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Tiny House Quarantine: What it’s Like and How to Survive


During this COVID-19 crisis, we’re all trying to self-isolate and #stayhome as much as possible — which gets a little interesting when you live in spaces under 300 square feet!

We decided to check in on some tiny house dwellers around the world and see how they’re holding up during quarantine and what they’re doing to stay sane! From creating a work-from-home office to long nature walks to binge-watching Tiger King, these tiny homers are figuring out how to live large despite the tight quarters.

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Tiffany the Tiny House: Tim & Sam

Tim & Sam live on a campground North of Sarasota, Florida in their THOW. 

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What’s been the hardest thing about quarantine in a tiny home? Definitely both of us working from home. We don’t have office chairs with lumbar support, so it can be tough to find a spot to settle in for an 8 hour work day but make it work. If one is in a webinar and someone needs to take a phone call we utilize the outside space for separate areas.

What have you been doing to stay sane? Tim is constantly doing something at the new property and tiding things up there. He has a bunch of projects to work on. He also bought an Xbox to play with friends to keep a social interaction alive. Sam is still working normal hours, but spends lots of time cooking, reading, and Facetiming friends.

What adjustments have you had to make to make your tiny house quarantine-friendly? We’ve shifted our storage a little bit. We are fully stocked on food, which is tough because we don’t have a ton of pantry storage. It makes the kitchen feel even smaller. But, it’s an easy work around and all temporary, so we don’t mind. We also have a TON of house plants to help clean the air and give us tiny bits of sunshine through the day.

How does a tiny home make social distancing either more difficult or perhaps easier? Well first, we have a cozy sanctuary to hole up in! We really miss our friends. Living tiny just really makes us appreciate our time with loved ones and it’s super hard not to be able to see them. But we believe in doing our part by staying home!

What new things has quarantine in a tiny house let you do? I think it has really slowed us down. It’s given us more time than normal to think, reflect, get curious, take care of ourselves, communicate. Also, our house is spotless almost always now! haha

Little Dread Riding Hood: Emily & Cameron

Emily & Cameron live in their THOW in the Southwest of the UK. 

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What’s been the hardest thing about quarantine in a tiny home? It’s been hard not having that much space to do your own thing, but we’re just thankful that we have a garden and the space that we do have!

What have you been doing to stay sane?
A lot of gardening, housework and Instagram!

What are you missing most about tiny life that quarantine is putting a damper on? Having our friends and family over, I love cooking for people and having guests so that’s been really hard!

What new things has quarantine in a tiny house let you do? Organise and make our space more efficient. The fact that neither of us have been working means we’ve had time to make everything more streamline. Plus getting out in the garden more!

Bus Life Possible: Monica & Cole

Monica & Cole are living the bus-life in Arizona. 

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What’s been the hardest thing about quarantine in a tiny home? I think the hardest part is that we don’t have an unlimited water and food supply. We’re limiting exposure as much as possible so we have had to really plan accordingly. Also, with campgrounds, parks, and BLM closing there has been some uncertainty about losing our place to park in the future. For now we are safe and sound but there’s a constant feeling of that being taken away.

How does a tiny home make social distancing either more difficult or perhaps easier? I think it’s 50/50. I feel good about being on land away from society but we still rely on the same things as everyone else. I love the option of being about to go somewhere else if we start to feel unsafe though.

What are you missing most about tiny life that quarantine is putting a damper on? With parks closing we are going to have to pass on some major bucket list destinations as we make our way north for the summer. What’s most important is that everyone stays home and stays safe though!

What new things has quarantine in a tiny house let you do? We saved for a couple years to be able to hit the road so we were financially prepared to not work during these times. I’ve been thinking a lot about everyone who is struggling right now and feeling really fortunate that we were ready for this in some ways.

This Tiny Journey: Alexis & Nalani

Alexis and their daughter live in Florida in their tiny home. 

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What’s been the hardest thing about quarantine in a tiny home?
Being cooped up in a tiny space ALL day! I try to get outside as much as possible but in Florida right now every day is at least 80 degree with no wind so it’s hot and on top of that I live on gravel and have a walking baby who thinks it’s her job to personally clean all the rocks with her mouth! So we don’t often spend as much time outside as I would like.

What have you been doing to stay sane?
Honestly I’ve been binge watching TV shows. I’ve seen Tiger King twice now and I’m not even mad about it. I read books or work on my master’s thesis proposal that I’ve been putting off for about a year now. And lastly, I take the baby outside, play in the baby splash pad, we go on long walks in the evening with the dog.

How does a tiny home make social distancing either more difficult or perhaps easier?
It makes social distancing a bit easier because I’m not so close to my neighbors, and there is fewer of us, so I could hangout on my lot for hours sometimes and not see anyone. Plus many of people who live in tiny homes also work from home so they are still busy. It also makes it a bit harder because I can’t store things in bulk. So I still have to go to the grocery store every 2 weeks because that’s how much stuff I can keep at once.

