6 Things We Wish We’d Known Before Going Tiny

Tips you need to know before you go tiny!

The Ins and Outs of Tiny Plumbing

Many tiny house dwellers, whether in a stick built tiny, a tiny on wheels, or as full-time RV’rs, don’t know much about their toilet and water systems. Living tiny can offer the opportunity of having the traditional flushing toilet and hook up to sewage or city water. However, many tiny enthusiasts choose an option with lesser environmental impact or less work for them in the long-run including incinerator toilets, composting toilets, or draining their water waste into storage tanks that have to be drained and filled back up.

This winter, during your learning curve of having downsized, we experienced frozen pipes and no running water for two weeks in a row and then a few isolated incidents. We had to learn more about our system and add a few upgrades to be ablet o handle the harsh Ohio winters. Learning these things in advance could have prevented us from some pretty uncomfortable circumstances.


To Make It Feel Like Home

I get a lot of joy out of decorating our home. Each house we’ve lived in has had its own quirky touches that I’ve loved. Our tiny, however, was such a rush since we moved several states away to accept a new job, that we never really took the time to do small things like paint or decorate that can really add your own personal spin, turning a house into a home.

It is so important, whether in the design stages of building, or whether you buy used, that you make your tiny your own. Paint is vivid colors or add a signature piece of artwork, put trinkets and meaningful books on shelves and hang up musical instruments. Whatever suits your loves, do it. You won’t regret this one!

To UnPack For The Road

Since we have stayed parked for our first seven months, we unpacked just like we would for a traditional stick built home. However, as we prep to hit the road in June, we are realizing that decision is going to cost us a lot of extra work. We will now have to go back and secure pictures on the walls, be assured that cabinets and drawers are tightened and locked and that everything hanging is road-ready. This would have been a big time saver if we had done it right the first time.

Mail Items To Yourself

As we travel, instead of coming up with places to store bulk or replacement items, it is more economical to ship things to the locations where you’ll be passing through or staying for a short time. This also helps to buy things like paper goods when they are on sale and still be able to get great use out of them without trying to find where to store 47 rolls of Bounty!

Practice Downsizing Your Grocery List

This is still tricky for me. Even with a decently sized pantry and a large under-seat drawer for dry goods, I have a hard time not buying things in bulk when they are on sale because I am a bargain shopper. However, we simply don’t have room for eight cans of black beans just because they were 4/$1.00.

It is important to be mindful of how much your family actually consumes in about a week’s time. This will help you, whether you meal prep or not, to only buy what will be eaten or used, so you actually need more when the next grocery run comes up. The reduced size of our fridge and freezer has left us cooking the frozen chicken ahead of time because there was just no space left to store it.

People Will Not Stop Assuming You’re Crazy

This one is crucial to wrap your head around. Even as a person who has prided herself since a young age of making choices that intentionally go against the grain, this one is tough when the sideways glances and short comments come from people you love and respect. However, it has been important for us to remind each other that we are living our best life and it is okay when that doesn’t align with society’s traditional expectations.

I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say that tiny living isn’t for everyone. However, this has been the absolute best decision my husband, and I have made for our family. It carries a learning curve, but so do any big transitions in life. We are certainly better for this choice and enjoying tiny life is really a dream come true!