While many face the additional hustle and bustle of the holidays, Bill and Shannon Karcher have decided to simplify their lives by going tiny. The couple recently celebrated 23 years of marriage in their new tiny house, a cozy, cabin-like home that is just 384 square feet, plus an open loft upstairs.
“In 2008, we took the kids to Tybee Island, and we all did the polar bear plunge,” said Shannon, laughing. “But while there, we fell in love with their beach village, the cozy, quaint, homey cottages. We planned on building a home there someday, but then decided that Atwood was just as nice.” The couple say they placed the sign “Tiny Turtle Cove” on the front of their home, an idea they brought back from the island where everyone named their cabins.
The Karchers previously resided in the village of Barnhill, where they owned a 2,000-square-foot home. But their children, son Tanner and daughter Tynne, now grown-up, have begun lives of their own. “Tynne was a little upset at first when we told them of our plans to sell the house that they grew up in,” said Shannon. “But she is fine with it now. They both are.”
The Karchers are some of the first in the area to join the tiny house movement. Across the country, people are choosing to downsize: the typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, while the typical tiny house is less than 400 square feet. Tiny houses are more affordable and offer a simpler style of life.
When the Karchers put their Barnhill home up for sale, the sorting began.
“We had a big garage sale and gave a lot of things away,” said Shannon. “We each picked out our favorites and what you see out is what we use. We don’t have any good China packed away. Everything in here I can honestly say I love.”