I’ve always been a pretty simple person, at least I think I was. My family is the same. Even as our family grew and we kept things simple out of necessity, everyone seemed happier. I recall when we had been living in small houses for many years, and we had finally found a huge vacated Amish home to rent. It had 4 bedrooms upstairs, a huge kitchen, huge living room and two bonus rooms downstairs. Two of the bedrooms stayed vacant, my children preferred to be either on our room or in the living room. We then rented another large manufactured home with two living rooms, 4 bedrooms and still, half the place was still vacant.
When we left that last home we decided to build a tiny house. We have made a few changes to them as the family grows, but still, I consider it Tiny House Living.
We recently added a smaller cabin to the larger cabin we had been living in. We expanded the boys room so that it has 4 bunks, the girls have their area with hammock beds (their choice) and the littles have loft bedrooms. We have our small kitchen area. I say small but it comfortably fits a 10ft x4ft table.
I use to blog on our family blog about our life, as a large family and how we make it work, and what we do when it doesn’t work. I’ve kind of left that aspect of blogging because people used, rather tried to use, the content of my blog maliciously. But I have photos of our cabin progress over the years on that blog.
The new addition serves as our bedroom, storage, office area etc. In total we have 1,000 square feet not counting the 4 lofts. This is my personal area.
One reason we went with these raw cabins is that I like to custom design everything. Both cabins I chose the layout of the windows and doors, then we built the shelving. My husband and our children do the interior building themselves. It’s a very simple and clean design that holds up well. This allows the home to run smoothly. With 11 people living in a 1,000 square foot home, its easily maintained. Everything has a place.
You can see in my photo above, I have my area quite organized. On the large shelf clothing is in 3 baskets, one for my outfits, one for my under garments and one for my pajamas etc. The 4th basket contains my miscellaneous stuff. The bottom shelf has my laundry basket and the bucket of dog food for my dog. The top shelves have my personal items kept orderly.
On the smaller shelf I keep the top shelf clear to work with daily. It’s a work space so to speak. The middle shelf is also a work space, holds the devices, and things I bring back and forth to work. The bottom shelf has my shoes and a basket of random items such as bags, bandannas etc.
In this photo you can see the loft area that we use for storage. I keep it organized everyone has two totes of whatever they need to store. We also store long term family items. The loft on the opposite side of the cabin is for short term storage. We have a ladder going up to that side. We store out excess bedding, paper products and clothing (mostly winter) etc.
Our office area is also my at home bow station for now. It gives my husband a space to do homeschool if he’s working one on one with a child, or any other project. You can also see our chart to keep the family organized. We have a shelf for towels, littles clothing and etc plus a large book shelf. We keep games, and other miscellaneous items in these baskets.
We don’t have a lot but we have what we need. We are able to keep things clean and organized. Clutter steals joy. I didn’t use to believe that but I’ve seen the difference. Minimalism doesn’t mean doing without. It means having an environment that relieves stress not causes it. It means a lifestyle in which you don’t waste time and energy on things don’t have a purpose.