I am not sure that we can say that tiny house living has gone mainstream. Certainly more people are aware of the tiny house movement than ever before but I think that tiny houses and tiny house living is still a bit of a fringe movement. A lot of people are fascinated and very curious about what living in a tiny house is like.
Why Do People Love Tiny Houses?
People are choosing to downsize the space they live in. The typical American home is around 2,600 square feet(and growing!), whereas the typical small or tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet. Tiny houses come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, but they enable simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space.
People are joining the tiny house movement for many reasons, but the most popular reasons include environmental concerns, financial concerns, and the desire for more time and freedom. For most Americans 1/3 to 1/2 of their income is dedicated to the roof over their heads; this translates to 15 years of working over your lifetime just to pay for it, and because of it 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
So what is the alternative? One solution might be to live smaller. While we don’t think tiny house living is for everyone, there are lessons to be learned and applied in order to escape the cycle of debt in which almost 70% of Americans are trapped.
It Comes Down To Living A Simple Life
I feel that we may have a tendency to make our lives a bit more complicated than they need to be.
Blame it on society and the media. We are constantly told that we need more stuff. A new car, a new phone, a completely new wardrobe every year.
No wonder we are stressed and suffer from high levels of anxiety. Keeping up with the demands of society takes it toll.
Unfortunately being still and quiet and just enjoying life is seen as being lazy by a lot of people. We are told, or at least led to believe, that we need to make more money and that we need to be busy all the time.
Mindfulness and being grateful for the things we do have and the life that you enjoy should be the things that we practice.
Tiny House Living. Could You ACTUALLY Do It?
Some of the most popular posts on this blog are about tiny houses. I love looking at them and imagining living in one. Could I actually live in a tiny house? I am not sure. My small apartment works well for me.
1. Consider what you could be giving up by living tiny. There is no avoiding the fact that scaling down a living space requires significant sacrifices — but not all of the things you may need to give up are negative. Look over this list and imagine what it would feel like to cut back on or go without some or all of these things:
- Personal space: If you live with a partner or kids, what would it feel like to live in much closer quarters with them?
- Bills: A smaller space means less to heat; using solar power could reduce energy bills even further. Going tiny could even mean forgoing a mortgage altogether, or taking out a smaller loan that can be paid off in a shorter amount of time.
- Debt: A lower cost of living makes it easier to live within your means or to pay off debts you have, like student loans.
- Clutter: Living tiny teaches you to have only what you love, use and need.
2. Consider what you could gain by living tiny. The tiny-home movement is about making an intentional choice to live in a much smaller house — and what motivates many is not what they have to give up in space, but what they can potentially gain in life. Consider how it would feel to live with more of these things in your life:
- Financial (and job) freedom: Lower bills mean more savings for the future, and more freedom to pursue work you love.
- Freedom to travel: A tiny house can easily be closed up while you travel and would require little upkeep while you are away.
- Simplicity: With less to buy, fix and furnish, life is simpler.
- More time outdoors: A smaller interior space makes the outdoors beckon.
- Community: Likewise, having less of your own means you’re more likely to tap into your network of friends and neighbors, and the community at large.
- Good design: Going tiny means it’s easier to afford better materials and design.
- Time: Less surface area means you could clean your entire house in a few minutes.
3. Consider the law. Although tiny houses are enjoying increasing popularity, many areas still have building codes that require a dwelling to be over a certain number of square feet. Some tiny-home owners are able to get around this by putting their homes on wheels, but you will need to do some research to figure out what the laws are in your area before making any decisions.
In his book Tiny House Living: Ideas for Building and Living Well in Less than 400 Square Feet, author Ryan Mitchell says, “My suggestion is to approach the process by learning everything about the code, then come to them with an attitude of ‘I want to do this the right way and want to work toward a positive outcome with you.’ Working with them, you can often find a good solution when it comes to tiny houses.”
Would you consider tiny house living? What does “tiny” mean to you?
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“Change the Code. Change Your Life”