I’m Ida, 32 years old living in the south of Norway with my cat Teo. Originally I’m from Sweden, but I moved to Norway 3 years ago because I wanted to try living here, closer to nature and the possibilities to go skiing more often. (I’m from the south of Sweden near Malmö, means far away from my favorite hobby – cross country skiing).
Teo is 6 years old and has a little special story. He was born on my parent’s farm in Sweden, and his mother disappeared when he was just 2 weeks old. Normally cats can’t make it when they are so young without a mother. It was him and one sister and no mother. My sister Elin and I were visiting our parents that week and decided to try rescuing the cats. We gave them milk with tiny dolls bottle and googled “how to make 2-week old cats survive without a cat mom”. Teo’s sister died. And then it was just Teo. We took him inside the house and continued feeding him and taking care of him. He survived! So this miracle cat survived and then when he was few months old, he moved in with me in my apartment I rented in Gothenburg. Humans have raised him, and I think that’s also why he got some human things he does, like opening doors. So when I was beginning to look for buying a home, I was looking for a place where both Teo and myself would like living in.
I have watched the documentary Minimalism (Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus) at least 50 times. In the beginning, I was fascinated by the new way of seeing things. It inspired me to start organizing the wardrobe. Then every time I watched it, I saw the documentary with new eyes. Then I started to get rid of things in the apartment that I didn’t use longer. Sold things, gave away to my friends. I started to ask myself: this thing, do I love it and use it often? Or would this thing have better use in someone else’s home? It got easier to get rid of things with time. It was in that documentary I crossed the idea of a tiny house on wheels.
The documentary inspired me to start thinking of this as an optional way of living. I had decided and saved money to buy something. First I thought about an apartment but when I came across the idea of living in a tiny house I started to think more and more about it.
I first thought I should hire a carpenter and build it myself. But then I realized that I wanted a new home very soon (I got so tired of living in other people’s home and renting for 15 years) so I started google tiny house in Norway. I came across one company and felt like they had something I really liked. Their houses looked like homes, not just houses.
They had a model I liked, and then I could make some changes to get it as I wanted.
I wanted a place for Teo’s toilet, so we had to think of a good solution. I thought about having it in one of the doors for storage, and so I drew a door with a cat opening, and they made it like that. It was the first thing Teo went to the day he first walked into the house. All building process was 4 months.
The idea behind the design was that it should feel like a home, even if it’s small. I have chosen the kitchen details, bench, and floors, which is a bit special. I like it when it looks a bit old, like the kitchen sink. And of course the cat-toilet. The couch is a nice touch, but also has a lot of storage under the seats. You can also extend it out and have two guests over and sleep. On the sides, there are storage and usb chargers. My favorite part of the house is the couch. Usually, I sit on it with a cup of tea, with Teo beside me. I can accommodate up to three guests.
The location is 16 km outside the city Tønsberg in the south of Norway. (90 km south of Oslo). I went cross country skiing in the area and fell in love with the forest and the lovely surroundings. Both the forest and the open fields reminded me of the surroundings I had when I grew up (in Sweden). As I don’t have a car it was also important to have a bus stop near the place where I was going to place my tiny house.
So first I jumped on the bus, to see where it stopped. Then I took my bike and knocked on doors on houses that were close by the bus stops. In the meantime, I was checking Facebook pages from the area. Suddenly, on one of the pages I found I guy that I knew, I have danced salsa with at the salsa club. I asked him if he lived in the area and explained that I was looking for a place to park my new house. He had a farm in the area and wanted to have me as his neighbor. My monthly rent is 2500 NOK ca 240USD.
Downsizing process was challenging for me, but with time it got easier. It’s a procedure you have to learn. To hold an item in your hand and ask yourself, can you live without this thing? Do you love it? Or maybe this item can get a better more useful life with someone else?
I love long showers, and in the beginning, I learned that I could take long showers, but after I have to fill up the water tank.
The best thing is waking up with the sunrise over the fields, opening the window, and listening to the birds sing. You are more a part of nature if it rains, you hear it, same with wind or snow. And when the sun comes out, you grab a teacup and sit down outside on the staircase.
My cat loves the tiny house as he can sit by all the windows and watch the life outside.
That feeling that this house is mine is the best. I have never owned a house or an apartment. But this beautiful home is mine. So I can do whatever I want, put up things on the walls, make a cat toilet. I choose, it’s my house! I have less stress in my life because I live closer to nature, but also because I finally have my own home. Another good thing is that if I find out I want to live somewhere else, I can just move the house.
I worked so hard to get the money so I could buy the house. I had extra jobs besides my regular 100 % job. But it was worth it.
If you are interested in going tiny, just do it! Begin to sell and minimize long before you are going to move. Start changing your cleaning and body products to more sustainable products when your old one is empty.
Think of where you want to live and work hard and be creative to get that dream come true. Ask a friend/family member if you can have some storage on their loft where you can put clothes that are out of season. Like: skis in the summertime and your grandma’s old table if you don’t want to get rid of it. 🙂
Follow my and Teo’s journey on Instagram: mikrohus_4seasons
Watch Ida’s tiny house tour on our YouTube channel!