Fab Cab Home - Image from Habitat Re-Imagined
Fab Cab Home – Image from Habitat Re-Imagined

I’ve been reading Jacob Lund Fisker’s Early Retirement Extreme book and it’s prompted me to think ‘outside the box’, especially when it comes to down sizing and living for less. Since I’m already obsessed with house plans and living quarters, some of his extreme ideas are right up my alley  – like living in an RV or motor home. Internalizing his philosophy and searching for visual examples of extreme living arrangements can be found through a couple of blogs that focus on tiny homes; This Tiny House and Tiny House Blog for example. Considering 25% or more of a person’s income is applied towards housing, these examples offer solutions for reducing one’s living cost (and footprint).

If you’re interested in building your own tiny home, check out the Tiny House Plans book. It has some great building plans.

This Tiny House is a blog I found a couple of years ago and am really impressed by how Hillary has been living her dream of a simplified life. She also showcases some amazing alternatives to living in a traditional house. Some examples, that really coincide with Jacob’s Extreme Living ideals include:

  • A young girl in Germany found an abandoned, enclosed trailer of sorts (it reminds me of an old horse trailer) and with practically NO money is turning it into her abode – through borrowing tools and finding materials! It’s quite an impressive feat.
  • A recent college grad in Beijing (Architect major no less) couldn’t afford rent, so being of the industrious sort built his own solar-powered, egg-shaped pod for sleeping. Unfortunately, he was “evicted” recently since he was parking it on public sidewalks.
  • Adorable cottage developments are beginning to pop up for those of us not quite ready to get our hands dirty (I’m on the fence – a part of me thinks I could build something from the ground up and the other part knows I can barely hammer in a nail!)

Tiny House Blog is another blog that writes about unusual, interesting, and tiny living ideas.

  • Tiny House posted about Habitats Hawai’i and their tiny homes on wheels. It reminds me a little of a cross between a small trailer and a Tumbleweed home. The first of the small homes are solar-ready and also include a rainwater catchment.
  • Shelter-Kit is another option to be compared with companies like Tuff-Shed. However, Shelter-Kit claims they use higher quality materials and will build per the customer’s needs.
  • One of the most affordable kit options I’ve come across comes from this blog, the P-Pod. Not only are they affordable, they are designed to be 100% off the grid. A kit can be purchased for under $25,000 (a great price for a kit home.)

I can spend hours searching through these blogs for affordable, adaptable living ideas (they also link to many more websites dedicated to pre-fab and small house ideas). It’s also inspiring knowing that people actually do live in structures that don’t fit within the cookie-cutter “norms” of present America, i.e. McMansions located in monotonous developments. Looking at living arrangements through different perspectives opens up a tremendous amount of possibilities.

Have you switched gears and started living a simplistic life? What would it take for you to live more simply?

*Photo: Fabcab home

16 Comments

  1. I love looking at these unique living spaces. I must say, living in that egg would be kind of scary on a street, but it is a very interesting idea.

    For me to live more simply, it would require an entire ‘life overhaul’. The kids are involved in sports and we are just involved in a lot of things. Sometimes I would love to grab an RV and just go park it by a lake somewhere and not look back.
    .-= Everyday Tips´s last blog ..Planning For The Next Phase Of Life =-.

    • @Everyday Tips – I’ve been staring more than normal at RV’s lately. There’s something about having the luxury to travel the US without worrying about the hectic ins and outs of daily life. 😉

  2. I am not sure this qualifies as switching gears, however approximately 13 years ago we downsized. After the kids grew up and moved out, it made sense. It is also desirable as I near retirement. It allows me to pursue teaching and various other things without regard to how much I earn.
    .-= krantcents´s last blog ..How Do You Choose the Right Career =-.

    • @Krantcents – I definitely think downsizing is a life style adjustment. And it does make sense at particular times, like towards retirement. Minimizing expenses is always a good thing to do in my book.

  3. I’ve been looking for little ways to simplify by getting rid of things that take up my time – like the alphabet magnet set that ended up on my kitchen floor every night. I chose to donate it in lieu of the 26-letter nightly pick up. But it didn’t occur to me to get rid of it until 4 years had passed.

    Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is in my town. One of the interesting things you learn upon visiting there is that first year architecture students have to live in make-shift tents in the desert for a while (and if I remember correctly, they have to build their own shelter by the end of the year?). The idea is that it helps them get connected to the environment and the concept of home. Love that.
    .-= Lindy Mint´s last blog ..The Post In Which You Give Me Advice On Shoes =-.

    • @Lindy Mint – Thanks for the info on the Frank Lloyd Wright school. I’ve been dying to visit that home, but I never seem to fit it in when I’m in AZ. That’s very interesting about their students having to get in touch with nature/environment through tent living and building their own homes. I’ll have to look into that a little bit.

  4. Ronald R. Dodge, Jr. Reply

    The only thing about tiny homes, be careful as local zoning bylaws may have regulations in place in regards to how much finished sqft of area the home has to have per household member. Like for us in Hamilton County of the state of Ohio, that minimal is 250sqft per household member. Since I have a family of 7, we have to have a sqft of 1750, which we barely meet that local zoning bylaw.

    • @Ronald R. Dodge – That’s a good point. I didn’t think about that, and really didn’t know that states or counties have zoning laws about square feet per person. I’ll have to investigate my current county and surrounding counties to see what their minimum requirements are.

  5. Little House,
    I’m glad I navigated here today. For a while Mrs. 101 and I thought about getting a Katrina cottage and setting it up on some acreage.
    Those were some interesting links. The video on tiny house blog of the relaxshacks.com redneck thrift was great. I bookmarked for future reference.

    • @101 Centavos – I also looked into Katrina Cottages a while back (I think I have a link to them some where on my house plans page.) I’m glad you surfed around the Tiny House Blog, there are some great ideas there. Good luck to you.

  6. We have a flat bed 15′ trailer that we can’t wait to plop a house on and take off. The kids gotta go off to college first!
    I build custom homes and had a great meeting with new clients today that want a small house. When I asked what small was to them they said, ‘smaller than 1200 sq ft’. I was so excited! I’ve gotten all sorts of answers before that are typically over 2500 sq ft.

    • @Molly On Money – I’d love to see your designs and maybe feature them in a post. I’m always looking for new house plan ideas. Please do share!

    • @Financial Samurai – Sometimes feeling comfortable and being happy takes an extreme leap. Reading Jacob’s book has really gotten me thinking about our society’s life style – it’s full of stress mostly because we’re working so hard. And for what? A bunch of crap. I believe that people should do something that makes them happy – but most don’t know what that is or are stuck due to financial restrictions. Something needs to change. 😉

  7. I’ve been following Jacob’s site and it is way too extreme for us. Cold shower? No way, the saving is not worth the divorce.
    We downsized from a 2,000 sq ft house to a 1,000 sq ft condo and we loved it!
    I don’t think we can live in an RV permanently though. The Mrs. likes to be comfortable.
    .-= retirebyforty´s last blog ..Book Review- Your Money Or Your Life =-.

    • @Retireby40 – I am finishing up reading his book and some of his living ideas are too extreme for me too – like not turning on the heat, brrrr…… Although I really like his philosophy; I do think there’s something wrong with the lifestyle the typical American lives – working 40+ hours a week and not really enjoying life. We’re working to pay for too many conveniences and that’s just dumb. I’ll be posting a book review pretty soon that will better explain my pov on the book.

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