Tiny House Podcast!

March 9, 2016

I was a guest on this funky podcast show! And it’s all about Tiny Living!

Check it out! 45 minutes of Michele, Perry, and Mark grilling me on our Tiny House story. 😉

Juuuust kidding. I had a great time! Thanks to Michele, Perry,and Mark for inviting me and creating a platform for Tiny House stories to be heard!

 

December 30, 2015

Kim Karl at Tiny House Jamboree

I am so psyched to be planning my trip and presentation to the Tiny House Jamboree this year!

I’lI be covering a bit about our journey, family-style minimalism, downsizing with kids, tips for Tiny House design with kids in mind, and what is increased and amplified for your family when you strip away the excess. 

Check out www.TinyHouseJamboree.com for details and ticket info!

OhMyGoodness, I hope to see you there!

Ode

December 21, 2015

Tiny House Family in a 267 square foot home that is lovely.

Cozy, vibrant, filled with warm sunlight.

Off-grid, small footprint, wood burning stove, composting toilet.

Reading, drawing, singing, praying, making, joking, cooking, pretending.

Two Lofts, a catwalk, Minnesota seasons, a lake with a dock.

Hundreds of books, four plates, four bowls, campfires and sunsets, so many pillows.

We’ve removed the pointless, the excess, the nonsense, and found that what we have left is abundance.

 

Fearless

December 15, 2015

On the cusp of our second Minnesota winter in the Tiny House, I’ve been invited to expose the dreadful details of tiny living for Tiny House Magazine’s October Issue. But, with such a compelling movement filled with homey abodes and optimistic minimalists, I struggled… what could be scary about our newly found freedoms?

Looking for inspiration, I turned to social media and asked: “If you were about to move into a Tiny House, what would be your biggest fear?” I was quickly flooded with responses spouting the same fears everyone talks about:  claustrophobia, stench, family feuds, etc…  All fears that would quickly be dispelled if the opportunity arose to step inside one.  A nasty dark cloud of negativity crept in on me and I quickly deleted the post.    

When we started praying and planning for our Tiny House we truly were fearless.  We never doubted, never talked about the “what ifs.” We just plowed ahead with the obvious and oblivious expectation that fewer things and much smaller bills would provide for a simpler and more amazing life!  Other people, however, generously offered us their fears.  What about winter?  What about equity?  What about all your stuff?  What about the kids?  Defending our family decisions became exhausting and one day fear started to sink its teeth into me.  

See, I think when you pray for guidance, hand over control to God, and fully rely on Him you won’t have all the answers.  And that’s okay!  Basically, I wanted to tell the naysayers, “I don’t know but we’ve been praying ferociously and we trust that God will have it all figured out when we get there.”  But that’s not a good enough answer.  It’s unrealistic, unorganized, unprepared.  But, whatever!  Trusting God was good enough for us!

This isn’t a passive trust.  I’m talking about the eyes-squeezed-shut, leap of faith kind of trust.

The day that fear crept in on me was dark.  I honestly didn’t know where we were going to live and finally, for just one day, that shook me.  I’d been asked so many times and had always been content to gush, “I don’t know!” with a smile.  On that day not knowing was scary.  

Fear is evil.  Fear’s goal is to derail with any obstacle that causes doubt, hesitancy, and worry.  I could not let it settle in.  These obstacles drive me forward.  There must be amazing blessings on the other side.  

I prayed a lot. I forced my focus on all the ways God has taken care of every problem that we’ve entrusted to Him.  I continued to shake off the dark cloud.

God, we trust You.  Show us Your plan for our lives, blow down the obstacles, rebuke the fear, guard our hearts, blast open the doors that you’d have us walk through, and make us courageous!

Once the fear was replaced with peace, I realized that God had used the vulnerable state that I was in to show me that He put us in this Tiny House, not for security, conventional, responsible, safe, realistic purposes but for HIS purposes.  God put us in a house with wheels.  This isn’t about being realistic.  It’s about being ready, available, and flexible to follow His plan.  It’s about being fearless.  

 

This article, written by Kim Kasl, was published in the October 2015 issue of Tiny House Magazine.

Our New Home ♡

November 11, 2015

Tiny House Parking Spot

The Tiny House has a new forever home!  …at the very least, this parking spot is semi-permanent.  🙂

Its on a Minnesota lake!  Previous to our ownership this land hosted a Park Model RV.  So swapping out for the Tiny House is perfect!

After exactly one year of campground life the move was a huge celebration.  We’ve been here for a week and completely adore our new parking spot, incredible south-facing view, neighbors, lake, location, and chapter.

Check out the *after* photo on my instagram page: Our New Home!

If you’ve ever ______, you might be a Tiny House Dweller.

September 25, 2015

A little Tiny Life insight/humor.  : )

If you’ve never been to jail yet you call your previous residence “The Big House,” you might be a Tiny House Dweller.

