Tiny house toilets: Why I switched from composting to flush

One of my main goals, is to live both sustainably, and as off-grid as possible. Going tiny was more than just about saving money for me, I also wanted to drastically reduce my carbon footprint. When I was researching toilet options, the composting toilet seemed like the best option for the vision of how I wanted to live; therefore, without hesitation I told my builder that “I want a composting toilet!”. I personally chose the Seperatte Villa, because I did not want to deal with too much work. I did not want to have to buy any extra things like shavings or anything, and I didn’t want to have to crank nothing! To be honest, I was afraid I’d mess something up so I wanted it to be easy peasy lemon squeezy, and the Separette toilet is just that!

For two years, I had a compost toilet and LOVED it! I loved that I didn’t waste water, and I loved that I didn’t have to rely on electricity or water for my toilet. Unfortunately though, I was not composting my waste. In the beginning I didn’t know how (I mean I still really don’t), and now I just don’t have the time to learn. So I wasn’t really helping the environment too much by throwing it away and that really did make me feel awful. But worst than that y’all, was the flies.

Before I rented my home out to others, I did not have a fly problem often. It is a urine diverting toilet, and it has a little fan in it that is supposed to deter flies even more. I don’t know what happened, but after I moved back in (I was only out for about 5 months), the flies just wouldn’t stop coming. At one point, I had to empty the toilet on a weekly basis to keep them from finding it. Compared to the once every 4 or 6 weeks you’re ACTUALLY supposed to change it. 

The last straw, was when I had flies for an entire month (like I would kill 20+ flies a day and STILL have many more flying around), and was changing out the toilet on a DAILY basis. At that point, there was nothing environmentally friendly about it. So, since I am 99.9% sure that I will be staying in my current spot for AT LEAST another 3 years, it was time to switch out the toilet for a flush one. I opted for the dual-flush efficiency toilet and I am in love with it. 

Luckily for me, my builders had the foresight to plumb the tiny house for a conventional flush toilet underneath the composting toilet. This made this possible and relatively easy to install.

That’s one thing I really love about tiny house living. As my life changes and adapt, I am amble to adapt the tiny house to suit our needs.

Moral of the story, life changes and your tiny house can and will change with you. Also, even if you are 100% sure you want a composting toilet, still plumb for conventional flush!

Tiny House Myths

There are many critiques of the tiny house movement. Many people believe it is just a hippie fad that will eventually fade away. Even worse, some people believe that the tiny house lifestyle is a scam, and not as efficient as some of us make it seem. Now I am a Sagittarius and love to debate, so I love when people have differing opinions to me. I mean it keeps life exciting. So, I do not mind that people disagree or do not see the same benefits I do for tiny house living. I do however, have a problem with people critiquing the tiny house movement and lifestyle, when they themselves have NEVER lived tiny! This is a problem. Not because they do not agree with the lifestyle, but because anyone doing their due diligence and looking for honest cons of tiny house living, will only come upon these scam scare tactics. That’s right they are scams! 

I will be the first to tell you that tiny house living isn’t perfect. It for sure has its own share of problems that you have to have the mindset for honestly, but few of those problems are addressed in these scam articles. In this article, I wanted to address some of these “problems” I’ve seen and provide a more realistic view of tiny house living, from someone that ACTUALLY lives tiny.

Myth 1: You can’t have everything in a tiny house

tiny house kitchen with farmhouse sink and full sized appliances
My kitchen with Full-sized appliances

I saw this in one of the articles I read. While it is definitely true you will have to downsize, the idea that you have to give up basic human luxuries is just asinine. Some people prefer mini fridges and opt-out of having a full stove and oven, but it is 100% possible to have all the modern amenities of a traditional home just in a small space. For my tiny house, I spared no expenses. I have full or apartment sized appliances, a full bed in my loft (that was once a queen sized bed with extra room) and PLENTY of storage for smaller appliances and gizmos. If designed with your lifestyle in mind, a tiny house can literally be built to cater to YOUR life. Just because you haven’t seen it done in a tiny house previously, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I had never seen someone with a bookshelf the size of mine, but that didn’t stop me from getting one.

