2.21.2016

storing materials for a tiny house?

thrifted commercial enameled cast-iron bathroom sink on living room floor

A few weekends ago, I found a small commercial cast-iron drop-in sink for my tiny house at Red, White, and Blue Thrift, half off. It's now sitting on the floor in the living room. Last weekend at RWB I scooped up a new-in-box IKEA wooden toilet paper roll holder. A couple weeks ago at Goodwill Outlet (aka the Bins), I snagged a small vanity light strip for the tiny house bathroom. Last week at Teen Challenge I picked up some three-inch vanity bulbs for that same light strip. At Goodwill I've since scored a set of glazed ceramic electrical socket covers (nicer than the ubiquitous beige plastic ones), a new pair of stainless-steel washing machine hoses, and a brand-new Miller paint roller cover. Jeff donated a barely used toilet seat—don't worry, it's been sanitized—for which to DIY a compostable toilet later on (something like this one). And so it will continue as I gather pieces of the tiny house, bit by secondhand bit.

But where to put it all? The would-be builder, my step-father, lives five-and-a-half hours away in southern Oregon at the opposite end of our large state. So the tiny house will be constructed down there on the border of California, while I and my secondhand-material sources will be up here in Portland, on the border of Washington. There's the dilemma.

My temporary storage options are limited. Unfortunately, our duplex apartment is already a too-tight fit. As part of our informal rental agreement, my friend and roommate Jeff has the garage all to himself as a workshop, and it's forever stuffed full of vintage furniture projects rotating in his queue, awaiting various levels of refinishing before they head up to his shop space (A6) at Hawthorne Vintage Modern. So since we don't have any extra room here at home—no spare bedroom, no attic, no basement, no storage shed, and a fully packed garage—I'll eventually need to look elsewhere to store my tiny house materials. For now, they are neatly lining the hallway, in bags.

Renting a small storage unit would be a quick and easy fix but an expensive one, negating all those hard-won secondhand savings. So that option is out. Jeff's mother lives nearby and has a garage full of yet more of Jeff's furniture. I might be able to work something out with her, but that would mean Jeff would need to get going on his backlogged stock. Other than that, I'm about out of ideas.

My step-father gets free gasoline as a perk of his job in the petroleum industry. Maybe he would be willing to drive up and pick up a load of materials whenever our house gets full? If anyone has other ideas, please share!

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