This week I had the pleasure of touring my friend’s home and finding out more about her small living experience. Melanie lives in my neighborhood and she is currently renting a shed turned guest house on a friend’s property. When I first met the property owner Kevin, he was living a couple of blocks from me and he was converting an existing shed into a rental unit. After adding the loft, this small house is approximately 600 square feet. Not exactly *tiny* by the tiny living movement standards which consider tiny to be 400 square feet or less, but it’s smaller than the average home. I have been watching this project progress and have been curious about and excited to see the final result. When Melanie agreed to my interview I couldn’t wait to get in that door!
Melanie is a travel nurse who has recently relocated to Central Florida; she has lived in her current small home for about 3 months. Although she has a yard, she said she happily spends most of her free time each day inside her home. She would love to have more windows and light, but said she never feels closed in, claustrophobic or like she absolutely “has to get outside.”
The kitchen is fully equipped and even has a full size dishwasher, stackable washer/dryer and a full staircase. Kitchen storage is her biggest struggle and she has purchased a couple of cabinets and shelves to help her better utilize the space she does have. The surprise items that she uses the most….TV trays!
In her opinion, the most clever use of space is her narrow, rectangular bathroom sink. Although narrow, it’s a great size. There is a full sized tub/shower combo with a cool tile floor. The shelf above the toilet was added after she moved in. For even more storage she has used a shoe caddy system on back of the door as well as the tiered shelf in the shower. It works! If she could modify any features in this small space, she would add more storage for kitchen items and linens, would love a ceiling fan upstairs, and want larger windows.
After taking a tour of this small house, I would say it’s a compact but fully functional home. Many people (including me) would love to either live in a home like this, or have the ability to have one on their property in order to have an income producing rental unit. It’s pale yellow with an aqua door and cheery awning ~ what’s not to love!
This is Melanie’s first time staying in a smaller home and she knows that she will have many more experiences as she will move around frequently as a travel nurse. It’s been hard for her to condense her possessions down far enough to live in a compact space and she’s still working on it. Currently she has some of her things in a storage unit and she’s not completely comfortable with that. Melanie said “it’s been an exercise in what to keep and what you are willing to pay a storage fee for. It’s also an investment in time to sort through all of the pictures, etc.” She was teary when she talked about some family heirlooms that she feels undecided about but she is loving her simpler life in a tiny home.