I wrote this post in response to the thorough questions asked about my last post, How Low Can I Go?
My husband told me that no matter how many times I put the word "hypothetically" in this post, my reader's wouldn't see it. I have a little more faith in you all, but I thought I would include this upfront anyway: hypothetically, hypothetically, hypothetically.
We have decided that if we still live in this apartment when we have a fourth child, we will switch bedrooms. So I was wondering...
Hypothetically, how many kids can we have and still fit in this apartment?
Well, we can fit three sets of bunk beds in the large bedroom, which would fit six kids, and there is enough floor space for one mattress to slide easily in and out from under one set of bunk beds, which makes seven. We also have a ridiculously large kitchen, and could easily fit one more set of bunk beds there, with a slide-out mattress. Then there is the couch. We could have a pull-out couch that sleeps two more kids. And, we are co-sleepers, if the baby's temperament is favorable toward it, so one more baby may be in our room. Maximum number of hypothetical kids: thirteen. What about clothes/toy storage?
Well, I will reiterate, this is all hypothetical. But, I'm a huge fan of shelving and milk crates, which you can find at yard sales from dairy farms that have gone out of business and at Walmart as file crates. Right now, all of our kid's clothes are in milk crates on the wall. Each kid would have a few milk crates hung in their bunk area toward the foot of their bed for clothes and toys. Finding a space for the trundle mattress kids and couch kids to hang their milk crates should not be too hard.
Why is this important?
It is extremely unlikely that we will stay in this apartment for the rest of our days. This is a more expensive area of the state, so if Dan doesn't get a pastorate right when he graduates, we would probably want to move anyway. We were also lucky to find the landlord that we did. He loves us for paying the rent on time, every month, and is letting us stay with our growing family. Regardless of where we live, though, we want to stay in a small space. Spacial manipulation is a key skill to have in small spaces.
Hypothetically, is that even legal?
Thirteen kids in a two bedroom, 445 square foot apartment? Well, I have looked extensively at federal, state, and local laws regulating occupancy. The federal law basically requires that landlords allow two people per bedroom. They can allow more than that, but they don't have to. If a landlord allows us to have thirteen kids in this apartment, it's legal. It is between us and the landlord. It would be more profitable for him to force us into a four bedroom apartment and have us pay higher rent, but it is between us in the laws' eyes. If the property changed hands, an eviction would be legal as well. As far as our state and local laws, they just say you have to comply with the federal law, so there is no further restriction. This is not true in all areas of the nation.
Although I don't like much government regulation, I am still bound by their laws and investigated all of this when we got pregnant with our third.
What does this have to do with the teeny house?
A lot. In my mind, small living is key to frugality for so many reasons. Many disagree, or value inside space so much that it is the priority that they save for. For many, it is simply something they are not willing to compromise, or they just won't go as far as I do. I value open space outdoors more than inside and I don't want you to picture us all couped up inside all the time.
I published most comments that came in because I think people have valid concerns. My first post on the topic was not comprehensive enough of an introduction to teeny house living. It wasn't meant to be comprehensive in regards to teeny house, as it was an outline of general goals so that my husband does not permanently have to work two full time jobs.
It is going to take several posts to go through the details planned at this point and they won't come all at once. But if there is interest, as indicated in the comment section of the last post, I am happy to share. I am going through the comment section and outlining the questions, queries and concerns into informative posts. This is a project I am excited to tackle, and I hope that you keep an open mind about my ideas. These ideas probably will not all be for you, but I hope you get something out of it anyway.