A couple has lived in a 130-square-foot tiny house for 5 years — here's what a typical week looks like for them
Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons live in a 130 square meter house. Courtesy Tiny House Expedition
Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons welcomed Insiders to their tiny, 130-square-meter home in Oregon for five days as part of the new "A Week in My Little House" series.
In the morning, the couple have to get ready at different times due to a lack of space.
During the day, the couple learned to be "alone" because they often work and relax side by side.
In the evenings the couple watch Netflix on their pull-out television, they eat outside on their terrace and they sleep in their bedroom in the attic.
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Many people dream of downsizing and moving into a small house, but most don't know what it really takes to call a small house home.
As part of a new "A Week in My Little House" series, Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons welcomed Insiders to their tiny house for a week to show what it's really like to be in their 130-square-meter house all day for the past five years live years. While much of the couple's Oregon life is similar to traditional life, some aspects are more difficult in the small house.
From the lack of storage space to the constant cleaning, it's like being a tiny homeowner for a week.
At the beginning of her week, Christian Parsons woke up in front of his partner Alexis Stephens to ensure a smooth morning routine.
Get dressed in the morning. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
Parsons gets out of bed 10 minutes before Stephens because they can't both get ready in a small space.
"When he gets up he goes into the bathroom, gets dressed and opens the closet door that blocks access to the bathroom," said Stephens. "I stay in bed longer to avoid conflicts."
The closet, which is used to store clothes for about a month at a time, is part of the stairs that lead to the attic, so Stephens would have even more trouble getting through in the morning.
The closet door also acts as a "modesty door" so they have a certain illusion of privacy when changing.
"Something as simple as that little thin door makes you feel like you're in your own little bubble for a few minutes," said Stephens. "We appreciate that."
Stephens later made a latte with her espresso machine.
Stephens makes coffee. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
Stephens said they could have a regular coffee maker if they wanted, but they prefer to use the stove top version, though they sometimes have trouble using it on an apartment-size propane stove.
"Sometimes we run out of propane while making coffee," said Stephens. "We have to refill our propane tanks about every two months."
Stephens said, however, that she loves that her kitchen is so small, especially when she's making her coffee.
"I can pan and reach our can of coffee, and I can reach the coffeepot on the stove. I can pan the other way and reach the milk in our fridge. It's convenient," said Stephens. "I really enjoy cooking in our kitchen as long as I'm in there. If we're both in there, it will definitely be full and he'd get in my way."
Parsons and Stephens ended their Monday by working side by side into the evening.
Stephens and Parsons work together. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
You run a tiny house blog, so you often edit videos or write blog posts. Since they have essentially the same job, they often work side by side.
"We're rarely more than three feet apart all day. I think we've really learned how to communicate well over time," said Stephens. "We've gotten really good at being side by side in our own bubble. When we work together, I may not speak to him for several hours because I'm in my own bubble and he's in his."
Stephens also pointed out that they sometimes get in each other's way when working at this little table. Parsons often climbs over Stephens, and sometimes Stephens has to pick up her computer and fold the table so Parsons can get outside.
"We adapt," she said. "It can be frustrating when you're emailing and he wants to get through. You really just have to get on with it and live with it."
On Tuesday, Stephens started her day sweeping the tiny house.
Stephens sweeps tiny house. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
"As part of my morning routine, I spend three minutes cleaning out the tiny house so we can have a fresh, clean blackboard for the rest of the day," said Stephens.
While the small room is easy to clean up quickly, Stephens also noted that the room can get dirty even faster, especially because her dog spills so much. That means they have to keep cleaning the house.
"It gets dirty quickly because we touch and use every surface every day," she said. "With more use, dirt builds up quickly. It takes 15 minutes to clean an entire house."
She said it was important that everything in the tiny house had a place because clutter was difficult to control in such a small space.
In the afternoon, they went outside to water their plants and continue their work day.
Parsons aquatic plants. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
Parsons and Stephens originally joined the tiny house movement because they thought it would be a great way to travel and see the whole country. After traveling over 54,000 miles, the couple decided to settle down and park their home in a more permanent location.
Her little home is currently parked in the back yard of a house in Oregon. You pay $ 300 a month to park there and the place has a garden the couple loves.
"Outdoor living space is incredibly valuable and important to our tiny indoor lifestyle," said Stephens. "We created a little patio next to our house and garden. It's extra space for us and a great way to mix up the landscape around the day."
When it was time for bed, they climbed the makeshift stairs to get to their attic bedroom.
Parsons goes up the stairs. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
Their "funky staircase" is a cross between a normal staircase and a ladder, Stephens said.
