Sometimes, things don’t turn out the way we planned them, but it’s definitely not the end of the world when this happens. If you only adjust and make something out of whatever is available, things will naturally fall into place. This is what happened to a debt-ridden mom from Victoria, Australia, who was on the verge of being homeless after getting divorced.
Charlotte Sapwell, together with her two sons, was left with minimal housing options and monetary support from her former spouse. Her choices were to stay in her parents’ home, continue living with debt, or construct her own house on limited funds. Charlotte preferred to be out of financial obligation and, at the same time, live in her own house. So, she chose the last option.
She’s Kind of a Super-Mom
With $10,000 in her pocket, she was able to build a whole house. That’s a pretty great accomplishment, considering the current housing market. Plus, she has done this while taking care of her boys.
We were amazed by her effort and perseverance as we witnessed her journey through the Charlotte Sapwell – In the House That Mum Built, Charlotte’s Facebook page.
Practical and Cost Effective
Charlotte could have opted to buy a cheap house, or even rent one. But she perceived that along-with having a huge debt and the two kids, it would still be unmanageable and she needed to think of a better, long-lasting solution.
To do that, Charlotte embarked on an incredible DIY journey so she could provide a shelter for her family. In order to keep this project as cheap as possible, Charlotte decided to go with as many smart and cost-effective decision.
Special Thanks to Grandpa
As a single parent with a limited budget, Charlotte would have a hard time acquiring a new home, as real estates were in high value. Thanks to the small loan as well as to her grandpa who helped her all throughout the process, Charlotte was able to build a comfy home for her and her two boys.
Charlotte’s grandfather granted her a piece of his land. Presently, Charlotte is slowly paying off her debt to him little by little. Some of the appliances and furniture that were too big for her new home were sold, and the profit went directly to help fund the project.
It Took Some Convincing
Her grandfather was actually the one who suggested that she build a tiny home for her family. At first thought, Charlotte thought it’s a crazy idea, given how she failed at her Year 9 woodwork.
But after doing some thinking and researching, she was convinced this is the most practical and doable choice, which could make everything turn out much better.
Although she isn’t confident about her whole home building skillset, Charlotte definitely has an artistic side in her.
She is into a lot of creative activities like photography, sewing, and other activities that involve craftsmanship. She just took the first step and, literally, nailed it through.
Less Is More
In our standards today, in order for us to have a happy life, we must have many things, but the truth is, less can be more.
Most of the $10,000 Charlotte had were spent on construction materials. Whatever’s left was used to furnish the house. Even with furniture, Charlotte tried to be as creative and effective as possible. She purchased them from Kmart, Ikea, and flea markets. Then, she just reconditioned them to look new.
Going All In
Charlotte did all the tiling, plumbing, framing, electrical, roofing, and more. Not being an expert in these areas was never used as an excuse by her.
She learned what she had to learn and did what she needed to do, with, of course, the help of her two kiddos.
Two Little Assistants
Her two kids also help her by doing a few simple works. Charlotte needed a lot of time before she completed the DIY home.
Charlotte’s family temporarily lived in the building area while the construction was still ongoing, and necessities such as safe water and operational bathroom were being supplied.
Though the exterior may seem ordinary, the people living inside are what this house is all about.
Charlotte’s DIY home has a living area with a small kitchen and three other spaces – one is for her bedroom, the other one is for the kids’ bedroom. And a toilet.
In Debt to Her Kids
Charlotte expressed that she was in debt to her two “amazing” kids, and they deserved to have their own room.
She says that the two were always there for her, and ready every time she needed them during the construction stage.
Charlotte’s bedroom is in the same area where the kitchen, living, and dining area are placed. Despite having all this limited space, Charlotte uttered that she would do exactly the same way over and over again.
The picture above shows the view from Charlotte’s bed in which you can view the restroom, kitchen, living, and dining area.
Tiny, but Mighty
This is what Charlotte’s kitchen looks like. Instead of using cabinets, she went for open shelving to make it appear more spacious.
Charlotte made the right decision. When you’re living in a small house, every bit of space must be utilized for either function or storage space. Finding alternative and creative space-arrangement solutions is probably one of the main challenges small homeowners are dealing with.
There’s Still Room for a Mess
But as compared to bigger houses, she only has to clean a few things since they have a simple way of living. Charlotte’s story of perseverance to build a DIY house has empowered and inspired many other single moms in the same circumstances with her.
Charlotte confesses that she’s unsuccessful with her training courses in school, but having the guidance and assistance from her family enabled her to learn and not give up.
The Ice-Cream Stand
Charlotte is undeniably a supermom. To show how incredible this mom is, Charlotte has recently completed constructing one more little home that is available on the market.
