Meg’s Desk: Tiny living creates order


Before moving into a tiny home, you may experience some fear, uncertainty and doubt about living successfully there.

As a group, tiny home dwellers seem to be so organized. According to “There is no clutter, everything has it’s place. ‘I hate single use items,’ says Brittany Yunker. ‘You could get this giant thing that crushes garlic for you or you could use a cutting board and knife.’ She isn’t judging. There simply isn’t enough room.”

Chicken or egg: Is it true that people attracted to tiny homes are inherently organized? Or do these homes help people live in a more organized way?

As a full-time designer, I think about how small spaces create and support a sense of order. Home floor plans reflect unique interests of dwellers, so the location and sizing of great rooms, sleeping quarters, kitchens and baths become very important. When designed well, tiny dwellers gain a sense of “fitting” in their downsized surroundings.

Storage comfort: People care about how they put away or display possessions.

Maybe our genetics play a role, back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. We focus on things like shelves, corners, lofts and closets. What’s different for tiny homes is that storage isn’t deep. You’ll typically notice one or maybe two layers of objects, easily found, used and returned to their proper place. Since there’s no digging around, organization naturally happens.

The organization comes from slimming down on all the gadgets that, from lack of use, find their way to the back of the drawer or the back of the closet. In a tiny space, everything gets used regularly, so it stays visible and close at hand.

You’re unique: Tiny dwellers do look like they belong in their houses, when living arrangements are optimized.

There’s musicians with their harps and guitars. Others surrounded by more tech gadgets than you’ll ever use. A couple with ski gear outside, and socks drying by the fireplace. And more dwellers who’s places look like they came from an interior design magazine. Everyone has different priorities about what matters to them. The beauty of living in a tiny space is that things which are an integral part of “who you are” come to the forefront.

So don’t be shy about tiny living. It’s not nearly as rough as you think!

 Happy hammering,





Meg Stephens
Lead Designer
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company


By Adam Gurzenski — September 23, 2013

Filed under: Meg 
  • Sheril Wilson

    where can i buy land to place this home?

    • RandomThoughts

      Depends on where you want to live. If NH was not so cold they have very simple building codes and a freedom mentality in several counties up that way . I love snow , but shoveling it off the roof and rear end deep is not my thing.
      I am surprised there are not people looking to buy land together , one well and a nice solar array would service several of the homes as would a single 1000 gal septic field.
      The septic is the hinder here in Virginia. Good people disobey bad laws. So the septic will be easy . Claim the home as a composting toilet and the septic can be handled with 2 -55 gal drums , some gravel and simple drainfield.

  • RandomThoughts

    The more I ponder one of these tiny homes the bigger my house feels too big , way too much stuff and too many places to jam more stuff.
    Im am thinking a home base , well ,total solar ( oversized for net zero ). giving the freedom to just hook up and go when I want.
    I liked the Fencl until the Cypress20 came along.

  • Julie Katana

    Hi Meg, I built a foam core board model of my proposed Linden-20, modified with the ends flipped so that a bay window is over the tongue. There’s an inset side entry instead of the porch/end entry. Also a bona fide set of stairs that goes up over the bathroom. Kitchen and bath are both 7 ft. long. Washer/dryer under counter unit in the kitchen. Clothes closet opposite the stairs on the end of the kitchen. The fold-down table shown in the first photo will not work, as the marine fireplace will have to go there instead of beside the stairs as I show in the model. It’s larger than I thought. So the little sofa under the bay windows will be a dining booth that breaks down into a banquette on which I will be able to sleep when I get to rickety to climb the stairs. I’m now looking at the 24′ trailer and revising plans a bit. Might put the stairs wrapping around the back end, with the bath on the opposite side, and the shower under the upper stair landing. That will open the space visually as there will be nothing to block the view of the kitchen. I’m planning to build a model to see if that will all work.

    • Teri Foster

      Julie, I love your model! Thank you so much for sharing the photos. It must have been so fun to work on it, and even better imagining you living in it! Your stairs and loft bed are exactly as I’ve planned my Cypress 20. If/when you change things up, please let us know!

      • Julie Katana

        Hi Teri,
        I’m planning to do another model with the stairs wrapping around the end and going up over the shower. I think it will open the kitchen more. Will let you know when I have completed it.

  • Julie Katana

    Few more photos of the kitchen pantry shelves. And eyebrow windows. (Hope I can afford those.) Water heater under the kitchen sink area.

  • Julie Katana

    I attended the Seattle workshop in August. So excited to get started building. Will be ordering my trailer for end-of-Feb pick up in Portland, and then with the first dry days will get started. Can hardly wait!!


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