Tuesday, November 3, 2015


It is useless to worry about what the rest of the world thinks of your ideas and life style.  For me, spending time worrying about how my neighbors live and what they have is time wasted.  Whether they have a house twice as big or half the size, whether it's full of their stuff or empty it shouldn't change the way me and mine choose to live.  When other peoples choices don't affect me directly I need to remind myself to stay out of their business to the point where I don't have an opinion even if those choices are self defeating.

"The house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace." Gaston Bachelard

Saturday, October 24, 2015


For many the Tiny House Movement seems crazy.  Americans are programmed to want more and bigger while smaller is seen as a Japanese mentality.  Historically many new ideas are thought of as crazy until they become mainstream.  One only has to think of the radical ideas such as a Round Earth, Airplane or Television to see ideas evolve from crazy to practical.  Going Tiny or small isn't about exploring how small of a space one can live but about aligning our wants and needs within an affordable living space.

Only when our wants and needs are in harmony do we have a real chance for peace. Sam Sorrells

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Karie, my wife, is fond of saying "Comparison is the joy killer." which is a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt. I find this to be contagious in the Tiny House movement. Stats are given about the average size home, family size, income and debt constantly yet I don't know anyone truly average.  The Average is given as a measurement against ourselves. Instead of comparing ourselves to the "Average" we should seek our level of comfort with living smaller and/or without stuff.  If comparison is necessary I'd rather compare me now to me yesterday, at least it's a fairer comparison yet never truly fair because yesterday was a different me.

"Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is." Charles M. Schulz

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tiny House Notion

Speaking of the Tiny House movement, we became a little disillusioned when we found that several of the tiny houses from the TV show Tiny House Nation were for rent on AirBnB.  On the show the home owners and the hosts acted as if these homes were a long term solution yet here they are seemingly as rental property.  The show sells itself as educational yet it feels more entertainment.  I understand that a percentage of the home owners might decide that tiny living isn't for them and would then turn their folly into an investment.  One problem I see with the show is that they build a tiny house in roughly a week during which time the home owners are required to downsize to roughly 1/10th of their original contents.  From experience a week isn't enough time to downsize, it's still a process for us.

"To be happy in life, you must learn the difference between what you Want vs Need." Ritu Ghatourey

Friday, September 25, 2015


Knowing how much to eliminate depends on the amount of living space you are going to downsize. Before we moved into our current house, the wife, kids and I lived in 200 square feet per person and besides sharing one bathroom we didn't have many problems in this space. From experience, less space promotes more outdoors living. The tiny house movement as a general rule cites about 100 square feet per person while the 80/20 rule suggests that we'd be limited to 480 square feet. Starting with a base of 200 square feet per person plus a standard square footage for bath room(s) and kitchen, we came up with 480 square feet as the base. We also wanted a master bedroom/bath which added another 288 sq ft which gave us a total of 768 square feet.  This equals about 33% of our current house and as we use less than half of our house it seems pretty close.  This is how we came to a 2/3 or 66% reduction in belongings.

"As you simplity your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness." Henry David Thoreau

Monday, September 14, 2015

The beginning

Starting at the beginning; after our adventure in the brewing business ended in 2014 we took notice of all the stuff we had accumulated in the 10 years since moving into our current house. We then re-evaluated our priorities and it was clear that we wanted/needed more time and money to travel and spend with family.  Since it's a lot easier to spend less than to make more money while holding on to the finite amount of time left, we decided to downsize the size and cost of our housing.

The first step of preparing for a 2/3 reduction in square footage is a 2/3 reduction in stuff.  After reading Richard Koch's book Living the 80/20 way(which is Pareto's Principle applied to one's life), it became clearer the steps on the path.

1. Identify the 20% of stuff, say clothes, that we use 80% of the time and set aside to keep.
2. Evaluate the remaining 80% that gets used only 20% of the time.
3. Wash, Rinse and Repeat

We've found that it's a gradual process that has to be repeated over and over, each time you will eliminate a little bit more.   It's not realistic to complete this in a day or days, as seen on TV, but weeks if not months.  After all it took in most cases years to accumulate it all.

"Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful." John Maeda