It’s been almost 3 weeks since moving into our tiny house! Now that we’ve settled in a bit, here’s how things are going so far:
Cooking. I was worried about how our cooking routine might change when transitioning to tiny, as we have only a crockpot, microwave, and single burner hotplate for cooking appliances. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve been shifting more from big made-from-scratch meals to sandwiches, salads, and other easily-prepared foods (e.g., veggies & hummus; protein smoothies). Meals like this require minimal clean-up, which is important for our sensitive greywater system. And since we wash everything by hand, it’s easier on us too!
We also grill a lot outside – even in November! We learned that cooking indoors can contribute to excess smells and humidity in such a small space. Fortunately, we can run our bathroom fan to vent out stale air. While the crockpot doesn’t put steam into the air, it’s not the most pleasant thing to have everything smelling like chicken pot pie for a day or more (we actually did make pot pie in the crockpot, pie crust and all!) Other meals we’ve made in the tiny house so far include tikka masala, pesto pasta, and tacos. Not bad!
Storage. For being only 300 sq ft, our house has a good amount of storage. We have plenty of cabinet space for dry goods and cooking stuff. We even have a dedicated hutch for our dishware. Right now it’s just plastic plates and old mugs, but hopefully soon we will have some cute dishes…though we don’t need many! Clothing storage has been more of a challenge, but we managed to fit both of our winter wardrobes (minus our few pieces of extra-fancy attire). We just assembled our coat closet and dresser from IKEA. Of course, we will need to switch out clothes when summer comes, but we are accustomed to doing that anyways.
The bathroom is also coming along nicely! This week we installed a medicine cabinet and
corner shelf unit. With ample space under the sink, there’s not much more storage needed!
It’s so fulfilling to be finally able to enjoy our hard work! Yet we are far from done! There are still lots of little improvements that we’ll be working on over the winter 🙂
Fireplace. Mere days after finally moving into our tiny house, we discovered a big problem with our propane fireplace! Upon removing the glass for routine cleaning, we noticed huge amounts of soot in the firebox and on the artificial logs. Something’s not right, and we can’t run the fireplace until we figure out what.
Luckily, our electric space heater is doing a decent job keeping the house warm. Thank goodness for our great insulation, electric blanket, down duvet, and hot tea! Hopefully we can get our fireplace running properly before the truly cold season comes.
Humidity. A chronic nemesis is indoor humidity. Getting it below 60% in the tiny house has been a challenge (for the record, relative humidity should be around 40-50%, and even lower once the weather gets below freezing). What happens when it gets too high? First, humidity makes the air feel sticky and provides an environment for mold, dust mites, and other nasties to flourish. Most importantly, it contributes to condensation forming on window panes, which can cause damage if the water is repeatedly settling on the wood frame. And if condensation is on the windows, it is probably happening inside the walls… not good!!!
Did you know that you emit 1/4 cup of water into the air PER HOUR just from breathing?? After a night’s sleep, that means a lot of excess moisture in a small space. While our tight building envelope is great for keeping heat in and preventing drafts, it’s bad at allowing humid indoor air to escape. We run our bath fan for about a half hour each day to keep the humidity in check and slowly infuse fresh air into the house. We found that this works better than a dehumidifier, and probably uses less electricity.
We learned that other preventative measures can help control humidity, such as:
- Limiting houseplants – they emit water vapor into the air
- Covering pots and use kitchen exhaust fan while cooking
- Using a bath fan while showering (and/or opening the bathroom window)
- Not hanging laundry indoors to dry
- Limiting use of gas ranges – water vapor is a by-product of burning gas
Now it’s time to sit back on our cozy couch and plan our next set of projects…