I think it goes without saying that things like a trailer, some kitchen shelves, an area for the bed, etc. are the real essentials of our tiny house. However, there are some unsung hero type of things that I feel are pretty essential to us thriving (as opposed to just surviving) in our tiny house. So why not take a few moments to cue up the ‘Chariots of Fire’ and have a SlowMo verbal montage of the Top 5 Essentials For Our Tiny House! (items below in no particular order)

Dirt Devil Accucharge 15.6 volt handheld vacuum. Just because your space is small does NOT mean it doesn’t collect and trap dirt. In fact, I am of the opinion that the smaller the space the more dirt you bring in. Just one pair of shoes can absolutely ruin the cleanliness of your entry. And tiny house dirt isn’t like dirt in other houses. No. It is stealth dirt. It hides in places that no Q-tip or toothbrush dare go. You have to work to get it out which is why a good handheld vacuum with strong suction is essential. Our Dirt Devil has done the trick since day one. You get it near a crevice or corner of dirt and it sucks it right out rendering angled brooms, dust rags, and Swiffer pads useless!

DSL High Speed Internet (provided by CenturyLink). It should come without surprise that I spend an awful lot of time on the Internet. In fact, a lot of tiny housers do. It is what I think has made our community so global and allowed us to become so linked. I have to have high speed Internet for my “day job” as well though. It is essential. And for my purposes a hotspot 3G connection or a “borrowed”, 2-bar WiFi signal from the neighbors across the street is not acceptable. Imagine my delight then when CenturyLink informed me that high-speed DSL would not be a problem to have at my house. It is the foundation of our wireless system which at any given time powers a MacBook Pro laptop, 2 iPads, an iPhone, a ChromeCast, and a wireless printer. Our system is a workhorse and our Internet is a beast!

Vissani 24 in. W 10 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator. We are a family of three. Crystal loves cooking. We grow a low of our food, raise some of it, and purchase from local sources. I also like cold beer and we prefer our water cold instead of room temp. Combine those things with the need for a freezer (we oftentimes have meat in bulk and have to keep it frozen) and you understand our desire for a larger size refrigerator. We initially thought something around 4 cu. ft. would do well for us as it does for other tiny housers. But with three of us at three meals a day at least 5 days a week there was a need for something more. That need was met by the Vissani. The obvious perk was its 10 cu. ft. but at just 24″ wide it gave us maximum storage while taking up minimum (and precious) kitchen space. It is pretty no frills but it works well and is the perfect compliment to our tiny house kitchen.

Bedroom wall “built-in” nightstand with electrical outlets for iPhone recharging. I have yet to see a tiny house with a nightstand. I have seen some cubbies and I have seen a few baskets that serve as nightstands. But the traditional nightstand with lamp and drawer seems to have no place in a tiny house. It sure doesn’t in ours. That doesn’t mean however that we don’t need a place to lay our eye glasses while we sleep or put our contact case or keep our phone on charge. So when designing our tiny house we decided to think a bit nonconventional and build a nightstand in the wall. Little more than a medicine cabinet without a glass or mirror door our “built in” boasts two electrical outlets, a notch for our iPads to stand up while charging, and a cord maintenance system so everything looks neat when in use. It is not exceptionally deep so it doesn’t negate our need for insulation and the color matches well with our trim work throughout the house. All in all this has become one of my favorite tiny house features. c

Bodum non-breakable french press. Coffee. Need I say more? I will though. The Bodum is an essential because it takes up very little space and because it is a manual style coffee maker it keeps my coffee drinking to a responsible point. I have to think about and work for each cup made and consumed. There is no drop in a cup or pod, close the lid, and push the button. It requires boiling water, steeping the coffee grinds, pressing, and then pouring. All in all it is about a 9-minute process per cup. That makes each sip quite delightful.

Do you have any items in your house that you deem essential? What are they? Why are they?