All My Possessions at my Off the Grid Tiny House

I’ve been downsizing my life for more than 5 years and it’s been a very transitional process. For awhile, I went back and forth between getting rid of stuff and accumulating more stuff, but for at least the last 4 years I’ve been pretty much on the path of decreasing the amount of stuff that I have. Many times I would go through everything in my house and get rid of all the stuff I wasn’t using. My criteria would typically be if I hadn’t used something in 6 months or a year then I’d find a better home for it. A lot of the time that would result in me getting rid of as much as half of my stuff!

One of the biggest steps to downsizing for me was getting rid of my car. I found it extremely freeing to go pedal powered and it saved me a ton of money and also meant I spent a lot less time working to make making money. While living in San Diego, a big step was when I went from the biggest room in the house to sleeping in the 6×6 closet. By then almost all my personal possessions fit in there with me. Then, in January of 2015, I moved into this little tiny house that I bought used on Craigslist for $950. The idea was to live off the grid without a bill or debt to my name and that’s exactly what I did.

I wanted to know how many possessions I had at the house and it took me about an afternoon to list them all out and count them up to somewhere between 400 and 500 depending on how you count it. If I have 400 to 500 possessions today, I must have had 4,000 or 5,000 at my peak of ownership. And I can only imagine how many possessions many of my fellow Americans accumulate who live in houses. I would guess that many people have over 10,000 possessions without realizing it. I know when I was a kid we had over 1,000 VHS tapes alone in our house so we must have had 10’s of thousands of total possessions in the house between my mom and us four kids.

Anyway, I’m making this detailed list for a few reasons. First, I think it’s a great tool for someone who wants to really simplify their life and live in a tiny house. My list of possessions, of course, won’t reflect anyone else’s exactly but I imagine it would be really helpful for some. Second, because as a minimalist and advocate of simple living people ask me all the time about things that I own and this should be a great resource for people. I get a lot of questions about the house, my bike, the water filter etc. and I’ve documented all that here. Third, many of these items I have are to help me live an environmentally friendly life so this could serve anyone who is walking down a similar path. Fourth, as an exercise for myself as I was quite interested in knowing what I actually owned. And lastly, for anyone who is just simply interested.

I decided also to look into how much stuff that I have was purchased used or new as well as that I managed to get that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.  A * represents something that I purchased used such as at a thrift store, from Craigslist or eBay. A ** represents something that was going to waste and that I managed to put to good use. Examples of this would be from dumpster diving and finding stuff on the street.

I’ve linked to quite a few websites in here. The links will take you to more information about the possession. If I’ve linked to it then there’s a good chance that it’s a product that I support and would recommend. Some of the links also will take you to more information about the item or a tutorial.

For photos and visuals of the possessions, I’ve also included this video playlist that will cover the really important possessions. In this playlist, I gave a few tours of my off the grid tiny house that cover quite a few of the possessions that I listed. You can also check out all my blogs of The Teeny Greeny.

I moved on from The Teeny Greeny in January 2016, auctioned it off to make more tiny houses for people on the streets and now own just 111 possessions which are documented in detail here.

 

The House

50 square foot tiny house on trailer (built by Chris Scott of I-Wood International)*

 

“Living Room”

3 straw bails used as seats

3 burlap coffee sacks for seat covers

2 pillows with pillow cases

Fire pit (a cut barrel that I found in the dumpster with rocks from the beach)

“Birds nest” seat (bucket seat, pallet, bricks)

 

Outdoor Kitchen

Camp table and sink*

Propane stove and five-gallon propane tank*

Berkey filter (Travel Berkey with standard black filters plus fluoride filters)

2- five-gallon jugs for water**

Five-gallon bucket to catch grey water from sink**

Five-gallon bucket for food scraps to compost**

Soap bottle** with Dr. Bronner’s organic soap for dishes and hands

Spray bottle* with organic multipurpose cleaner (refill from bulk store)

Pot*, pan*, kettle**

Hempy scrubby (hemp dish scrubber)

Steel wool

Stand for Berkey filter (made of scrap wood** and metal stand**)

Rubbermaid storage locker used as my kitchen cabinet/ fridge*

The following is inside the storage locker:

Food storage- 18 mason jars (some found, some purchased 4 years ago), 3 old Kombucha jars**, 6 spice jars,

Baskets for produce**

2 plates, 2 bowls, 2 forks, 2 spoons, 1 spreading knife, 1 wooden spatula (*all)

Wood cutting board*

Good cutting knife

Multi-tool*

Nut milk bag

A few sprouting lids to sprout seeds

Neat-os reusable bags**

Orange juice press*

2 reusable grocery shopping bags

A few dishcloths and rags

Plastic ziplock bags** (only use these because I found a few unopened packs dumpster diving. I would not buy or accept these for free as I don’t support disposable items)

Lighter** (found on street)

Supplies to brew my own Kombucha– 1 gallon pickle jar**, 6 GT’s Kombucha bottles**, funnel

 

Bathroom

Bamboo reed fencing for walls*, metal poles** and bamboo poles** for support

Compost toilet (made of scrap wood**, screws, hinges*, 2 five-gallon buckets**, and a toilet seat)

Cabinet* with a bowl*, pitcher*, and cup* as a sink

Metal turtle decoration**

Mirror

 

Compost Bin

(made of 3 pallets**, scrap wood**, some nails, screws and metal wire, plastic tarp to cover it, 4 bricks to hold tarp down**,)

 

Wicking bed garden

(made of scrap wood**, screws, burlap sacks**, rocks from the beach, pvc pipe, and plastic base layer)

 

Rainwater Harvesting gutter and downspout I installed on my neighbors roof 

6 55-gallon drums*

Connection kit from Blue Barrel Systems (PVC glue, silicone, PVC joints, spouts, etc.)