A new motto was born: When you get to experience living in a small home, you’ll fall in love with it and not to look for anything else.
Living With Two Boys
Little houses are mesmerizing! It becomes fascinating when you need to stay in limited areas with children, and Charlotte did a great job adjusting to it.
This proves to the families in the same situation or people who are very curious about what’s it like living in a tiny home that it can be done. Plus, it is easy to clean and maintain.
Enjoying Every Bit of It
Charlotte loves how she can never be too away from her boys whenever they need anything, and cleaning the space is much more effortless.
From being so down and despondent, she felt proud and empowered with it all. She is indeed loving every bit of it.
Rising Above It All
Charlotte has been to grave financial struggles that she admittedly found to be in an embarrassing state of her life, especially that she isn’t the type that easily asks for help.
She has been used to doing things alone, and she feels it’s no one else’s responsibility to make sure her kids have roof over their heads. Now, after actually building them a house by herself, she has definitely risen above it all.
A Proud Single Mom
Charlotte gave birth to her second son in 2014, and just 5 weeks later, her husband left them. This made her confused, shocked, sad, and vulnerable.
She tried so hard to put her life together again and focused on practicing self-love and finding herself again. After having successfully overcome her struggles, she has become an inspiration indeed.
Her Take on Inspiration
For Charlotte, you don’t have to do anything extraordinary to become an inspiration. She personally supports single moms like her as their sacrifices are usually underrated.
For her, single moms are special, and the small and big things they single-handedly do are already inspirational.
Her Kids as Her Personal Inspiration
The faces of her kids always remind Charlotte why she should do what she does. They are her source of inspiration and motivation.
And most likely, the same goes with all mothers out there, especially those who are struggling with life and reality overall.
Never Hesitate Asking for Help
Life will never run out of struggles, and if things start to feel unbearable, Charlotte thinks we should never hesitate to reach out to others, both for financial and emotional support.
Charlotte once organized a fundraising project to save their tiny home. And in terms of emotional need, if you feel down, Charlotte stresses the importance of talking to someone who understands.
Tiny House for Sale
Charlotte sold a tiny house in 2018 and styled it so beautifully. She wants to continue promoting tiny homes as she believes that living tiny is now the move forward.
She encourages everyone to adopt this simple lifestyle and be the happiest in the tiniest home.
It’s Not Only Charlotte
In recent years, the feedback to small houses has been fantastic.
The reason is not only about their cute looks but also the practicality they can provide to their homeowners.
The Younger Generation Has Led the Market for Little Houses Primarily Due to the Economic Advantages.
The young generation is leading the market for little houses, primarily due to their financial benefits.
Due to the considerable amount of student loans they have to handle, millennials don’t have the capacity to buy customary homes.
The tiny homes industry has also gotten the interest of the baby-boomer generation. Owners of traditional houses are hooked up with the tiny-living way as well.
They are constructing small houses at their estates to serve as homes for guests or building them at their holidaying properties.
Eaiser to Maintain
Since tiny-homes are so easy to maintain, you’ll end up having much more spare time on your hands.
Being financially independent is appealing; moreover, people who spend the majority of their time at home, like self-employed people or stay at home moms, would also be more relaxed and happier knowing that there are only a few things to take care of.
Life on the Go
There are also mobile tiny-homes. These houses on wheels can transfer you – and your home – from one place to another.
RVs can work as well, but tiny houses on wheels feel like your real home. And they’re pretty awesome, as well.
Saving Space and Energy
However, you must also have a simple way of living as this probably might not work for you if you love hoarding too many things.
Power saving can lower down your cost of living, and it’s environmentally-friendly too. It’s a win-win situation for all.
The Disadvantages Can Become an Advantage
One disadvantage would be that you can’t store as many ingredients you want for meal plans. On the brighter side, you also have a smaller storage area for fast foods, which is bad for your health.
Purchasing fresh foods looks to be the path to follow in this way of living.
It Can Be Done
I am almost there to invest in the little house market. I am still daydreaming of the thought that there’s only a small mess to worry. A small home does not need to be your regular house if you’re not too keen on this type of
Living condition. You can just have it as your guest house, office, or retreat place. If I visit an acquaintance that has a small home intended for visitors, you know where I’ll be sleeping.
I may be attached to every item in my shoe collection, but in reality, I only need a pair or two to survive. I’m fine with losing a few of my things in return for living a minimalist lifestyle that is filled with simplicity and essentially, little joys.
If you’d like to live inside one, there’s a lot of information regarding small houses and simple living on numerous TV shows and resources online.
Try It out and See the Difference
You may be a couple of clicks away in achieving this kind of American dream, so don’t hesitate trying out new things.
Who knows? Maybe a small home lifestyle is really for you.