Family-of-six who live in 500-square-foot SHED and use BUCKET as a toilet open up about rustic life

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A family-of-six who live in a 500-square-foot shed full time and use a bucket as a toilet have opened up about their rustic lifestyle, explaining how it’s helped them ‘spend more quality time together’ and made them ‘financially stable.’

Jessica Taylor, 30, and her husband, Lath, 42, decided to sell their three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Arkansas – which they had lived in for 10 years – back in 2020, after both of them lost their jobs in the restaurant business amid the COVID-19 pandemic and began facing financial struggles.

The couple, along with their four young kids, aged three to nine, then moved into a 500-square-foot shed.

They purchased the tiny storage unit – meant for holding tools – for $6,000 at a roadside hardware stand, placed it onto Jessica’s mom’s six-acre property in Tennessee, and they soon got to work on transforming it into their dream home.

The pair put in an addition $7,000, and spent two years renovating it, and now, it has two floors, electricity, running water, a heat and cooling system, privacy walls, and an outdoor porch.

Family-of-six who live in 500-square-foot SHED and use BUCKET as a toilet open up about rustic life

A family-of-six who live in a 500-square-foot shed full time and use a bucket as a toilet have opened up about their rustic lifestyle

Jessica Taylor, 30, and her husband, Lath, 42, decided to sell their three-bedroom, two-bathroom home (pictured) in Arkansas - which they had lived in for 10 years - back in 2020

Jessica Taylor, 30, and her husband, Lath, 42, decided to sell their three-bedroom, two-bathroom home (pictured) in Arkansas - which they had lived in for 10 years - back in 2020

Jessica Taylor, 30, and her husband, Lath, 42, decided to sell their three-bedroom, two-bathroom home (pictured) in Arkansas – which they had lived in for 10 years – back in 2020

The couple, along with their four young kids, aged three to nine, then moved into a 500-square-foot shed

The couple, along with their four young kids, aged three to nine, then moved into a 500-square-foot shed

The couple, along with their four young kids, aged three to nine, then moved into a 500-square-foot shed

They purchased the tiny storage unit - meant for holding tools - for $6,000 at a roadside hardware stand, and plopped it onto Jessica's mom's six-acre property in Tennessee

They purchased the tiny storage unit - meant for holding tools - for $6,000 at a roadside hardware stand, and plopped it onto Jessica's mom's six-acre property in Tennessee

They purchased the tiny storage unit - meant for holding tools - for $6,000 at a roadside hardware stand, and plopped it onto Jessica's mom's six-acre property in Tennessee

They purchased the tiny storage unit - meant for holding tools - for $6,000 at a roadside hardware stand, and plopped it onto Jessica's mom's six-acre property in Tennessee

They purchased the tiny storage unit – meant for holding tools – for $6,000 at a roadside hardware stand, and plopped it onto Jessica’s mom’s six-acre property in Tennessee

However, the one thing it does not have is a working toilet. Instead, the family does their business in a bucket outdoors, and they then have to cover the waste with woodchips after they’re finished.

They soon got to work on transforming it into their dream home – the pair put in an addition $7,000, and spent two years renovating it

‘One of the things people find really weird about us living in a shed is that we use a composting bathroom rather than a traditional toilet,’ Jessica told the New York Post recently. 

‘It’s a bucket system. And [when] you [go to the bathroom], you cover it with woodchips each time. 

‘After two days, whether the bucket is full or not, we dump [the waste] into a composting bin in the woods, and then after a couple of years, [the waste] turns into soil for ornamental plants.’

The family often share a glimpse into their shed life on their TikTok account, known as LivingTinyHomestead, where they have gained more than 66,000 followers followers. 

In one video, Jessica spoke further about their unconventional bathroom, explaining that they have one bucket for ‘going’ and another for the woodchips, which are placed side by side in an outhouse.

Now, it has two floors, electricity, running water, a heat and cooling system, privacy walls, and an outdoor porch

Now, it has two floors, electricity, running water, a heat and cooling system, privacy walls, and an outdoor porch

Now, it has two floors, electricity, running water, a heat and cooling system, privacy walls, and an outdoor porch

Now, it has two floors, electricity, running water, a heat and cooling system, privacy walls, and an outdoor porch

Now, it has two floors, electricity, running water, a heat and cooling system, privacy walls, and an outdoor porch

In the small kitchen there's a stainless steel refrigerator and an electric stove, while the living room contains a 65-inch flat-screen TV

In the small kitchen there's a stainless steel refrigerator and an electric stove, while the living room contains a 65-inch flat-screen TV

In the small kitchen there’s a stainless steel refrigerator and an electric stove, while the living room contains a 65-inch flat-screen TV

They use foldout futons as beds, and some of the kids sleep in the upstairs loft

They use foldout futons as beds, and some of the kids sleep in the upstairs loft

They use foldout futons as beds, and some of the kids sleep in the upstairs loft

They use foldout futons as beds, and some of the kids sleep in the upstairs loft

They use foldout futons as beds, and some of the kids sleep in the upstairs loft

A plank of wood with a toilet seat built into it covers the bucket to make it more comfortable. 

