5 things you will take for granted in a Tiny House

by andrewodom on June 22, 2011 · 7 comments


Part of building a tiny house for us is first living in a tiny…well, house. Granted we call it the bungalow and it isn’t on wheels it is still right around 240 sq. ft. and features a bedroom, a small closet, a kitchenette, and a bathroom. And yes, they are all in two rooms more or less. So while we have been living in the bungalow we have come across some situations unique to those who live in small places and will more often than not, be taken for granted in a tiny house setting.

The all-in-one sink. At least twice a week I get to brushing my teeth and enjoying the sensation of a good mouth cleaning when just as I prepare to spit I realize the sink has a dish drainer filled with clean dishes. You certainly can’t spit in that. No, you have to continue some sort of gurgling and slurping whilst you quickly throw the dishes to the side of the counter. And even then you have to either remove the drainer and place it somewhere (remember, we aren’t working with all that much counter space to begin with) or try and spit right between the grates. You can imagine how that ends. If you will notice most tiny houses have but one sink. It is a sort of utilitarian number shoved somewhere in the back of the home with an overall size of a bar backs glass sanitizer. Solution? Brush your teeth outside when possible or remember to check the sink first. Oh, and it helps keep your marriage strong if you rinse the sink after every use!

Late night snacks. It doesn’t take sound long to travel in 200 sq. ft. and the sound of a cookie bag seems only to amplify in such conditions. Gone are those morning of denying the obvious cookie crumbs in the kitchen floor when living in a tiny house. If you are married as I am late night snacks are either foiled when your spouse calls out, “Honey? What are you doing?” or she wakes up the next morning, steps on crumbs, and spies the milky glass in the sink.

Bathroom exhaust. Pardon my crassness on this one but it is well worth consideration. When living in a tiny house because of the placement of the bathroom directly under the sleeping loft there is little room for a somewhat fancy (yet, more common than not) bathroom exhaust. This brings about two problems quite frankly. Exhaust fans are typically sound blockers. They deter anyone from outside the bathroom from hearing anything that may be happening inside. And while if you are married or living with a partner/friend the relationship is typically stronger than the sounds from within the absolute silence from an exhaustless bathroom can bring about incredible anxiety and awkward moments. The second issue is that oftentimes a trip to the restroom will bring about a particular odor. Without an exhaust fan to help with this the smell either runs amuck in the rest of your palace or the smell from the cheap air freshener used as a cover up chokes anyone and everyone within….well, 200 sq. ft!

Fruit flies. They are awkward flyers, yes. They are small creatures, yes. They are harmless, yes. They are annoying as all get out. YES! When you bring in fruit flies (and with us they came via bananas left uneaten) they not only spoil the day but also the week. They won’t seem to fly away. And if that isn’t enough, when living in a tiny house where space is minimal oftentimes the flight path of the kitchen is also the flight path of the bedroom, living room, and office/study. So when you get fruit flies in the kitchen of a tiny house you just plain get fruit flies in your house. Do yourself a favor and put all fruits and veggies in the fridge or an air tight, sealable container.

Fish fries. We are from the south. Fried flounder filets are in our genetic make-up. But when you move into a tiny house you need to say goodbye to almost all fish products. You probably take for granted in your current home the exhaust over the stove, the availability of room for things to air out, the separate kitchen trashcan, etc. In a tiny house when you cook fish the whole house cooks fish. It is pleasant and it is one experience I can tell you is not worth the “memories” it will make.

What things do you think you would take for granted if moving into a tiny house? Are there things you take for granted now even in a larger home? As always, if you enjoyed this post you can extend a favor by Tweeting out the link or sharing it on Facebook. Either is greatly appreciated and no, we don’t take you for granted. Fish fries? Different story!

  • WanderingMoon

    Regarding your ‘bathroom odor issue’. I can’t remember if you have a window in the bathroom or not. If you do, there are small rectangular window fans that work great. Most have the option of either bringing in fresh air or pushing out less-than-fresh air. I have a ceiling exhaust fan in my bathroom, but the little window fan seems to do a better job.  I haven’t tried it yet in the cold months here in South Jersey.  I live in a 900 sq ft 1970’s trailer and can sympathize with the problems of ‘traveling odors’. Hope the idea helps some.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Yes, we have a small window. The fan does sound practical enough. We’ll have to see how it would fit into our window, the power requirements, etc. Thank you so much for commenting and for being part of the r(E)volution.

  • WanderingMoon

    Regarding your ‘bathroom odor issue’. I can’t remember if you have a window in the bathroom or not. If you do, there are small rectangular window fans that work great. Most have the option of either bringing in fresh air or pushing out less-than-fresh air. I have a ceiling exhaust fan in my bathroom, but the little window fan seems to do a better job.  I haven’t tried it yet in the cold months here in South Jersey.  I live in a 900 sq ft 1970’s trailer and can sympathize with the problems of ‘traveling odors’. Hope the idea helps some.

  • MadWorld

    I’m new to your blog (and enjoying it a lot!) so I don’t know the confines of your living arrangements…  But for that bathroom ventilation maybe you could look into some type of wall exhaust fan?  It would take a little more work but wouldn’t obstruct your view (as with a window fan) and wouldn’t require much space (similar to the venting for conventional dryers).  And I don’t know if it’s worth mentioning, but I’ve found a lot of useful items from marine suppliers, since boats are also compact environments with big usage demands.  Best of luck with everything, and viva la r(E)volution!  :-)

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Hey there MadWorld. Welcome to the r(E)volution. We are siked to have you. As for a wall exhaust. I NEVER even thought of that. What a great idea to look into. Thank you for suggesting it. As for marine suppliers, we are on a steady diet of RV supply magazines and Marine supply so I know just what you are talking about. Please do come back (often) and bring your friends!

  • Leita Champion

    Just like fish, we had to give up our love of bacon in our little house. What smells like heaven in a regular home infiltrates not just our kitchen, but closets, too, leaving everything smelling like a greasy diner.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      I totally understand that Leita. I am thinking that we will use our beloved grill for bacon. We only eat turkey bacon and we don’t eat it all that much so it shouldn’t be too big of a deal. Who knows though?

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