Hey kids, I’m back after another break to bring you some TINY HOUSE INVESTMENTS.
So let’s get right down to it..
1. Indoor Airer
Winter is now definitely here in the UK and one can no longer rely on outside weather to get things dry. Drying is the bottleneck of laundry – and since I gave up my beloved tumble dryer (it was the most environmentally friendly one I could find DON’T JUDGE ME!) to someone far more worthy and with space to put it in, it seemed it was time for an indoor airer.
This is a relatively simple purchase made ridiculously complicated by the number of choices – but ultimately it came down to these basic needs…
- Small enough to put away neatly, but big enough (and sturdy enough) to carry a full load of laundry
- Light enough to move easily
- Affordable (naturally)
This last one was not just to save the coffers – there is a good chance that I would be replacing the airer fairly soon depending on its performance so I didn’t want to go crazy.
And whereas there are some products – ovens, TVs, lawn-movers – that can be researched in terms of how well they perform, that’s not really the case with an airer. You’ve got to use it to prove it.
I was for a time contemplating a heated airer but didn’t for three reasons, firstly the extra cost – that wouldn’t have been a deal breaker, but for the second reason – the electricity usage (I’m trying to SAVE THE PLANET and I’m also on an electricity meter which can get expensive and annoying) and the third – they all weigh a TON. So, that idea was chucked out.
I eventually defaulted to my good old friend Wilkos (you may remember I bought my microwave there – and again, I am NOT getting any sponsorship from them…chance would be a fine thing!) buying their mid-range extendable model rather than the slightly rickety looking £8 colourful ones.
I did not regret my decision!
It fulfills all my needs so far – it is light and easily moved, folds away neatly and shows no signs of buckling even under a full lot of laundry.
Someone is interested…
However, all that said, this is NOT my ultimate solution – it takes up far too much floor space (i.e. it takes up SOME floor space – this is a tiny house after all) and constantly needs to be shifted back and forth to allow me to do other things.
In time I think I will be investing a wall-mounted rack like the ones that can be found at Julu or even a pulley system like those made by Pulleymaid – but for now I can recommend this airer!
2. Hand-Held Vacuum
We have talked before about my totally adorable and lovely and above all non-existent bunnies.
They don’t make much mess, all things considered. They are very good with their wees, they know exactly where to put them (and where not to put them, which is far more important) and their poop is inoffensive and easy to dispose of (in the compost, of course!).
But there is one thing that makes living with them very messy indeed: HAY.
Hay is the bane of my life.
It gets on my clothes, on my duvet, in my shoes, and of course all over the floor. And anyone who has had to work with it as I have will also know that despite its innocent appearance, bits of hay can act like splinters and be very painful.
Seriously. In my SOCKS. The only thing that should be in my socks are my feet. This is after being laundered, by the way.
Bar the bedroom, the tiny house is all hardfloor so 90% of the time a dustpan and brush or a broom are fine for this, but as I continued the cumulative hay influx (along with all the usual dust, grit and other flotsom) meant I needed something more serious.
Like the tumble dryer, the old vacuum, a Vax Air Pet Silence (it wasn’t AT ALL silent, just for the record) was far too big for the tiny house.
In fact, many vacuum cleaners, even small ones, are too big for someone living that tiny house life;I mean, how often do you vacuum? If you are ultra house-proud you might to it once a day. I’d bet most of us do it once a week, for about 20 to 40 minutes. That is a tiny amount of time to have a huge cumbersome machine taking up space in your house.
So, I started looking for small-form, hand-held vacuum cleaners.
‘Which?’ Magazine, usually a treasure trove of information, did not provide a huge amount of assistance, so I was more or less on my own – however, it soon became apparent why there was a dearth of information, even of ‘Which?’ – there are hardly any small form vacuum cleaners that are any good.
Most of them are very low powered, for use in cars, or they are handheld but plug into the mains (something I wanted to avoid). Also, the majority had the traditional ‘snout’ design, a wide nozzle which would be no good getting into small spaces i.e. exactly where dust is most likely to build up.
I cannot claim I wasn’t tempted to go the whole hog and buy one of those ultra swanky Dyson models, but at around £180…no. Plus I don’t think there are that great to look at – odd for Dyson.
So, after searching a while one model caught my eye: the Black and Decker Flexi.
This has a long flexible pipe like a regular vacuum which wraps round the body when not in use, and it’s small enough to comfortably fit almost anywhere.
I did eventually buy this one (as you can probably tell from the pictures) but one other model does merit a mention. Also Black and Decker, this is the ‘Pivot’.
It looks very cool, and as the name suggests, the ‘snout’ can pivot to almost any angle, effectively tackling the previous problem of getting into tight corners, and folds away onto a neat little stand when not in use.
But ultimate the Flexi was a little cheaper and more…well, flexible.
I got the 10.8V model – there is an 18V model available, but I thought the price mark up was a little too much to make it worth it.
It is teeny tiny – storage wise, I’ve barely had any trouble finding places to put it, it will neatly fit onto a table-top or into a cupboard.
And the suction is a-ok – it’s not super powerful, but it is not all all weedy – it has lifted a great deal of dust and, of course, the demon hay from my floors.
Of course with the smaller form and the lack of direct mains power, there is the issue of battery life – this model is reviewed as having a life between 15-20 minutes and takes several hours to charge. Now, I can tell you that I have tackled the worst areas of my tiny house and given it another once-over two or three times and still haven’t got through a single charge.
If you do need to hoover regularly, I’d say just treat it like a phone – charge it at night, it should be a-ok for the next cleaning. The only other issue – another common one from handheld vacuums, it doesn’t have much space for dust – but its so easy to empty that it shouldn’t prove massive problem.
Okay, so there’s two recommendations for your tiny house – if you have any other suggestions for future investments, please do let me know!