Myth 2: Tiny house living is now only for the rich elite

money
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

So while I haven’t seen this in an article specifically, I have seen this train of thought in MANY facebook groups and on YouTube videos. And honestly, I can totally see why people think that. Now that more affluent people have flocked to the tiny house movement, all the luxury tiny house videos you see, feature houses that cost well over 100K. Even mine is seen as luxurious, and I only paid 75k. BUT and this is a big but, it is still 100% possible to build a tiny house for less than 60k. You DO NOT have to spend 100k + for a good tiny house. You can totally build an affordable tiny house, by buying a shell from a builder, and finishing the interior on your own. With the plethora of YouTube videos and blog sites on building, even without prior experience you can finish the interior of your home. Buying a tiny house secondhand, is also another great way to save money on your tiny house build. If you want to have someone build 100% of your home, then yeah you will have to pay more but that’s just how businesses work. The higher the demand the higher the prices.

Myth 3: You will have no privacy

Okay I’m going to be completley honest, I really don’t understand this problem. Both of my parents are immigrants, so the idea of privacy is completley foreign to me ( I wish I was exaggerating but I really have no concept of it. Especially when it comes to family but I digress). The idea though that you have to give up your privacy though is just ludacris. You can still have privacy in a tiny home, even if you are living with someone else (unless that someone else is a toddler. Just give up on that at this point). You can have a tiny house with two lofts, an outdoor area, and also there are still doors! There are so many solutions to this problem, I still can’t believe people bring it up! One could even just put some headphones in and tell your significant other that you want some peaceful serene time and to just leave you alone. When my ex was living in my home with me, he would go up to the spare loft, sit in his gaming chair, and put on headphones when he needed privacy. He would let me know, and I would leave him alone so that he had that sense of privacy. In the beginning I will admit that it was hard adjusting to such a small space but once we developed a system it was pretty easy.

Myth 4: You can’t have kids and live tiny

black woman holding baby standing in front of house

This one keeps a lot of people from going tiny. They really believe that it is impossible to go tiny with kids, and this just isn’t true. It is not only completely possible, but also super fun and rewarding for both the parents and the kids. Kids do not need much indoor space. In all honesty, they don’t want to be inside. Kids have much more fun outdoors and should spend most of their time outdoors anyways. As long as you get the right size for your family, living tiny with kids would be fine. Don’t try to cram 3 kids and 2 adults into a 20 ft. tiny house. THAT would be difficult. Plan your build or project around space for kids and it will be fine

*FULL DISCLAIMER: This myth is not intended for parents with teenagers. Teenagers + parents + tiny house = a horrible idea that I would NOT recommend. NO ONE will enjoy it. If you want to live tiny and you have teenagers, have them build their own tiny house add ons. Not only will they learn valuable life skills, they will have their OWN space to grow as a person.

These are just a few tiny house ‘problems’ I have seen and will add more about others at a later time! Is there any tiny house concerns you have that you can’t find the answer too? Feel free to comment below or DM me on Instagram.

Live, Laugh, Love

How I downsized for tiny house life

So you want to live tiny but you have a house full of stuff? That was me too before I bought my tiny house. Downsizing is one of the most important things you have to do before going tiny. I mean theoretically you could totally live tiny without having to downsize, but that may be a tad bit difficult. Picture it, you now live in a 26 X 8.5 ft. rectangle with ALL your belongings?? Yeah that doesn’t sound all that fun to me either. BUT then again, if you are seriously looking into going tiny you most likely have already married the fact that you will have to get rid of your things. So how do you do it? How you do know what to keep and what not to keep? First thing to note, is that you will NOT do this all in one sitting. Shocker I know. You will probably do at least 3 declutters BEFORE going tiny and then you may do a couple AFTER you’ve moved in. You may think you know what you need now, but you won’t really until you’re living the life.

