What happens when two siblings decide to buy tiny houses and live next door to one another? Ashley Monkhouse is here to tell us all about her tiny lifestyle. Even though the two sisters bought their tiny houses from the same builder, they are quite different. In this interview, we'll hear Ashley's tiny story, learn about the tiny house community where they live, and find out what advice Ashley would give herself if she could go back in time before she bought a tiny house.
In This Episode:
- What it’s like to live next door to a sibling
- Perks of living in a tiny house community
- Plumbing to think about
- Musings on maintenance and projects
- An enclosed loft can mitigate the “tunnel effect”
- Advice to prepare you for tiny living
Links and Resources:
This Week's Sponsor:
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Ashley designed her house so she could work in the living room
She shares her tiny home with her two dogs
She lives next door to her sister, who bought her tiny home at the same time
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 0:00
I feel like tiny house life is a lot more different and the culture's a lot different than van life. It's very different because we're not as mobile. We can move our houses and some people do move their houses constantly but most tiny houses don't move as often.
Ethan Waldman 0:15
What happens when two siblings decide to buy tiny houses and live next door to one another? Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 211 with Ashley Monkhouse Ashley Monkhouse is here to tell us all about her tiny lifestyle. Even though the two sisters bought their tiny houses from the same builder., they are quite different. In this interview, we'll hear Ashley's tiny story, learn about the tiny house community where they live, and find out what advice Ashley would give herself if she could go back in time before she bought a tiny house.
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All right, I am here with Ashley Monkhouse. Ashley is a tiny house dog mom with a focus on becoming a better person as she continues her tiny journey. With a degree in psychology and anthropology, she's all about understanding why she does things and learning from her history to create a better future. Ashley Monkhouse, welcome to the show.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 2:14
Hello, thank you for having me.
Ethan Waldman 2:18
You're very welcome. Thank you for being here. I've been following you on Instagram. I recently saw an awesome tour of your tiny house and your sister's tiny house. But I wanted to start with, you know, what got you into tiny living in the first place? What's your tiny story?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 2:36
Well, I think my story, I think it's pretty funny because it's all about being a sibling. Like my sister wanted to go and see tiny houses, she didn't want to go by herself. I went with her. And then I walked into one of the houses and I just thought it was the coolest thing in the world. And since she was getting one, I had to get one, you know. I can't be the only one left out. And that's kind of how I started in my tiny house journey. She was getting one because we did live together. And I was about to leave her and go live with my friend. She was trying to downsize.
Ethan Waldman 3:08
Okay, so you you went and saw a tiny house with your sister. And did you end up buying one first? Or did she?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 3:17
Well, we got them the same time technically, but we had two separate design meetings. Her's was first, and then mine. Just because you know they have to build it. It takes some time between them. So we both got them on the same day as well.
Ethan Waldman 3:31
And did you - you both worked with the same company?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 3:34
Yes, we did.
Ethan Waldman 3:35
Did you get a discount for buying two?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 3:38
No, I wish! You know tiny house in bulk discount.
Ethan Waldman 3:42
Seriously, I guess I guess if they had to build two different houses for you and your sister then, you know, yeah, maybe if they were gonna build the two exact same houses.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 3:51
It probably would have been a little bit cheaper. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman 3:54
You know, it's important to get what you want. That's that's custom for your needs.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 4:00
Yes, I totally agree.
Ethan Waldman 4:03
So tell tell us about your tiny house. You know, the stats, like how big is it? What are some of the features? Those kinds of things.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 4:11
So I do live in a 26 foot tiny house. It's about between 200 - 250 square feet because I only have one loft. I know some people have two lofts. And my house is mainly centered around my kitchen and my bathroom. For tiny houses. I have a pretty large kitchen because I love to cook and I just like love making new meals and trying new things in my kitchen. And then the bathroom because I love you know, putting on clothes and just getting dressed up and having a great time. I even have a bathtub in my tiny house.
Ethan Waldman 4:42
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 4:42
It fits me. I'm short. I'm five foot five. So I better be sitting down maybe not anybody else.
