You’ve Got to See the Inside of This Family’s Tiny School Bus Home — It Fits 6 Plus a Goldendoodle!

Robin Schannep

In 2015, Robin Schannep and her husband decided to sell most of their belongings and move their family of five and 65-pound Goldendoodle into a school bus full-time — six month later, they became a family of six. Now three years into living tiny and mobile, Robin says that for her family, this has been one of the best decisions they've ever made because of the way it's forced them all to think about simplicity, how they live their lives, and what they're intentional about; and not to mention, it's made them all extremely close.

However, living in such close quarters definitely takes some work for all involved, especially for her four kids, who range in age from 2 to 8. But Robin's biggest parenting tip for small space living is a pretty universal one: "Have lots of grace for everyone," she told POPSUGAR. "Just moving around a small space can be really difficult, and someone will inevitably be in your way when moving around, so extra grace is required as well as kind speech. Alone time is also hard because there is not place we can go to really get away."

"Living in a small space just requires a different set of considerations for others that I think are really good to have in general."

Robin, who chronicles her family's life on Instagram under the handle @ContentedNomads, says that her and her husband have done their best to teach their kids to give each other space when it's needed and have incorporated a few rules into their life that make this possible. "The kids aren't allowed in each other's beds unless they have been invited by the child who the bed belongs to. When we remodeled, we put sliding doors on the bunks, and the kids love them! It gives them a sense of privacy," Robin said. "Because there is not room to organically have alone time, we need to be more vocal in asking for it. Because my kids are together all day, everyday, having a quiet time every day is a great way for my more introverted kiddos to have some time to rest. Living in a small space just requires a different set of considerations for others that I think are really good to have in general."

Robin says there are so many things to love about skoolie life, from how easy the bus cleans up to the type of schooling environment it fosters for her homschooled kids. Learn more about the Schanneps, and see inside their tiny home (plus a few prerenovation pictures) ahead!

All the Schanneps in mom and dad's room, aka the back of the bus.

All the Schanneps in mom and dad's room, aka the back of the bus.

"Living tiny has been one of the best decisions we have made as a family," Robin said. "It has fostered fantastic closeness between all of us that permeates how we live our lives. We might not always live this tiny, but we have learned lessons that we will take with us forever and will influence how we look at our next home."

Meet the family's 65-pound Goldendoodle.

Meet the family's 65-pound Goldendoodle.

She loves sitting in the driver's seat to take naps.

The family has as few belongings as possible to keep their space neat and clean.

The family has as few belongings as possible to keep their space neat and clean.

"I love how quickly [the bus] cleans up. Now the flip side of that is that it also gets messy really quickly, but the clean up is almost instantaneous. It also forces us to have good conversations with our kids about our belongings. Since there's so little space, everything needs to be, to a degree, essential. Our kids still have plenty of toys and room for special mementos, but they all need to be carefully considered. When we first moved into the bus, that was hard for them, but after nearly three years, they are very much on board with being intentional consumers."

Conscious consumerism has been good for the family.

Conscious consumerism has been good for the family.

"Consumerism has been something that has been constantly challenged, and I am proud to say that we all (even our little kids) understand and are on board with what we chose to spend our money or what we consciously refrain from. These are all lessons one can learn from living in a normal-size home, but I am not that disciplined and had to be forced to grapple with it."

Robin homeschools her three older kids . . .

Robin homeschools her three older kids . . .

"The small space does have its upsides in this situation in that I am an arm's length away from each child and can answer any questions they may have, as well as keep an eye on the baby," Robin said of the advantages of homeschooling in a small space. "Most days, it runs really smoothly, and some days it feels a bit like a circus, and I'm exhausted at the end of the day. Most days, it's really wonderful, and we all love it. I also like that my younger kids are hearing the instruction and lessons for my older child and getting early exposure to ideas that they will be introduced to later down the line. It really is a precious time, and these are memories I am trying to soak up."

. . . which has been the partial cause to the one item the family hoards: books!

. . . which has been the partial cause to the one item the family hoards: books!

"The one things we do hoard even in a small space is books! Both my husband and I love having books around, and then being homeschoolers, we love having books around for our kids. Finding places to store them is my eternal struggle! I even have some stashed in a kitchen cabinet. When all the books and workbooks come out, it gets a little chaotic trying to set each child up in a space where they can work on their lessons, but we have these really great wooden folding trays that are fantastic! I usually sit the older two on the couch with their own trays and my little preschooler up on a little built-in desk we have."

Here's a look at the bus's kitchen.

Here's a look at the bus's kitchen.

We love the plants and that even the broom has a specific home. "Our skoolie is perfectly tailored to us — there is not a single detail that doesn't serve a purpose that is specific to our daily lives, and we love that aspect," Robin said. "We love that it's a home in which we can work on ourselves and make little changes if need be."

Here's the kitchen again, complete with a new fridge.

Here's the kitchen again, complete with a new fridge.

The white makes the space look a little bigger.

The back of the bus, and more books.

The back of the bus, and more books.

We wish we could choose the view outside our bedroom windows.

A look to the front of the bus.

A look to the front of the bus.

The wood "hallway" is actually made up of sliding panels that cover the kids' sleeping spaces.

Looking at the kids' sleeping spaces from the kitchen.

Looking at the kids' sleeping spaces from the kitchen.

Each of the three sections of the bus has a door in between, giving everyone a bit more privacy.

A peek at the bathroom.

A peek at the bathroom.

More plants!

The back of the bus, and a toddler peeping through the window!

The back of the bus, and a toddler peeping through the window!

We love the color they painted the skoolie!

The back of the bus with its doors open.

The back of the bus with its doors open.

"Living mobile is also an amazing opportunity if it ever presents itself," Robin said. "We originally chose to travel at this phase in our children's lives because we wanted to infuse our family culture with a sense of adventure, curiosity, and flexibility. I can say with so much certainty that we have accomplished this! It's been hard, especially with four little kids in tow, but it has been so good for all of us."

Traveling and living tiny has brought Robin and her husband even closer together.

Traveling and living tiny has brought Robin and her husband even closer together.

"I even think personal growth-wise for both my husband and I has been tremendous. Because we have been pushed out of our comfort zones time and time again, we deal with stress with a lot more grace. Again, these are lessons that can be learned in any avenue, but for us, our travels and living tiny are directly tied to the appropriation of these lessons."

Everything in the kitchen has its place.

Everything in the kitchen has its place.

And each kiddo knows where to find what they need.

A look out the bus in a particularly gorgeous setting.

A look out the bus in a particularly gorgeous setting.

How nice is this?!

A peek at the kids' bed setups.

A peek at the kids' bed setups.

Who would want to get out of a bed that looks that cozy?

A view of the front of the bus from the outside.

A view of the front of the bus from the outside.

We spy a pooch!

The bus's entryway, taken from the couch.

The bus's entryway, taken from the couch.

The bus has an "L"-shaped couch right near the front door.

Playtime for the kids.

Playtime for the kids.

In the chest next to the door, Robin says there are thousands of Lego pieces.

A look at the bus mid-remodel:

A look at the bus mid-remodel:

Here's the kitchen!

The entryway needed some work.

Building the comfy couch!