Photo by Burgess Milner on Unsplash

Now there are a plethora of ways to go about downsizing. Most people start with the basic: throw out everything you haven’t used in the last year or what not. I think that’s a great place to start. Personally, I started there too. If you start with ‘things I think I need’ you’ll find that its harder to get rid of things. Reason being half of the things you’ve bought is because you THOUGHT you needed it. If you however ONLY keep the items you have used within the past year or 6 months, regardless of whether or not you think you need it, you will have way more success getting rid of you items. Trust me I am speaking from many experiences.

After that first initial purge, you will find that while you have gotten rid of A LOT, you still have WAYY too much for a tiny house. Now is where you can have a declutter party and let loose. I made a whole day of it even going so far as to completely empty my closet and dressers. At this point you need to be more critical. You’ve already gotten rid of the things you don’t use, so now it is getting rid of things you don’t really need. Those 5 bottles of perfume you have but don’t want to get rid of because they were gifts? Throw them out. Those 10 blankets and pillows you have? Donate them. Those jeans you wear once a year, but they were expensive, so you keep them… hand those down to a cousin. Seriously. The goal here is to live with less. You can’t hoard things that you may or may not eventually get too JUST because you already have them. I’m telling you (because I did it) you will end up wasting time and packing space, moving with those 5 perfumes only to donate them later anyways when you realize you really don’t have the space for them.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

So round two is knocked out (YES!) now is where things get a tad bit trickier. Because now we’re left with things we really think we need (even if we don’t), and most likely sentimental things we don’t want to get rid of. I promise you even though you think after step 2 you’re done because it looks like you have nothing, you are NOT done. This is the stage where people usually pack up their belongings and live out of boxes. The idea is that you will truly see what you NEED by doing this activity. I so wish I had done this, because it would have saved me A TON and I mean A TON of boxes and time. If living out of boxes does not seem ideal to you, I would honestly turn to the internet. Google what do I actually need to live or tiny house living essentials.  I know that these are largely personal and 100% subjective, but it can give you a good guiding point to help slim down your belongings a bit more.

Now this is going to sound mean, but it must be said: items don’t hold memory, our brain does. Items may help us remember certain things, but digital pictures work just as well. Get rid of some of the sentimental stuff. Now I’m not talking about your great- great- great grandmothers ring. I’m talking about all 1,000 physical pictures you have in a box in the back of your closet. Scan those suckers and toss the physical copy. Still have clothes from when your kids were babies? Take a picture of it, upload it to the cloud, and donate the clothes. I threw out a host of sentimental things after I took pictures of them, because it was not the object I treasured, it was the memory and the feeling attached to that object. Both of which reside inside me, space free, and would continue too with or without the object. Again, I’m not saying to get rid of ALL sentimental things, but some can be done away with. If that just sound completely outrageous and you are mentally cursing me out, then make sure you have a storage plan for these items, and you incorporate them into your build.

Photo by KS KYUNG on Unsplash

Okay so now we’ve really slimed down our belongings and we have moved everything into our new tiny house (whoop whoop). In a few months or a year so 6-12 months, you will do ANOTHER downsizing. Yes that’s right I said ANOTHER. Now that you have experience living tiny, you know exactly what you need and what you don’t. No use hanging onto things you THOUGHT you would need. I did this while I was pregnant and in my emotional state ended up downsizing too much, but it is still a great idea. Even now that I’m almost two years living in the tiny house, I still find that I need to declutter some more. But that has more to do with getting rid of baby stuff, but still its downsizing.

Downsizing will perpetually be a part of the tiny house lifestyle

Downsizing will perpetually be a part of the tiny house lifestyle. Things will always be coming into your home as your needs and lifestyle changes, so naturally things will also always be leaving your home. When I started this journey, I had no idea I would want to switch to a minimal waste lifestyle, and yet here we are. With this switch, I’ve had to swap out many things, like a coffee maker for a French press, or store-bought milk for cheese cloths and a tub of oats. Once you accept that it’s just part of the lifestyle, it stops being a chore, and just becomes something you do. Now that I’ve written this article, I think I’m up for some much-needed decluttering.

