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Young Family Adopts Simple, Tiny House Living Lifestyle

Guest Post by Andrew Odom of Tiny r(E)volution

Since December of 2010 when we first stumbled across the tiny house living lifestyle we have had a dream to build our own, custom, tiny house trailer.

Having both lived in more traditional “sticks and bricks” homes and having both seen our fair share of consumer debt, mortage bubble worst-case scenarios, and the like, we realized that we wanted something different; something more than could only be found in something less, so to speak.

We no longer wanted to live the status quo and fall prey to what we now realize is an antiquated “American Dream.”

We had no desire to get to know Fannie or Freddie and we knew that we wanted to further develop our micro-homestead, our self-sustaining lifestyle, and our desire to have a home that grew with us rather than us having to figure out how to fill it up.

So for the last three years or so (even before our tiny house dream) my wife, Crystal, and I have worked hard at simplifying our lives.

We have minimized the number of clothes we own, the amount of books/CDs/DVDs we own, the types of food we eat, our dependency on cars and travel in general, the number of square feet we need to exist indoors, and our overall debt!

Because of this exchange we have maximized our quality of life, our love for each other, our concern for the world around us, our ideas of true entertainment, our health (both mental and physical), and our general dispositions.

In regards to our tiny house trailer, we are about 15% into it. We have secured our trailer (30′ long former travel trailer), sandblasted the entire thing, painted it, replaced the tires, replaces the leaf springs, etc (see photos below).

Andrew Odom's trailer from old RV for his tiny house on wheels
All Photos Courtesy of Andrew and Crystal Odom of Tiny r(E)volution

Andrew Odom Sandblasting his Trailer to Prep for his Tiny House on Wheels Project

The Odom's Trailer for their Tiny house on Wheels after Paint Job

We have also fleshed out our blueprint (using Google SketchUp) coming in at 264 square feet including a queen size sleeping loft, a washer/dryer combo, a tub, and even a bunkbed/play system for our daughter. Oh, did I forget to mention that?

Andrew Odom's Tiny House Design on Sketchup

Andrew Odom's Tiny House Design on Sketchup

After we had begun saving for our tiny house build we found out we were going to have our first child. Tilly Madison is now 4 months old and has been a blessing to us despite requiring us to do some very creative planning.

The important thing about our build, we think, is that we are building slowly, deliberately, and “cash on the barrel.” There will be no financing, borrowing, accruing credit debt, etc. If it takes us 5 years, so be it. When finished it will be ours outright!

Perhaps the other interesting part of our journey is that the past year has found us on family land in eastern North Carolina where we have prepared a potential parking spot for our tiny r(E)volution.

Clearing Land for Tiny House on a Trailer

At just barely over 1 acre we have cleared the once forested land (see above), we have added electricity, we have built a storage “closet”, we have put in chicken coops (you can see it below) and a hog pen, and cultivated a number of garden spots.

Adding Electricity to Land for the Tiny House

Concrete Slab for Tiny House on Wheels

It has been a labor of love and one that will provide a turnkey spot once we have completed our home.

Moving the Chicken Coop in

In the meantime we are living in what we affectionately call “The Bungalow.” It is a 220 square foot, one room (+ bathroom), renovated workshop.

Tiny Revolution Woodshop, Shed, Barn Conversion to Bungalow/Small House

Simple Bedroom inside Barn, Workshop, Shed Conversion to Small House

Kitchen in Shed, Workshop, Barn Conversion into Small/Tiny House

The cart you see below is multi-functional because you can roll it out for extra countertop space or slide it in to serve as storage.

Space Saving Multi Functional Design in Small/Tiny House Kitchen

It is situated right next to our land so it is convenient to our work. It features a kitchenette (including fridge, stove, oven, etc). We have a full bathroom including full plumbing and a shower stall.

We even have a corner dedicated to the nursery. We take our meals usually on the front porch which is covered and has a ceiling fan for the summer and small propane heater for the cooler months. Even though we have a stove and oven we try to grill as much as possible to keep smell out of our bungalow and to maintain temperature control.

Guest Post by Andrew Odom of tiny r(E)volution.

Plus there’s much more that you can learn about the Odom family below:

You can also explore more photos of their current set up in the links below:

Ask questions in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post and got some value out of it, pay it forward by clicking “Like” on Facebook and sharing it with your friends via email or your favorite social network using the buttons below. Thank you!

