Only 400 square feet, but I'd like to live here with my family of 6 for a summer.

Could your family live in a tiny house for the summer?

Only 400 square feet, but I'd like to live here with my family of 6 for a summer.
Only 400 square feet, but I’d like to live here with my family of 6 for a summer.

If you’ve never heard of Tumbleweed Houses or Tiny House listings, you’ve been missing out. I stumbled upon the tiny house revolution when we were considering moving to an acreage and I was looking for a place for my parents that wasn’t a big, ugly double wide. I found Tumbleweed Houses, bought the book, and have been in love ever since.

These sweet, character houses can be as small as you’d like them, but most of the models on wheels run around 100 square feet. Because my mom is a cat hoarder, this would probably be too small for her, but it really got me thinking.

Anyone who knows me knows that I find the climate in the Pacific Northwest a little, shall we say, depressing, weather-wise. While I try to keep my focus on feeling blessed that I have a home, a healthy family, and my husband has a job, I find myself longing for the sunny coast of California. It has all of the things I love, including history (Old Hollywood anyone?), sunshine, amusement parks, and the wide open, sandy space of the ocean.

Because my husband is a sales rep who doesn’t work in the summer, last summer we managed to spend almost an entire month in Southern California.

We were sort of like Snow Birds, but the opposite. They really need a new catch phrase for something like this. I’ll have to mull this one over.

Anyway, I happily spent my days hitting the beach, touring Griffin Park, seeing the stars on Hollywood Boulevard with friends, and going to Disneyland as many times as I wanted to. It was, for me, complete and total bliss, and as a writer my creative energy was recharged to a point where the ideas came in a flood.

Except for a few small issues. The earthquake that hit the first night we arrived (I thought someone drove into the wall) wasn’t so bad. I can deal with that, although I did sleep with my contact lenses in for an entire month (I’m not joking) because if another hit while we were sleeping, I wanted to be able to see well enough to grab the kids and make a run for Canada.

No, the real thorn in our side was hotel living. It was so expensive and we hated it. The hotel we choose had great reviews on Trip Advisor, but ultimately turned out to sort of horrifying. The least of the issues was that they didn’t even recycle, which for a Canadian was pretty hard to take. (Yes, I was that lady with a bag of bottles in the back of my van, looking for somewhere to recycle them).

When you think about it, most hotel rooms are really small anyway. Even with the added kitchenette we had in our room, we were living in about 400 square feet for a month. That’s a small space for a family of 6, including 3 boys who drop their junk everywhere and two road bikes that couldn’t be left outside for fear of theft.

So obviously, after a long fall and what’s amounting to a long and rainy winter, my mind has turned once again to this upcoming summer. There’s nothing like palm trees, sunshine, and constant stimulation to help the creativity flow, so now my challenge is how to get my family of 6 back down to California, this time for the entire summer?

And the solution, I think, is tiny houses.

Tiny house on wheels
Tiny house on wheels

Download the book and you’ll be treated to a ton of very cool tiny houses, some on wheels, some large size cottages. For someone like me, with 4 kids, it would be an amazing challenge to see if we could all fit in and live happily in a small space for a few months. I’ve already imagined the bike racks I’d mount on an outside wall, the storage I’d create for the kids toys, and the desk I’d design for myself to write. I’d even trick the thing out with Belkin WeMo switches and control the entire house from my iPad. Then, I’d like to chronicle the entire experience on here or in an eBook, and give first hand tips on what works and wouldn’t work for tiny living with a big family.

Could your family live in a tiny house for the summer? I’d certainly like to try. Even if you’re not in the market for a relocation of some kind and just want an in-law suite, usable cottage, or rental accommodation on your property in Canada, Tumbleweed Houses and Tiny House listings are definitely worth a look.  And a few daydreams.

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