A couple lives full-time in a 240-square-foot bus with 2 kids and dog – Insider


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Based in Washington, the Storey Tumlin family travels across the country in their tiny home on wheels.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

Sarah Storey and Melanie Tumlin live in a converted school bus with their dog and two kids.
Storey and Tumlin renovated the bus themselves. It has a living room, kitchen, and tiny bedrooms.
Take a look inside the big blue school bus where this family of 5 lives and works.
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Moms Sarah Storey and Melanie Tumlin transformed a school bus into a tiny home for their kids Baylor, 2, and Hayes, 4 months, as well as their dog, Lump.

The Storey Tumlin family is seen in front of their tiny home.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

“He’s been in the bus full time since he was a year and a half,” Melanie Tumlin said of her son, Baylor. “So he doesn’t really know much different.”Hayes has lived on the bus since she was born.

Storey and Tumlin prioritized having a spacious kitchen and cleverly carved out bedroom areas for each child in their tiny home on wheels.

The spacious kitchen and a kid’s bedroom are seen.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

Hanging shelves above his bed hold Baylor’s picture books.

The driver’s seat doubles as the office. The steering wheel is a perfect height and angle to serve as a laptop desk, and the shelving above holds desk supplies, like pens.

Tumlin and Storey’s workspace.

Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

Storey is a coordinator at a cocktail kit company based in Jacksonville, Florida, and Tumlin is an education consultant. They both work remotely from the bus since the pandemic hit.”One of the nice things about living small is that you are so immersed in the community by necessity. A lot of the time your office space might be the coffee shop down the street,” Tumlin said. “And those things sort of evaporated for us during the pandemic.”Working in the bus is one of the hardest parts of raising kids in a tiny space, they said. 

They try not to work at the same time so that one parent can hang out with the kids.

Hayes is seen on her mom’s lap during a workday.

Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

“If Sarah has a lot of emails to answer, she might take the first pass on that, and I’ll take the kids out for a walk,” Tumlin said.When it comes to video calls, the kids are often involved.”They just want to say hi to everybody,” Tumlin said.

During meals, they put a portable table between the couches.

The living room with the table set up.

Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

Under their cushions, the couches double as storage. One serves as a pantry while the other holds shoes and off-season clothing.

Storage space is seen beneath the storage cushions.

Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

Tumlin said they prioritized having a large kitchen space in their home because they enjoy cooking.

The family poses in the kitchen.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

Having the space to cook and to really involve our toddler is important to us,” Tumlin said. It’s Storey and Baylor’s job to make breakfast and coffee in the mornings.

Their kitchen has a two-burner propane stove and an air fryer toaster oven that runs on electricity.

The kitchen counter tops are seen.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

“If we were not hooked up to the grid, we could use our solar to run the electric oven and propane to run the stove and always be able to have a hot meal,” Tumlin said.

Past the kitchen, there’s a bathroom with a compost toilet and shower.

Baylor is seen next to the toilet in the bathroom.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

The kids’ rooms are past the bathroom.

Baylor’s room is seen from the bathroom.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

Each bedroom has three walls. Baylor’s room is on the right, and Hayes’ is separated by a narrow walkway on the left.

The kids’ rooms are seen.

Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

Baylor has a twin-sized bed next to a window. His dog, Lump, usually sleeps here with him.

The family relaxes on Baylor’s bed.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

Sometimes they use Baylor’s room as another living room.”There’s plenty of room for everyone to get toys out and play and cuddle on the bed,” Tumlin said.

Hayes sleeps across from Baylor in a bassinet next to the closet.

Hayes’ room is next to the closet.

Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

In the closet, everyone gets two drawers.

Tumlin and Storey’s bedroom is in the back, just past the kids’ rooms.

Hayes is on the bed.

Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

The bed is raised up over a 90-gallon water tank and a battery array for solar. 

As the kids tend to get up in the night, oftentimes Hayes will wake up in the big bed, while Storey ends up bunking with Baylor, Tumlin said.

Baylor and his moms pose on the bed.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

One of the best things about living small is being physically close to one another, Tumlin said.

Tumlin snaps a picture while Storey reads to Baylor.

Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

“Just having everybody close at hand is nice,” Tumlin said. 

Tumlin says the closeness helps keep everyone present.

Tumlin and Storey play with Baylor.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

“I think it really forces us to kind of take the time to set down what we’re doing and involve ourselves in the play,” Tumlin said. “It forces us to not mindlessly scroll because the play is happening right around us. I think it’s good for Baylor and for us.”

And at the end of the workday, the whole family always plays outside, no matter the weather.

The whole family hangs out outside.

Courtesy of Amber Fouts Photography

When he’s playing outside with his family, Baylor uses his imagination to make cities, playgrounds, and meals out of dirt, sticks, and rocks.Whether it’s raining or the sun is shining, Baylor will often spend time outside making wood chip pasta or mud coffee.


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