Crafts & DIY
Family of 6 trades their 5,000 sq. ft. home to live in a 248 sq. ft. school bus
This family decided to downsize their home and they don't regret a thing.
Caryl Jane Espiritu
04.13.22

Have you ever heard of downsizing your home?

Unsplash - Greg Rosenke
Source:
Unsplash - Greg Rosenke

Basically, this means trading your current house for a smaller or less-expensive one. And this is what Gabriel and Debbie Mayes did when they decided to live in a 248 sq. ft. school bus converted into a tiny home.

YouTube - Pickler & Ben
Source:
YouTube - Pickler & Ben

Gabriel and Debbie came up with the idea way back in January 2016. This resulted from Gabriel’s wish of being more connected with his family of six.

The couple lived in a 5,000 sq. ft. home where the two of them and their four kids live.

YouTube - Pickler & Ben
Source:
YouTube - Pickler & Ben

At some point, Gabriel felt the disconnection that his family was going through because of having such a big house.

There was even a time when he already checked three rooms and still could not locate Debbie so he finally had to text her to know where she was. It was certainly a moment of realization for the father of the house, so he talked to his wife and they discussed downsizing their home.

With this plan in mind, Debbie eventually came across a Facebook video of a couple who have converted a school bus and were traveling. The idea suddenly came to her and she instantly shared it with her husband.

YouTube - Pickler & Ben
Source:
YouTube - Pickler & Ben

Gabriel liked the idea of moving to a school bus home but he knew it would not be easy. One major concern was the part where the couple Debbie saw did not have children!

It was not an easy step to take and the couple made sure that their kids, Gracen, Darby, Deacon, and Jovey, were also part of the decision-making process. At first, the kids were quite skeptical but after hearing that they will have the opportunity to travel, the kids could not wait but start living in their school bus turned tiny home.

Once the decision was made, the couple immediately went into the next step: the design and concept of the new home.

YouTube - Pickler & Ben
Source:
YouTube - Pickler & Ben

Having a smaller space would require carefully designing the area to make it liveable and comfortable. They wanted to have a separate room where they can entertain guests, and not a place where all parts of the home can be seen in one look.

It was surely a challenge to design such a small space, considering functionality and comfort above all.

YouTube - Pickler & Ben
Source:
YouTube - Pickler & Ben

Eventually, Gabriel and Debbie completed the transformation of the Skoolie school bus into an adorable home. The living area was distinct from the bedroom and kitchen and there was even aisle space.

The entire renovation required a budget of $38,000 and six months to complete.

After six months of work, Gabriel, Debbie, and their children finally hopped on the bus for their very first trip in their home on wheels. The kids were absolutely thrilled, and so was the couple who knew they made the right decision.

YouTube - Pickler & Ben
Source:
YouTube - Pickler & Ben

The family started out in Tennessee, went through Nevada, to California, and all the way down to the Coast of California to Big Sur and back. When asked about their favorite stop in their travels, they agreed that it was their trip along Big Sur which was “epic” because it was scary to drive in the area with a school bus.

It was all worth it.

YouTube - Pickler & Ben
Source:
YouTube - Pickler & Ben

The Mayes family has definitely made a big leap in making this decision and it paid off. The children got to experience a lot and their connection is stronger than ever.

The family, who also calls themselves “The Mayes Team”, maintains a website where they share all of their adventures in their home on wheels along with information on downsizing your home.

Know more about this incredible story by clicking on the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Share this article
By Caryl Jane Espiritu
hi@sbly.com
Caryl Jane Espiritu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement