Dee Williams was living in a three-bedroom home in Portland, Oregon. When she was 40, Dee had a heart attack and was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition that can be fatal. She decided she didn’t want her time left here to be spent doing household chores. While in the doctor’s waiting room, Dee read a magazine article about Jay Shafer, a man who lived in a tiny house. She was taken with the idea of a much simpler life and shortly after she flew to Iowa City to meet with Jay. The rest is history.
Dee says she has found peace in her little house, and feels less fearful and more alive. She enjoys smelling raw cedar and knotty pine and listening to the weather. To find out more about Dee’s tiny house and the inspiring way she scaled back, you can read her book The Big Tiny: A Built It Myself Memoir.
She currently only owns 305 possessions and her house is 84 square feet. Without a mortgage, she only works part time and is able to travel and visit friends.
The stained-glass window from a church was found at a junk store.
Old cow bells are from the farm Dee grew up on in Missouri.
Her monthly housekeeping bills are about eight dollars, and it takes her about ten minutes to clean the entire house.
There’s a kitchen counter with a propane burner, but no oven or refrigerator.
The sleeping loft holds a full-size mattress.
The kitchen sink consists of a ceramic basin and a jug. A jar in the cabinet below catches waste water.
There’s a sink and a toilet, but without running water it means composting and no shower. When she wants a shower, Dee uses her neighbors.
Dee’s young neighbor, Oliver, loves playing in the tiny house.
Dee and Oliver prepare a vegetable garden next to the tiny house.
A solar panel powers everything in the house including her laptop.
Dee built the house in 2004 with the help of friends.
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