Outside of a tiny house in Atascadero, California

Using a compost toilet + 5 tips for staying in a tiny house

“I’ve made a mistake!” a friend, yelled from the tiny bathroom in the tiny house we’re staying at in Atascadero, CA.

Nana’s House has a compost toilet and neither I, nor my housemates, have experience with one of those. Thankfully the Airbnb host left instructions above the toilet. It’s sort of like a high-tech port-a-potty with a crank to turn the compost when you’ve finished your business.

Someone else was brave enough to try it first and share pointers for a successful experience. Overall, it’s pretty simple to use, but does begin to smell. Tips for using a compost toilet: make sure to leave the bathroom window open and keep the bathroom door closed.

Alright, enough potty-talk.

Like many, I’ve recently become intrigued with the tiny house movement. I love how a small space can be used so creatively. This is my first time staying in one, so I’m taking it all in!

This tiny house boasts two queen beds, a kitchen complete with mini fridge and toaster oven, and a bathroom with a full shower and of course the previously mentioned compost toilet. The ceiling is raw wood paneling and the walls are a pale grey with white accents. It’s clean, cozy and a nice place to rest your head at night.  

Outside, there’s a small front porch with a relaxing chair and a hammock that hangs between two trees in front of the house. Next to the house there is a glass patio table with four chairs each with matching red cushions.

Nana’s House sits underneath several oak trees and the neighbors are mule deer. If you leave the windows open at night (which I recommend because there’s no air conditioning) you might hear some deer munching away on the tall grass before the sun rises.

In the morning, the hosts for the Airbnb property will cook you a hot breakfast each morning for an additional fee. All you have to do is text in your order the night before. We didn’t take advantage of this amenity, but the menu looked appetizing and the hosts will happily cater to dietary restrictions.

I throughly enjoyed my stay in a tiny house and look forward to the next time I get to stay in one. We fit four people into Nana’s House that weekend and shared laughs as we bumped into each other, adapting to the small space.

After a weekend in the tiny house here’s a few things I can pass along:

  1. Pack light. For an obvious reason, there’s hardly any room for a large suitcase.
  2.  Keep your belongings relatively organized. Since it’s such a small living space, a tiny mess looks larger than normal.
  3.  Tread lightly. If you walk heavily or close a door too fast, the whole house will shake.
  4. Nothing is secret. The whole house can hear every noise you make from anywhere in the house.
  5. Last, but not least: Don’t forget to turn the wheel on the compost toilet!

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