Family of Four in 400sf- CRIBS Edition

Do you remember the MTV show Cribs? THIS IS MEANT TO BE A SATIRE! 😉 Cheese and rice… Ok, here we go…

What’s up, friends!houseToday, we’re taking you inside our 400sf crib

DSC_0007To get inside, you gotta pass by these fly whips.DSC_0028

You can’t get anything like these from those auto strip malls…DSC_0029Look at this custom paint job!

DSC_0033The garage door goes up

but we won’t scar your eyes with our garage sale aftermath….



…we’ve made it through the chaos! Before we enter, check out this shoe storage! Door organizers are this tiny home’s best friend. 

Seriously, wait until you see how many doors we have!

Alright, let’s go inside and check it out!


We’ll turn you around, now facing the garage door. To the right, you’ll see our kitchen sink and stacked washer and dryer. To the left (not pictured) is the door to upstairs.

DSC_1937This space wasn’t made for stacked machines or a sink but we make do with what we have. Mr. P’s mother gave us this brilliant idea of the hanging pole. We’re able to hang our clothes right away!

DSC_1944We are able to use the dishwasher upstairs, so we rinse off dishes and keep them under the sink in a storage bin. We’ll miss this luxury!

The closet under the stairs has been shelved for a pantry. Notice another door organizer!

DSC_1941This pantry used to be overflowing with couponing crap. While I do enjoy a good deal, I was thoroughly upset when I realized none of it was food. Yes, I was completely blind but now I see! Now, it holds a little overflow. We’re in the midst of researching root cellars. Have you seen the septic tank root cellar?


The bathroom door holds the medical door organizer. June has her own section of rags to clean the bathroom counter once a day. Keeping our tiny area clean makes a world of difference! The shelves hold all of our soap making stuff and glass jar collection

DSC_0076Here is a peak into our outdated bathroom. We make our own hand soap, deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, body wash, and shampoo. I love picking up unique jars from garage sales. Thanks for cleaning, June! 

Next to the closet with the ironing board that never gets used, is our family cork board. June’s been keeping the countdown to Mr. Pathfinder’s ETS date since day 530. 170 days and a wake up!

Alright… Enough messing around… And behind door number 5… drum roll, please! ::Door creeks open::   dsc_0138dsc_0141dsc_0143

 Welcome to our crib! 

We’ll start at the hub of our operation…dsc_0130

The DINNER Table

DSC_2499At least 5 times a day, this is where all the grubbin’ goes down!

 DSC_2500Mmm, Organic!

Pathfinders LOVE Burrito Bowl Salad Night!

The CRAFT Table

DSC_2622June is in the middle of building a decorative birdhouse.


DSC_2616 DSC_2613

We’re really excited to see them learn. June has picked up typing as her first extracurricular activity. Soon we will start Sign Language again.


DSC_2601 DSC_2603

Drawing is June’s favorite pastime. She loves instructional books. She and Mr. Pathfinder can sketch for hours.

The GAMING Table

DSC_1483Imagination flies when we bust out the RPG! Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is our favorite family entertainment!

The WORK Table

DSC_1550Mr. Pathfinder and I like to set ourselves up all comfy-like before Interneting next to each other.

Speaking of school and crafts

DSC_2495…the learnin’ materials were recently decked out with some labels...

Mr.P has started teaching June on the weekends and now she is able to set up her learning session before he settles down.

DSC_2486 The Littles have endless supplies of crafts!

We got glitter glue, puff paintbeads, pipe cleaners, felt, hot glue, Elmers glue, and stick glue. Two drawers are full of acrylic paints in every color you can think of! There’s wood crafts, lanyards, scissors with patterns and scissors without patterns, stickers, crafting kits, play-doh, and SO MUCH PAPER!!!

DSC_2483When we’re ballin‘ out on our weekend shopping sprees, we spend mad ¢Lincolns¢ to fill those bins with colorin’ supplies!

Pathfinders don’t mess around when it comes to creativity!

… and guess the best part of it all…

Everything was purchased at garage sales! We didn’t spend more than $100 for all of it!

Check out $Penny-wise$ for more about our savings!


