This is Michelle’s Pawsitively Tiny House near Columbus, Ohio. She just sent us some new pictures in response to some reader requests.
Michelle went tiny after spending a year living in a boat in New York City! Her small space allows her to spend time with family and do what she loves — rescuing and caring for animals. Read our interview with her below the pictures!
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Michele’s Pawsitively Tiny House – Built for Independence and Freedom After a Divorce
Interview with Michelle:
How many people are living in your tiny house? I am living in my home alone, but I share it with a Boxer and 6 rescue cats.
Where do you live? I live on an acre of land in Beloit Ohio about an hour east of Cleveland Ohio
Why did you decide to go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of living tiny? I decided to go tiny after living on a boat in NYC for a year. My 4 children are adults and live on their own, and I got a divorce in 2014. By living tiny with very little expenses, I am able to pursue my passion for rescuing animals and working in a non-profit animal shelter.
How did you first learn about tiny houses? By watching the TV shows
When did you officially start your tiny house? I started the build in August of 2015. I bought a 16-foot camper and tore it down to the bare frame.
Is your house completed? How long did it take to finish it? The house is about 95% completed. I need to finish up a little bit of molding and finish painting the loft. I currently have a composting toilet but plan on installing a flush toilet in the summer. It took me about 1 ½ years to complete.
How did you build your tiny house? Did you have any help? Did you do it yourselves? I built the house with the help of my ex-husband in his driveway. He helped me complete the outer shell, but I have completed the inside, windows and outside deck and siding myself. I lived in just an empty shell for a few months and designed around what was important to me. I built a L shaped window seat for seating for 4 or most of the time just me and my dog. I also built a china cabinet to display my mom’s antique china which is very important to me.
How did you find a place to park and live in your tiny house? I found the empty lot on Craigslist. It had a mobile home on it that was torn down. It is part of a 300-acre farm, that the owner separated. It had electric, water and septic already installed. I have an acre which I planted a large garden last year, and this spring I will complete the chicken coop and goat house and put up the fencing. I also plan on having a storage shed moved to the property to open up my own animal rescue, which will probably be bigger than the tiny house. I have no intention of moving the house. Finding a place to put the house was my biggest challenge.
Before going tiny, what was life like? I lived on a boat for a year and the transition was easy going tiny. I raised 4 children as a single mom and worked 2 jobs just to pay the bills and live in a big house. By living tiny I can do what I want, not what I have to.
What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny? Working less, relaxing more, visiting family more, pursuing my love of animals and devoting my time to rescue them.
What about some challenges? I would love to be able to babysit my granddaughter but she is almost 2 and there is not enough space for her to explore. My biggest challenge was finding a place to put my litter box for the cats. It is currently in my shower, which works out. Also living with a large dog and 6 cats in a tiny space you deal with little paw prints everywhere when they come in from outside with mud on their little feet.
What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny? Live in a tiny house before jumping in. Know what is important to you space wise, and where you will spend most of your time. I built a lot of built-ins to display my collection of things I was just not willing to do without. Personalize the space for yourself.
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Natalie C. McKee
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