Today is publication day for a book called Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480-Square Feet With Six Dogs, a Husband and One Remote — Plus More Stories of How You Can Too (Reader’s Digest Books). It’s written by my dear friend and colleague Kerri Fivecoat Campbell. She really does live in a TINY house in the mountains of Arkansas with several dogs. Because I’m sure you’re as curious as I am about how exactly that works, I asked Kerri for some tips on living in a tiny house with dogs.
A GUEST POST by Kerri Fivecoat Campbell
Many people ask me how we survive in 480 square feet with six dogs. One person even recently called us, “crazy,” in an online forum.
As I write in my book, Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480 Square Feet With Six Dogs, a Husband And One Remote…Plus, More Stories of How You Can, Too — When we moved to Our Little House, it was my dream to rescue as many dogs as we could possibly afford. We intended to build a larger home on our property and use the smaller cabin as my writing space and guest house. Sometimes, life has other plans. I still wanted to realize my dream of having one big dog family, so as opportunities presented themselves, we ended up at one time with six recycled (rescued) dogs. At times, we had as many as seven in our space with a couple of fosters.
It isn’t always easy, I describe our life in our home as a tactical game of “Twister” each time we get up, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here are 3 tips we’ve learned that might help others living in a small space with multiple animals:
1. Utilize pantry, garage and vertical spaces for dog items: Although we didn’t intend on living in our small home permanently, we did build pantry space and since we have land, we have garage space. We utilize this space for dog food and special equipment we need, such as an all terrain dog stroller for our geriatric dogs to ride in during walks. Canned food is stocked on shelves and dry food in bins. Leashes, collars and harnesses hang on a hook rack near the back door.
2. Use mats and slide those bowls: Mealtime can get tricky, especially when we have one dog that has had some food aggression issues. However, each dog has his/her own space to eat spread throughout the living room and kitchen area. Their bowls are also on plastic rimmed mats to help keep the mess in check. When they’re done eating, it’s easy to wipe up the mats, clean up the bowls and slide them under furniture out of the way until the next meal time.
3. No carpet: We live in the country, so even without dogs, I did not want carpet in our home. We have high quality, durable laminate flooring that looks like wood. Even with a variety of dogs walking and running through every day for nearly 13 years now, the floors still look brand new. Hard floors are also very easy to keep clean with a sweeper and a wet mop job once a day.
Living in 480 square feet, or any small space is doable with multiple dogs. It just takes a little forethought and planning.
If you are interested in reading Kerri’s book, I’m asking that you go buy your copy TODAY (or as soon as possible). It’s the BEST way to help Kerri’s book get off to a good start … if her book sells well these first few days.
If you’re interested in following Kerri’s ongoing Living Large story or you want to learn more about living in a tiny house, check out her blog which is also called Living Large in Our Little House.
You can also find her expert insights on tiny house living on Facebook – Living Large in Our Little House.