It’s that time of year when we’re all looking for things to get for the loved ones on our holiday shopping list. People with tiny homes can be harder to shop for because they have so little space and such specific needs. Here’s a list of the things I use in my house everyday.
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A lot of tiny home dwellers use a laptop instead of a desktop PC. It takes up a lot less room, can be used off-grid and it’s portable. I have one, but I loved my dual-monitor setup far too much to give up my desktop. The Wali is perfect for mounting my monitors and moving them around for different applications. It holds my 27″ monitor perfectly! I’m able to put multiple applications up on both monitors and work more productively this way, Mounting the monitors on the wall means my available shelf space is free for other things. It also allows my desktop to serve as a TV or home theater and a gaming system.
I purchased this lap desk to put my keyboard on, but I’ve also used it with my laptop. It has a strong wire on the back to position the stand for the most comfort while working on your laptop and keeps it cool. It also keeps your lap cool! The drawer is shallow and short, but big enough for most of my pens or highlighters. Mine has a pen holder where this one’s cup holder is, but it’s too shallow to be useful on a regular basis. The desk, however, isn’t steady enough on a cushioned surface that I’d feel safe putting a cup on it, either. This is still a more useful space as designed. The lap desk is deep enough that I can cross my legs under it and folds down to two inches thick for storage or whenever I want my keyboard and mouse out of the way completely (like when my two year old is sitting by the computer!).
I admit to being indecisive, especially when ordering online. I bought this at the same time that I bought my SONGMICS laptop tray. I wasn’t confident about the height difference in either one and somehow reasoned that they’d both find a home. I’m not sorry I made that purchase! The Haotian stands 12 inches high while the SONGMICS is only 7 1/2 inches high. Twelve inches is a little too high for me to use comfortably with either my keyboard or my laptop, but it’s a perfect tabletop when I’m reading a book — I highlight and take notes — or writing a letter. It also has been my best table when I have company or just need a spot to put my drink. It makes a great end table, too! It would fold completely flat if it weren’t for the locking leg system underneath. The 1 1/2″ of space is does require allows me to slide it alongside a storage system easily. In short, I’m glad I have the two tables; they serve completely different functions in my house.
I love this mug so much that I own three of them! They keep things hot or cold, but this one just excels at keeping things hot. If I put my coffee in too hot, it will remain too hot to drink for well over an hour when closed. It doesn’t leak!. I have glasses in my house, but I never use them. A lot of tiny houses don’t have access to a microwave. Propane is expensive and if you’re on solar, you don’t want to be using your power reserves to reheat your coffee or tea. I have forgotten this on the counter on my way to work and come home to still-warm coffee.
If I’m honest, the Yeti outperforms this mug when it comes to keeping things warm. It’s worth the extra money for those of us that can keep it upright. I prefer the Contigo only because I can lay it on the seat next to me while I work and it’s not going to spill its contents. The Yeti lid is not tight-fitting, but it’s surprisingly effective for holding heat!
When you’re talking about using 20 to 24 oz mugs as your primary cup, a cocktail mixing spoon is a godsend! I use mine everyday. It’s great for getting the honey off the bottom in your tea or just for stirring in cream and sugar. It’s also quite useful for reaching the bottom of a pickle or olive jar!
If you haven’t tried coffee in a french press yet, you really need to. For tiny home dwellers, this is almost essential equipment. Put the coffee in the bottom, pour over boiling water and let it steep for 3-5 minutes. Press the plunger and the mesh captures all of the coffee grounds leaving you with delicious poured coffee. For the tiny home dweller, all you need is the ability to boil water. It takes up very little room on the counter or in a cupboard. I use mine daily. I’ve even used it to make loose leaf tea. It works just as well, although I had a beautiful glass teapot already.
For tiny home dwellers, the advantage of an induction cooktop is speed. Mine boils water faster than the gas stove by at least three minutes per three cups. It is at least a minute faster than my small electric burner and the cooking surface is bigger for larger pots. It loves cast iron, if that’s the preferred cookware, but also likes any pot or pan with a magnetic bottom. Because it cooks by magnetic power, the burner remains cool and can be stored away in a cupboard shortly after use. It’s fantastic!
Many tiny home dwellers are using the Mr. Heater Buddy heaters as backup heat in case of power outages or very cold days. We use the one-pound propane tanks to power a gas burner or gas camp stoves. It’s not an elegant gift, but one pound propane tanks are something almost all tiny house dwellers can use.