What new things has quarantine in a tiny house let you do? I finally have the time to try my hand at gardening which is fun and arts and crafts ALL the arts and crafts

Norwegian Mikrohus: Ida

Ida lives in her tiny house on the edge of a Norwegian farm. 

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What’s been the hardest thing about quarantine in a tiny home? If you have to choose where to spend your quarantine time, a tiny home on the countryside or an apartment in the city, I would choose a tiny home. Ýou have lovely surroundings to look at and just sitting on the staircase breathing the fresh air and listening to the birds is a feeling of freedom.

What have you been doing to stay sane? I have spent half a day walking in the forest. I have organized my whole life including my wardrobe.

What adjustments have you had to make to make your tiny house quarantine-friendly? Nothing, this is quarantine heaven.

How does a tiny home make social distancing either more difficult or perhaps easier? Easier, long distance between neighbours and a lot of relaxing nature on the other side of the window. With a good internet connection you can have all your family and friends in the living room.

What are you missing most about tiny life that quarantine is putting a damper on? I´m longing to invite my friends on an AC-party (After Corona party)

What new things has quarantine in a tiny house let you do?
I have gotten better contact with my family in Sweden and friends in Spain.

Soulful Bus Life: Adam & Rachel

Adam and Rachel have been travelling in their renovated Skoolie, but went home to Washington where they can park on family land to wait out the crisis. 

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What’s been the hardest thing about quarantine in a tiny home?  Now that we are home in Washington, riding out the quarantine with family, it is hard not to be able to see all our friends and other family members.
What have you been doing to stay sane?  We read a lot and that keeps the mind busy. We have also been watching movies and doing various outdoor projects to help Adam’s parents out. We are introverts so being home really isn’t too hard for us.
What adjustments have you had to make to make your tiny house quarantine-friendly? No adjustments really other than watching our spending a little bit more since Rachel experienced a pay-cut during this pandemic.
How does a tiny home make social distancing either more difficult or perhaps easier?  I think it just depends on your personality. We don’t mind being home and can keep busy without an issue. Other tiny lifers really enjoy going out to new places all the time, so they are having a hard time being cooped up inside.
What are you missing most about tiny life that quarantine is putting a damper on? We had to miss out some on some fun travel plans by coming back to Washington early. However, that is such a small sacrifice in comparison to what others are experiencing.
What new things has quarantine in a tiny house let you do?  We are getting some extra cleaning projects done.

But for Will & Ceri, van life got complicated as Europe started closing borders…

Will & Ceri love van-life, but had to temporarily move back into the house they’ve been renting due to travel restrictions. 

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We were in Austria in our van when the coronavirus travel restrictions really started to get serious. I say we, I’d actually just dropped Will off at the airport to head back to the UK for a few days, so it was just Piglet and I. The intention was he’d join us in Germany a few days later. How things change!
A few hours after waving him goodbye Austria announced a lockdown and closure of its borders. I headed north into Germany only to discover Germany planned on closing its borders at 9am the following day too. It was decision time; head home to the UK or risk being stuck separated from Will and other family members for the foreseeable future? With huge sadness I decided to cut our travels short and head back to the UK, and after three solid solo days of driving north and eventually arriving home in Northumberland I knew with 100% certainty this was the right thing to do.
Within literally 5 minutes of me leaving France it, along with most of Europe went in to complete lock down. Shops, restaurants, campsites etc were closed and many free camping areas were no longer legal to use. I’ve heard so many stories of full time vanlifers being stuck, unable to drive, get essentials and with nowhere to stay. Nomadic life became incredibly difficult almost overnight. We still have a home up in Northumberland and luckily haven’t rented it out. Our little home on wheels is sat on the drive currently, desperately awaiting her next adventure. We’re safely isolating indoors where we don’t have to worry about water, power, food storage or where we’ll sleep that night. Staying still feels very hard but we know it’s nothing compared to the sacrifice many people are making to keep us safe and well. We can’t thank these people enough for everything they are doing to ensure we, as a global community beat this thing.

Thanks to all these tiny dwellers for sharing! 🙏 We also found some awesome videos about tiny house self-isolation you might enjoy!

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VIDEO – Living Big In A Tiny House Episode: Tiny House Life in Lockdown

VIDEO – Tiny House Expedition Episode: Tiny House Self-Isolation Vlog: Trying to Stay Sane in 130 Sq Ft

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife and mama of two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Ava
    April 14, 2020, 4:37 pm

    Great to read about quarantining from a tiny home perspective. Stay safe, one and all.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      April 16, 2020, 1:26 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it!

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