Monday, November 10, 2014

We're trying to heat our Tiny House for free!


The Craigslist Free section proves still useful even when we're living the minimalist Tiny House lifestyle!

I love the hunt.  For several weeks I've been watching for free firewood for the Kimberly Wood Stove. The norm free-firewood-post requires chopping down trees, which is fine if you have a year to dry it out before winter. ...and a chainsaw.

We have neither.  We weren't prepared.  We didn't know we'd be heating the Tiny House with wood until a few weeks ago.  And the first snow of winter came down today. 

Firewood from Mill's Fleet Farm at $5 a tiny bundle was not looking like the most economical way to heat the Tiny House!  I snagged a pickup truck load to dry for next winter...  so that's good!  Otherwise it's been looking fairly grimm.

Yesterday I realized I hadn't yet asked God for a little help!

Well geez.  Of course He provided the very next day!  Ryan just left to pick up a half of a cord of wood only 7 miles away!  We'll see how much a half cord is when he gets here.   I'M EXCITED!

Go Craigslist Free Section!  Thank You God!
And Thank You MARK, super cool guy who chops down trees, cuts and piles it, and then just gives it away! You are supercool!  Mark = Generous.

*Ryan's back!  He's happy!

A photo posted by Kim Kasl (@kimkasl) on

The logs are super small which is actually ideal for the Kimberly Stove!  The door is extra tiny so logs need to be split really small to fit. 

A photo posted by Kim Kasl (@kimkasl) on

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

This is how I know the kids LOVE the Tiny House

Families with children have been sending me questions.  Messages show up on facebook, email, here, and apps I didn't even know I had.  Everyone wants to know if they should really do it.  They want to build a Tiny House but they hesitate because of the kids. 

Well, you know your family and your kids best.  But if you're wading through discouraging "you can't"s and "how could you"s and are looking for a little encouragement, let me just tell you that Kids Love Tiny Houses! 

Besides our own kids, we've had about 20 pint sized visitors tour the Tiny House.  They step in and they light up!   I love telling them to go ahead and climb up to the loft because you can tell, that's exactly what they're itching to do!  They get up there and we hear joyful bursts, "Mom, come here, you gotta see this!"  It's like they're visiting a home that's a "real, live" fort/treehouse/dollhouse.

And we're just as excited!  :) 
Sully and Story love everything that has to do with our new lifestyle.
This is how I know the kids LOVE the Tiny House.

I haven't heard "Where's my ____ toy?" even once.  They make no mention about the (huge excess of) toys they once had.  Every parent who has weeded out the old, unused toys can attest to this.  This time around has been no different.  They have fewer toys and they play just as much.

They're volunteering to take on more responsibility.  They're really taking ownership of our Tiny House and new lifestyle.  "Can I take out the garbage and then go play outside?"  Sully checks and reports on the wood burning stove's flue (I think he knows more about the stove than I do.)  He makes sure the front door is locked at night.  Both kids do the churning maintenance on the composting toilet.  They make sure the dog has many walks and this morning Story actually insisted on picking up after her since the neighbor boy taught her how to properly use the dog poop bag.  There's just so much less grumbling around here!  Sully and Story are proud to do chores and take care of their Tiny House.

They're always doing something.  In the "big house" we would have to limit screen time. I would list all the options of things that they could do and be met with whining.  That hasn't happened here in the Tiny House.  I don't know why but they're somehow motivated to always be doing something.  Very occasionally they'll go on and even then I don't have to put a time limit on it.  They voluntarily turn it off and start a new activity.

They have to take a bath every single night.  They've never been so dirty so many days in a row.  They play outside a lot and they play hard.

They are so done with the "big house."  We stop there almost daily to do a load of laundry and/or to continue to prepare the house to be sold.  Sully and Story won't get out of the truck.  When I come back out they haven't even unbuckled.  They're ready to get back to the Tiny House as quickly as possible.  "Should we stop and grab mangos and bananas?"  Nope.  They want to go straight home, no stops.

We haven't been to the gym at all since we moved in.  We used to make it 12 times a month.  The kids would beg to go there to play, see friends, and run around crazy.  They haven't asked at all since we moved into the Tiny House!  We're keeping our membership though!  I'm hoping we get there regularly when the weather gets colder. 