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Kat January 14, 2012, 11:08 am

    Great job! Sounds like you are doing things in the right way. Personally, I like the “Bungalow” that you are currently staying in – but I also like the idea of being “mobile” when your place is done. Best wishes to your family – may the sun shine on what you are doing – and may what you are doing ‘catch on’…… ~Kat

  • anotherkindofdrew January 14, 2012, 12:26 pm

    Thank you so much Kat. We appreciate it. We like the bungalow too. But, alas, it isn’t our dream, you know? Thank you for the warm wishes. We are proof that tiny house living isn’t just for single people!

    • Alex January 16, 2012, 6:09 am

      Thanks so much for sharing all of this with us, Andrew!

  • Annie January 14, 2012, 12:47 pm

    I think this is cute! Currently my daughter and I live in a 500 s.f. 1-bedroom house, down from 720 s.f.; I am researching tiny house living in hopes of one day going even smaller while in the meantime making what we have more useful. Great post!

    Annie at Annienygma.com

    • Alex January 16, 2012, 6:10 am

      Thanks, Annie, glad you found it useful!

  • Maija January 14, 2012, 2:13 pm

    I love the cart on wheels! What a superb idea!

  • Amy Turnbull January 14, 2012, 4:08 pm

    Don’t like the idea of clearing trees.

    • Alex January 16, 2012, 6:11 am

      Lol- mean either Amy but you’ve got to admire their preparation.

  • Trish Pollard January 15, 2012, 12:57 pm

    I have already learned a lot about living smaller by our temporary stays in our 16″ yurt on our 2 acre plot we are developing for our limited means retirement.I have discovered I can cook most anything with an electric skillet and a toaster oven.However, I saw what looked like the edge of a stove in one pic and was wondering what kind of appliance it was.Thank you for your response. May you continue on with your dream.
    Peace and joy, Trish

    • Alex January 16, 2012, 6:12 am

      Hey Trish, thanks for sharing about your experience in a yurt. That must have been fun/interesting.

      I’ll have to ask Andrew about his stove for you.

  • Robert January 15, 2012, 1:34 pm

    Have you checked the trailer weight rating?
    Over 200 sqft in a tiny house is going to push the limits of even 2 axles trailer rated at 10,000 lbs total.
    (2 5K axles)
    An old travel trailer that big was made of 2×2’s and aluminum it was light. A 264sqft tiny house is going to be real heavy.
    I think my 130sqft bungalow must be around 6000lbs.

    • Alex January 16, 2012, 6:14 am

      Good point, Robert. Is your bungalow on a trailer or no? Would love to see it.

      I’ve seen 7000 lbs axles, maybe that will work for them?

  • Robert January 16, 2012, 10:31 am

    Trailer mounted 130sqft with a 56sqft loft
    google “The Tiny Bungalow” or youtube search for time lapse construction videos.
    My design based on a 1920’s style craftsman bungalow.
    Loved every minute of the construction,love every minute building my own design craftsman style furniture. Love every minute living in it.
    Build your dream!
    2 7k axles maybe or see about adding a third axle

    • Alex January 16, 2012, 12:42 pm

      Thanks, Robert- I’m checking it out right now. Hope you can upload an updated video soon, would love to see it and feature it on here sometime.

  • sesameB January 30, 2012, 4:13 pm

    In reaading this post, rather late. It is a nice real life story of living beyond the ‘old american dream theme’.
    Single in rural south central sunny Arkansas, barefootin’ and drinking spring water
    PS: She was one of my favorite persons: December 30, 2011 Eva Zeisel, Ceramic Artist and Designer, Dies at 105 By WILLIAM L. HAMILTON “Men have no concept of how to design things for the home,” she told a writer. “Women should design the things they use.” Eva Zeisel, a ceramic artist whose elegant, eccentric designs for dinnerware in the 1940s and ’50s helped to revolutionize the way Americans set their tables, died on Friday in New City, N.Y. She was 105. Her death was confirmed by her daughter, Jean Richards. On May 28, 1936, she was arrested, falsely accused by a colleague of conspiring to assassinate Stalin. She was imprisoned for 16 months, mostly in solitary confinement, an experience that Arthur Koestler, a childhood friend, drew upon in writing his celebrated 1941 novel, “Darkness at Noon.” Again, Ms. Zeisel’s eyes were opened. “You feel the difference first in the way you see colors,” she wrote later of the deprivations of prison.

  • rich April 17, 2012, 9:28 pm

    Andrew & Crystal: I appreciate your no debt approach while pursuing your dream none-the-less. I like that you have modified the “cookie cutter” plans that are so prevalent among the tiny house fans, especially the way you’ve situated the loft and access. I would recommend that the hygiene and food prep areas be co-located to avoid troublesome and inefficient plumbing issues later on.

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