanted it to work and what we would put in it. We are grateful to the RV for showing us what we DIDN’T want: inaccessible storage, a one-person kitchen for three people who cook all day, and poor insulation. The tiny just makes more sense. It works because of conscious, deliberate intentions to own less stuff, but retain that which we love and that which serves us best. Also, all the tiny house storage spaces are organized according to function so that they make sense for how they are used, making it easy to keep things tidy.
In this post, I’m going to share some images of the interior of our house and the tiny hacks we have built in to make the space work. So far, living in the tiny house on wheels feels amazing! We don’t feel cramped and cluttered, even when we are all home, and it’s only 320 square feet.
The kitchen is working out so well! All three of us can comfortably be in it now, and for a family that cooks multiple times a day, all of our tools are readily accessible. All of our cabinetry is Ikea, the countertop is LG Hi-Macs, and we have apartment-sized GE appliances. While our kitchen has plenty of space for being in a tiny house (it’s a third of the house), we added an over-the-sink dish drainer to save on counter space. We are not able to accommodate a dishwasher, so we are constantly doing dishes by hand that require drying space. Another kitchen hack is our eat-in dining peninsula. This features space for all of us to eat, work on various making projects, and have family meetings. I also fold clothes here. Nestled in the corner of the peninsula is a huge 24″ x 24″ kitchen cabinet that faces the living space. It contains board games, art and craft supplies, and cameras. Because the cabinet is so deep, we can fit lesser-used but necessary items behind the most-used items.
The Living Space
Next is the tiny house cubby system that Mr. Pickleman built into the stairs. This is a pretty standard tiny hack that is not unique to our house, but it is built to our needs. One side actually faces the back of the house, and holds our coats. At the bottom, the cat food, water, and supplies are neatly hidden away. On the side is the kid cubby, some music gear, and household organization. There is a shoe cubby on either side of the landing. All of the cubbies are quite deep, and we can store lesser-used things in the back of each space. The closet spaces and shoes will eventually be covered in some way, but they don’t bother me as much as I thought they would when left uncovered. The stairs on the other side feature the tiny house entertainment center! We built in room for a 55″ TV, plus our movie collection, video games, and musical equipment. Overall we are watching less TV since our move (and we don’t have WiFi), but we still enjoy our movies! We purchased an Ikea couch that could be put up against our wheel well so we could store things behind it and underneath it. Our walls feature the guitars, and also some plant shelves built into the smaller window ledges.
Our tiny house bathroom ended up a lot larger than originally anticipated, but I don’t think it has detracted from the rest of the house. This is an area of our tiny house floor plan that we utilized our 10 foot wide trailer to it’s full extent. We have a full-size bath and shower, and we have utilized the shower window ledge and minimized our bath products. The rest of that back wall features our vanity, cat litter box, and composting toilet. We decided to take advantage of one of Ikea’s towel systems. The towels now hang on hooks instead of needing the wide wall space for a full towel rack. We hope to eventually have a washer/dryer combo in there as well. Our tiny house utility closet is a work in progress, but so far we have extra linens and we think this is where our muck boots will go (necessary when living very close to nature!). Also, our fabulous Dyson stick vacuum hangs here for easy access, making it super easy to clean up floors and messes.
A taller house with lofts is the essence of a tiny house on wheels. For our tiny house floor plan, our lofts are a bit longer and lower than average. That is because we wanted Little Ray to have a space that was as much like a regular bedroom as possible, and because our closets are upstairs. Also, the grown-up loft features a king-sized bed. We have downsized our wardrobes enough that they aren’t extraneous in the small space, but we still have pieces we love. Our off-season clothes are stored in large tubs in our outbuilding, and are switched every spring and fall. Personally, I have downsized to a capsule wardrobe. Since I have less clothes, and have learned to fold small using the KonMari method, I am able to keep most of my clothes in six bins inside the cubbies. Much like the rest of the storage in the tiny house, these cubbies are deep. I store dress shoes and large sweaters behind my bins, and I have room on my top shelf for my witch’s box and some keepsakes. The closets will also eventually be covered.
Little Ray has even more cubbies and a desk built into the kid loft. We also retained her Ikea storage system for toys and art supplies that we had in the RV. The kid space is a little more cluttered than I would like, but everything is a work in progress. This will change as Little Ray continues to learn to tidy and take ownership of their space.