They tell people they live in a Tiny House.  It's something they're proud of.  They get asked questions about it and they gladly engage in conversation.  They're pretty jazzed about the whole deal.

They thank God.  "Dear God, thank you for the Tiny House..."  <3

They love the wood burning stove.  They will do anything to stay up until Daddy gets home so they can help him load the Kimberly Stove.  Then they just want to snuggle up, read a book, and watch the flames.

"When are we going to be home?" has tripled.  At least!  Long drives are torture for kids who love their Tiny House!

They want to live in the Tiny House forever.  We were reading a book about different kinds of homes and I told Sully that our family is going to build two more Tiny Houses when they are teenagers.  One for him and one for Story.  Whoa.  Too much for Sully's sweet little heart.  He teared up and claimed he wants to live with us in this Tiny House forever!  I assured him that Yes, we can all live in this Tiny House together forever.  :)   Oh, my sweet baby.  <3

A photo posted by Kim Kasl (@kimkasl) on

A photo posted by Kim Kasl (@kimkasl) on

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Work, leveling, skirting. Mostly pictures.

The day we moved the Tiny House was a crazy, sleepless day.  And everyone helped!  Ryan's parents and my parents took shifts (they live little over an hour away) and new neighbors kept popping in to offer a hand, advise, and tools. 
It was a blessing of a day.

It started with hitching up the Tiny House to the truck at 3am.  You can check out that post by clicking here.

I'll tell you the rest in pictures.  (Some are blurry!  I was tired!)

First Grandpa Jack took us to breakfast at People's Organic.
The following is a very bland, boring video of tired people rehashing a stressful night towing a Tiny House.  Recorded by 6 year old Sully. I don't recommend this video.  Warning: boring.  Don't watch this video and then me ask for two minutes and 35 seconds of your life back.


It was a lot of work but check out the reward!!!

My Mom set up a sewing station and made curtains for the kids' loft windows.  This kids love them!

Ryan, my Dad, and Sully jacked up and leveled the house.  (Apparently super important.  Working in the house when it was all crooked made me nauseous.)

Neighbors gave input, parts were purchased, hoses and wires were connected.

Skirting was skirted.
We live in Minnesota and winter is ready to hit so the guys jumped on the skirting immediately.  It will shield the wind from reaching the trailer/floor and thieving away our heat!  We're saving the Duraskirt for a more permanent location.  Because the ground situation will be slightly different at each location, the skirting will need to be customized each time.  The cement Duraskirt will likely be a one time use kind of deal.  Whatever this stuff is, it's definitely not as pretty.  But, MAN, Ryan and Dad worked really hard and spent a lot of hours on it!

If you want details on Ryan and Dad leveling, hooking up, or skirting the Tiny House just scream and yell in the comment section; Ryan might be persuaded to do a guest blog post.  :)  They worked really late into the night.  Headlamps and everything.   

The skirting was actually two days of work.  My parents came back the next day to finish the job.  And we're so thankful for all the help and support!   We didn't even ask, they just showed up with tools and mega gumption. 

The kids spent the day making friends.  They LOVE the Tiny House!  Serious.  No exaggeration at all.  I try to go to the "big house" to finish cleaning up or do a load of laundry but they won't even get out of the truck.  They wait.  They want to get back home to the Tiny House as quick as they can!  I was never worried but goodness, if I was looking for a big, giant sign that they survived the transition, there it is. 

Here's the view outside our front door.
A photo posted by Kim Kasl (@kimkasl) on

Moving in has had it's challenges and it's been so worth it. 
We love it.  Love it. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

It happened sooner than I thought it would.

I lost my keys in the tiny house. 
It's possible that I was ever-so-slightly angrier about it than I normally would be in our "big house."

BECAUSE HOW do I lose something in such a small space! WHERE could they be?  I can check EVERY POSSIBLE crevice in about a minute! -assuming the kids didn't play with them and bring them upstairs.  I had them check that possibility since, of course, Story couldn't remember if she played with my keys or not. 

So I started cleaning. I would never attempt this in the big house.  I'd actually do the opposite.  Dump out every drawer!  Overturn every table!  Tornado-ize the whole place because I'm more likely to find them much more quickly that way than if I spend the entire day cleaning every inch of the house. 

