Charlene, a retired teacher, and her late husband used to own a big 50-acre ranch. After he passed away in 2007, Charlene managed the ranch on her own. Recently, she decided to make a big change in her life by downsizing to a tiny, beautiful house in Austin, Texas.
Before making such a move, Charlene suggests thinking about four important things, which she calls the 4 W’s.
1. Why: Charlene emphasizes having a strong reason for choosing a tiny house lifestyle, as it’s not suitable for everyone.
2. When: Planning ahead is crucial. Many tiny house manufacturers need at least a year to build a unique tiny home, so knowing when you want to move is important.
3. Where: Local governments often have strict rules about building and using tiny houses, so it’s essential to consider the location.
4. What: Once you’ve figured out the first three W’s, deciding on the design or model of your tiny house becomes easier.
Charlene’s tiny house is 399 square feet with tall ceilings. She and her late husband were sailors, which inspired the design, especially the kitchen called “Galley.” The kitchen is custom-made with lots of storage, and Charlene made sure it was built exactly as she wanted.
The kitchen includes a microwave, large sink, countertop oven, electric stove, huge fridge, and a stackable washer and dryer. Charlene, at 72, didn’t want a loft or stairs in her house, so she opted for a spacious interior instead.
Her bedroom has a queen-sized bed and a cedar accent wall, giving it a rustic feel. Sliding-door closets provide ample space for her belongings. The bathroom is mid-sized but cleverly designed with plenty of storage and a custom-made shower.
The living room feels roomy despite its size, thanks to strategic furniture placement. Charlene replaced the indoor electric fireplace with more storage, as she already has a wood-burning fireplace outside on her deck.
Speaking of the deck, it’s Charlene’s favorite spot for quiet time or socializing with friends and neighbors. She recalls her father’s advice to retire early to fully appreciate life, and she’s happy with her decision to live in a tiny, beautiful house.