Ethan Waldman 4:49
That's awesome. And so So you love to cook so you have a big kitchen. And is the loft a sleeping loft or is it a downstairs bedroom and a storage loft.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 5:02
So my loft is a sleeping loft. That is where my bed is. It's mainly storage for my shoes. I love shoes. So I've turned my loft into kind of like a shoe haven, but it still have a full size bed and everything. So it's fun.
Ethan Waldman 5:19
The shoe loft. I love it. How long have you been living tiny now?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 5:25
So I've had my tiny house, I got it in 2018.
Ethan Waldman 5:29
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 5:30
I did move out of it for a couple of months, like a year, and then I moved back. So in total, it would be about two years since I've like lived at my tiny house like, fully lived in it by myself.
Ethan Waldman 5:44
Okay, that's, that's a pretty decent chunk of time. Why did you move out, may I ask?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 5:50
I just had a partner at the time. And it was just easier. And I was renting it out, though. Making that money.
Ethan Waldman 5:57
No. Yeah, yeah, that's that's the cool thing about tiny houses is that you don't necessarily always have to sell them if you're not gonna live there anymore.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 6:05
Yeah, I like still owning it.
Ethan Waldman 6:09
Yeah, totally. And so do you own the tiny house debt free?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 6:14
Yes, I do. Me and my sister, we both bought ours outright. So we just have like the lot rental and such like that.
Ethan Waldman 6:22
That's so awesome. Has like, I would imagine that of your peers, of your friends, you're probably the only or one of the only people who like owns their house outright.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 6:35
Yes. Yes, I am in. I mean, I can see it that way. But it's not like a house, in my mind, it doesn't seem like a house.
Ethan Waldman 6:45
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 6:45
So I'm like, yeah, technically, I do own my house. But it doesn't feel like it.
Ethan Waldman 6:52
It doesn't feel like a house?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 6:54
No. It just feels like, I don't know. It's like my bedroom. That's what it feels like my tiny house is just my big bedroom.
Ethan Waldman 7:02
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 7:04
Especially since my sister lives next door. That's her bedroom.
Ethan Waldman 7:07
Right. Yeah, that's, I love that aspect of your story that that you and your sister live next door. And so you really are able to spend a lot of time together, but you also still have your own space.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 7:22
Yeah, I do love that aspect. Me and my sister. We weren't always close growing up. But now we're getting a lot closer. And it's easier. When if something happens I just go next door and be like, "Hey, Alexis, watch my dogs real quick. I have to go do something."
Ethan Waldman 7:37
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 7:37
Just something like that.
Ethan Waldman 7:38
Yeah, no, it's, it's, it's great to have a sibling as a neighbor. As long as you get along well.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 7:41
Yes. And if we don't, you know, go back to your separate rooms and siblings, you always end up coming back together in the end.
Ethan Waldman 7:52
Yep. So can you tell us about your the tiny house, the community, the lot that you rent?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 8:01
My tiny house community. So I love where I'm living right now. I did live on a horse farm for a little bit with RVs, which was an experience. But the tiny house that I'm in right now, in the community, I really enjoy it. I think it's a beautiful place to be I get honey. Like sometimes, because they do have bees on the property, which is so much. It's so nice, since I have allergies, like having fresh honey is always great. And then the neighbors are just also nice, and we're always looking out for each other. And like if anyone sees something, we all talk about it and like, "Hey, do you know this person? You know what's going on here?" Just so that, you know, we all feel safe in the space.
Ethan Waldman 8:39
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 8:40
And I really enjoy that aspect.
Ethan Waldman 8:42
That's awesome. And so this this is like an official tiny house community. How many? How many houses are there?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 8:48
Yes, this is official tiny house community. I'm trying to think. Because almost all of the lots are filled up with a waiting list. I think there's about 12 houses 11?
Ethan Waldman 9:00
Wow. And and how much if you don't mind saying how much is the rent to have a spot?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 9:07
So the lat rental is $475 a month and that includes like water, electricity, sewage, like all those utilities. Like WiFi, you have to get it by yourself, but that's understandable.
