Tiny Living isn't for the faint of heart.
Can you go tiny?
Since I've become obsessed with tiny living, I thought that I would explore the topic for my own reference and share with everyone else my learning of best practices and stumbling blocks that come with moving from 3000 to 600 square feet of living space. There has been a real shift in society that more doesn’t equal more happiness. Working to pay bills, acquire more things, or drive a nicer car, isn’t necessarily what more and more people are about. At the end of the day, things are just things.
I for one am in love with this concept of less being more, but I have a small, well rather large problem. I have become attached to certain things in this life, clothing for one, and for two, my kitchen gadgets for cooking and entertaining. While I love the idea of living tiny and minimizing my carbon footprint as well as conserving natural resources, however gratifying this sounds, this would be a daunting undertaking. Although, the idea of saving money for the more important things in life like spending quality time with family, enjoying more new experiences, investing more in retirement, travel and charitable contributions is a grand idea. All that I stated so far this should be enough motivation, right! The reality is that downsizing is a significant undertaking and should not be taken lightly, this is a major cultural change for most of us. We are a society of have, have, and have more, and this I can attest personally. I am not proud of this fact which should be more motivating to promote change. However, our entire culture is infiltrated with advertisements that tell us to buy more, more, and more. We are bombarded on every front by our TVs, radios, phones, by billboards, and the internet. We are told what food to eat, what phones to buy, what cars to drive etc., Advertising is impossible to avoid. If we have food, water, shelter, and clothing, we already have everything that we need.
Okay, so let’s dive in a little deeper and figure out if this is something that we can do. Here are a few questions to manage our expectations of feasibility and find out what our version of tiny living might be.
What is your idea of tiny? Perhaps instead of a 3000 square foot home, you can downsize to say 1200. Downsizing to 1000-1200 would be a sizeable change and easier for most people. It may be a more manageable approach or just the first step towards the end goal. This doesn’t make it less of an accomplishment and still can affect a change to tinier living. By figuring out what you can live without is the first step in the process and not a small step by any means.
Things to Consider:
How much space do you really need? Let’s find out what is important to you and your family that will be going on this journey with you. Where do you spend your time? If you are like me, it is more significant to have a larger outside living space. My husband and I really enjoy doing things outside and being close to nature. Do you have a hobby? Perhaps you like working on cars, gardening, wood crafting or some other pastime that requires a significant amount of room. Do you like to cook, workout, do yoga, work from home or play an instrument? By finding out what things are important to you, you can design your space accordingly.
What is your motivation for going tiny? If you are looking to minimize your impact on the planet or live a greener life, perhaps you can look at ways to downsize to a smaller home with more green options. Perhaps making your old or new home more energy efficient by installing solar panels, more energy-efficient windows, additional insulation, replacing an outdated HVAC unit, planting more plants, recycling and composting all come to mind. These are a few things that have a big impact.
How many people with be living with you? Will you have a formal bedroom, loft or more of a studio? What is your budget? Where will your tiny home be located? Depending on where you would like your home to be located, in a city setting or in the country, they aren’t always welcome, and if allowed at all, will be affected by the local building codes and building requirements for that specific area. Will your tiny home be mobile or built on a foundation? If you desire your tiny home to be built on a lot, there may be restrictions that would prevent it. If you are looking merely at downsizing, there could be minimum square footage or construction requirements such as types of materials that can be used, etc. It is wise to review all documents such as HOA declarations or deed restrictions before you commit to purchase for your tiny or small home, regardless of what size you will be building.
Lastly and firstly, make sure that you like the people or person you will be sharing your residence with, Afterall, you will living in really close proximity to one another.
Whatever your decision might be there will be a lot of things to consider before you proceed to the next step.
Here are some resources that might aid you in deciding whether to go tiny or not. There are tons of other videos that you can watch to get a better idea of the process and design inspiration.
Living Big In A Tiny House https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoNTMWgGuXtGPLv9UeJZwBw,
“Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”
Netflix Titles, “Tiny House Nation”, “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”