Tiny house reality: A morning in our tiny house

Tiny house living can look so amazing on the internet. No really, all the glorious clean pictures, the adventures, the laughing families it looks amazing! And it really is, I absolutely love my home. But in reality y’all my day to day is pretty mundane. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below of a morning in our home. People often tell me how amazing my life looks and how much they wish they could live in a tiny house. So I wanted to show a glimpse of the reality. Our mornings are typically spent with me cooking and cleaning, and Nalini, well Nalini doing whatever Nalini wants. Do I love my life? Absolutely, I wouldn’t change any of it. BUT not because its glorious or exciting. I love my life because I work hard to craft the one I love. I get rid of things that do not serve me, and I go searching for opportunities I desire. So please enjoy a glimpse into our morning routine.

Tiny House vs. RV, Skoolie & 5th Wheel. Why I chose a Tiny house on Wheels

Tiny House on Wheels vs. RV vs. Skoolie vs. 5th wheel

Now this is a REAL hot topic! I have been frequently asked why I chose to go with a tiny house on wheels instead of a cheaper RV or 5th wheel. First things first, in all honesty y’all, I had NO IDEA what a 5th wheel was until AFTER my tiny house was nearly complete. I really thought that when people said 5th wheel they were talking about a semi-truck! And for the life of me I could not figure out why anyone would want to go about converting a semi-truck! So, from the beginning from bad researching on my part, a 5th wheel was out of the question.

Tiny house on wheels vs. RV

When I set out to purchase a tiny house on wheels, I had the same question “What was different between it and say an RV? Could I just live in an RV instead?” Short answer: Yes, you can in fact just live out of an RV. In terms of space, the living is just about the same. In terms of movability, I’d say an RV would be easier if you didn’t have your own truck to pull your tiny house. In terms of longevity, an RV may not be the route to go and ultimately that is what steered me away from an RV. While doing this same research, I found out that since RVs are not meant to be lived in full time, a lot of the components that go into an RV are plastic and break easily. “But Alexis, couldn’t you just buy a cheap RV and renovate the inside? Tiny houses are getting expensive out here and we tryna save money!” I hear ya random internet person but to answer your question, you technically can but you really shouldn’t!  The problem is, RV trailers are not necessarily designed to carry a ton of weight, that’s why everything in an RV is more or less plastic! When you start adding in all the components of a normal house with wood and metal features, you start messing with the weight. And everyone (even me with my limited knowledge of construction) knows that when you start messing with the weight of things on wheels, you need to start messing with the trailer too, because they are connected like two peas in a pod. So now not only would the inside need renovating, the trailer could need upgrading too! At that point are you really saving any money? Tiny house living for me was never meant to be short-term. This was not a steppingstone into a larger house, or a temporary two-year fix until I found something better. When I decided to go tiny, I knew I was in it for the long haul (or at the very least 5 years). I wanted to live in a house that was durable and would last for as long as I needed it and not a day less.

Tiny house on wheels vs. Skoolie

“Yes, okay we see why you didn’t choose an RV, but what about a Skoolie? They’re so cute and way cheaper to build!” And again, right you are random internet person! And I thought the same thing, and was enamored by all the fun, beautiful skoolie conversions. BUT AGAIN, upon doing research, I found a few articles mentioning how difficult it was for skoolies to find parking especially if they were not fully off-grid (which I knew I would not be). Parking is such a big big thing that I did not want to get this awesome rad Skoolie renovated on the cheap, only for it to be stuck in storage because I couldn’t find suitable parking. Obviously there are plenty of people and families that live in a skoolie and find parking fine and I say “heckers yeah!” to them. But I had zero desire to add even more parking stress to my life. I knew that if I went the tiny house route AND got my house RVIA certified, I had a much higher chance of finding a good parking spot.

What does tiny house living mean to me?

I love this question so so much because the answer is different for EVERYONE! Everyone has their own reasons for going tiny, and even if the reasons are similar, the motives and motivating factors behind them are different for all of us. While I won’t go into my whole “why I went tiny” background in this post, I will summarize what tiny house living means to me. To me, tiny house living means:

  • Freedom
  • Simplicity
  • Happiness

Freedom. For obvious reasons, tiny house living means freedom to me, because I can literally choose to live ANYWHERE in the United States I want! I don’t have to worry about selling a house or breaking a lease or finding an apartment in a new city. All I have to do is tie down some appliances, find a parking spot, and call my tiny house mover to hitch my house up and mover her along. I love that I have this choice and am not confined by location to what jobs I can have or where I can live. Speaking of jobs, I am free to work part time and don’t have to worry so much about bills because I live in a tiny house! My rent is nothing compared to some people I know, and this enables me to work part- time, and have more time at home with my daughter. If I were living in a traditional home or apartment, this would not be an option, and I would be forced to live that 9-5 grind (y’all I HATE the 9-5 grind with a passion!). I am free to work as little or as much as I want. (Okay well I’m not quite free to work as little as I want yet but I am working on it!)

Simplicity. Tiny house living= simple living. I’m not surrounded by useless stuff because I have no room for it. I can’t go out and bring useless stuff home because again, I have NO room for it. I find that I am okay living with a few shirts and a few jeans. I only own I think 4 pairs of shoes and two of them are boots! I have two pots and 1 frying pan. Two plates and a whole hoard of mugs (mugs are my weakness). My daughter has minimal toys and only a drawer full of clothes. Our lives and possessions are simple, but we are filled with so much happiness! Before living tiny, I had a walk-in closet FULL of clothes and even THEN, I had some stored in a suitcase. I had 20 pairs of shoes and only wore probably 5 of them. My kitchen was stocked with plates, cups and pots even though I rarely cooked and didn’t have that much company over. Going tiny forced me to get rid of these things and really evaluate what I thought of as a need or simply a want.

baby standing on green grass with brindle dog in picture
Picture of the tiny house community

Happiness. Happiness is something that eluded me for a VERY long time even after I got my tiny house; but it has helped me become the happiest I have ever been! I will NEVER have to worry about a roof over my daughter and I’s head. I NEVER have to worry about whether or not I will make enough to keep the water and lights on. Even if I lost my job tomorrow, I could do food delivery for a week and make enough to pay for my lot rental. This alone has brought me so much joy, because it enables me to do the other two on this list. I have a home. I am a homeowner. I am raising MY daughter in OUR home. Just typing that out makes me swell with pride and want to cry from happiness. This is something my generation is told we most likely will not accomplish. I have accomplished it at 24! Is it the traditional meaning of the word? No! And thank the goddess for it! Even if our home is small it is still filled with joy, laughter, adventures, happiness and love. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What is a tiny house to you?
What would be your reasons for going tiny, and what would tiny living mean for you in your life?

Leave a comment below!

Live, Laugh, Love

Tiny house parking: Where to park tiny houses and how to find them

The biggest obstacle by far preventing people from going tiny, is parking. Let’s face it, the laws surrounding tiny houses and specifically tiny houses on wheels, hav not yet caught up with the demand in some locations. Assuming you are already well versed on the zoning laws in your area, I’m going to dive right in to how to find parking for your tiny home

*NOTE: if you are not well versed or even vaguely familiar with your city and counties zoning law, do yourself a favor and get caught up! Zoning laws are extremely important when deciding where one should park their tiny home. Parked in the wrong zoning area, your home is subject to eviction YES eviction! So, read up on all those laws and bylaws BEFORE proceeding to save yourself some headaches down the road.

Before I talk about tiny house parking, I want to brush up on certification. According to the DMV, your tiny house is an RV, not a house, an RV. This means that if built to the right specifications, your house can receive RVIA certification. If your home is built by a reputable tiny house builder, RVIA certification will most likely be included in your price. If you are doing a self-build you would have to do the research and figure out how to build your house to those satisfaction. Your home DOES NOT need to be RVIA certified at all. Like all certifications, it can help you in certain places when trying to park your tiny, but it is not a necessity. Plenty of DIY tiny home builds find parking just fine without the unnecessary classification. Since my home was built by a builder, it is RVIA certified.

RVIA certification tag on purple tiny house door.

In general, there are three types of parking spots: Tiny house community, RV or campgrounds, and private land.