Ethan Waldman 9:20
That's, that's awesome. That I mean, that seems like a great deal and you get to live with other tiny housers for better or for worse.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 9:30
We do learn a lot from each other because everyone's house go through different things at different stages. So it's easy and fun to converse and be like, "Hey, my house is doing this. If you guys just house okay, how do you guys fix this issue when you had it?" And just things like that.
Ethan Waldman 9:45
Totally. So, as somebody who studied anthropology, you know, what is your take on the tiny house culture, or do you do you see tiny house dwellers as be In kind of their own their own culture in a way?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 10:03
I really do, in my opinion, just because my sister watches like van life sometimes and like living in a Yurt, like she told me about it, she's the one that does the research. And I don't know, I feel like tiny house life is a lot more different. And the culture is a lot different than van life pr, like RV living or just like running or changing out a bus or Sprinter van. Like, it's very different. Because we're not as mobile, we can move houses. And so people do move their houses constantly. But most Tiny House tours that I've seen, they don't move as often. So it's like you get to be stationed and planted for a little bit. If you do choose to move in a little later time you do. But it's not something that you do like, every week, it's like you're moving. It's like every month, couple of months, even wait a year or two years and then move to a new city. It gives a completely different culture. And I enjoy it. I do like the stability part of it a little bit more.
Ethan Waldman 10:59
Yeah, I guess there's much less emphasis on that nomadic aspect, you know, when you're living in a tiny house on wheels, because there are a handful of people that I know of who are travelling in their tiny house or they're moving in every couple of months. But the vast majority of us park our tiny house for years at a time in one place.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 11:22
Yeah. And the tires, it's not that easy to haul either. A Sprinter van is a lot easier to haul.
Ethan Waldman 11:28
Yeah, yeah. And it has its own motor.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 11:33
I'd have to get a truck to move mine.
Ethan Waldman 11:35
Yep. So you've when you have moved it, you've hired a professional mover to do that?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 11:40
Yes, I've used the same one. Me and my sister both because we know he can get the job done. He's not extremely expensive. And it's from our builder. So it's like still a reputable person, not just a random, "Hey, do you want to move my house 100 miles?"
Ethan Waldman 11:54
Yep. Yep. And so in the community where you are you mentioned now I'm a warn you, I want to talk about the toilet, of course, because that's like such an interesting thing that everybody loves to talk about. So does your tiny house have a flush toilet?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 12:10
So I just installed a flush toilet, literally this weekend. I did it myself. Yeah, I'd had a composting toilet the whole time.
Ethan Waldman 12:19
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 12:20
Which was a little difficult at first,
Ethan Waldman 12:22
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 12:23
because you can't just go away can't like human waste, you can't do that. Right. You either have to compost it, which takes a really long time. Or you have to take it to a compost facility that does deal with human waste. And so finding that and doing that research was a little difficult. But once I got it, it was easy.
Ethan Waldman 12:42
And you so now you have a flush toilet does that, did they install, like the kind of the pipe in the floor for the toilet? Like when the house was built so that you'd have the option in the future?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 12:54
Yes. And that is something that I'm really glad that we did say that because they were like, "Do you want a flush toilet?" and I were like, "We don't know." My sister wanted a compost toilet. No, I'm just doing what she's doing. So I was like, "Yeah." But they did put the hookups in case we did want it and I'm so thankful because I installed this by myself. If I had to do all that plumbing, I would have had to pay someone to come do it.
Ethan Waldman 13:15
Yeah, as long as as long as the pipe is there installing a toilet is kind of a fun a fun job. You got that, you got that seal.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 13:22
It's a fun, I was fighting with my toilet. My toilet did not like me for the longest time. But it was fun to do projects. Like I'm still doing a lot more projects on my house this year. I'm excited to do it.
Ethan Waldman 13:35
Yeah, what kind of projects do you have coming up?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 13:37
So I am changing out my water heater because it didbreak on me a little while ago. And you know, thankfully,
Ethan Waldman 13:44
Is it a tank tank or tankless?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 13:47
It's a tankless water heater. So it did have natural gas, like it took, propane. But I think I'm switching to an electric one too. I feel like that's a lot easier overall.
