Tiny House On The Hill by Celia Bonaduce

  • Tiny House tips: How to organize your tiny house

Living tiny is a provocative idea, but like romance, it needs to be tended carefully. The right choices need to be made to keep the passion alive. Remember what’s important and what isn’t. In with the good, out with the…well, out with everything else. Don’t fill every inch of your precious 250 square feet with clutter. Only keep what you need – clothes, shoes, bath products, kitchen stuff, furniture, and books. Books should be easy – switch to an e-reader. Try buying bath and cleaning supplies that do double or triple duty – like a shampoo/conditioner/body wash and an all-purpose household cleaner. Keep kitchen appliances to a minimum, but be realistic. If you drink coffee every morning, don’t ditch the Keurig. Every single thing that is going into your house needs to be rethought. Dump the concept of “extras” – extra plates, cups, glasses, blankets, hats, sunglasses. Keep in mind that there is probably not going to be room for a mop, broom and vacuum cleaner. That 10-pack of toilet paper and 4-pack of paper towels? Fugetaboutit! If you’re like me, clothes and shoes will be your Waterloo. With a heavy heart, I suggest trying the Project 333 approach. The idea behind Project 333 is to limit your clothes/shoes/accessories to 33 items for 3 months – except, if you’re living tiny, instead of three months, you’ll need to do it forever. Impulse buying will need to become a thing of the past. Living tiny means living spare.  A tiny house needs to make you feel like you’re on a path to freedom, not like the walls are closing in on you.


  • Finding the Best Tiny House for you

Narrowing down what kind of tiny house you want isn’t easy. They are all so damn cute! As romantic as the notion of living tiny might seem, don’t lose your head. The time to be realistic is BEFORE you buy! The first consideration should be size. There is tiny…400 square feet and there is tiny…100 square feet or less. Exactly how tiny can you go without going crazy? Can you picture yourself climbing up a ladder to your bedroom loft (and down again in the middle of the night to use the bathroom?) What’s a deal breaker? Do you need full-sized appliances, and if so, what floor space are you willing to give up in exchange? Do you have to have a washer-dryer or will you be okay going to the Laundromat? If you need a ton of closet space, will you give up the full-sized appliances? There are lifestyle and monetary considerations. Do you need off-grid capabilities, so you don’t have to hook-up to sewage and power lines? Just deciding what kind of toilet you want – RV toilet, composting toilet (homemade or active), dry or incinerating toilet – will require days of research. Know what you want before you commit – nothing will take the bloom off the rose faster than the wrong potty! Another huge consideration for buying tiny – what do you envision your life to be? Are you going to be a nomad, footloose and fancy free, heading off when the mood strikes? If so, you need a house small enough to tow yourself. Even so, you’ll probably need a super-duty truck. However, if you buy a tiny house that is too big to tow yourself, and you opt to have your house professionally towed, the only way to make that financially possible is to stay in one place for a while. To know what you want in a tiny house, the key is: know thyself!


  • Would the author live in a Tiny House?

Living tiny is something I hope my husband and I will get to do one day. On location as a producer on Tiny House Hunters, I fall in love with every tiny house I see. The mini-farmhouse, the log cabin, the container house – you name it, I’ve thought about living in it. I’ve seen first hand the beauty and the challenges to this kind of life. From the beyond-your-control zoning issues to something as mundane as bringing in a watermelon that doesn’t fit in you tiny refrigerator, every day seems to require decisions.

But every day is an adventure. The thought of traveling the country with your own home seems like the best of both worlds.  The excitement of a new place with the comfort of your home everywhere you go. Many people ask “Well, then, why not just buy an RV?”

Really? Have you ever seen an RV as cute as a miniature Victorian on wheels? With a gabled porch?

My biggest challenge would be getting rid of clothes and shoes. And don’t get me started on accessories.  In Tiny House on the Hill, new tiny house owner Summer Murray has Bale Barrett, the builder, turn the dining room area into a walk-in closet (which is why I invented it!). But that’s fiction!  In real life, I live with another human being and I’m not sure he’d be enthusiastic about giving up the dining/office/entertaining space for my wardrobe.

I’m lucky to have an opportunity to peek inside many tiny houses. I can live vicariously through my house hunters until I get a chance to be a tiny home owner myself!


Home is where the heart fits . . .

Summer Murray is ready to shake things up. She doesn’t want to work in risk management. She doesn’t want to live in Hartford, Connecticut. So she plans a grand adventure: she’s going to throw out all the stuff she doesn’t want and travel the country in her very own tiny house shaped like a train caboose. Just Summer, her chihuahua-dachshund Shortie, and 220 square feet of freedom.

Then her take-no-prisoners grandmother calls to demand Summer head home to the Pacific Northwest to save the family bakery. Summer has her reasons for not wanting to return home, but she’ll just park her caboose, fix things, and then be on her way. But when she gets to Cat’s Paw, Washington, she’s shocked by her grandmother’s strange behavior and reunited with a few people she’d hoped to avoid. If Summer is going to make a fresh start, she’ll have to face the past she’s been running from all along . . .