What It’s Really Like to Live in a Tiny House

published Mar 9, 2016
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(Image credit: Tiny House Teacher)

Tiny houses are currently a sort of national obsession, which is not really that surprising because they are a novel, sustainable way to live, and also they are adorable. But most writing on tiny houses focuses a great deal on how small and cute they are, and how tiny the bathroom is, and how clever it is to store stuff under the stairs, without spending much time examining what it’s really like to live in one.

A staircase leads to a sleeping loft above: drawers under the stairs provide storage for clothes. (Image credit: Tiny House Teacher)
Lora’s kitchen includes a fold-out workspace. (Image credit: Tiny House Teacher)

Enter Lora, a Georgia-based educator and blogger who lives in a 230 square foot custom Tumbleweed Tiny House. In her blog, she talks about her life philosophy and why she decided to downsize, but also tackles more practical, nuts-and-bolts topics like like where she parks (in an RV park), how she gets mail (a P.O. box) and how she does laundry (a European-style combo washer and dryer). (The spin cycle can cause the home to wobble a bit, but Lora says she’s gotten used to it.)

This particular tiny house includes a small first-floor bedroom, which Lora has converted to an office (on the right). (Image credit: Tiny House Teacher)

She’s also honest about the particular challenges of living in a really, really small house. Last year, Lora had a shoulder surgery that left her unable to use her right arm for several weeks. Her mom offered to come and stay and help out, but there was one problem: although Lora was fine with sleeping in the chair downstairs, mom didn’t feel comfortable climbing the stairs to the loft every night. So they stayed in a hotel for a couple of weeks. In future, Lora plans to replace her chair with a custom one that folds out into a bed, so overnight guests will have a place to crash.

(Image credit: Tiny House Teacher)

Anyone who’s ever felt a little inadequate when looking at the perfectly styled, perfectly uncluttered interior photos you see on blogs and in magazines will appreciate Lora’s post about real life in a tiny house, where she shares photos of her home in a not quite photo ready state. (Spoiler: it can get pretty cluttered.) And she admits to using a cargo trailer (which also gets parked at the RV park) to store Christmas decorations and off-season clothes, and that despite having seriously cut down on belongings when transitioning to a small space, she still has to do regular purges.

But despite all the challenges, Lora appears to be loving living in her tiny space — and sharing a refreshingly honest look into her alternative lifestyle with the rest of us. You can see many more photos of her home and read more about her tiny house adventure on her blog, Tiny House Teacher.

Re-edited from a post originally published 3.9.16-TW