Ethan Waldman 13:57
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 13:57
Because hooking up and taking down a propane tank is somewhat frustrating because I run out of hot water. And then I'm like, "Dang, I have to run to the gas station, get propane and hook you up in the middle of the night."
Ethan Waldman 14:09
Yeah, yeah, I have to say of all the systems in my tiny house the propane has been the most troublesome for me just in terms of running out of gas. Having it actually freeze up at times in the deep winter. Yeah, just Yeah. And then you have the whole like, question of you know, is it leaking and you needing to check it periodically?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 14:34
Yeah. Yeah, me I don't know I didn't know how to pick up a propane tank after all these years because it just was not working. But I also have to change out my fridge in my kitchen. I have to fix it because in the tour video, it my door opens up away from my kitchen and everybody, and when I say everybody I mean everybody, was telling me to flip the door around. You know it shouldn't have it open towards the kitchen. If I can do that, I've just been too lazy to do it. That'll be one of my next projects.
Ethan Waldman 15:04
Ah, okay. Okay.
I asked John and Finn Kernaghan of United Tiny House Association, what they love about their PrecisionTemp hot water heaters. And here's what they told me.
John Kernohan 15:14
Hey, Ethan. This is John and Fin Kernohan with the United Tiny House Association.
Fin Kernohan 15:14
We organized the Tiny House Festival
John Kernohan 15:14
Oh, yeah, I guess so.
Fin Kernohan 15:14
First and foremost.
John Kernohan 15:16
We have a total of three PrecisionTempon-demand hot water heaters. The thing we really like about these and folks know this, I think they picked this up on Fin and I, if we don't like something, you'll never hear us talk about it. So the two things we noticed that we noticed the experience immediately, they took painstaking effort to make sure that it was done right and installed. And so that was pretty cool right there. The other thing is the continuous on-demand hot water that just ran forever, without any fluctuations or anything. I can't imagine an application, especially in our environment and our lifestyle of being the nomad, transportable, mobile, tiny lifestyle where one of these units aren't good to use.
Ethan Waldman 16:15
Yeah, that's, I think that's a cool thing about tiny houses is that a lot of these handy projects are within reach. And yeah, you know, you might have to learn some things to do them. But the scale is smaller for everything.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 16:28
I think so as well. And I like being hands on and doing this stuff. Because I feel like once I learned the basics, which is what I feel like in the tiny house, nothing too extravagant. If I ever do go and get a full sized house, I can have at least some kind of understanding on these appliances. Like, I'd have to take apart my washer dryer combo so many times that I can take it apart and put it back together and not even think about it. Probably five minutes.
Ethan Waldman 16:54
What is what have you had to do? Like, why are you having to take it apart so often?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 16:59
Well, I had to do that because what happened was one of the hoses like it wasn't training properly, because I didn't know where to find the lint trap, because it's a washer dryer combo. And so it just like just got filled up, and I didn't know how to rinse it out. I fix it. I took it apart. I thought I did something. They went online, but about together. Nobody was still leaking. It was just a bunch of stuff. So it took me about a week to figure out what was actually wrong with it. Like, they don't sell just individual parts for this. So if it breaks breaks, I just have to get a whole new one because I know Yeah, I don't know what brand I ended up getting, but I got a brand that doesn't sell individual parts.
Ethan Waldman 17:41
That's no good. That's that's a tip to listeners, like make sure that you can get spare parts for the appliances that you buy.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 17:48
You don't think about them because they're not very common appliances like in the US anyways, washer dryer combos aren't that common. Washers and dryers are very common, but just the combination ones aren't. And so having to find the right one for that and such like that.
Ethan Waldman 18:04
One of the features that I really like about your tiny house is is the staircase. It's like it's like a diagonal bar that comes down from the wall and then you know this each stair tread is supported just in the middle. Is that a feature that's unique to to your house or?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 18:24
Yes, it is.
Ethan Waldman 18:25
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 18:25
Because the when I was designing my house I don't know if you've seen the tour or not but my house is very neutrals, it's very black, white, gray, I think I have like a little bit of like light blues in it.
