“And I honestly looked into all my options short of selling my organs or entering the world of escorting, I felt like my world was crumbling.” – Charlotte Sapwell
When your entire life changes and the rug is pulled from under you, it can be tempting to just roll over and let life trample over you. Charlotte Sapwell, on the other hand, decided to prove to the world that she is a force to be reckoned with.
Sapwell was left without an income and without a home after an unexpected breakup. Facing having to move back in with her parents, she knew that that couldn’t be a permanent solution. “For me moving back home was a necessity, in order to keep a roof over my boys head we ventured back,” she said on her Instagram account. Unfortunately, this move home made her feel depressed, anxious, like a failure and that she was going backwards, so it was always only going to be a short-term solution.
A mortgage, however, to become a homeowner again, would put her in $400,000 AUD worth of debt, something she wasn’t too keen on getting herself into. It appeared that her choices were limited and she was going to become homeless.
Luckily, her adopted grandpa had an idea, and had the cash to put behind it. As a handyman, he had the skills to help teach Sapwell DIY. Despite having failed Year 7, 8 and 9 woodwork, Sapwell managed to develop the skills, under the tuition of her grandpa, to build herself a tiny house. She began by taking an old site office that was filled to the brim with junk, sold everything inside, and that was when her grandpa suggested turning it into a tiny home.
With a budget of just under $13,000 AUD, Sapwell set to work turning the dingy looking office building into a real home, with a fully plumbed bathroom, a bedroom for the boys, and a living room/kitchen that Sapwell also uses as her bedroom. The house is a mere three by six meters and took five months to build.
On her instagram, Sapwell boasted, and rightfully so, that she had been given “a bit of help but [was] doing most of the grunt work [her]self.”
She told MailOnline: “I went from living in a massive home with my husband and kids, to a tiny rented unit to this small space, and out of all the places I’ve lived this is my favorite.”
Sapwell enjoyed building the home so much that she’s now working on building another tiny home for a family member, with the view that this will become the prototype for future tiny homes. Having begun a party hire business with her family a little while before her divorce, she now plans to start up a business building and selling tiny houses for other people.
Sapwell’s advice to anyone else who can’t afford a traditional home is “Don’t be afraid to dream big and live small.”