Tiny home community

four tiny houses in a tiny house community around a pond
The community I live in

Tiny home communities are perfect for the individuals who want to be surrounded by like minded people, and still have that sense of community. I live in a tiny house community and I can attest that it is in fact wonderful! Unfortunately, they are hard to find. Not all states have them and some of them have long wait list. One community in Orlando has a waitlist of 3 months! But, if you are fortunate enough to have one in your state, they are a great place to park a tiny. I found my tiny house community by doing a google search. I googled tiny house communities Florida. Tiny house communities near (insert city here I’m not telling y’all where I live). Tiny house communities in the United States so on and so forth, you get the picture. I googled every possible rendition of tiny house community until I found the one I’m parked in now. If there are no tiny house communities in your state, and you’re not willing to move out of state, then this option may not be for you at this moment, but fear not, there are plenty of other options out there for you!

RV park or campgrounds

Another popular parking location for tiny houses on wheels, is RV parks and campgrounds. Now, remember above when I went on that mini lesson on RVIA certification? This is where that would come in handy. Some RV parks will not allow you to park your tiny home on their property if you do not have RVIA certification. I have never lived in an RV park before, but I have searched for parking in one and if they knew what a tiny house was, I was asked about RVIA certification. In reality, most people did not know what a tiny house was, and once I sent them pictures of my home, they were all too eager to have me park on their space (except for one guy who just couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that it was literally just like an RV!). So, if you still want that community feel and aren’t quite ready to go out into the wilderness, RV park or campgrounds may be your best bet. Campgrounds usually have more space than RV parks, but they can also have a bit more restrictions when it comes to plugging in, like only running off 30 AMP plugs instead of 50 AMPs. So before to check all that BEFORE towing your house all the way there

Private Land

The holy grail of tiny house living! Finding parking either on your own land or someone else’s is the ideal route of most tiny housers. There’s usually more space, more flexibility to really utilize the land, and probably cheaper as well. I lived on a horse farm for a few months before moving to the tiny house community and I had a wonderful time! If not for the awful neighbors and the fact that the grass would flood every time it rained, I probably would’ve stayed there longer. Getting your own land can be very difficult especially if you want to remain in a THOW. Few zoning laws allow people to live full time in an RV (which remember is what tiny houses are classified as) so getting approved would be difficult. Not only that, some counties even have square footage restrictions! That’s right in some places your home must be a certain square footage to be able to be built (I know it’s ridiculous). Your best bet for finding land that you can park your THOW on or build a THOF (Tiny house on foundation), is to look for land zoned agricultural, unrestricted, and DEFINETLEY outside of city lines. These areas tend to have less restrictions when it comes to what you can and can’t do with your land.

blue tiny house on wheels on farm. blue skies and green grass
Tiny house parked on the farm

If you can’t afford your own land, or simply have no desire to have one, you can always live on someone else’s land. There is a plethora of people all across the United States that have acres on acres of land that they aren’t using and would love to host a tiny house! Whether for extra cash or just extra help around their property (which is typical for many of these situations). I’d say the best way to find these, is to utilize google search, craigslist, and social media! When I was looking for parking before I made it to the community, I googled the heck out of tiny house parking near me and every variation of it! I found that I would get a TON of information, and 98% of it would be absolutely useless. I found using craigslist to be the best route to finding parking. I searched on craigslist

  • Tiny house parking
  • Land for tiny house parking
  • RV parking
  • RV lots for rent
  • Long-term RV parking

This ended up giving me way more useable information. I would check daily and sure enough one day the farm popped up! Another great tool to utilize is social media! I have seen numerous posts from people in my tiny house groups on Facebook who have land and would love to host a tiny. I even saw one post where a man was giving away an acre for free to anyone who wanted it and could help around the farm! People are interested in tiny houses and the lifestyle so capitalize off of it! Make a cute infographic about you and your home and share it! You’d be surprised at the amount of interest you might generate.

While finding a parking spot for your tiny home can be a challenge, it is not impossible. It can take some time, months even, and you may have to live a few towns over from your target city (I do!) but it is so worth it to get to live your tiny dream!

