The Little House on the Prairie

The Little House on the Prairie

Tinyhome 14
Leslie’s home is 720-sqare-feet and includes a basement, main floor, and loft.

Take a walk through the front door of Aberdeen’s first tiny house

“I lived away from family for 17 years and decided it was time to fix that,” says Leslie Barbour. Leslie moved to Aberdeen from Texas about one year ago to be closer to her sister who lives here. She’s the director at CREATE Makerspace, cat mom to Jack and Betty, and now also a first-time homeowner. “I started to think about what I wanted to accomplish before I turned 40 and knew homeownership was on that list,” she says. Watching Tiny House Hunters on TV got her thinking that maybe the tiny-home lifestyle could work for her and help fulfill that goal of owning a home. After finding a lot in Aberdeen for a good price, she got busy searching for the right design. “I started looking at every website and blog I could find about tiny homes, trying to find ideas for what I wanted mine to look like,” she says. Eventually, she decided to base her plans on the Moschata Tiny House by The Small House Catalog, but included her own custom modifications, like adding a basement.

In December 2018, Leslie’s tiny home was finally move-in ready. She says the moving part was tricky at times, but that family and friends helped her along the way. Having lived overseas in the past, she knew how to significantly downsize her personal belongings. Still, a move into a 720-square-foot space takes a lot of introspection. “I brought in a few boxes at a time, unpacked them, then brought over a couple more boxes,” she explains.

The best part of living in her tiny home so far? “There’s so little to clean! And everything I own has been specifically chosen by me to have in my house, so that makes what I do own very special.” Leslie is honest about the challenges of tiny-home life too. Her bedroom is in the loft, and it was strange to sleep in such a high, open area right away. Keeping things clutter-free, maximizing storage, and hosting guests are other things she is learning as she goes. “I had a few panicked moments of claustrophobia when I first moved in, but those have long subsided. It’s very cozy and I really enjoy my little space.” // –Jenny Roth