5 Truths about Living in a Tiny House in the Woods

Here are some things I have learned in the first week.

1. You sweep a lot
No matter how careful you are by taking off your shoes before going into the house, there is no end to the sweeping you need to do.  We sweep several times a day.  The good news is that with such a small space even the constant sweeping doesn't take long.

2. You get bugs
There is just no way to keep bugs out of a tiny house in the woods. We fight the carpenter bees on a regular basis outside, but inside we usually find a cricket a day or maybe a small spider.  Piglet occasionally finds these bugs for us, but being a spoiled fancypants cat she doesn't really know what to do with them.  And, we usually manage to let one moth in per night. 

3. You get bug bites
Of course, when you have bugs you get bug bites. Not usually in he house but any time you're outside. And it is when you get the first bug bite that you remember you should be putting on some repellent.

4. I freaking hate Poison Ivy
It is freaking everywhere.  We are fighting it back a little at a time but damn that stuff is persistent. I am horrifically allergic to it. While chemical warfare isn't my preferred method of weed control, it is the only defense I have against this insidious plant.

5. Living in the woods is awesome
In spite of all of these minor inconveniences, I absolutely love living in the woods.  There are probably a million reasons I could list but I don't need to bore you with that. I'll just say that we have built a really nice home that makes us feel good to live in it.  This is really all I can ask for.


  1. For insect bites, go and buy a Sawyer extractor pump kit - $15 at Walmart. When you get bitten, immediately place the extractor over the bite and push the plunger. It creates a vacuum over the bite and pulls out the venom. My wife uses one all the time; if she gets a mosquito bite the surrounding area swells up to a quarter size. If she uses the extractor right away, she is fine.

    For poison ivy, if you are exposed to it, after washing off the area, put some Jewel Weed sap on it. This plant usually grows in the same area as poison ivy. The plant stalks are like tiny bamboo; they are hollow inside - that is where the sap is. The Jewel Weed sap counteracts the oil in the poison ivy.

    I enjoy your site. I will be building a Sonoma Shanty as a backyard shed this summer.

  2. Thanks for the great advice. I had heard of Jewel Weed before, but I didn't know about the extractor pumps. I will have to check that out.

    I'm checking out your site now. I can't wait to see what you do with your tiny house.

  3. So helpful, beautiful and inspirational. Please do bore me with all the details about why you love living in the woods. I would love to hear the good stuff too!

  4. when we lived in thailand, we learned that to keep from getting bug bites, drink some vinegar every day. the only thing that really works.

  5. We're planning on moving to the woods as well, so it's great to hear about all your experiences in that environment... the good and the bad :)

  6. There is a simple solution for letting in the bugs I found on television of all places. It is that screen that opens and then closes with magnets. You should see a markedly reduced number of insects in your home.

  7. About those carpenter bees - Staining the exterior of the house will keep them away. I have lived in much larger houses that they made swiss cheese of - and it would take a lot less time for them to eat up a tiny house. The guys that buzz around outside battling each other are just the males protecting the female and the brood inside the hole; killing them doesn't really help because they've already done their job.

  8. For poison ivy: Start taking the Homeopathic remedy, Rhus Tox 30C twice a day to build up an immunity o it. If you should get a rash before you build up your system against it, take the same 4X a day. Will work quickly. This remedy is also great for sore backs, etc.

    To kill the poison ivy without harming the environment get a pump sprayer and use vinegar and salt mixture. One gallon vinegar one cup salt.

    We live in AL on ten acres and poison ivy is a given. With these remdial measures I no long get the rash and am able to keep it under control.

    Best of luck with your new lifestyle! Wonderful story and would make a great book!

  9. I don't know if you can find some goats to borrow, but they eat poison ivy without issue.

  10. See if there's anyone in your area with goats you can borrow. They eat poison ivy without issue.

  11. We've found that Vodka (or any alcohol probably, Vodka is just clear so non-staining) rubbed on the exposed area also counteracts the poison ivy oils.

  12. I have found that vodka (or any alcohol I believe) can counteract the oils of poison ivy if applied just after exposure. It also helps dry and clean an infected area.


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