Someone recently asked me what “living tiny” means. As I was thinking of the best way to answer her question I began to realize that it can mean different things to different people and they can have different reasons for wanting to live this way.
In simple terms it is simply choosing to live in a small house. MUCH smaller than most people would EVER consider. A tiny house is typically defined as a home that is less than 500 square feet of living space. While a small house is less than 800 square feet of living space. Below are just a few photos of some tiny houses I found by searching google for tiny house:
OK, by now some of you are probably thinking, “ok, this lady is NUTS! NO WAY could I EVER live in such a small space!” But hear me out. The average home in the United States is 2,700 square feet and the average home costs almost $200,000. Over 30 years plus interest you will have paid about $393,000 for you home. You’ve just about paid for it twice!!! And its very unlikely that your home will be worth what you ACTUALLY paid for it. Sure it will feel like you’ve made a profit because when you sell it you might get this nice big check. But it wont be for what you paid for it, you actually took a loss. In todays market and in the future you just don’t know what will happen. You can’t rely on property values to go up and certainly cant count on them to constantly rise, that is just illogical. If they only ever went up then eventually nobody would be able to afford a roof!
Now you have all this wonderful empty space! What are you going to do with it? You have to buy STUFF for it! Before you know it you’ve spent tens of THOUSANDS of dollars on SUTFF! We are so focused on stuff. As I was tossing all of our possessions in the dumpster I saw all these things that we never even use! Cleaning out my kids overpacked cluttered bedrooms I began to ask myself, “why do they even have this?” Things my son hasn’t touched in years. Clothes pouring out of dresser drawers (by the way I’ve decided that clothing does not belong in dressers and it’s hangers or bust you cant see what you’ve got they are so bulky..) Presents my daughter got for her birthday and christmas the last 2 years had gone completely untouched, never even opened.. After a while this spacious dream home you purchased doesn’t feel so spacious anymore does it. A bigger house will solve the problem! or will it……? NO. It’s a vicious cycle, buy bigger house, get more stuff, bigger house feels smaller, buy bigger house, repeat.
Ok, so now you’ve got this wonderful house, and all this stuff. The American dream right? HA! If by american dream you mean busting your butt to work to make money for all this stuff that you are never around to use because you’re working so hard to pay for it Then sure! Money well spent… What else have you sacrificed in your pursuit of this dream? You don’t get to enjoy this stuff that you’ve worked so hard to buy, you’re hardly even home to enjoy the house for which you are working so hard. Before you know it, your children are grown. Where did the time go? You missed it!
How many of you have fought with your significant other about money? Perhaps even ruined the relationship because of it? You work so hard that you never spend time with the people who matter the most and for whom you tell yourself you are working so hard. You tell yourself in the end it will all be worth it. No, more likely, in the end you’ll realize you missed it. Your kids are grown, you and your spouse (if you’ve managed to survive the whole ordeal) are strangers to each other because work always had to come first to pay for the stuff. All the experiences you missed because you were so focused on this track that everybody is supposed to be on. You’ve forgotten to LIVE…
WHAT IF THERE IS A BETTER WAY???
I’m sick of doing what everyone else is doing simply because that is what you are supposed to do. I’m sick of fighting and struggling and I am SO SICK OF STUFF!!!
Many people choose to build their tiny house on wheels. They may want to travel or where they live may have restrictions on how small you can build your house, putting it on wheels, for some, alleviates that restriction because it is now a camper or some other classification. Maybe you only have a small plot of land that you think is too small for a house or just want to leave a smaller footprint on the earth. Or how about being debt free! Tiny houses do not need to be on wheels and I’m actually leaning towards it not being on wheels. I envision a root cellar with an old style trap door in the floor leading down where I can store my bounty from my garden and all my yummy home canned goods.
People think I’m crazy when I tell them that I am planning on building a home for my family of 5 plus a large breed dog in less than 500 square feet. The problem with “normal” homes is that they don’t use the space. They are large blocked off squares that are largely unusable. With the right design and the ability to actually use all the space you have. Think about a table that folds up flat to the wall when not in use, storage in the stairs, a drawer meant to utilize that useless space in front of the sink, storage built into the floor or into the sofa.
Just look at some of these great ideas I found on pinterest!!
WHAT AM I HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH BY LIVING TINY?
What I want is simplicity. I want my family to be happy and healthy. I want to stop worrying about money and stop depending on others to bail us out when there’s too much month left at the end of our money. I want to see my kids grow up and not shut themselves up in their rooms for so long that we become strangers. I want them to grow up knowing there is another option that doesn’t involve living in debt the rest of their lives and to learn that things aren’t as important as experiences. How many experiences have we missed out on so far because we didn’t have the time or money? I want to reconnect with my husband, get to know each other again before it’s too late. Not the person he has turned into but the man he was when I married him almost 11 years ago. He insists that I’m just trying to run away from our problems, but he’s wrong. If only he could see that I’m not trying to run away from something, I’m trying to run towards something. I just didn’t know any better until now.