PVC piping

 

Bicycle

Bamboo road bike (from Bamboosero.com / CalfeeDesign.com)

Rear bike rack (Old Man Mountain)

Panniers (Ortlieb Back Roller Classics)

Hub dynamo for generating energy from pedaling

Inner tubes, 2 tire levers, chain lube, patch kit, lock, pump, multi-tool, helmet, bike lights

 

Electronics and Technology

Goal Zero solar kit (Nomad 20 solar panel and Sherpa 50 Powerpack)

Endless Sun solar kit (Apollo 36 Solar Panel and Titan 86 Powerpack)*

Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel

Headlamp and USB charging chord (Black Diamond Revolt)

Luminoodle string light and Lithium 4400 battery (charged by solar panel)

Computer, computer case, charging cord

ipod touch, headphones, charger, plugin (all*)

External hard drive

Go Pro and accessories and usb charger (all*)

Snowball ice sound recorder*

Canon 5D Mark II, 2 lenses card reader, manual, battery charger (all*)

Little electronic scale

2 SD card readers*

Hand crank light

Camera tripod*

 

Clothing

Almost all of my clothing is Patagonia brand because they are one of the most ethically and environmentally sound clothing companies I know of. I wear their clothes because to me it represents ethical business and using business as a means to effect positive environmental and social change.

4 pairs of pants

4 pairs of shorts

2 pairs of board shorts

3 pairs running shorts

11 t-shirts

6 long sleeve shirts

2 other shirts

5 jackets

1 vest

6 hats (3 ball caps, 1 full brim, 2 winter)

5 pairs of underwear

1 pair of biking underwear

1 belt

1 headband

3 scarfs

2 pairs of shoes (xero shoes and Merrel Barefoot)

6 bracelets

3 necklaces

2 pars of socks (one long and one short)

1 pair of long underwear

2 pairs yoga shorts

 

Hygiene, Body Care, Pleasantness in House

Toothpaste (Jason Powersmile)

Toothbrush

4 essential oils (tea tree, Texas cedar wood, lemon eucalyptus, lavendar)

Dr. Bronners soap bottle

Soap nuts This is a natural form of laundry soap

Fingernail clippers

Electric hair and beard cutter

Massage oil

Earplugs

Sunscreen

quick-dry towel

dental floss**

Sage, Palo Santo, and incense

Bottle with water and essential oils to use as air spray**

(For more on my personal hygiene read: My Natural Personal Hygiene)

 

Inside the house- decorations, sentimental items, and random things

Futon*

Bedding- Sheet set*, 2 pillow cases**, blanket*

Curtains, curtain rods** (sticks from the yard)

3 beeswax candles**

Lighter for candles**

Cushion seat

21 books* (see Books that I recommend for a list of some of them)

A handful of my book, Dude Making a Difference, to give to friends

6 baskets**

Wooden box chest**

Incense bowl*

2 shot glasses used as incense burners

21 small keepsakes and decorations from around the world (11 figurines from Mexico, Israel, and Africa, magnet from Turkey, pewter Earth, Africa man, gourd from Africa, 6 batiks from Africa, wooden mask from Indonesia, stone globe sculpture)

10 keepsake cards and photos

6 stones*

Stamp Stampede stamp to get money out of politics

Owl feather**

2 harmonicas*

Baoding Balls (my oldest possession, have had since 3rd grade)

Paper Tibetan box

Key to house

Folder of MSC papers

Checks

Library card

Birth certificate and Social Security card

Passport

Drivers license

Car2go card

Notebook

Cash

Coins and coin bag*

Stickers

 

Camping Gear (used some of this at home and around town too)

Osprey Kestrel 38 backpack

Tent

2 Sleeping bags

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping mat

Pillow

Sawyer Mini water filter– I recommend this one for traveling around the world

Paracord

Water bladder

Dry compression sacks

3 straps

Travel plate, bowl, utensils

Travel pot

Bivy sack

 

Miscellaneous Possessions

Jump rope*

Stretch band*

Gymnastic rings*

Burlap coffee sacks**

Thank you cards, envelopes, and stamps

Scrubba wash bag for doing laundry off the grid

Yoga mat*

Hobo roll

Wet suit

Cardboard sign from Free Ride**

Swimming goggles

Vegetable and flower Seeds

Money suit 

Patagonia Frisbee

Sarong

Small scissors*

Surgical sutures to stitch myself if needed tweezers

Mini sewing kit*

A few pens*

Reusable water bottle

2 storage bins*

More Msc- twist ties**, rubber bands, sand paper, measuring tape*, super glue, work gloves, fishing line

Screws and nails

Paint roller, tray, and paintbrushes**

Hammer*

Paint scrub brush

Hatchet

Metal wire

Bees wax and candlewick to make my own candles

Hinges*

Rattrap

Level**

Saw*

Leftover paint*

Plant buckets*

Plant pots*

Note: I typically borrowed other people’s tools rather than having my own such as an electric screw driver, shovel, and hoe

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My creations are free to redistribute under a Creative Commons License. See this link for more details. My life and my work are for the greater good of all. I’ve vowed to donate 90% of my media income to environmental and social causes including the income from my TV show and my book.

If you’d like to donate to my work you can do so through my nonprofit, Happy Healthy and Free. Happiness, health, and freedom to you!