"It's easy for us, but I'm a clumsy person so I pace up and down very slowly to make sure I don't fall," she said. "The only really inconvenient loft is when you get sick. When you have to climb those steps, it just feels like a chore."
Otherwise, the couple said they love their attic bedroom, which has five windows to make the space feel bigger.
"There is something so cozy about sleeping high up. It feels like a cozy den," said Stephens. "It doesn't feel claustrophobic to us. We sleep really well up there."
On Wednesday, Stephens prepared for a day of shooting by brushing her hair in the bathroom.
Stephens brushed his hair. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
When designing their tiny house, Parsons built a fold-down shelf that covers the toilet. It forms a "vanity above the toilet". Here Stephens adorns herself and does her hair. She also uses the surface for her clean clothes when she takes a shower.
“It's more counter space than my previous 900 square foot house,” said Stephens.
Parsons had to fetch the film equipment from the warehouse floor to prepare for filming that afternoon.
Get equipment from the warehouse floor. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
That day, the couple set out to film another small house nearby. All camera equipment is in a small loft across from the bedroom loft and just above the front door.
As for safekeeping, Stephens said they "use every corner of their tiny house". There's storage space under the couch, a large closet under the stairs, and more cupboard space in the kitchen.
At the end of that working day, the couple relaxed by being "alone".
The couple relaxes. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
Just like when they are working side by side, the couple can relax themselves even when they are in the same room.
"We got really good at being alone together," said Stephens. "I can enjoy reading a book by myself while I'm just a few feet away from him. I don't have to talk to him all the time. We can sit there and enjoy our time alone."
On Thursday morning, Stephens did her least favorite job of living in a tiny house: making the bed.
Stephens makes the bed. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
Stephens makes the bed every morning, although it is difficult to maneuver the bedding in a room where she cannot get up. She said she especially hated putting a whole new set of sheets on the bed because the fitted sheet is the toughest job.
"Making the bed in a tiny loft is probably my least favorite thing about tiny life," said Stephens. "There's a lot of crawling and crouching. I'm frustrated every time."
That afternoon the couple went shopping and had to find a place for everything in their small kitchen.
Parsons who put groceries away. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
They usually buy a week's worth of groceries for $ 75, but the more they buy, the harder it is to find a place for everything. Stephens said it was like a game of Tetris when they have to put everything in the limited number of closets and pantries. But her small refrigerator is the biggest obstacle.
"In our tiny house, we only have space for a refrigerator under the counter," said Stephens. "When we come home with a lot of food, we have to stack them very carefully so that everything fits."
She also said she makes dinner immediately after shopping so that the number of items in the refrigerator can be reduced.
At night, Stephens and Parsons broadcast "The Great British Bake Off" on their pull-up television.
Parsons pulls up the television. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
The desk they work at has multiple purposes. It also acts as a dining table and even an entertainment center. A television can slide out from below and is then held in place by a pen.
This isn't the only multifunctional piece of furniture in their tiny house. Your closet, for example, is also part of your stairs and serves as a bookcase.
"Multifunctional furniture is a lifesaver," said Stephens.
On Friday morning, the couple took their dog for a 20-minute walk through the Oregon neighborhood.
The couple go for a walk. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
Your dog Winnie usually spends the day outside, but when she's inside she's hanging out on the couch. At night, the couple displays a dog bed that takes up most of the space.
Stephens said she loves having a dog in her tiny house, but the lack of space becomes an issue from time to time.
"It's often exactly where you have to be all the time," she said. "It's another test of patience when it comes to tiny lives."
To continue her day of relaxation, Stephens curled up in the attic with a book that afternoon.
Stephens is reading in the attic. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
While they make themselves comfortable sitting next to each other in silence, Stephens said it was nice to part completely at times. She often goes to the attic and reads alone. From there, Stephens said she could enjoy the time and the view of her cozy house by herself.
"Our tiny home is definitely eclectic," said Stephens. "It's full of character."
At the end of their week, they took time outside their tiny house to have dinner on the terrace.
The couple at dinner. Courtesy Alexis Stephens
The couple said they loved eating their chicken and grilled mushrooms outside because they could enjoy their outdoor space again. They plan to live in their tiny house for the long term, but they are now focused on saving money to buy their own land to improve their outdoor space and privacy.
Despite being tiny homeowners, Stephens said their life isn't limited to just their 130-square-foot home.
"Living in such a small space and working from home seems to be getting old, but we have created a lifestyle that is so closely tied to nature," said Stephens. "It helps us to feel connected to the world. Our lifestyle is not just our home."
This couple's 130-square-foot home is the most-trafficked tiny home in the world. That's their life.
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