We have officially been living in our tiny house for four days and three nights and we’ve already driven 585 miles. If you read my previous post about downsizing, then you know Kevin and I (mostly me) have a habit of trying to do too much too quickly, and this is a prime example. I don’t want to say “don’t do what we did”, but don’t do what we did! Get moved into your tiny over the course of a month or two. Get your belongings in their proper places, practice cooking with your new propane stove and get some stairs so you can get in and out of your front door. You know, the necessities!
I was dying to get to sunshine and out of the NW winter rain, so once we got our tiny, we did the opposite of what I just suggested. Without stairs, we climbed the three-foot ledge into our tiny, haphazardly threw everything in over the course of a 24-hour period, and started driving the very next day. The twins have actually been amazing with all of the travel and insanity that has ensued; it’s Kevin and I who have taken turns having breakdowns. On the first night, for hours I laid wide awake in our loft asking myself what we had gotten ourselves into while Kevin snored next to me. Once we got on the road though, the apprehension dissipated and I was reminded that adventure should be our middle names (until we hit a HUGE snowstorm in Shasta on night two and the anxiety attack returned momentarily while I anticipated our house being knocked over in the 50 degree winds).
Every night when we get to a new RV park, we have to unload everything out of the house (bikes, stroller, chairs, etc…) and stick it all under the gooseneck, and every morning when we’re packing to leave, we load it all back in again. The result is a huge mess that my OCD self just can’t leave alone. We also didn’t install a very good system for “battening down the hatches”, so we’ve already had a drawer come flying out, causing the mechanism that holds it in place to snap. Thank you Gorilla Glue! We’re also fairly certain we have a very minor propane leak that needs attention.
We were aware that there would be a “breaking in” period, so we’re attempting to stay calm during the ups and downs. We’re keeping our heads down and moving forward to accomplish what we need while keeping the kids safe and entertained. It’s a lot of work, but also so exciting! We’ve found that it’s best for us to leave a campsite around 11 am, stopping somewhere around 12:30 pm to let the boys run around, then let them eat lunch and nap in the car while we make our way toward our next destination. If we get there around 3:30 pm, we can usually miss the majority of traffic and we get about 250 miles under our belts. Short drives, I know, but with two-year-old twins you have to keep your expectations low.
Just this morning we packed everything into the tiny, got it hooked up to the truck, got the boys loaded in their car seats and tried to drive away when the trailer refused to move. Yup, you heard that right, we couldn’t go anywhere. The trailer breaks had engaged, the reason why we’ll probably never know. We unloaded two very upset and confused toddlers from the car and Kevin got to work on a diagnosis. It took two hours for Kevin to finally get the trailer to move. Fortunately, we found a repair shop that was able to temporarily fix it, enabling us to make our way to Santa Cruz.
We were only supposed to stay at the KOA in Santa Cruz for a week, but after everything that happened, we booked our reservation for a month. Kevin and I needed a chance to get moved in, put up blinds, get the propane leak and trailer fixed, and breathe for a minute. This was the right choice. Sometimes you have to surrender to the flow rather than stick to the plan.
The moral of the story…tiny house living is awesome, but make sure to give yourself time for the growing pains that will surely follow after you move in and under any and all circumstances… STAY CALM!