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Dee Williams Downsizes from Tiny…To Tinier!

How small a house is just too small? Dee Williams, a pioneer in the tiny house movement, is pushing her personal limits by downsizing (again).

You may know Dee because she’s lived in an 84 square foot home for the last 13 years, but now she’s downsizing…into a one-level, 56 square foot house.

Will it be too small? Maybe! But she’s curious and plans to find out!

Dee’s Current House: The Kozy Kabin

Dee Williams Kozy Kabin Tiny House

All photos © PAD Tiny Houses

Dee Williams Kozy Kabin Tiny House Loft Dee Williams Kozy Kabin Tiny House Kitchen Dee Williams Kozy Cabin Tiny House Interior

Dee is moving because she plans to give her current house, now named the Kozy Kabin, to her nephew, a recent college graduate and river rafting guide who’s no stranger to simple living.  Having lived in a tent for months at a time, Jonathan is actually upsizing into Dee’s tiny house!

Dee’s home may look familiar because it was one of the first tiny houses on wheels out there. For the last 13 years it has been toured by thousands in person, by millions online, and been thoroughly described in her 2013 memoir The Big Tiny. But if YOU would like to tour a piece of tiny house history, you can tour Dee’s house in person at the upcoming Tiny House Jamboree!

Dee is driving the Kozy Kabin to the 2016 Tiny House Jamboree with partner in crime and tiny house expert Derin Williams from Shelter Wise, where she’ll give it to Jonathan so he can begin his tiny house life in Colorado, where he plans to live. But before Jonathan takes it home, it’ll be available for touring all weekend at the Jamboree, so come on out and take a tour.

Dee’s New House: The Don Vardo

Dee Williams Tiny House

Photo by Tammy Strobel

Don Vardo Tiny House Interior
Dee Williams' Don Vardo Tiny House

Photo by Tammy Strobel

When Dee returns from the Jamboree, she’ll come home to her 56 square foot home in Olympia, Washington. Her new house is a Don Vardo Tiny House design that Dee herself designed several years ago for a client. In 2013 she commissioned a builder friend to make her a Vardo nicknamed “Jolene” that she could use as a second home when staying overnight in Portland, but she kept wondering if she could make the move and live in the little Vardo full time. Now she’s taking the plunge.

How does Dee feel about downsizing, again, and “re-booting” life in her new house? Dee says:

“I love a good living challenge, and Jolene is it. She doesn’t have much of a closet, not that I have a lot of stuff to store.  There’s no running water, but I’m used to that. And at the moment, there isn’t a toilet…which is a bit of a showstopper. My plan is to remodel and figure stuff out along the way. I’ll be hatching an adventure just by moving in the first day,  which is exactly the situation I found myself in 13 years ago with my current tiny house. I have been, and still am, happy enough in the tiny house, living in the shadow of my friends’ houses and kicking the can down the road with them. I’m safe. I can do this!”

Follow the Adventure!

As Dee gets ready to drive her Kozy Kabin tiny house down 1,500 miles to the Jamboree and moves her Vardo “Jolene” from Portland to Olympia, she’ll be sharing tons of pictures, reflections on both homes and how-to advice about tiny house moving processes. You can start following along right now by reading Why Dee is Going From Tiny to Tinier, reading Why Jonathan Is Upsizing Into a Tiny House, or reading Dee’s tips for Setting Up Solar Power For Your Tiny House based on the solar setup she just installed for her new home.

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Billy Ulmer

Writer at PAD Tiny Houses
Billy Ulmer is the author of the Life in a Tiny House Ebook, a collection of photos and in-depth interviews with people who designed and built their own tiny homes. He is a co-owner of PADTinyHouses.com.
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • JoLene
    July 7, 2016, 9:28 pm

    Congratulations Dee! Great gift you’re giving your nephew. Your new place looks cozy and perfect for a new chapter in life. Glad you still have a nice little porch/stoop for you and your fur baby to enjoy. “Jolene” is a great name for your new home! Cheers from the other “JoLene”

  • Kathleen
    July 7, 2016, 10:39 pm

    I have enjoyed Dee and her plucky spirit for years. She’s an inspiration in so many ways. I will watch with interest her latest downsizing adventure.

  • Sue
    July 8, 2016, 10:27 am

    In the shadow of her friends’ homes? So it seems , as before, she still will be using her friends’ homes and not completely relying on her Tiny Home…not 100% self sufficient….

    • Rochelle Carr
      July 10, 2016, 2:55 pm

      I read the article. Nowhere are the words ‘self sufficient’ written or even alluded to. ‘Downsizing’, yes.
      For me, it makes sense to use facilities that others have. Why have a set of everything for every person. I have the thought that it can be a clever use of resources to be able to ‘communalise’ some things.
      P.s. being self-sufficient isn’t the goal of every tiny-houser or tiny-house dreamer.

  • Glema
    October 19, 2016, 3:10 am

    I am honored that you have chosen to share your journey in life with us Dee. No worries, I pray for you often. You are safe in HIS hands! Happy Trails dearheart.

    • Natalie
      October 19, 2016, 8:49 am

      Thanks for reading, Glema! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Andrea
    December 5, 2016, 1:17 am

    Brilliant! Now, anyone know how I can get in touch with Ms. Dee???

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