Ethan Waldman 18:35
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 18:36
And to me I enjoy that but I also do like a little bit of warmth here there. My sister's house is very warm orange tones everywhere. So I was trying to figure out how to incorporate that like with wood whether that's in the stairs or like in the ceiling the floor and the person that was building my house he was like, "I have this great idea you know. What's your budget?" And thankfully me my sister had a pretty nice budget. He was like, "I'll just make you custom stairs." And so that's how I have their custom floating stairs. The're technically floating but in a tiny house, you need to make sure they're hooked up to something because if I want to move it we don't want it to fall.
Ethan Waldman 19:10
Okay then floating off of that one central kind of thing?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 19:11
Yeah, they're not even connected to the wall.
Ethan Waldman 19:13
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 19:13
They have fallen before.
Ethan Waldman 19:14
Okay, so they can actually come off?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 19:16
Yeah, I can unscrew them.
Ethan Waldman 19:18
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 19:22
If I wanted to.
Ethan Waldman 19:28
You don't do that when you move though they just stay where are they?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 19:31
Yeah, because the bar that is connected to is a steel bar and that is reinforced on the floor and the wall.
Ethan Waldman 19:36
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 19:37
But the stairs themselves if I ever wanted to change out the wood, or restain it or anything I'd just unscrew them all do that.
Ethan Waldman 19:46
And so your sister's house does not have that staircase?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 19:49
No, she has a more put in staircase like what you would typically see in a tiny house that's like attached to the wall usually have storage underneath. Her is underneath. It is like a reader's nook because she reads. Like I cook, she reads so she has a giant bookshelf in her house. She has a place to sit and read if she wants. I mean, she has a baby now. So she can't really do that. But yeah, she has a second loft. She has a ladder as well.
Ethan Waldman 20:16
Okay. Okay. And your loft is it's it's pretty generous sized. Because it's it's like, almost Well, it's not completely closed in but it's it's got like a half wall, right?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 20:29
Yeah. But me and my sister were just talking about this recently. My house anyway has very defined spaces, in a sense, like my kitchen, you can tell it's the kitchen, you can tell it's a living room, the bedroom as well, which the last is fully enclosed almost, you can just see a little bit on top and the staircase, you know, it's open under there the whole, but it's pretty secluded, like almost like a bedroom. Technically without a door.
Ethan Waldman 20:56
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 20:57
I'm very grateful that I built my house that way. Because sometimes it just feels like one giant room. And then it really doesn't feel like a house. At least to me anyways. So I'm thankful for that.
Ethan Waldman 21:09
Yeah, yeah, the tiny houses can get a real tunnel effect where it just feels like it's all this one big tube.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 21:18
Yes. Not always the most fun when you have that realization.
Ethan Waldman 21:22
Yeah, no, no. And having that separate space does help. I don't know. I gather from your your Instagram posts that you you work from home?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 21:33
Yes, I do.
Ethan Waldman 21:35
Do you have like a space that you specifically work in?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 21:39
Yes, I work in my living room. To me, it gives a lot of light and I see I almost have almost all of my windows. And I just, it's more of a comfortable space. I wouldn't want to work in my kitchen. And I wouldn't really want to work in my bedroom. I could if I wanted to. But I enjoy the living room aspect. Because when I'm in my living room, I'm actually doing something that's either on my computer or my phone, something electronic watching TV. So it just makes sense to have this also be my office space.
Ethan Waldman 22:11
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 22:12
When I was building my house, I designed my house to be in my living room and work because I was a student then. So I do have a desk technically in my tiny house in the living room for me to work on. It's just don't use it all that much.
Ethan Waldman 22:26
Yeah. And then in your kitchen. Are the appliances like full size? Or are they kind of RV size somewhere in between? So
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 22:38
I thought my appliances were full size, not my fridge. My fridge is a three quarter length fridge. But in my mind, I thought my washer dryer combo and my oven were like normal size until I go back to my house like my dad lives in. Yeah, they're not normal size at all. They're so small. So I think they're like I would say it's not RV size, it's a little bit bigger than that, because they are pretty standard. I have four burner stove, but it is a little on the smaller side.
