Tiny home, big life — an experiment in simple living | Erin & Dondi Harner | TEDxFrontRange

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Tiny home, big life. How two twenty-somethings radically rearranged their priorities, downsized their…

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11 Responses

  1. Cruithne says:

    She’s pregnant. They didn’t say boo about that and how will they adjust
    their space. I’d like to see how this works out for them. Handling sleep,
    requirements for quiet, poop smells that would peel paint, crying, parental
    sleep deprivation, and jangled nerves are all part of the bargain. I’m not
    being negative; babies are a fine addition to society. I just know how this
    shit goes down. They don’t seem to know what they’re in for. Babies require
    a lot of stuff, much more than you think.
    These two probably think they will bring home the ideal quiet baby
    that’s open to engaging in reasoned, witty repartee, (pre-housebroken) that
    would be immediately compatible and embrace their evolved ethic. Using
    disposable diapers? Recyclable, but a freaking arm and leg. So is a diaper
    service. You gonna wash them yourself? Good luck with that. Stinky, nasty
    mess that will last exactly *one* week, tops.
    There’s a *LOT* of stuff nobody’s talking about that doesn’t mesh with
    all the idealism and untried practicalities. A baby will catapult you to a
    whole new level of existence you hadn’t counted on, at all.
    I wish them all the luck in the world. I just wonder if they thought all
    this through.

  2. Dave Brown says:


  3. HotshotGTar says:

    Like the stairs that double as dresser draws. Do you still have to be
    hooked up to public utilities ? The composting toilet ; do you have to
    mess with that (a lot ? ) ; empty it ; clean it , etc., ? What do you do
    with the composted poop ? Ok you answered the utility question ; batteries
    / generator ; do you also have a solar panel ? Ok ; composting toilet ;
    wood shavings ; ‘…it’s in there waiting to be used for composting your
    garden later…” ; how much later. What do you do with it if your don’t
    have a garden ? Do you collect rainwater ? Go to the gym to shower; to the
    laundromat to do laundry; to the library to…….. read ; get accosted by
    vagrants and just get away from it all ? I like being at home to much to
    hassle with having to run all over town to get the necessities done. The
    lack of home maintenance ; mowing ; snow removal; etc; is very appealing. :
    Yeah ; if you are going to travel ( a lot) ; you are hardly ever in the
    tiny house; I’m not sure if it’s worth even having a house if you aren’t
    going to live in it that much in fact ; it’s just another anchor holding
    you down. It might be cheaper ; instead of seeing all the sites in the
    U.S., that actually cost you money to go to and don’t give you back
    anything ;except in memories ; would be to travel to places where living;
    renting ; eating etc are cheap ; (Panama for example; Mexico; Philippines;
    Thailand) . I haven’t figured it out yet but if you live outside the U.S.,
    for 6 mo or more I think you pay less taxes. It would mean arranging your
    life around cheap travel opportunity but…….. I guess you have chosen
    the mid range between actually giving up a home base and taking off
    completely and having a traditional space. Children , family etc would
    make that decision for you. Without those things holding you back ;you
    might be able to go to more interesting places; Europe, for example ; who
    doesn’t want to travel Europe ? I guess it comes down to determining how
    much you really need .
    I don’t know if I could live ‘tiny’ . If I did I think I’d go for a more
    astere home without the frills. The fancy wood paneling is nice but not
    necessary. Instead of a second story I’d rather have a double space one
    story ; the size of a double wide trailer house; then I’d wonder how a tiny
    home (x2) would compare to a double wide. Then if you had two ; it would
    cost more to move it. You still have the problem of having a property to
    park it on. Do you rent it, buy it , borrow the property ? Seems that if
    you are going to have to have a property you may as well build a small
    house (on a slab ; with a storm shelter which would be more $$) . It’s nice
    to have the flexibility of being able to move the tiny house when you want
    to ; to another location or city or whatever ; how much does it cost to do
    that ? I don’t know ; it just seems like a lot to pay for what you get.
    Seems like you could build a small house (very minimal with your own
    design ; if just one person; you don’t need all the walls and rooms of a
    traditional house; basically you just need the bathroom to have walls ; esp
    if you live alone). The utility issues ; is an issue ; the less you have
    to mess with something ; the better. You also have to spend extra money on
    the generator (gas for that when needed). Spend a lot in gas having to go
    do things outside the home ; like laundry etc. ; ok , if you are going to
    be out anyway ; not so good when you have to make special trips ; esp if
    you live in the country. No garage for your vehicles ; I’ve found that
    having a good garage has extended the life of my vehicle. Of course, it
    costs more for the house to have a garage but it also saves the auto ; it
    sort of balances out. 

  4. The Rainbow Cauldron says:

    Where does the baby go?

  5. TheCrankydragon says:

    still bigger than my inner city apartment… damn

  6. Tyrone Daroca says:


  7. veganfruition // brittany peters says:

    I love the stairs! Beautiful home! I’m going to be starting my tinyhouse in
    a few months! =)

  8. thebogangamer says:

    are you americans really this greedy.

  9. christothegreat1 says:

    How much does the tiny home weigh ? What kind of truck do u use to tow it ?
    Miles per gallon when towing ? Have you added electric brakes to the tiny
    home ?

  10. Christopher Spain says:

    If only I wasn’t so tall!

  11. Nancy Downing says:


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