Tiny houses are quaint and charming, but could you imagine what it would really be like to live in one? A recent Reddit chat took on this question, asking residents to reveal what downsizing is really like. While some tiny house dwellers complained about space, others praised the simplicity of their lifestyle.
1. A tiny house was totally fine to live in—as long as only one person was there. “It was awesome when I was single,” commented one user, who has lived in both a 240-square-foot home and a 576-square-foot home. “It kept me out of the house except to sleep. When the weather was bad or I had to stay home for some reason, it felt cozy. I didn’t mind using an outhouse or cooking without a stove [and] oven or sleeping on a small mattress. The downside to both of my tiny houses was horrible insulation and air circulation. They were both hot in summer [and] cold in winter, no matter what I did. Also, when I got in a serious relationship, it was clear that two people couldn’t live comfortably in my place and a family could not live there at all.”
2. Downsizing never stops. While you can expect to throw away possessions before moving in to your tiny house, another commenter explained that this downsizing process will also continue for as long as you live there: “It’s like putting something in a glass that’s already full. Whenever you buy something, you have to get rid of something else.”
3. A tiny house costs more than you might think. “Everything is custom made or altered [to fit] in true tiny houses. Your fridge must be small, your hob tiny, the storage made to measure,” said one commenter, explaining why building costs on a tiny house can be so high. Unless you’re quite handy yourself, you’ll have to pay someone else to install these custom features.
4. It’s not that different than living in an apartment. “My fiancé and I have lived in a 250-square-feet recycled shipping container home for the past five years. Overall, it’s not much different than a small apartment, except we have to fix our own stuff, get to paint whatever we want, change up our decor a lot quicker… Everything you get to do in, you know, a house. We clean more often as we have pets, and yeah, hair builds up quickly. So does dust since we’re in the desert. We built our own place so we have a pretty big kitchen, a two-person bathroom and shower, and a queen bed. Those all go a very long way to making it livable in the long run.”
5. You’re not limited to living on land. Another commenter chimed in that he lives in a small narrowboat on the English Canal System: “Some aspects of life on the boat are harder —to do laundry we have to lug our laundry to the car, then head to a laundromat. Groceries have to be lugged back from where ever we are parked, and we don’t tend to have access to a corner shop if we forget something. We have to go to a water point every week to refill our tanks (we can do a full week without resupplying with water, but we have to take very short showers and I do miss being able to take a long shower).”
6. Living in a tiny house is about changing your entire lifestyle. “I’ve lived in a tiny home of 350-square-feet for almost four years now, and have lived here the past full year with my boyfriend and our two dogs. We love it. I’d consider myself not very minimalistic. I love to entertain. More than I love to cook, I love to throw dinner parties, decorate, fold the napkins just so, and the like. We’re fairly social as a couple, and live right downtown very affordably, which works well for us. Some are commenting that each time you get something you have to get rid of something, but the thought process becomes more like not even seeing the need to acquire things in the first place. If I see a board game I like, I might buy it because I have a little room on my board game shelf. Then after a while I might find I never really play four of these board games anymore, so I’ll purge them (they go to friends). The only time I do an ‘in with the new out with the old’ kind of thing is when an item needs replacing.