Woman's Strange Shed Goes Viral After Her Best Friend Takes A Look Inside

Jori Wilkinson was a woman on a mission. With a baby on the way, a house that she and her husband were trying to renovate and sell, and a pasture full of farm animals to care for, life apparently just wasn't enough of a challenge for her. So Jori added the ultimate DIY project to her busy schedule — building her own tiny house. While friends and family were skeptical of the new mom's ambitions, Jori's final unveiling of her hard work quickly shot her to internet fame and earned her the respect of DIYers everywhere.

Shed Sweet Shed

Rather than building the tiny home from scratch, Jori wondered about using a shed. She found an old, but sturdy shed that was only 400 square feet, knowing in her heart that it would someday be her new home. But another part of her asked the question, "Are we really going to fit in this thing?"

One Problem At A Time

The plan was set in motion. Jori and her husband Gage stayed at Jori's parent's house, paying rent, taking care of their farm and newborn son Kash, all while reconstructing the empty shed into a cozy home. Little by little, the shack of a shed transformed into a homeowner's dream.

Construction Muscle

The first thing to go up was the walls of their home, which oftentimes had to be done late into the night. Gage was the perfect man for the construction job, and while he was the muscle of the operation, Jori was the brain. She laid out some brilliant ideas for the minimal space.

Genius Designs

Jori's design genius was in full swing. She even drew up a floor map herself, with measurements and all the essentials of a home in mind. You could say that the two were crazy for tackling this arduous project, and you may be right, but the tag team had everything planned, including the perfect space for their son.

Perfect For Baby

For their baby boy Kash, Jori's floor plan set up a room that was 8'9" x 7'6" that could fit the little boy's crib with room to spare for storage, plus enough space to fit two adults. Though it may be a little cramped for grown-ups to stand in, it was ideal for the little baby boy. The rest of the house had room to spare.

For Your Entertainment

Just outside of baby Kash's room is the living room, which fits their small couch that sits across from the TV and fireplace. It looks like a cozy place to relax for sure, but just wait until you see the master bedroom.

Space For Mom And Dad

Jori recognized that she and Gage had just enough room to make for a snug master bedroom. Measuring at 10'5" x 7', they decided to go for it and squeeze in a King-sized bed. Jori does admit the inconvenience, saying "it's kind of hard to make the bed, but it's a really cozy space." That sounds like success to me!

Big Concerns

Now, we're sure you may have concerns with tiny homes, specifically when it comes to two spaces: the kitchen and the bathroom. You'd think with the limited space they had to work with, these spaces would be terribly cramped. Think again!

Rustic Look

Jori and Gage were able to create just enough space throughout the entire home. The bathroom has enough space for a sink, a toilet, and even a bathtub. The natural look of the wood along with the addition of their little plants brings peace in this quaint little bathroom, but the really exciting part of the home is the kitchen.

Space For A Chef

Having a big enough kitchen can be the make or break point for many homeowners, but even with the small space they had to work with, the DIY duo created the right kind of space for any chef to cook in. They used a simple, but ingenious, design to make more space.

Power of Design

Jori and Gage used their space to its fullest capacity, not only installing shelves that reach up toward the ceiling, but also using an L-shaped design for the counter for extra space. As amazing as all their work is, there is one part of the house that may be a bit too cramped.

No Space To Space

In between the kitchen and master bedroom lies the laundry room, which Jori calls "a laundry hall." There just wasn't enough space to space out their laundry machines, so they stacked them onto one another. Most houses are like this anyway, so it's not a big issue, and no one in the happy family seems to mind.

Big Support

Jori shared this incredible project on her Instagram, receiving the greatest support in the world. Even her parents took part in the actual construction, supplying them with quality wood that was used for their ceiling. Then came Jori's best friend, Holly. Her approval would be the real game-changer.

Best Guest

As a lover of all things DIY, Holly was a huge fan of what Jori and Gage were doing. She hosts her own YouTube channel "Living It Country," where she helps hundreds of viewers design their perfect country home. Holly was so impressed with her best friend's tiny home, she had to have Jori on as a guest.

Sharing Pride

Jori was a little nervous about being on camera, but while filming Holly's show, her pride in her work took over. She guided viewers through her home and became a huge internet sensation. They couldn't believe they built the entire home for $30,000. Jori explained to viewers what gave her the inspiration to take on this bold project in the first place.

Challenge Expected

Jori and her husband Gage were a happily married couple, ready for anything, but in 2020, they found their lives turned upside-down by a new member of the family on the way. Jori was seven months pregnant, and as if that wasn't hard enough, they had even more daily challenges waiting for them.

Busy Farm Living

The couple owned a small farm which included several chickens, a few horses, and a couple of goats. Not the kind of life for everyone, but it brought them peace and joy. On top of taking care of the farm and Jori's pregnancy needs, the two pioneers decided to take on a special renovation project.

Selling Out

To save money for their baby the couple decided to sell their cabin home, but not before renovating it to perfection. They redesigned the home from top to bottom and when the day came to leave, they were proud of their success. The only issue was moving back in with mom and dad.

Forming A Plan

The plan was to move back into Jori's parent's house until they figured something else out. She and Gage then talked about moving into a trailer with their newborn baby, until Jori had a stroke of genius — though you could argue it was more like a stroke of madness.


Rather than move into a trailer and be packed like sardines, Jori suggested they build their own home. She heard all about the "tiny home" craze that's spread across the country and thought the idea would be perfect for them. Of course, all her plans would go up in smoke if Gage wasn't up for the downsized lifestyle.

Partner In DIY

Fortunately, Jori truly married her soul mate. Gage was all about these types of construction challenges, being a handyman himself. These two were crazy enough together to agree on the idea. They just needed the right space to start the challenge, turns out, that was their shed!

