On Friday, Dec 30th we moved T42 to her new spot where we're Creating a New Tiny Cohousing Community. Most years I make the transition between one year and the next with some quiet days of contemplation, reflection, and intention setting. This year Isha and I did those things, too, but our days weren't exactly quiet. Instead, we had two tiny houses in motion, which meant figuring, patience, a decent amount of physical labor in cold temperatures, and a lot of deep breaths.
Today during our Simply Home Community Work Party, we moved my tiny house, The Lucky Penny, from its original spot, tucked between The Rustic and The Big House to another location on the property.
I had already secured things inside before our work party began. This process involved:
- bungee-cording my tansu drawers shut,
- setting my dish rack and toaster oven safely out of harm's way,
- removing heavy items from the upper cupboards and tucking them into My Teeny, Tiny Tub with my towels packed around them,
- popping my half-pint jars into the drawers of My Plug-and-Play Kitchen, and
- nestling the copper canisters I found on my Tiny House Treasure Hunt into the space between the mattress and the wall
During the work party we started out by clearing the new space and setting aside the storage totes I keep under my house. Aline and Lindsey pruned the pear and plum trees on either side of my new spot and cleared away the brush. Then we flipped up My Flip-Up Front Porch and hooked the tongue of My Custom Vardo Trailer to the tiny house mover - a power dolly that has moved many a tiny house at this point.
I was going to captain the move, but I wasn’t big enough. Really and truly. I don’t have the weight to keep the power dolly on the ground! So Tony did the maneuvering for the tiny move for my tiny house. Isha, Jake, and I spotted the front and sides of the house while Tony pulled the house out from its spot and got it pointed down the path.
All was going pretty well until we hit The Hiccup. (In my experience, it’s not uncommon to encounter The Hiccup when you’re moving a tiny house on a piece of property!) In this case, The Hiccup was that one of the wheels got caught in a sinkhole where the soil was loose. The whole house pitched to one side, the wheel spinning in place. The jack on one corner was nearly touching the ground and the house was so tilted to the north that all my kitchen drawers were wide open. (Fortunately, the kitchen drawers all have stops so they couldn’t actually fall out!) We were literally stuck in a rut!
We took a brief break to fortify with burritos from the place around the corner. Just then, Karin returned from a work party at Good Life Medicine Center and pointed us to The Other bottle jack. It took us nearly an hour of minuscule tweaks to jack The Lucky Penny up high enough to wedge concrete chunks underneath and get traction. Fortunately, we worked well together as a team and we managed to get the house oriented properly in its new spot just as our first guests were arriving for our monthly Tiny House Community Tour. Karin helped me level the house enough that the drawers would stay shut so people could come inside to look at her. There will still be some details to sort out as I settle into my new spot, but so far I’m glad Home is (Still) Where Your Heart Is.
Thank you so much to everyone who has followed up to ask how the move went. The tiny has landed. I repeat. The tiny has landed. Everything went according to plan and The Lucky Penny has Come (Simply) Home. On Monday morning my build buddy Laura Klement arrived before dawn to pick up me and the tiny house mover. The tiny house mover is a power dolly that has helped many tiny houses in Portland nestle into their spots. We weren’t sure we would need it to wrangle The Lucky Penny out of her parking spot at Green Anchors but we didn’t want to need it and not have it, so we brought it along.
Once we arrived at Green Anchors we secured things inside the tiny house, using scrap pieces of rigid foam to pad the tansu. We tucked the stairs inside. Then we strapped My Flip-Up Front Porch into its traveling position. We hooked two ratchet straps to each other and passed them through the kitchen windows then closed the windows, exited the house, flipped up the porch, and joined the two pieces of ratchet strap and cinched them tightly. We put chucks in front and back of the wheels and lowered the tiny house from its jacked-up position onto its wheels. The final detail was screwing a piece of blocking into the windowsill of the arched window to ensure that the arched window would stay closed.
When Morgan from Gerlock Towing arrived he assured us that it wouldn’t be a problem for him to get The Lucky Penny out of her spot. So we hefted the tiny house mover back into Laura’s car and then filled in the space around it with tools and supplies while we were waiting for Morgan to get the house secured to his truck.
The move itself went quite smoothly. We went the long way to avoid hauling the tiny house up Baltimore Street but it was just fine on the more gradual slope. After that, it was nearly a straight shot from Green Anchors to Simply Home Community. Laura and I followed behind in her car and we got a kick out of watching people’s reactions. There were definitely a few double takes but it was amazing how few people actually noticed. It made me realize I should be paying more attention when I’m out walking. Otherwise you may never know when a tiny house is cruising down the road past you! Of course, it may be that tiny houses are becoming so ubiquitous in Portland, Oregon – tiny house capital of the universe – that people don’t bat an eye anymore!
In either case, Morgan helped get The Lucky Penny off the street and backed into the spot between the house and the garage before he headed out again. Then we hauled the tiny house mover out of the back of Laura’s car and Tony navigated the Lucky Penny into her spot with the help of spotters all around. I was lucky my landies were having a work party and stopped to help my little house get tucked between the big house and the greenery that separates my house from The Rustic, the next tiny house over. Hooray for community (and people who are already familiar with tiny houses and their quirks!)
There’s a lot of work left to do before I’m ready to shift my belongings from my room in The Big House to The Lucky Penny. But I’m already enthralled by the way being tucked in the garden has made for awesome views. I think we’ll really like it here!