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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, mortgage bubble worst-case scenarios, and the like, we realized that we wanted something different; something more that 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, replaced 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 bunk bed/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, built a storage “closet”, and put in chicken coops (you can see it below). We have also added a hog pen and have 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 for 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 the 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:

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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!
{ 13 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

  • 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!

    • January 16, 2012, 6:09 am

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

  • 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

    • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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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