If you’ve ever capitalized the T in tiny when you weren’t even typing about Tiny Houses. You might be a Tiny House Dweller.

If you’ve ever wondered if you should just.stop.capitalizing Tiny House, you might be a Tiny House Dweller. (We can stop now, right?)

If you’ve ever run back to the front desk immediately after stepping into your hotel room to ask how many square feet it is, you might be a Tiny House Dweller. (…just out of curiousity!)

If you’ve ever yelled “Hangers aren’t allowed in my house!” while whipping sneaky hangers out the front door, you might be a Tiny House Dweller. (I’m telling you, hangers are theworst!)

If you’ve ever filled your Costco shopping cart completely full and then freaked out just-a-little because the cart itself is actually bigger than your entire kitchen, you might be a Tiny House Dweller.

If you don’t know where you’re going to live next but you do know that you don’t have to pack your stuff, you might be a Tiny House Dweller.

If you’ve started wondering if you should just go ahead and wave at the people slooowly driving by, you might be a Tiny House Dweller.  (It’s awkward… either way.)

If you keep track of how often you stir the poop, you might be a Tiny House Dweller.

If you have bulk paper towels and toilet paper stashed in your trunk, you might be a Tiny House Dweller.  (I’m not going to stop buying in bulk!)

If while someone is generously offering you something you accidentally interupt-shout “NOthankyou!” before they finish their sentence, you might be a Tiny House Dweller.

If you’ve ever been asked if you “live in that,” if your home is an ice house, if you’re homeless, or if your house is just a fancy camper, you might be a Tiny House Dweller.

 :

 

Tiny House Life is Bliss!

September 7, 2015

A year ago was a whole different life.
One of my favorite things is the mega creative rush of wild ideas that flood my brain along with a drenching of espresso three minutes after my first sip of an uber-caffienated black coffee. Ryan knows the phone call that follows well. 🙂

A year ago. I think back to the wild ideas we had then. It’s a culmination of crazy dreams that now make up our reality.

I LOVE our life. The only way I can describe this strange feeling of just plain loving the life we’re living is like …ya know when you’re so mad that your blood is boiling?, well its sorta like that but the opposite. My blood is tingling with joy. All the time.

Yes, admittedly, if you drew my blood you’d probably find a staggaring level of caffeine. BUT STILL! The ideas, opportunities, and adventurous paths that can branch off of what this life is mind boggling to me!

And the Tiny House, yes, is a huge variable in that it has wheels. Wheels = opportunity and availability, new environments, new adventures.
But GOD is devine! He can do immeasurably more with our lives than we can ever even fathom. I could have pure espresso pumping through my veins and still not even come close!

This adventure didn’t start when we said Yes! to living in a Tiny House. It started when we realized our brokeness and incapability to continue of the path of debt, struggle, and insufficiency that we were on. God nudged us to give Him one piece of the puzzle, the house. Everything changed when we started praying for a house (ie. no mortgage). Yes, the mortgage is completely huge in our eyes but for God the puzzle piece was no different than any other.

God did amazing things with that puzzle piece! We started giving God control of more puzzle pieces and now I’m here telling you how my blood is tingling with joy! Yes, I know that is completely bizarro. Lol! But it is. Tingley, caffieney, Jesus-Praising, JOY!

Morph Speakers Rock!

September 7, 2015

A photo posted by Kim Kasl (@kimkasl) on

I love everything off-grid!
I also love everything small-footprint, minimalist, mindful, sustainable, crazy-creative, real, and pretty!

So, goodness, when I learned about Morph Speakers I (we, really) were so psyched!
Is it small? Check.
Will it use minimal electricity? Check (None, actually!)
Is it amazing!? Ha! Yes.
It is pretty? Yessir.
It meshes with everything Tiny House.

Truly, it blends with the whole organic vibe in our house, its raw wood like all the wood in our home, and it serves a purpose. We don’t have a tv and the computers are usually stashed away. So Ryan just pulls up Pandora on his cell, I use the TuneIn Radio app, and sets it up on the Morph and we rock out!

The sound is pretty impressive. I really, really, really love that it’s repurposed wood and that it requires no power. We’re getting so close to reaching the point of unplugging from The Grid! and we celebrate every little victory that supports that! So, *HighFive!*

A photo posted by Kim Kasl (@kimkasl) on

Engraved. Delicious!
Bless This Tiny House… as it totally rocks out.
Amen!

Dear People Who Live in Fancy Giant Houses :)

July 12, 2015

This post is in response to Lauren Modery’s post, “Dear People Who Live in Fancy Tiny Houses” in which she reference a picture of our home. (It would make most sense to read hers before reading mine.) I thought it only polite to write back!

