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I live with my cat in a 388-square-foot tiny home in a national forest. Here's what it's really like


I recently began my tiny-living journey in a national forest.Elin Schmidt


Elin Schmidt Sat, December 24, 2022, 12:28 PM GMT+1


  • I live in a 388-square-foot custom-fitted tiny home in a national forest.

  • My home has tons of windows and a deck, which help it feel bigger and brighter.

  • I use a cutting board on top of my stove to get more counter space and a garment rack for clothes.

I recently made the move from Minnesota to Southern California to reside in my new tiny home.



My tiny home has shown me that I can successfully live with less stuff.Elin Schmidt


I spent a couple of years preparing to switch to tiny living, and I'm excited to be in my new space.

Living tiny is surely not without its challenges, but the lifestyle is definitely rewarding. I'm more grateful for what I have and able to prioritize what's important to me. Plus, living tiny helps me to exist in congruence with my values of being a responsible steward of our planet.


My home was built by Escape, a Wisconsin-based company that designs and builds tiny spaces. I chose the ONE XL model for my home because it's just under 400 square feet and has real stairs leading up to the bedroom loft.

Here's what it's like and how I make it work for me.

My living room has plenty of natural light.



A great feature of all Escape tiny homes is how many windows they have.Elin Schmidt


I keep my television and a couch that can become a bed for guests in this space.

I appreciate all of the natural light here, especially since the windows make the space seem bigger. Since I live in a tiny-home community in a national forest, the windows make it easy for me to enjoy the views of the natural world right outside my door.

My kitchen is quite small, so I added a cart with tons of storage.



My cart has shelves for pans and cups.Elin Schmidt


Having my own washer and dryer was very important to me, but it meant losing out on kitchen-counter and cupboard space.


I made up for the lack of room in the kitchen by purchasing a cart to hold all of my dishes and to provide counter space.


A board on top of my stove also gives me room to prep food.



I put a cutting board on the stovetop when it's off to get more counter space.Elin Schmidt


My parents gifted me a stove-top cutting board, which gives me extra counter space.


Since I don't really cook, I rarely use my stove anyway. The washer and dryer were most definitely worth the sacrifice of space in the kitchen.


My bathroom is one of my favorite features in the home.



My tub and shower are both full-sized.Elin Schmidt


My bathroom is larger than what's usual for a tiny home, which I think makes my space more comfortable. It was designed to have lots of cupboard space, and I enjoy the full-sized shower and tub.

My bedroom loft is pretty awesome, too.



My bed is cat-approved.Elin Schmidt


To get to the loft, I climb a sturdy set of stairs. Although the space is a bit small, it's filled with windows and can fit my queen-sized bed on its frame, a dresser, and my makeshift "closet."

My "closet" is a clothing rack.



I downsized a lot to get here.Elin Schmidt


I donated 15 bags of clothing to prepare for tiny living and I got a garment rack to store the remaining pieces on since I don't have a real closet.

Still, I need to donate more because I have too many to fit in the space I have.

I use my second loft for storage.



I refer to it as my storage loft because that's what I use it for.Elin Schmidt


My home has a second loft that's accessible by a ladder. I use it to store winter gear, some clothes, and other random items. This is also where I put dirty laundry.

Artwork makes the home truly mine.



My walls are filled with prints and photos.Elin Schmidt


I have a pretty extensive and eclectic collection of artwork that I have acquired over the years.

When preparing to go tiny, I found it challenging to determine which pieces to take with me, and which ones to leave at my parents' house in Minnesota.

I ultimately left more artwork than I brought with me, so the pieces I chose to hang all have sentimental value

I was worried my cat may not like tiny living, but it's been great for us both.



I have plenty of room for my cat's litter box, food, and water.Elin Schmidt


One concern I had about moving into a tiny home was how my cat would adjust to our new, smaller space. She seems perfectly content here, which is a huge relief to me.

She also appreciates all the windows in our home because she loves watching the world outside. I keep her food where she can look out the picture window while she eats.

She also spends more time on my bed than anywhere else and, in true cat fashion, follows the sun around our home on most days.

My dad even built me a tiny deck.



The stairs also make it easier to enter my home.Elin Schmidt


In addition to making sure my home had tons of windows, I wanted to get some outdoor space.

While helping me move, my parents bought redwood lumber, and my dad designed and built a small deck for my new home.

Little touches like these help my small space feel more personalized and homey.

Read the original article on Insider


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