Our Tiny Goal

Fundraising goal: $20,000 USD

Tessa and I have a dream to build our own home, but it’s a lot smaller than the average dream home!

Our Story…

Tessa and I fell in love with each other in early 2013 and shortly fell in love with the idea of living “tiny” which is principled by living within our means, making the most minimal impact on the Earth by downsizing our consumption, and efficiently using every bit of space in our home. This lifestyle keeps us focused on what is most important in life: friends, family, and each other. It also forces us outside since there isn’t a whole lot of room for activities inside! And since we aren’t in Alaska anymore, getting outside is much easier to do even during the winter months. We won’t start building until we have meticulously budgeted and have a detailed plan that we would love to share with you when it is complete! I plan on blogging about our tiny home journey, like I have been the dry cabin adventure we are currently experiencing, but it’ll be right here instead of Facebook. Anyway, I just want to thank you for sharing in our love and celebrating with us. Whether you donate or not, you will remain in our hearts! Plus, there are plenty of other ways to help us out…

What We Need & What You Get

The best way to illustrate what goes into a tiny house is to watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CMhvvcjuF4 Jay Shafer has been a major influence on my perspective on tiny living, and I encourage you to branch out and watch other videos on YouTube on tiny homes because there are so many amazing things people are doing with tiny living spaces. The average cost of a tiny home seems to fall around $20K, but the price is extremely dependent on size, style, and appliances. Tessa and I plan to build a simple, basic design for this first tiny house. Yes, this will be our first but hopefully not our last! The $20K is our goal for us to begin building, not how much we are expecting to collect in donations (but it would be so sweet if everyone pitches in and it meets the goal!!). Tessa is spatially-oriented, creative, and she studied urban planning so we hope to develop our skills at tiny home building into a potential business endeavor. You can view this donation as a financial investment! In the future, if you are in the market for a tiny home/get-away cabin/mother-in-law suite/mini beach house or just looking for advice to maximize the efficiency of your current home, Tessa and I would be happy to help research, plan or design (and hopefully build) your own!

The Impact

Besides the obvious impact of funding our home and helping us begin our lives together, tiny living is an important movement towards sustainable and AFFORDABLE housing. There are sacrifices to downsizing (mainly, closet space) but Tessa and I are committed to this movement and hope to prove you really don’t need 2,000 sq ft to feel like you’ve accomplished the “American Dream.” It’s more important to see your family, be outside, and love the life you live. Not worry about mortgages or get lost in your own house. Unless your house is Hogwarts. Then it’s definitely worth it. Also, I’m moving in with you.

Risks & Challenges

Tessa and I have built some things together, (like a garden box out of scrap wood!), and we have downsized into a dry cabin, but we will be going even smaller with this tiny home so there will be even more challenges on the horizon. Worst case scenario, we get halfway into building our tiny home and realize we can’t do it alone, but then we’ll just enlist the help of some professionals. Because of the amount of research and information available, we are confident in our ability to build a beautiful tiny house. But we are also not too prideful to ask for help. If you are not able to donate or would rather contribute in a different way, keep reading!

Other Ways You Can Help

Let us know if you have salvageable wood/building materials you don’t need. We can probably use it! Since we have moved back to the “Lower 48,” we will start reclaiming and collecting materials, so if you have a cool extra doorknob or spare tiles lying in your garage you don’t want, let us know! We may want it. If you are doing your own construction projects, be mindful of your scraps because they may be the perfect amounts of insulation or shingles for our project. Someone’s trash might be our treasure; we are trying to use as many recycled materials as possible! Another way to get involved is to provide manual labor! (If you are in our area, don’t fly out just to help us build. Or do…because that would be awesome.) Give us tips if you’ve done any electrical/plumbing/construction! We are going to do as much research as we can, but common sense can’t be taught in books. And finally, support us in whatever way you can. Pray for us. Send us good vibes. Keep us in your hearts. Tell people about what we are doing. Spread the word: Tessa and Shaina are building a tiny home and it will be AWESOME!

Perks for donating…

Donation Amount Perk
$10 A $10 donation will earn you a shoutout on Facebook, complete with a personalized compliment from me to you.
$20 A $20 donation will earn you a postcard with a message from us newlyweds when we go on our honeymoon! We haven’t decided on our location yet, but it will most likely involve beaches. And beaches make beautiful postcards.
$50 Snail mail is not dead! Not to me anyway. I’ll write you a thank you letter if you donate $50 and maybe strike up a penpalship! Made up word, but the cool thing about writing on paper is you can make up words and no red squiggle will correct you.
$100 Tessa and I are aspiring ukulele players, and have been known to sing a duet or two together. I’m not saying it will blow you away, but hopefully we can bring some joy to your heart and music to your ears for being generous!
$250 If you live near us, we want to host you for a delicious meal! Bring a friend or significant other, and it will be a party! If you don’t live near us, save this like a coupon. It will be good for a meal on us if we move closer to each other OR you just come visit. We’ll put you up!
$500 We’ll add some color to your life and you’ll be a patron of the arts! Tessa and I will paint you something and mail it to you. You’ll be able to hang it up on your wall and remember that time you donated to a young couple with a lofty dream. Get it? Because our tiny home will have a loft??? I thought it was funny…This perk may take some time because of the love and care we put into our projects, but we will get it done because you are so generous!
If you’d like to donate, please use the form below to pick a donation amount. You can mail us a check, use PayPal (this is probably the best option for those outside the U.S.) or deposit it right into our savings account online via SmartyPig by going to https://www.smartypig.com/loves/shainatessa. Let us know how you’re donating in the comment section!

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