Preparing Our Tiny House

Our Grainmaster grain mill was one of the first additions to our new trailer kitchen

As I moved dishes and food from boxes into the kitchen cupboards of our new, off-grid tiny house this week, I felt a very keen sense of satisfaction.  It was almost exhilarating!  For the first time in my life I was setting up housekeeping in our very own house on our very own land, owned free and clear.  No monthly expense of rent or mortgage!  It is ours!!  Or rather it is the Lord’s, and we are stewards of his provision.

For seven months we have lived in temporary housing with most of our belongings (what we didn’t sell or give away) packed in boxes.  This past month on our new property has been quite an adventure, and we’ve enjoyed my parents’ camper which we have been staying in temporarily.  Our belongings are scattered in six different places.  Needless to say, we are itching to finally get settled in a more permanent situation.  Go here to read about how we became owners of 20 acres out in the boonies.

Over a month ago we were blessed to be able to purchase from a relative a 48’ semi-trailer converted into living space.  It is a tough old beast (Great Dane), and a great hurricane shelter if anchored properly.  The problem was getting it down our long winding narrow lane and into position so we could start customizing it for our family.

Two days before Thanksgiving the trailer finally came home!  We truly felt very thankful.  We were able to get the propane and generator/battery power hooked up by Thanksgiving evening!  The framing to support the water tanks on the roof is in place, waiting for the tanks to be installed so we can have gravity fed running water.  The new fridge, which was already surprisingly dirty after two weeks outside under the camper canopy, was cleaned out and installed in the trailer.

The propane stove in the trailer looks almost brand new after giving it a good cleaning

The kitchen is mostly thoroughly cleaned, and I have been excitedly unpacking and organizing kitchen things!  It is so much fun, especially knowing that we don’t have to ask permission for everything we do (as in a rental situation), and we don’t have any debt hanging over our heads whatsoever! 

It’s such a liberating feeling knowing that, no matter what happens in the next few years with the economy or our world situation, we hold the title free and clear.  That, to us, is worth more than the most beautiful dream house in the world.  And according to our research, it looks very possible that our world situation could change drastically within the next year.  Of course we hope and pray that it doesn’t, but we want to be prepared if it does.  And of course there is some reason why God has placed this desire urgently in our hearts, as well as provided the way for it to be carried out. 

It is our feeling that now is the time to be getting OUT of debt quickly, if there is debt.  Our goal is to be as self-sustaining as possible before this time next year.  Our security is not in our imperfect preparations, but is in our Heavenly Father who is providing and guiding us through the process (“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”  Prov. 3:6).

The trailer at night: doesn't it look cozy?

It is wonderful having the trailer here to begin our move into it.  It is not, however, without the usual hang-ups.  Saturday our two oldest went with Silver Oak to try to catch up on his landscaping work in town.  The four younger ones and I worked on things at home.  

I started smelling propane, and by dinner time I did not feel safe using the new stove in the trailer, so I took the food back over to the camper to cook.  There is no running water in the trailer yet, so we’ve still been doing dishes in the camper and putting them back away in the trailer.  The deck and steps for the trailer are not yet installed, so a makeshift wooden box acted as a huge step to get up into the trailer.  All these factors combined made for a very interesting (and time consuming) way to make dinner.

The huge makeshift step

It went something like this:  awkwardly climb down the huge step with a pot full of food, carry it over to the camper and get it cooking there.  Go back to the trailer, climb up the huge step, close the awkward sliding screen door to keep out mosquitoes that descend at dusk, and get vegies from the fridge to make a salad.  Take the load back down the huge step and over to wash in the camper.  I must have repeated this back and forth and up and down scenario 20 times during dinner preparation and clean-up.

But things are looking up.  Silver Oak (my midnight working, homesteading hubby) has fixed the propane leak so it is safe to use the trailer stove again (it needed a new regulator).  He built a temporary set of steps with cement blocks to replace the huge wooden step.  And this week (Lord willing) we will have water tanks installed for running water in the trailer.

The new temporary steps

Also hopefully in the next month the covered deck will be built between the trailer and the camper, and bunks will be built so we can move into the trailer for real.

I feel so blessed!

Things Looking Up on the Homestead

Linked w/Frugally Sustainable, Barn Hop, Preparedness Challenge,  Simple Lives Thursday, Farm Friend Friday, and Farmgirl Friday!.

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17 thoughts on “Preparing Our Tiny House

  1. How very exciting for you & your family! The Lord is so good and I know y’all had so much to be thankful for this past Thanksgiving!

    Congrats on being debt-free! We’re working on the last credit card but will still have a mortgage. We are praying for a farm and for a way to make it happen but maybe we’re not being specific enough.