Ethan Waldman 23:11
So you have an awesome, a couple of videos on YouTube. There's one that's called Sunday Clean With Me and you just like go through. It looks like mostly the kitchen, you know in the house too. And you pick up is that is that a weekly ritual for you?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 23:30
So usually on Sundays, that's when I do like my full clean once a month I deep clean which is like moving everything. Thankfully, it's not too much. I don't have a big house. So it's not hard to clean it. But like moving the oven stove, like doing all the laundry, set of sheets. That's like a once a month kind of thing. And but every Sunday night, I do like to start my Monday with a clean space, specifically a clean kitchen, because I kind of meal prep on Saturday and Sunday. So it's just good to make sure my kitchen is fully clean, ready for my week? Because it's just me it's usually not too much stuff.
Ethan Waldman 24:05
Right. Yeah, you seem you seem very well organized. So congratulations.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 24:11
I love being organized. I went to a Container Store with my sister a couple of weeks ago. The best time of my life. So much fun.
Ethan Waldman 24:18
I've never been to a Container Store.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 24:21
You have to go Yeah, I bought so much stuff. And they work well in a tiny house because being organized helps not feel like it's cluttered. I do have a lot of stuff.
Ethan Waldman 24:31
Yeah, it's important to not have all your stuff just like out. It needs to go in somewhere.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 24:37
Yeah. Plus, it makes it easier to feel present in the space when there's not too much going on around you. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman 24:47
Is there anything that surprised you about tiny living that that you weren't expecting?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 24:53
Yes. I don't know why I wasn't expecting this. But there are a lot of bugs when you're living tiny. Well, you notice them anyways.
Ethan Waldman 25:00
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 25:01
And I'm pretty sure that's because when you're in a normal sized house, you know, bugs are always there as well. It's just space isn't so small, you don't see them a lot. But spiders love trying to come into my house, mosquitoes love coming in my house, I had to put up a net and everything because they just love going into my house. And ants. So a big problem when it comes to tiny house living well, for me and my sister and our community anyways, they just come out of nowhere, they disappear, they come back. You could never just fully get rid of them.
Ethan Waldman 25:36
Alright, so bugs. If you could go back and give yourself pre-tiny house advice about your tiny house, what would you what would you tell yourself?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 25:50
Um, let's see, I think about this a lot. Actually, I would say be cautious of your electronics and your outlets, and where you'll be spending most of your time. Because most people like it my kitchen, I have a plethora of outlets like I cook in there a lot of always using appliances, it's great. In my living room, my outlets are so far away. Like if I was to plug in my phone I have to plug it in almost a classroom, which isn't too big, because it is a tiny house. But I can't just sit on the couch like some people just like be on my phone, I have to plug it in somewhere, have an extension cord of some sort, that you should really be cautious of, especially since we're very technology based society, you know, and I work from my house now. So it's like, I wish I had known that before.
Ethan Waldman 26:40
I so agree with you that, you know the outlets. When I when I designed and built mine. Like I thought I was putting in a lot of outlets. Yeah, like more than I needed. And then like, I don't have a half as many outlets as I need.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 26:54
Yes. See? You understand.
Ethan Waldman 26:57
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 26:58
And another I think I would have already built in storage, like I should buy or pay for or look where you want storage already built into your house.
Ethan Waldman 27:08
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 27:09
I have a lot of storage in my kitchen cabinet. But there's no actual storage in my house. In the living room. I have a couch that has storage in it. But there's no cubbies. There's no like shelves. It's just this rectangular piece of my house. Having to build it and put all that in is a little bit more of a hassle that I could have had done at the beginning.
Ethan Waldman 27:33
Yeah, yeah, totally. Do you have? You know, you mentioned maybe wanting a bigger house at some point is there like, a specific time that you're like, "Okay, after this many years, I think I'm gonna want to move on from tiny house living?" Or, you know, how are you just kind of taking it day by day, year by year?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 27:56
I think for me, there's not a specific time that I want to be out of my house.