‘You go, you put some [woodchips] on top of your go. You cover it really well, and I promise it doesn’t smell. It’s not gross, the [woodchips] help with soaking up any liquids and really help with the smell,’ she explained.

As for showering, they get clean surrounded by nature. Jessica revealed that they use a retractable faucet which extends from an outdoor sink to a large metal tub.

They previously purchased a $4,000 well, which is where they get the water from.

According to the mom-of-four, she and her family are much happier now that they get to spend their time ‘enjoying nature rather than working to afford lavish accommodations.’

However, the one thing it does not have is a working toilet. Instead, the family does their business in a bucket outdoors, and they then have to cover the waste with woodchips

However, the one thing it does not have is a working toilet. Instead, the family does their business in a bucket outdoors, and they then have to cover the waste with woodchips

However, the one thing it does not have is a working toilet. Instead, the family does their business in a bucket outdoors, and they then have to cover the waste with woodchips

Jessica explained that they have one bucket for 'going' and another for the woodchips, which are placed side by side in an outhouse

Jessica explained that they have one bucket for 'going' and another for the woodchips, which are placed side by side in an outhouse

Jessica explained that they have one bucket for ‘going’ and another for the woodchips, which are placed side by side in an outhouse

'You cover it really well, and I promise it doesn't smell. It's not gross, the [woodchips] help with soaking up any liquids and really help with the smell,' she explained

'You cover it really well, and I promise it doesn't smell. It's not gross, the [woodchips] help with soaking up any liquids and really help with the smell,' she explained

‘You cover it really well, and I promise it doesn’t smell. It’s not gross, the [woodchips] help with soaking up any liquids and really help with the smell,’ she explained

As for showering, they get clean surrounded by nature. Jessica revealed that they use a retractable faucet which extends from an outdoor sink

As for showering, they get clean surrounded by nature. Jessica revealed that they use a retractable faucet which extends from an outdoor sink

As for showering, they get clean surrounded by nature. Jessica revealed that they use a retractable faucet which extends from an outdoor sink

As for showering, they get clean surrounded by nature. Jessica revealed that they use a retractable faucet which extends from an outdoor sink

As for showering, they get clean surrounded by nature. Jessica revealed that they use a retractable faucet which extends from an outdoor sink to a large metal tub

‘Right after the pandemic hit, me and Lath lost our jobs at a restaurant where we’d worked for years,’ she said to the Post.

‘Before that, we were renting a big $1,100 brick house in Arkansas, but we just couldn’t afford it and our other household bills anymore.

‘More and more people are breaking free from the mindset that you have to have the big expensive, fancy house to feel like they’re making it.

‘There’s value in living modestly. We’re able to spend more time together gardening and enjoying nature rather than working to afford lavish accommodations.’

Jessica, who is now a stay-at-home mom, explained that their average cost per month is around $400, and they use money from tax returns, stimulus checks, and unemployment to get by. 

According to the mom-of-four, she and her family are much happier now that they get to spend their time 'enjoying nature rather than working to afford lavish accommodations'

According to the mom-of-four, she and her family are much happier now that they get to spend their time 'enjoying nature rather than working to afford lavish accommodations'

According to the mom-of-four, she and her family are much happier now that they get to spend their time 'enjoying nature rather than working to afford lavish accommodations'

According to the mom-of-four, she and her family are much happier now that they get to spend their time 'enjoying nature rather than working to afford lavish accommodations'

According to the mom-of-four, she and her family are much happier now that they get to spend their time ‘enjoying nature rather than working to afford lavish accommodations’

Jessica, who is now a stay-at-home mom, explained that their average cost per month is around $400, and they use money from tax returns and unemployment to get by

Jessica, who is now a stay-at-home mom, explained that their average cost per month is around $400, and they use money from tax returns and unemployment to get by

Jessica, who is now a stay-at-home mom, explained that their average cost per month is around $400, and they use money from tax returns and unemployment to get by

They also save money by growing much of their own food in their garden and raising chickens, which provide them with eggs

They also save money by growing much of their own food in their garden and raising chickens, which provide them with eggs

They also save money by growing much of their own food in their garden and raising chickens, which provide them with eggs

They also save money by growing much of their own food in their garden and raising chickens, which provide them with eggs

They also save money by growing much of their own food in their garden and raising chickens, which provide them with eggs

They also save money by growing much of their own food in their garden and raising chickens, which provide them with eggs. 

They recently purchased a second shed for $11,000, and plan to expand their living situation even further

They recently purchased a second shed for $11,000, and plan to expand their living situation even further

They recently purchased a second shed for $11,000, and plan to expand their living situation even further

They use foldout futons as beds, and some of the kids sleep in the upstairs loft. In the small kitchen there’s a stainless steel refrigerator and an electric stove, while the living room contains a 65-inch flat-screen TV. 

‘Since we moved into the shed, we’ve become really financially stable, and we’re getting close to being debt-free,’ she added.

‘The kids love [our new lifestyle] because we’re able to spend more quality time together than when I was working. It’s been really great.’

They recently purchased a second shed for $11,000, and plan to expand their living situation even further.

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