The tiny house was clean in about 10 minutes.  TEN! 
(Rage cleaning is faster than the normal calm cleaning.)
I did finally find my keys:
And I didn't destroy my house in a fit of rage: :) Woot!
I suppose I'm proud of myself.
Still frustrated they were lost in the first place. :)   Oh, wait!  I'm over it.
I'm not a fan of losing my keys.

But my house is clean!!!

When you lose your keys... do you clean or destroy?

Monday, October 27, 2014

What do four people, a dog, and a composting toilet smell like in 207 square feet?

Apparently, we smell amazing. 

We've had several instances where someone takes one step into the house, halts, closes their eyes and inhales deeply,

"I love that smell!"


It's the smell of wood.  Natural building materials!  Most is raw, some is oiled, free of toxic stains.
One of many valid responses to the question, "Why don't you just live in an RV?"

Today a neighbor boy stepped in, did a sniff double-take and said, "Oh, I love that smell, it smells like Whole Foods!" and then ran back out to the playground.
...I'll take it!  :) 

The Kimberly Stove has been burning for two days so now we get to smell a bit like a campfire, too!  We're falling deeper and deeper in love. 

On good days it smells like a garden in the bathroom!  :)
We ran out of our peat moss-hemp stalk mixture one day.  That day it did not smell like a garden.  I'm hyper-aware of any possible smell and have been told that whatever it is I'm smelling is not readable by anyone else's olfactory receptors.  We're still finding the balance of microbes, enzymes, "etc" and I think there's room for a little improvement. 

Regardless.  The rest of the house trumps.

When we were in the planning stages of our tiny house journey the smell of our tiny house was not a factor.  Didn't come up in conversation, no expectation or anticipation.  What a pleasant surprise!  The lovely, woodsy smell is a wonderful addition to the peaceful aura of the Tiny House.  It smells like outside! 
I had no idea I would ever be so proud of the smell of my house.    

So if you want to live in a delicious smelling home that makes you feel like Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, you should build a Tiny House just like ours!  ;)

This is the best picture of smell that I can get. :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Moving the Tiny House!

The wheels work!
The truck works! 
Pretty well, anyway.  It wasn't a huge fan of uphill acceleration.

We attempted to get comp and collision insurance but met so many roadblocks.  Everything was covered for liability...  and then doused in prayer. 

We chose a super early Saturday morning to move the Tiny House it's first 100 miles.  We officially left at 4:25am.  (Way after bar close and way before morning traffic.)

The roads were empty for the first half of our trip and got a little busier on the highway.  We were able to stay in one lane the entire trip, changing lanes only once to take the off ramp. 

The kids and I led the way.  Yes, we had our 6 and 4 year olds up and at 'em at 3:30!  They were so pumped and wanted to be included in this exciting job.  Of course!

Leading the #TinyHouse caravan at 3:45am. These guys stayed awake the whole time! So much excitement! ...for the kids, not the dog so much. :)

My job was to be the lookout and focus on the route.  Called if there was something ahead to be aware of.  Flashed the breaks like crazy to warn about sudden slowdowns and such.  I got a bit nervous when I saw a kitten on the side of the road.  Didn't want it jumping out to attack our precious load, ya know.  :) 

Ryan manned the Ford F250.  He did a great job!  Strong and Steady.  He wore a headset for hands-free communication.  Superman!  Towing the Tiny House!

Ryan's Dad, Jack, drove behind.  Watched, buffered, ready to communicate clearance for lane changes. We're so thankful for his early morning help and alertness! And for treating us to coffee and breakfast.  :)


Ryan backed it in, Jack guided.

We're here!  125 miles in 2 hours and 15 minutes.  We drove really slowly, between 47 and 52 mph.  I'm proud of myself for keeping my cool.  :) 
We remembered the story about the turtle and the hare.   :)

The kids watched and cuddled to stay warm.  And I jumped up and down between pictures.

Isn't our parking spot beautiful!?

Lovely Tiny House, coolest journey ever, and safety.
Thank you God!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Tiny House Movement is SPREADING!

We have had the opportunity to share our experiences in so many ways! 

Late last night I found that we were on NIGHTLINE and we weren't even aware. 

It's so cool to be a part of this movement.  Sharing and inspiring.  Great people doing great things!  Normal, regular old people doing regular old things!  However you want to look at it.  :)

I can't get the video to embed right - so here's the link:

Here's the link to the Good Morning America video, too!