Hittin’ the Books!

…between the supplies drawers, you’ll see the kidsbookshelfDSC_0062It’s incredible how neat the house stays when everything has a home.


Above the kids’ stuff, we display a bunch of books on the shelves Mr. Pathfinder has dubbed…

The Pathfinder Shelf

DSC_2492Notice the box way up there, where sticky fingers can’t reach?

To him, this entire wall is dedicated to Pathfinder and everything else is encroaching.

~You’re a Wizzard, Harry~

DSC_2481I spent a total of $15 on hundreds of family fun hours!

Ballin’ on a Budget!

Mr. Pathfinder reads to June and Pants every night before bed.

He started with the Harry Potter series and when he would finish a book, we would watch the movie. He took a break from Harry Potter and read the Deltora series. Now they are back to The Order of the Pheonix.


We white-washed the fireplace and painted the walls for a quick update.DSC_2528100_0976        Check out this before picture of when we were buying the house.

It’s crazy that a family room has transformed into our main quarters. I’m very excited to decorate the cabin! Don’t worry, you’ll see it soon. Its unfinished interior leaves me with endless possibilities!

You may notice the pictures are only framed backgrounds.Once we move to our cabin in the woods, we will stencil significant numbers of our journey.
Childproofing the Fireplace: To make it less drab, I burned a pirate map into the plywood, stained the border, and used a whitewash technique with the paint.







Almost time for the Littlesbedrooms!

DSC_1632As I bring you over here to the far corner of our living room where the kids sleep, I’m going to show you something special

We built this loft (an Ana White plan) back in the day when Pinterest first graced the internet. I had seen some really neat ideas with Christmas lights and with a little creativity and WAY too many drilled holes later, I designed…

DSC_1611   …this starry night ceiling.

Let’s start with Junes room...


June’s room holds all the family games.DSC_2557DSC_2558 Almost all of these have been secondhand finds, the rest gifts. When buying games secondhand, check the boxes for all the pieces before purchasing!


June made sure her shelves were neat and tidy so we could post her chapter books. We are all proud of her academic growth. Since we started homeschooling June, she has jumped two grades in reading.

DSC_2563I’m not sure why Pants has his own bed. He and June have slumber parties almost every night. It can be sickening how sweet they are. June reads to him until he distracts her with toys… Then it’s chit chatting until 9.

We’re glad we are doing this when the kids are so small. It would feel allot more cramped if Pants had a larger bed.


I really have to label those toy boxes too. It’s incredible how much cleaner the house is when the kids don’t have any excuses for why their stuff isn’t put away properly!


Mr. Pathfinder rigged a mount for the projector. Because of those awesome blackout curtains, movies are rewards that can happen at any timeDSC_1575



Our kids have it pretty rough… Just kidding! …but they are limited to what they are allowed to watch. Anyone have any suggestions for movies? Think Box Car Children.

Café Éclaireur




Let’s start to the left, in front of the children’s rooms. Here, we have our space heater tucked next to our little produce hutch that we picked up off Craigslist for $40. I’m looking forward to refinishing it. It also houses random kitchen things, our “junk drawer,” and office supplies.

DSC_0050Under the counter is our dried bulk food. Beans, peas, and grains really help us stretch our grocery budget. We also store our…

kitchen appliances!

DSC_0053If a meal needs more than this, it isn’t on the menu.

I miss baking so much, we’ve added baked treats to our regular grocery list.


This cabinet holds all of our “ready-made” snacks. Nuts, granola, pretzels, and such. I love the food storage containers! Amazon usually has these on sale. Make sure to buy the pack. They can be pricey if bought individually.

DSC_1657Not shown, we recently went crazy at the grocery store and brought in a bunch of unhealthy food. Not my finest moment but it happens sometimes. 

You might also notice the missing glass on the cabinet doors. Sheets of glass in a small space with young children didn’t seem like a safe idea.DSC_1658

All of our dishes fit in one small cabinet. Some are in the wash but there are 3 sets for each of us. 

DSC_1668Here is a magnetic DIY spice rack.

This is one of my favorite space savers! Cooking can be rough in such a small space but having a variety of spices and herbs helps liven up meals.



