Meet Tammy Strobel

A new series of ‘Meet….’ articles focussing on a diverse range of individuals, who are all currently working in their own way to try and make a positive difference in the world.

Tammy is a writer, photographer and simple living enthusiast, and along with her husband Logan and their two cats, she recently continued her journey towards simpler, more minimal living by moving first into a minimally furnished apartment, and then into a ‘tiny house’.

Now a keen advocate for small space living, she blogs about her journey towards a simpler, more sustainable and debt free life on her blog Rowdy Kittens, and can also be found on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Seven years before, they were living a typical middle class lifestyle, but after a period doing voluntary work in Mexico, she came to realise how trivial most of her problems were. Inspired to transform their lives they sold their cars, gave away a lot of their ‘stuff’, cleared their debt and changed their work. Their new home is a mere 128 square feet in size.

Tammy writes:

“Once we sold our one remaining car, life became even better because we saved money and worked less. It sounds like a cliche, but without the car and the TV we had the time, money and energy to prioritize our health, happiness and life goals. For instance, I quit my day job in early 2010, started my own small business and moved to Portland, Oregon. Without simplicity, I would still be stuck in my cubicle.

I hope our personal story will help you remove clutter from your life, one step at a time.

Good luck in your own simple living quest. Above all, pursue happiness and not more stuff.”

 

Similar articles – Meet Shane ClaiborneMeet Ellen McArthurMeet Dale VinceMeet Jessica JackleyMeet KT TunstallMeet Toby Ord Meet Julia Butterfly Hill, Meet Doc Hendley

Photo from Rowdy Kittens

Comments

  1. Logan/Debs

    My own thinking, and the reason I so welcome examples such as yours and Tammy’s Logan, is not so that we can try to emulate them exactly of course, but more so we can both reflect on our own circumstances, and select and adapt aspects and elements that might work for us.

    We’re all individuals, and living in a tiny house with my two children, three chickens, cat and three violins (non of them mine) I suspect would very quickly lead to an increase in either the serious crime or mental health statistics !

    I’m also aware that we all have different ‘seasons of life’, if I can phrase it that way. You might remember Debs – Helen and me living in a tiny one bed ‘converted garage’ in Brighton for a while . . . which seemed fine at the time. Again, I need a bit more space now.

    Nice to have a bit of debate in the comments – but glad you guys are all happy bunnies again now :)

  2. That’s a lovely endorsement of Tammy, Katie. Regarding the idea itself, to be honest I don’t know what to make of it. On the one hand it strikes me as a healthy young person’s ideal – try being housebound for a few weeks and you will quickly learn the value of a fridge-freezer and enough books to keep you occupied, and I wonder what they’ll think of having the toilet so close to the kitchen when one of them gets a tummy bug? Also, this model of ‘not having stuff’ relies heavily on other people ‘having it’ – according to her website they rent the land they live on, shower at the local gym (so they’re both spending money on gym memberships), do their laundry at a nearby house, and guests stay either in their outhouse or at hotels – I wonder who pays? And as far as I can tell, Tammy’s business involves making money by selling her ‘simple living’ concept. I really don’t know whether this is true simplicity, or just outsourcing consumerism… I suspect there are multiple arguments on both sides of the debate and would be interested to know what other people think.

    • Hi Debs,

      Thanks for your interest in simple living! I wanted to address the concerns you left in the comment above.

      The story that Tammy tells on her blog is her own and she is not polemic of other lifestyles that you imply.

      Tammy and I are prepared to for emergency scenarios in which food and energy is scarce. It is indeed important to have reserve water, food, and entertainment at hand. For our situation a refrigerator and freezer is a luxury that our climate and habits have allowed us to forgo. Everyone’s situation is different and if someone is housebound for physical impairment issues, our lifestyle is of course not the best example. However, for those that are lucky enough to have the strength to get around by walking and biking we say “give it a try!”

      The kitchen sink drain is a far more common source of bacterial contamination and tummy bugs than the bathroom and it is much closer to all food prep areas. Frequent hand washing will address many of your concerns. We’ve done research and we are happy with the design of our tiny home. :)

      Regarding outsourcing, another word for this is called sharing, we learned this skill in kindergarden and it is a valuable tool. Your comment implies that we do not contribute to our community. To the contrary, we do our very best to volunteer in our community, pay our share of resource consumption, and invest in the future of our friends and family. Sharing allows us to maximize utility and meet more people in the process!

      Your skepticism is indeed warranted, but assuming the worst in others is rarely a good way to politely introduce an alternative perspective. :)

      Be well! Cheers, Logan.

      • Thanks Logan… sorry if I caused offence, I didn’t mean to come across as ‘assuming the worst’, I merely wanted to raise genuine discussion and had hoped that others would respond with alternative points of view – which you have, and actually your reply does clarify a lot of things. So I’m really grateful to you for taking the trouble to respond to the various points I raised. My own life story is one of having the opportunity to do this kind of thing cut short 8 years ago through an out-of-the-blue change in health circumstances and this obviously throws a different perspective on things. I hope you guys will be spared this kind of experience.

        On the plus side, you may be interested to know that reading this article has contributed to a huge decluttering frenzy at home, to the delight of my local charity shop – it’s contagious…

  3. I just love Tammy and have had the pleasure to “meet” her in my online life. She is truly a sweet and caring person who lives her life mindfully and with such grace. Thank you for profiling her and Logan. She is an example to all of us.

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