Tacoma Tiny House Trip – Viable Living Option?

I’ve been obsessing over the tiny house movement lately – watching every episode of Tiny House Nation on Netflix, subscribing to Living Big in a Tiny House, Living Tiny with the Bushes, and Tiny House Giant Journey on Youtube. I’ve also browsed local and national tiny house listings. And yet… I’ve never actually been in a tiny house – Airstreams and the like notwithstanding. This new ‘hobby’ of mine is rather a natural development from my most recent hobbies of minimalism, zero-waste, and frugal living. Tiny house living can check all those boxes.

I spent hours combing through AirBnB and best tiny houses to rent in the PNW. I stumbled on one amazing listing that even came with kayaks and was on the water! However, it came with a 4-day minimum commitment, a lot of the good dates were taken (i.e. over weekends), and it was pricey. So I went for my second choice and a top contender for a typical tiny house with a small footprint. Away we went for the weekend.

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • Location of the tiny house on the host property is very important! Our tiny house was located on a typical suburban lot in the back of a property already occupied by a full-sized house. The backyard was home to the yard, the driveway, four cars, and a small play set. For the amount of space available, the location of the tiny house was ideal and as private as it could be, but also not all that private. The windows of the loft bedroom looked out on an alleyway that had pedestrians and cars going by 12 feet away. Sometimes the kids from the main house played outside and the family came and went using this driveway to the side of the tiny house. The sprinkler for the grass came on every night for at least an hour and the sound carried right into our open windows.
  • I banged my knee on the loft railing one time, hit a hip on one of the cabinets one time, and pinched my fingers twice on the cabinet that pulled out under the sink to reveal the garbage. Otherwise, I was most worried about hitting my head on the large microwave/oven but never did. My 6’2″ partner did not bump into anything at any time.
  • I found the steps to get up to the loft a little too high for getting down and felt more comfortable descending backwards.
  • The air-conditioner – when on – was loud. I like the white noise it provided. It did blow directly on me when I worked in the kitchen and made me too cold. The windows weren’t cool enough for the loft at night and I had trouble falling asleep but didn’t feel like getting up and going down the large steps to turn on the air-conditioner.
  • The stove top burners had to be lit with a lighter/match which made me nervous at first but they worked nicely and didn’t ‘flame out’ like the gas burning stove we have at home does. This stove top was actually less scary than the one I use all the time.
  • I prepped a meal with three different pans and utilized the large counter and the area beside the sink while prepping without too much difficulty but I imagine if I was really prepping using my Vitamix, Instant Pot, and chopping vegetables it would get really crowded really fast.
  • Much of the storage was beyond my reach, even grabbing and putting the dishes away was well above my head and I clacked them together finding the right rack to place them.
  • This particular unit didn’t have washer/dryer/dishwasher.
  • I tried out the bath and found it as big as it needed to be for my 5’2″ petite frame. The toilet was also adequate and I enjoyed the little stomp flush. The sink in the bathroom felt small when I was brushing my teeth and the hand towel was right above the toilet paper roll – which seemed like poor planning at first but I didn’t notice water falling on the toilet tissue. We weren’t sure where to hang our towels to dry as there were a lot of places to hang them but not enough space for them to hang down without touching trash/toilet/floor and I placed mine on the shower curtain rod.
  • The fridge was a mini-fridge and would not have been adequate for fresh food storage at the amount I usually store. We filled it up with drinks and that worked great for the weekend.
  • It took longer than I’m used to for the hot water to kick in and it took me a few tries to get the temperature just right for the shower.

This is my current Tiny House Needs and Wants list:

Need:

  • Large fridge (small apartment size)
  • adequate kitchen prep/counter space
  • Aesthetic design
  • Guest/storage loft
  • Downstairs sleeping area
  • washer/dryer

Want:

  • 2-sided sink
  • Double lofts
  • Roof porch
  • loft pole to slide down
  • bathroom bidet
  • tub
  • large tv
  • dual work computer screens

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