Challenge Complete

At the end of the day, Jori and her handy husband Gage are happy with their simple life. No matter how much of a challenge it is to live life to the fullest, they are up for it. They've proven that anything is possible, and to Jori's surprise, she's actually inspired other young families to follow in her footsteps.

Crippling Living Costs

As the cost of living increases, viable options for common folk decrease, especially when raising a family. When Zac and Katie Ruiz were looking to move out of their pricey apartment to raise a family, they were super inspired by Jori's bold and affordable lifestyle. But when they finally decided to deep dive into tent life, they weren't prepared for the unpredictable consequences.

California Pricetag

During the blissful honeymoon phase of their marriage, Zac and Katie Ruiz resided in a quaint California apartment. While waking up to the warmth of The Golden State every day sounds like a dream, cutesy Cali living came at a price.

Heading To New Mexico

With no real plan in mind, Zac and a pregnant Katie went back to Katie's hometown in New Mexico, as they needed to save some dough. After living there for about a year, Katie's mother relayed some surprising, not to mention convenient, news.

A Plot Of Their Own

Lo and behold, Katie had unknowingly inherited an acre of land. As you could only imagine, the couple, with a second baby on the way, was practically jumping for joy. Money was tight, and this seemed to be the answer to their prayers.

A Blank Canvas

Zac and Katie were eager to move onto their newly obtained property, as they wanted to break the exhausting cycle of simply working to pay their rent and living paycheck to paycheck. They knew where they were going to live, but not what they'd live in.

Limited Options

After perusing the internet for housing options, hoping to build cheaply their dream home on Katie's acre, they found the available options would strip their wallets dry. They birthed a unique idea, however.

Tent Life

The Ruiz family decided to live in a tent. Yes, a tent. After getting situated in a lousy camper for a few months while on the property, they transitioned to tent living. But don't cringe just yet; they took "glamping" to a whole new level.

Compact But Cozy

Within an eight-week period, Zac, who makes handcrafted lighting and decor, and Katie, who sells various essential oil products, built a 300-square-foot tent, complete with a cozy, raised loft. Though it's compact, the homey tent featured only what the family of four needed.

Massive Savings

"That's $1,500 a month we don't have to spend," Zac said regarding their brilliant escape from the dreaded monthly rent bill. Raising a family comes with its sacrifices, and while you'd think giving up a house would be a huge sacrifice, it wasn't for the Ruiz family at first.

Open Concept

Their sleeping area, kitchen, and dining area were all visible from the aesthetically pleasing glass front, which obviously made for a cramped lifestyle. The Ruiz family made it work, though.

Some Shortcomings

The whole hipster-Brooklyn-coffee-shop vibe, which included rustic artwork, pastoral wood, and various houseplants, made the lack of elbow room more than bearable for the fam. Although it was homey, tent life did come with its downfalls.

Heating Issues

The loft, which was dripping in fairy lights, was accessible via a ladder for the kiddies. Though it was technically the kids' bedroom, they often slept in their parents' bed due to temperature issues. The tent didn't exactly get central heating.

Bundling Up

It was especially a problem in the winter, as the family not only slept in the same bed to bask in communal body heat, but they also frequently wore coats and sweats inside the tent. That sounds like it would get old pretty quickly.

Living In Nature

"Most people probably couldn't deal. I always joke, 'People like nature until nature kicks in,'" Zac said of the uncomfortable temperatures the Ruiz family endured. Still, their was more nature to deal with than the cold.

No Running Water

Unfortunately, there was no running water anywhere in the tent (which may be the final deal-breaker for some), so that made certain aqua-related chores a bit of a hassle. The family had an industrial-style, outdoor shower, though.

Give And Take

"Washing dishes isn't the easiest thing. But it's still really doable. It maybe just takes a few minutes longer here and there," Zac said. It was all give and take.

No Fluff In Paradise

In the grand Ruiz tent, you'd also find a four-foot by eight-foot closet, and a four-foot by three-foot bathroom with a composting toilet. They were only concerned with the tent serving the most fundamental of needs; there was no fluff in this woodsy paradise.

Clever Design

Since minimalism was important to Zac and Katie, they found little ways to create space without cluttering the teeny-weeny tent. Their king-sized bed sat on an elevated platform, which provided room underneath just perfect for storage.

Solar Powered

They also kept their energy usage to a minimum, which was why their solar panels worked wonders. Said panels fueled LED lights, a television, a DVD player, phone chargers, a small fridge, and an electric stovetop. "Our daily power needs are pretty small," Zac said.

More Family Time

Zac relayed that he gained a ton of free time since the start of the family's downsize, tent lifestyle. "Time to do whatever I want. Time to hang out with the boys, time to have hobbies and actually do them," he said.

Featured Family

The Ruiz family's tent was even featured in Brent Heavener's book Tiny House, which details the ins and outs of tiny living. Though their two-year-old tiny tent was famous, they weren't planning to be there forever.

Home Of Freedom

The family was in love with tiny living (which Brent Heavener believed "aids in your pursuit of freedom"), but Zac explained that a 600-square-foot cabin would be perfect for the squad, and that they were planning to move out of the sacred tent in a few years.

Changing Their Mindset

"We evolved our mindset of working with less," Zac explained. Living a simplistic life in a 300-square-foot tent birthed a minimalistic renaissance for the Ruiz family. A life without unnecessary clutter not only saved the Ruiz clan wads of cash, but it created a sense of enlightenment and fulfillment within the family.

Happy At Home

Tiny living ain't easy, but Zac and Katie are just one of many couples like Jori and Gage who took the plunge into this eccentric, money-saving lifestyle. And even with the lack of some of our most common creature comforts, they're still happy as ever at home.