My family of three (my husband, son and I) live in an 800-square-foot log cabin (year-round!) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Our cabin was designed to be a vacation spot, not a full-time cabin. Regardless, we’ve found a few ways over the years to make it work for us in every season. If you’re thinking about jumping into cabin life year-round, or are just curious what it’s like — here are three big tips for living in a cabin all year long:
Make Your Floor Plan Functional
Many cabins (especially small ones) are designed as vacation or summer homes. Often they’re designed for spending small amounts of time indoors, and their floor plans reflect this. If you’re looking to live in a cabin year-round, transition your space from vacation home to full-time residence. Make your floor plan functional by creating spaces for all of the areas that you would have in a traditional home: dining, living, bedroom, etc. We live in a one-room cabin, and creating distinct spaces within our floor plan has been a process. It took us months to find the right furniture and configuration that made it feel like we had separate areas in our cabin. However, the effort wasn't wasted; creating separate areas for eating, cooking, lounging and sleeping is what made our cabin feel like a comfortable home yea-round.
A handy hack that we’ve found to smoothly transition from season to season is to maximize our storage by putting away out-of-season items. At the beginning of each season, store any items that you won’t need, and take out what you’ll use. For example, when cold weather comes: put away all of your warm-weather clothing, gear and decor. One of the things that surprised me most about cabin life was that it can be easy to accumulate things that take up space: necessary gear for different seasons, all the equipment for various activities, as well as clothing and decor. Store what you won’t use at the start of each season to create a fresh slate and free up space. Use creative storage solutions (like the ones mentioned here: Organizing a Small Cabin) to maximize your square footage and live comfortably year-round.
Perhaps the most daunting part of living in a cabin year-round is the winters. But with some careful preparation and the right heating solutions, most cabins are a cozy retreat for even the coldest weather. There are a few key items to address in your cabin when preparing for winter. Things like proper maintenance, insulation and heating are key. Research will help when it comes to preparing your cabin for winter. Here are a few helpful resources to get you started:
We’ve been able to make year-round cabin life work through careful preparation paired with trial-and-error. If you’re considering full-time cabin living, there’s only one way to make it work: take the leap and give it a try!
Megan lives with her husband and son in an 800-square-foot log cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. In search of a simpler pace of life, Megan and her husband took a leap of faith to pursue their own cabin dreams: they quit their jobs, sold what they own, and moved across the country from downtown Austin, TX to their mountainside cabin in Jackson Hole, WY.