    I agree with you on the economic situation and the possibility of some really hard times in the near future. My hubby & I feel led to be more self-sustaining and are working towards that goal. Yet, in talking with other Christians about this situation (thinking they’ll understand where we’re coming from), we get the “trust in the Lord and He’ll provide” answer. In other words, they’re going to sit back and do nothing I guess hoping for manna from heaven when the hard times hit! I guess you can tell that I’m frustrated with the lack of support even from Christian friends. Family also!

    Yes, I need to do LOTS more praying and to be much more specific in our prayers.

    I always enjoy reading how your homestead is developing… thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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    • We are with you about the response of other believers. It baffles us and is not consistent with ways most are living otherwise (e.g. accumulating debt to get what is desired when debt is only mentioned negatively in Scripture, having lots of insurance, limiting family size because children cost so much, etc). We see preparedness as a great way to be able to bless others with the Love of Jesus in a crisis when people tend to be more open to the Gospel.

      We also believe that the Lord wants us to seek His will about specifics and then pray accordingly in order for His name to be glorified. Some day we hope to write a book about all the ways God has answered prayers when we did this.

      Hang in there and take steps forward as the Lord leads and opens doors. We are in the same boat with some family members. We can only hope that some day they will understand. Or perhaps our limited understanding will change as well.

      Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Just found my way to your blog. So happy for you that your in your home. Like you we moved to the country and are homesteading. We left the city life four years ago this November and love life out here. I am in North Florida in Madison County. I was born and raised in Florida and wondering where you are homesteading? Looking forward to keeping up with your family adventure 🙂

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  3. a very exciting journey you are on. We have been looking for property some where way in the boonies but have decided that the best place to be is where we have lived for 11 years and have been setting up our homestead the way we need it to opperate. We would love to be away from the noise of the highway but we are almost debt free and getting older…:) staying the course and hoping for the best. (being prepare with our bugout bags.) Bless you in your journey !

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  4. I love your updates and am so excited for you to be almost in the trailer. I know it has been a huge undertaking for you. Prayers your way, always. 🙂

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  5. Happy for you! We tried unsuccessfully for several years to sell our house and start over debt free, and it could not be done, even when prices at well below market value. We concluded that it isn’t the Lord’s will to move us. Maybe our little ones needed the stability of not moving for a while. We don’t know. But we are learning that we need to be content in our circumstances, whatever they may be.

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  6. I just LOVE your blog!! I have spent hours reading your past posts and have enjoyed each one! We are also homeschooling our daughter, We are over in Flagler County Florida. I look foward to seeing more pictures of your new home : ) Best of luck with it!!

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    • So glad you stopped by and introduced yourself! And I’m glad you enjoy the blog, which is hopefully a reflection of the power of God! You are north of us a ways. I do plan on adding more pictures of the trailer as we work on it, hopefully quite soon. Thanks!

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  7. Congrats!! So exciting to see your progress. We will be out of all consumer debt this February, if my calculations are right : ). Then will add even more to paying off our mortgage we’ve been paying down for some time. Meanwhile we’ve been working on making our homestead more productive. The chickens, garden and aquaponics are producing nicely, and will be expanding even more this year. Just need to figure out how to make a homemade press for our 7 old Mission olives from the time the Spanish planted them for the Oceanside Mission and have survived and produce incredibly still. I’ve started 5 more to add to our property. Have been working on rainwater and greywater systems to save our well for personal use. It’s taking a little territory at a time. Keep up the good work!!! I applaud your successes.

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    • Do you have any blog posts about your aquaponics? We’ve done research and started gathering some supplies, but we have not yet started our system.

      That is so neat to have old olive trees! We hope to plant some (as soon as the goats can be confined) but it will take a while till they produce much, I’m sure.

      Thanks for your encouragement and blessings to you as you press on with your homestead, little by little.

      BTW, I’ve had a hard time posting comments on your blog (not the techiest person around). So sorry about your dog.

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      • Thanks – we are going to start a blog specifically dedicated to more homestead instead of family things. This one started with Laurens adoption. I’m not the most tech savvy either and I can’t leave notes on my own blog, so will have to have my husband and son take the time to look into what the problem is. Thank you for your good wishes and I am sincere in being happy for all the progress you are making.

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  8. The Lord also up it in my husband and my heart to start learning to homestead. We are working on getting out of debt. I now have chickens and a garden. I learned how to can and preserve our food. And I love it. Which is funny because I come from a military background. This is so left field from what I am use to.The lord know what was in my heart. It feels so right to me to be doing this. I feel at home.

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    • Michelle, that is awesome! It seems as though God is laying this idea on the hearts of more and more people. I used to be totally negative about doing anything the “hard” way if it was easy and inexpensive to do otherwise. Now it appears I’m trying to do everything the most difficult way possible (at least to some folks)! 🙂 I’m with you about it feeling “so right.” Keep it up, and thanks for stopping by and sharing.

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