How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life (and showed up to talk about it)

by andrewodom on September 10, 2012 · 11 comments


I don’t honestly remember when I first corresponded with Tammy Strobel – creator of the blog Rowdy Kittens. I know I have known of her for almost two years now considering I first referenced her back in September 2010. Back then I think I really only knew her as the chick who sold her car and started biking everywhere. I am pleased to now call both her and her husband Logan Smith friends and contemporaries of mine. I have come to know Tammy as a passionate, inspired, inspiring, dedicated, talented, and sweet woman, who is quick to smile and drink a cup of coffee like no other!

And now she is releasing her latest book entitled You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too. A cheerful handbook that offers the emotional and practical lessons Tammy learned while radically downsizing her living space, disposing of most of her possessions, and simplifying her lifestyle, You Can Buy… truly is a great read. And I know. I was fortunate enough to receive and advance copy and I gulped it down in about 3 sittings or so.

Along with her RowdyKittens blog, Tammy and Logan have shared their transition from a generous two-bedroom apartment in 2004 to the TV-free, refrigerator-free, 128-square-foot tiny house trailer they currently live in just outside of Yreka, CA. We’re going to talk more about the book itself tomorrow on the Tiny r(E)volution podcast but in the meantime I was able to reach Tammy for a quick interview regarding her book, her thoughts on simplifying, her take on tiny houses and marriage, and even her “dream house.”

Tiny r(E)volution: Do you remember the first item that fell victim to your downsizing? How did it initially make you feel?

Tammy Strobel: Actually, I don’t remember the first belonging that I gave away. I remember going through my closet and dropping bags and bags of clothes off at Goodwill. Giving so much stuff away made me feel good because I was decluttering my closet and was able to help others at the same time.

TR: You talk about communication as a necessary for any couple thinking of downsizing. Why? Does it really take two to downsize?

TS: Yes, it takes two to downsize, especially if you plan on living in a super small dwelling. I can’t imagine living in such a small space if Logan wasn’t keen on the idea. His happiness effects my happiness, so as we’ve downsized, communicating about our goals and desires has brought more joy into our lives.

TR: If you didn’t live in your tiny house what would your dream house look like?

TS: That’s a hard question because I’m satisfied with my tiny house. However, there are a lot of cute little homes in Lloyd Kahn’s book Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter. Lloyd features amazing tiny homes on foundations, tree-houses, adobe structures and hobbit homes too. I could live in any of the dwellings that are featured in this book.

TR: I remember reading Smalltopia and talking with you about downsizing and moving to a car-free life. How is that working out a few years later?

TS: It’s working out great. My little writing business is doing well and we’ve been car-free for the past four years. I’m healthy, happy, and I’m doing work that I love. Plus we’re moving back to Northern California to be closer to our family and I’m really excited about that change.

TR: Define simple living in 2 sentence or less. Go!

TS: Stuff is replaceable, people (and time) aren’t. Shift your attention toward the people you love and the experiences that make you happy.

 

To find out more about Tammy or to read about her day-to-day life in her tiny house visit her at RowdyKittens.com. You can purchase your own copy of How One Woman… at: New World Library, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Indie Bound and Powell’s.

To read an excerpt from the book visit this page.

  • http://twitter.com/RowdyKittens Tammy Strobel

    Thank you so much Andrew! You rock. :)

  • http://twitter.com/HolEssence Laurie Buchanan

    Tammy – You are my hero!

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  • http://twitter.com/lamonstre Katie Probert

    Really love this interview Tammy and Andrew. It’s interesting to know more about HOW you downsized, in reality – as my boyfriend and I will be moving into our van this November, to live for the winter season (at least) in the Alps (yes, we are crazy!) :)

    Our van is about the same size as your tiny home, and although we seem to have hardly any stuff….we still seem to have too much stuff! Mainly music equipment and wool! Our two hobbies/ jobs.

    I love what you say about stuff being replaceable but people and time aren’t. I will have that in the forefront of my mind over the next few months (and rest of my life!). Thanks for sharing your story with us!
    Katie. XXX

    • http://www.tinyrevolution.us/ anotherkindofdrew

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment Katie. I am glad you enjoyed the interview and I do hope that if you aren’t referring to the podcast with Tammy and I that you also find your way to that interview. It was a great half hour! So, going to be in the Alps in a van, huh? That would make for great blogging. If you decide to write about your experience please do let us know. And no, I don’t think you are crazy at all. You only live once!

      Take care and keep reading!

  • Mopsa @ inspirafundo.blogspot

    Truly inspiring!

    And I’m so in love with tiny houses…
    Now I’ll have to show my boyfriend all the wonders of simple housing. Tammy is
    right – you can’t just force your beloved one into a tiny house ;P

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