Having trouble finding parking? Shoot me an email and let’s see if I can help 😊 After all 2 heads are better than 1.

Live Laugh, Love,

Tiny House Living with a Newborn

Before I had a rambunctious 16-month-old, I had a sweet little newborn. No seriously y’all the universe totally blessed me, I had the BEST newborn ever. She only cried to eat, slept really well, and was a pretty happy baby to be around. Newborn life in a tiny house was very different from newborn life in a traditional home, but I had no experience raising a newborn in a traditional house, so at the time it was all I knew. Unfortunately, I did not live in the tiny house with my daughter for too long. My ex and I broke up when she was just a month old, so I decided to move back home with my family so I wouldn’t be alone (y’all I had NO IDEA how to take care of a baby!); But I still wanted to share my newborn since I see a lot of posts asking about newborn setups.

BE WARNED! I literally had to drag these pictures up from almost two years ago and they are NOT the best! But hey gotta work with what I got.

Postpartum

New pleather couch(looks like it should be in a college dorm room but whatever works!)

I had a vaginal birth, and like many other women, I had stitches afterwards. I could NOT climb the stairs…well I could but it was advised against and I am a stickler for the rules; therefore, for that whole month I slept on the couch with my daughter. When I first brought her home, I had an L shaped, storage couch from Ikea that pulled out into a full bed. Then when she was 3 days old, I switched to a pleather couch that folded down into a full bed because I just could not take the fabric anymore! She’d pee on the couch bed and then it would soak through and then we’d have to soak the area and it was just all around a mess! While it is 100% possible to climb stairs and crouch down in a loft, I personally preferred just sleeping on the main floor. If you are thinking about going tiny and you do not have kids yet, think about a reversed loft style design. That way you can avoid the steps all together or opt for a main floor room.

I had a vaginal birth, and like many other women, I had stitches afterwards. I could NOT climb the stairs…well I could but it was advised against and I am a stickler for the rules; therefore, for that whole month I slept on the couch with my daughter. When I first brought her home, I had an L shaped, storage couch from Ikea that pulled out into a full bed. Then when she was 3 days old, I switched to a pleather couch that folded down into a full bed because I just could not take the fabric anymore! She’d pee on the couch bed and then it would soak through and then we’d have to soak the area and it was just all around a mess! While it is 100% possible to climb stairs and crouch down in a loft, I personally preferred just sleeping on the main floor. If you are thinking about going tiny and you do not have kids yet, think about a reversed loft style design. That way you can avoid the steps all together or opt for a main floor room.

Baby Sleeping and Changing Table

Putting up the 3 in 1 pack and play (I was so excited for it and NOT ready for its size)

Personally, I am a huge advocate for co-sleeping with baby, but PROPER and SAFE co-sleeping with baby, so I had no need for a crib. I did however want a place for her to nap when I wasn’t sleeping (I adhered to the age-old adage sleep when the baby is sleeping for a while). So after doing research on what was safest for babies to sleep in outside of a crib, I settled on a 3 in one pack and play! On one side was a changing table which actually came in handy, the other side was a small sleeping area where she napped, and underneath those two was the larger pack and play she could lay and sit up in! Luckily for me I was gifted the pack and play, unluckily for me I did not realize how large it would be. It encompassed half the living room, but I mean honestly, I wasn’t having many guests over. Plus, IF I did have guest, it folded up very nicely and tucked away! In fact, I still have it now, folded up and stored in the storage loft.

Newborn bed side (happy, sleeping baby)
Changing table side (she clearly loves it)

Shower Time/ Cleaning

Even though in the beginning there was two of us, my ex would go to work, and I stayed home with the baby. One piece of advice I got that I took seriously, was take a shower EVERYDAY no matter what. I would constantly forget to eat, drink water or even use the bathroom! But I made sure to stick to that piece of advice in my head. As a result, I ended up using a big Boppy on the floor, outside the shower, for shower time. Now I don’t know how safe this practice is, but this really worked for me. She’0d wake up and love the steam and I’d get a couple minutes to myself every day. As she got older, I switched that out for a baby bouncer, and it worked just the same!