Ethan Waldman 28:01
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 28:02
I just know personally, I can't have a family in my tiny house. My tiny house was not built for family living like at all. It was built for me to live as a single adult. And now I have a I do have a partner I am together with him. But I still own my space. And this is a great space that I still have by myself. My sister, I don't know how she does it. Her on her kid. My niece, love them. She's great in a tiny house. I can't do it. So I'll probably be out before I have kids.
Ethan Waldman 28:34
Okay, yeah, cuz that is it is quite a small space to share with with a young one.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 28:39
And, you know, if you build your house, in the hopes or in the aspect of having kids, then it's a lot easier. Like that was not in my plan at all. So there's no place for a child to sleep to play to run around. Yeah, I don't have any of that.
Ethan Waldman 28:58
But you do have a dog or or more than one dog?
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 29:01
I have two dogs. But they're little. Yes. So I have two dogs one is to Talula. They're both shih-tzus.
Ethan Waldman 29:09
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 29:09
Technically, I'm allergic to dogs. But I can't not have a dog. They're hypoallergenic. But I have Talula, she's nine years old. My little old lady.
Ethan Waldman 29:20
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 29:20
I have Chaos. He just turned two. He was my COVID baby. I got him during COVID.
Ethan Waldman 29:26
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 29:27
And he's also a shih-tzu. They just keep me company. Great in a tiny house.
Ethan Waldman 29:33
Talula and Chaos.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 29:34
Ethan Waldman 29:34
They're great names.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 29:35
Talula, we got her from the shelter so that was her name to begin with and Chaos, we got him on Craigslist. And if anyone ever sees him, he's just this big ball of chaos. You don't know what's gonna happen. You don't know if he's gonna run around. He's just gonna sit on you. You never know. We'll find out.
Ethan Waldman 29:53
So he's he's aptly named.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 29:55
Ethan Waldman 29:57
Nice. Well, one thing that I like to ask all my guests is, you know, what are two or three resources that have kind of helped you on your tiny house journey? This could be books, podcasts, YouTube channels, movies, you know, really anything, anything that's helped you that you'd like to kind of share with our listeners.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 30:17
So for me, what's helped me mainly was YouTube, although because YouTube was just very easily accessible back then, By back then I mean like 2018. Because it's like one of the main platforms at the time. And so using that, and just seeing how different people design their houses, seeing how different houses were laid out, there wasn't that much out there. But, you know, it was still enough to be able to be like, "Okay, I don't want an L shaped kitchen or my kitchen all on one side. I don't want my bathroom next to my kitchen." Like, I was able to do those and see those kind of things. And funny enough House Hunters was probably one of the biggest things that helped me, but not the tiny house hunting, it was just like regular house living. Yeah, just regular house hunters, because I was able to see the different designs that I would like in a house, because like I said, tiny houses, they weren't very common back then. So I can say, "Oh, I want a kitchen with white cabinets. But what kind of backsplash would go with that?" Just because it's a small space, doesn't mean they can't have the same aspects of a regular house. And then also, I guess this is more than two but Google. My sister Googled a lot. I don't know if some of the websites still out there that we used.
Ethan Waldman 31:33
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 31:33
But it was always like oh, information on plugging a tiny house and they would tell you, you know, try to be RV certified because then you can park in an RV park. Stuff like that just was really helpful. So typing in questions onto Google sometimes gave great resources.
Ethan Waldman 31:48
Nice. Well, that's that's a great thing. There's a lot of great Tiny House information available online.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 31:54
Yeah, it's becoming more popular now. It's becoming more accessible. More people are talking about it online.
Ethan Waldman 32:01
Nice. Nice. Well, Ashley, thank you so much for being a guest on the show today. This is it was really fun to get to know you and learn about your tiny house life.
Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse 32:11
It was fun. Thank you for the interest in having me on here. enjoy talking to people about tiny living so.
Ethan Waldman 32:18
Thank you so much to Ashley Monkhouse for being a guest on the show today. You can find the show notes including pictures of Ashley's tiny house and a complete transcript at thetinyhouse.net/211. Again, that's the thetinyhouse.net/211. Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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