Mr. and Mrs. Pathfinder’s Room


This wall holds all of the artwork we’ve acquired. Believe me, we know it looks silly like this! We did it for the same reason as the kitchen cabinets: the children! We didn’t want broken glass or damaged art.

Here is where we lay our heads at night and where the kids end up every morning.DSC_0088

This dresser holds a portion of the family’s clothes. Because the kids are small, they use two drawers each. Four people in one dresser and a closet. I’ll do a blog post on our clothes and how it saves us money.  DSC_0086                 

Did you notice the stairs? Since we are in the basement, the windows are at ground level. We originally wanted to build stairs for our dogs so they wouldn’t trek through the upstairs with muddy paws. It turned out to be a common exit for the whole family.

Oh, and don’t forget the fancy filing cabinet nightstand! It’s magnetic. 🙂

Outside the Window

Here is a little patio area outside of our bedroom. It’s nothing spectacular but it’s secluded from the common areas, it cost us $10 to put it together, and it gives me a private area to work outside. dsc_0150We use a free pallet as the floor. The awesome cast iron chairs were given to us when we bought the bottom kitchen cabinets. The bistro table is another craigslist find (where we spent the $10). 90% of the backyard has a privacy fence. Recently, Mr. Pathfinder and I zip tied bamboo, found in a free pile at a garage sale, to the chainlink fence for extra privacy. We were surprised by how much we like it! The doghouse in the back is an unfinished project made of scrap materials.

The Garden

Mr. Pathfinder refinished my great-grandmother’s bench for my 30th birthday. She and her husband would enjoy the sun as they sat on their bench, watching the cars go by.


Mr. Pathfinder’s father bought us the greenhouse from Harbor Freight. We normally stay away from box stores but would recommend it as an inexpensive, premade greenhouse with a moderately easy setup. Many reviewers complain about sheets flying away in the wind, but if you wedge the panels, it can be left up year-round in areas with mild winters.


We had a very unsuccessful garden this year due to our lack of care. While we are aware that growing food is like growing money, the majority of our efforts this season has gone towards buying a property and saving money. We are looking forward to next season when we are on our land and have more time.

I could write about our space for eternity

DSC_2611We’re not rich… we don’t have a ton of nice things…. there is still allot of work to be done…. and sometimes we’re climbing the walls in our little home, literally….

We hope sharing how we live inspires others to make the best of the sacrifices.

Your dreams are worth it!

Thank you for taking a tour of our home! We hope you enjoyed it and it gave you a few ideas. You can look forward to a future Tiny Cabin: Cribs Edition. Follow us on Facebook at PathfindersForOffGridHappiness. For more ideas on how to save money check out Penny-wise. If you are on your path to off-grid happiness, we’ve put together a series of questions to ask yourself during the planning phase. Good luck on your journey!





4 thoughts on “Family of Four in 400sf- CRIBS Edition

  1. Oh my goodness. I love this, it’s great! And REALLY inspiring! I have been interested in going off grid, but it seems very daunting. It’s wonderful to be able to go on this journey with you through your blog. It makes it seem doable! I enjoy how your writing brings people in and makes us invested in your world, but also gives tips on how to do it ourselves.Very well done. I am impressed!
    P.S. The humor is spot on. 😉

    1. Hi, Ms. Ashley!
      Sorry for the late response. Thank you for the kind words! You have no idea how much it means to me. Hope to see you again in the comments and thank you for tuning in!
      -Mrs. P

  2. Enjoyed the tour of your current small living space. Very thorough how layout flows and so well organized. Lots of great ideas utilizing the space you have. The kids, mom & dad space is their own. Everything else has its function & place. Your blog, pictures & your presentation makes every idea …a well thought idea…Can’t wait for future blogs & of course the great move!

    1. Thank you, Ms. Elaine! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Our hopes are to encourage others to follow their dreams and make the necessary sacrifices bearable. We actually like living in close quarters. When we lived upstairs, we would travel through the house in one large group. It just made sense to downsize! 🙂 Thank you for tuning in and leaving a comment. We love hearing from you!

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