10 Things I Learned During Our Tiny House Test Run

It will be several months before we sell our conventional house and move into our tiny house motor home, but Christmas gave us a wonderful opportunity to do a test run in our tiny space. We took the motor home to my in-laws and stayed for several days. This not only gave us the opportunity for a nice visit, but it let the kids (and grown ups!) get a bit of a reality check on what tiny house living was really like. No, we weren't all moved in, and no I didn't cook, and yes we knew some of the things I mentioned below would probably be an issue - but it was still a helpful test run. Here are a few things I realized:

* Shoes need a home. We took off our shoes and placed them on a mat in front of the door...but they were definitely in the way, and made the rug a muddy mess. (Yes, the rug is white - it came with the motor home; trust me, I'll be changing it soon.) Once we are living in the motor home full time, we'll set up some sort of covered, outside area for our shoes.

* If one person is awake, everyone's awake. Sleeping in the same room, around Christmas, in our new home, was super exciting for the kids. They didn't do much sleeping, and their talking and moving kept us awake. But even my husband, trying to be quiet, woke me up - because when he walks through the motor home, the whole vehicle moves. Ha!

* We'll be plenty warm. A lot of folks said we'd freeze in the winter. But our motor home is built better-than-average, and we stayed plenty warm, even through a pretty strong storm.

* Sleeping bags are my friend. You may recall that I was initially disappointed that our tiny house motor home didn't have permanent beds for the children; I didn't relish putting up and taking down beds every day. My husband's solution was to have one child sleep on the rather substantial couch and another sleep on a convertible ottoman. To make up the couch, I remove some pillows; to make up the ottoman, I pull off the cover and easily unfold it. (My children aren't quite big enough to do the unfolding themselves.) Then, instead of piling on bedding, my mom-in-law had a wonderful idea: Sleeping bags! The arrangement worked well.

*  Having one bathroom is an adjustment. In our current, conventional house, there are two small bathrooms. But in our tiny house motor home, there's only one. I have a daughter who tends to dilly dally in the bathroom, so this was a bit of a challenge.

* Our redecorated bedroom was a hit. My husband and I both felt it was comfortable, cozy, and soothing.

* Our bed is nice! I was worried we'd have trouble adjusting from our humungous king sized bed to the motor home's queen sized bed. But it was no trouble at all. And we both find the motor home mattress more comfortable.

* The tiny shower is liveable. We did "camp showers," meaning we used the water in the motor home's water tank, got ourselves wet, turned off the water to soap up, then turned the water back on to rinse. It wasn't terrible. 

* Stuff piles up QUICK. Organization and picking up immediately are going to be key in our tiny house motor home. We didn't bring any toys (except for stuffed animals for the kids to sleep with), but Christmas toys - even the very few we allowed into the motor home - clogged everything up very, very quickly. Ditto for garbage and laundry.

* We can think of it as home. My husband and I smiled at each other when our kids, worn out from all the excitement at Grandma and Grandpa's, asked to go "home" to the motor home. (Yay!)


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