Now even though my baby was pretty good, she was still a newborn in the 4th trimester, so she pretty much just wanted to be hugged and loved on ALL DAY. Like I’m not kidding y’all she did not care what I was doing, so long as she could feel me. So, I HIGHLY and I mean HIGHLY recommend investing in a baby carrier or baby wrap of some sort. I am telling you that thing was a lifesaver! It was the only way I could get ANY cleaning done. I mean I was seeping, mopping, and washing dishes with a sleeping baby on my chest. I had the baby Katan because I wanted more of a wrap carrier feeling without having to learn to do all that wrapping stuff. My ex had the baby Bjorn because, well he thought it looked cooler.

Baby in Boppy while mommy showers

Baby Storage

I decided to cloth diaper and I knew I needed space for them all. So I stored the diapers her size in our closet and stored the rest in a suitcase (I didn’t realize how many diapers I bought in the beginning!). I also made it a point to tell everyone that I lived in a tiny house, which means limited storage, so PLEASE don’t go overboard on the clothes buying. I was so happy when people actually heeded my advice, so all of her clothes was able to fit in this mini storage container I picked up at Walmart. I made sure to put them on the top half, so that I wouldn’t have to bend to take her clothes out (which in the beginning was seriously amazing y’all. No one properly prepares you for that postpartum life I’ll tell ya!)

Diaper and clothes storage (probably the only time it was this clean)

Diapers

Hanging the diapers to dry #freedryer

So one of the challenges I was facing after I found out I was pregnant, was diaper storage. I couldn’t imagine having to constantly buy and store disposable diapers which is how I ended up looking for diaper alternatives. I was also beginning my minimal waste journey and did not like the idea of disposables. So I discovered cloth diapers and I’ve been smitten with them ever since! I have a washer/dryer combo in my tiny house, so washing was not an issue. I chose to air dry my diapers at first because that is what is recommended to promote the longevity of the diaper’s life (now I just use it out of necessity since my dryer has decided it no longer wants to dry). Cloth diapers has seriously saved me so much money, and I don’t have to worry about where to store piles and piles of diapers.

It’s all fun I promise!

Me and tiny Lini

Living tiny with a newborn is definitely different than traditional living with a newborn. I did not get to make up a nursery, and I had to be REALLY selective on what toys and gadgets I could accept for her; but, it was still 100% doable, and in my opinion, easier because you are never too far from your baby. If by some weird cosmic phenomenon, I was transported back to when she was a month old, I probably would’ve opted to stay living in my tiny house over moving back in with my dad. I loved the help and welcomed it greatly, but the house was just TOO big. I found myself filing the space again with unnecessary baby gadgets that I then had to get rid of when I moved back in a few months later. They key to living tiny with a newborn, well pretty much the key to living tiny at all, is to be conscience of what you ACTUALLY need versus what people TELL you you need. Living tiny with a newborn does not have to be stressful, scary thing. It can be fun, adventurous and wonderful!

Living, Laughing, Loving Life

Life: Hi! It’s ME

African American mother smiling at mixed daughter

Hello Beautiful reader! Welcome to my life.

You now have a front row seat to my life and the innerworkings of my mind! A little about myself, I am a 24-year-old single mom to two beautiful babies (one human and one fur baby). My human baby is 15 months old (and she knows she’s the boss) and my fur baby is 3! They mostly get along great but as all sisters do they frequently fight over snacks. I am getting my Master’s degree in Anthropology and no matter how smart I think I am this whole life thing still confuses the crap out of me! Hence the blog:

So why am I doing this you ask? I live a life not many other people can relate too. I mean how many African American Single moms do you see living in tiny houses on wheels?? Exactly! I love my life and all things tiny and would be honored to share my story with the world. I want to show that tiny house living is literally for everyone! 

Thank you so much for visiting my space and I hope you find something along the way you can relate too. We’re all mad here! (Fun fact I am in LOVE with everything Alice in Wonderland y’all E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.)