02/01 Eight Things You Should Know Before Jumping on The Tiny House Bandwagon

tiny house in the woods
The idea of downsizing is appealing to a lot of people and it has sparked a movement of custom made micro-homes across the country. As someone who has always lived in small spaces out of necessity I have some unique insider observations about this trend.

The fella and I have been living in a 474 square foot apartment for the last 3 years, and before that we had even less space because we lived with roommates. We love our tiny urban home but when we finally buy a place we’re going to go a little bigger. Our goal is to land a house that’s approximately 850 to 1200 square feet with at least a small yard and off street parking.

I always want to encourage anyone who is looking to simplify their lives, take control of their finances, and find happiness. That’s what my blog is all about! However, if you’re thinking about super small space living you should know all the facts that you won’t hear about on tv or aspirational blogs.

#1 A small space won’t change who you are.

A lot of people who go on tiny house shows talk about wanting to simplify their lives and get back to what matters. I think those are admirable goals, but changing your lodging to change how you live is kind of like changing your wardrobe to improve your sense of self-worth. No one should expect a small space to solve their problems or completely revamp their world view because appreciating simplicity comes from within.

#2 Minimalism can be a form of materialism.

I’m all for people living on less, but there’s a very specific type of minimalism that’s popular right now and it’s still a celebration of wealth and materialism. There aren’t trendy photo spreads of single moms living in a mobile homes or big families in modest apartments. The minimalism we see on tv, on blogs, and in magazines is brand new and subscribes to all the latest arbitrary trends. There’s no used furniture or ugly floor colors to contend with because while everything is small it’s still glossy, top of the line, and completely on trend.

#3 There are lots of gorgeous, livable, (old) small homes.

The tiny house trend is very much focused on new construction homes despite the fact that most older houses are fairly small. I think it’s because people mistake wanting to go small with wanting a more luxurious home than they can afford. If you want a small, livable, affordable home look at what’s already out there! Older homes were built with utility in mind and while they’re still much smaller than your average new construction they have plenty of room for cooking, storing things, and entertaining. They might not have a perfectly open floor plan, white subway tiles, and butcher block countertops but they will have the space you need to live a frugal minimalist existence.

#4 Small spaces require frequent purging.

If you’ve never lived in a really small space you should know that frequent purging is a necessary part of small living unless you buy nothing at all. The fella and I live on a pretty shoestring budget, but at least twice a year we still have to purge our apartment of stuff to reclaim space. Small space living brings some freedom with it but it also requires you to be absolutely ruthless about your possessions. If you are sentimental about your things small space living is not for you.

#5 Lack of storage space can cost you a lot of money!

I’m all for people living in smaller homes to save money, but really tiny houses (I’m talking anything under 400 square feet) can actually end up costing you more money and causing you more stress than living in a slightly larger house. As I mentioned before we live in 474 square feet. We have space for a tiny pantry and we have storage under our bed, above every door, in our closets, and on shelving units that we’ve installed. If you live in a home that’s so tiny that you have hardly any storage: get ready to pay big…for everything. In a tiny home you can’t bulk shop or stock up on sale items. Keeping off season clothing and basic housewares and tools becomes a huge challenge. You’ll have to buy everything from toilet paper to soap to food in the smallest quantity available, which is always more expensive.

Read more – http://smallthingsgood.com/2016/02/01/8-things-you-should-know-before-jumping-on-the-tiny-house-bandwagon/

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Elaine Walker