Choosing a tiny home lifestyle often coincides with a change in life choices. For some it is a retirement plan. For others it is a more sustainable way to live with Mother Earth. For us it was a lifestyle choice– Carpe Diem! or Joie de Vivre! Whatever your reasons for thinking about moving to a tiny home, you’re not alone.
I was born and raised in an area that is a suburb of a major city. Everyone is expected to have their own bedroom, own television, own car, and even their own bathroom. Houses are getting larger each year as everyone in the household has their own master bedroom. How did we get here? I’ve visited other countries and I’m not seeing this excessive housing anywhere else. In addition, families in the United States seem to be kept even further apart with immediate relatives having their own homes. Why does everyone need so much space? When did family members become pariahs? Why should retired persons sell their homes to move to cheaper communities and working families hire nanny’s or utilize day care centers? In other cultures, grandparents are an asset to their working children as they can care for the younger generations and also share culture and history. A large home can be an asset to a large family, but if you think your family of four needs 3,000 square feet you’re probably feeding your ego more than your psyche.
Time for a Reduction?
When your house no longer matches your lifestyle needs, it’s time for a change. Depending on your current status, you might need to go bigger, but for now we’ll talk about going smaller. The extreme move would be to go “off the grid,” reducing your dependence on public utilities and minimizing your environmental impact. I’m pretty sure that’s for the rare few. However, moving to a tiny home begins your journey on reducing your carbon footprint and commercial dependency.
A tiny home can benefit you financially:
- smaller homes use less electricity (if you were to add solar panels you might even be able to go “off the grid”)
- smaller homes heat and cool more efficiently, only serving what you need
- smaller square footage leads to lower property taxes
- smaller homes require prioritizing what you really enjoy and prevents over spending on decor, furnishings and bric-a-brac.
A tiny home can benefit you spiritually and emotionally:
- a smaller home will have relatively lower overhead, freeing you financially to make other choices with your time and/or money
- a smaller home will have relatively less maintenance, again freeing you to make other choices with your time and/or money
- the reduction of expenses in your life will allow you to increase the quality of your life
- choose a career you’re passionate about
- travel more
- focus on hobbies that improve your lifestyle and/or well-being
- reduce the stress and worry in your life by leaving the “rat race”
- remove the distractions of the clutter you call “possessions” to help you move forward in your life
Setting Realistic Goals
Tiny homes are not for everyone, but there are lessons to be learned in the fascination of them. If you look around your home right now, I’m sure you will see many items that have not been needed or used in months if not years. As your space increases, you’ll find furniture that no one has utilized in months if not years. As the space increases to a disproportionately large home, there will be rooms no one enjoys or enters for months if not years. If you want to make changes, you need to decide how much do you really need (better described as really use). In financial terms, is the money your spending to keep these things or space necessary? Could you make better use of this money by using it for travel, a less stressful career, or even self improvement?
Tiny Living Week 2– Some great tips on reducing your clutter
Tiny Living, Week 6- Smell the Roses -Stress reduction begins
Tiny Living, Week 7&8- Road Trip -Choosing to travel and enjoy family time