In July of 2010, while couch surfing at a friend’s house, I resigned myself to realistically look at my California future. The more I perused Craigslist housing for an area I fancied living in and the more I thought about the work that goes into surviving with $1,000 rent, the less my floaty, creative, work-to-live ways seemed likely to tick the necessary boxes.
Luckily, I later came across a video on the Yahoo! homepage which stated, “See a man who lives in 89 square feet.” See I did, and within 30 minutes I was in.
I was too excited to care that it was 2 a.m. in my sister’s world, and promptly called to rouse her and her husband from their dreams with grandiose plans of building and living in 130 square feet.
After some initial concerns I began to hear the excitement I was hoping for in their voices. The next day, I got an email from my brother-in-law; he’d been up until 4 a.m. researching and was as obsessed as I was.
Breaking the news to my mother was as simple as if I’d told her I wanted to make eggs for breakfast. She was on board from the moment the words left my mouth, and with my stepdad’s agreement to help me build, I had the approval of everyone immediately involved within 24 hours.
In my spare thinking time, there was little else that filled my imagi- nation. I pictured 7 1⁄2 x 18 in every room I walked into. I woke up pre- tending I was in my loft and drank cups of tea dreaming of my window seat.
But then came the doing—and means—part. As soon as I knew a tiny house was what I wanted, I got super determined. With every little thing I thought to buy, I’d have to consider what in my house that money could buy me instead. I ended up heading into the build with no debt, and (I hope) enough money to complete it.
I bought Fencl plans in April 2010, went to a workshop with my dad, bought a trailer the next week, and started in September with no idea what I was doing.
I chose the name “Little Yellow” (Buidhe Bheag) because to me, yellow means sunshine, daffo- dils, and California. In Gaelic, the color yellow (buidhe) is often used to symbolize happiness, luck, or beauty. The phrase “I am yellow” (tha mi buidhe) means that one is well, happy, or satisfied.
When the building ceases, I plan to find somewhere by the sea where I can set my boots down for a time and pursue what I love without the worry of financially decapitating rent.