Dear People Who Live in Fancy Giant Houses,
Do you actually love living in a fancy giant house?
You look so freakin’ happy in that gated community with the pools in every back yard, but c’mon, you can’t tell me that you don’t lie awake at night, your bedroom four floors from your childrens’ for fear of them overhearing your incredibly loud boinking, and think, How am I going to pay my mortgage?

Oh, geez. Seriously, though! It’s all in fun. The questions you ask in your blog post are, in fact, the questions that everyone asks. Everyone!

As a Mom in a Family of Four living in a Tiny House, I can tell you from 10 months of experience that the Tiny Life is quite wonderful and freeing. It’s a mix between completely normal and a vacation.

We are normal people. Nnnnnnorrrrrmalll. We even have cell phones, real ones, with email, facebook, and instagram (a highschooler asked me that once, I think he thought maybe we were Amish?.) Living a real, live, life. Farts and everything. (Really, not a problem. We have 11 windows in under 300 square feet. The airflow is pretty breezy.) The equivalent annoyance would be the sound of chewing. I cannot tolerate it. But I can remember this irritating me in the “Big House,” too (we downsized from 2000 square feet), and like most “How do you _____ in a Tiny House?” questions the answer is tagged along by, “but you experience a very similar or identical scenario in any living arrangement. AmIright?”

My house is definitely not clean all the time. This place gets pretty messy fast. The photo you used in your post was of our house the day we first saw it, before we moved in. Here is a picture of our house the day you posted your questions, ten months after the original pic was taken:

2015-07-11 19.14.55

More stuff! More homey, though. We’ve rearranged things a few times, continued to downsize to needs and favorites. No “just in case” items, they just represent fear. Our home is fearless! It is filled with joy and welcome! Though it is definitely not tour-ready all the time. The average American can invite someone to step inside without the risk of sharing immediate view of the dirty laundry basket, a sink full of dishes, and whatever project is laying out. That’s real life! So I guess we’re just really real.

Home ♡ #StoryJames ♡ #BlessThisTinyHouse #BlessThisTinyGirl #TinyKaslFamily #TinyHouse #TinyLife #TinyHouseNation

A post shared by Bless This Tiny House (@blessthistinyhouse) on

Right now our kids love the Tiny House. However they choose their dwellings in the future it’ll be shaped, like all children, by what we chose for their childhoods. We choose maximum life experiences over maximum storage for possessions. We choose financial freedom and gifting our time and resources to helping others rather than maintaining a large building and bills. We choose to use our home as a cozy place to relax and unwind after long days of playing outside, experiencing culture, and spending time out with family and friends rather than space to arrange electronics, collectibles, and decorations. Whatever form their homes take, this is their firm foundation.

Thank you for your well wishes of happiness! Years ago when we began planning for Tiny Living we only addressed the numbers. We didn’t realize it was so much more than that. God has a better! Bigger! plan for you than to have a big house and fill it with stuff! We’ve found that we’re really content with these contents. And I think that when you find contentment tiny things bring you Great Joy. 🙂

I must add, I wish happiness to all the Giant Housers of the world! I hope your mortgage is easy-peasy to pay off and your pool is often filled with joyful, swimming guests! Asking questions creates understanding and acceptance. Lets accept all kinds of safe, happy, joy-filled homes and pray that their dwellers achieve their goals and find their bliss.

Forever Home

April 23, 2015

The Tiny House is Our House.
This home will forever be ours. I love that.

I will never worry about resale value.
I can paint the walls and leave visible brush strokes, accidentally chip the sink and appreciate the new patina, enjoy the color variations of the wooden wine barrel bathtub that occur with more and more use, track our kids’ heights on the trim of the bathroom door, carve a blessing over the door with a wood burner, let Story take a crayon to her favorite stair on the steps, leave Sullivan’s blueberry fingerprint stains on the ceiling and call it art.
We can live here. And feel completely welcome and accepted in our own home.

When Ryan and I bought our first home all I could talk about was getting paint on the walls. I was so tired of renting white rooms. Seriously, signing the papers was exciting because I was finally going to paint my own house.

But once were moved in my reality quickly changed. Now all I could think about now was how much the paint would cost, how challenging it would be to do it right with little kids, and then after all that time, money, and love (I KNEW I would love it!), I would have to paint it white again (more expense!) in only 2-3 years when Ryan’s career would be changing and we would move.

Now our house moves with us. No more painting over what we leave behind.
The choices we make here will only effect us. Our ever-changing art project. We can screw hooks into the wall to dangle a small aquarium of goldfish, hang shelves in weird places, leave the wood raw and let it absorb a little history, Sullivan can stick a thousand stickers on his wall, I can write bible verses over my kids’ beds, Story can write in ‘cursive’ on her window sill.

We can make art, mistakes, and memories in our home and it will always be forgiven and never hidden.
Our Tiny House doesn’t have to look perfect for anyone else because it’s just perfect for us.