I’ve written about the benefits of down-sizing and raved about the results of these benefits, however, just like in any situation, there are cons. One of these is the missing comforts of larger spaces. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows in our tiny home.
I’ve mentioned in previous blogs about our kitchen being on the small side even for a tiny home. Again, I urge any tiny home prospects to really think long term when designing their kitchen.
Our sink is small, more like a “bar” sink. This works, but it is similar to those puzzles where you have to take apart two twisted metal rings that have no apparent openings. In an effort to prevent water from splashing onto the counter space, there’s a lot of twisting and rotating when rinsing objects. A flexible faucet head would be a great idea to maneuver around the dishes and direct the water if you’re sink is too small like ours.
Cooking is another issue if you really enjoy preparing food. I’ve read other tiny home blogs that seem to have the same experience. Consider building in at least two burners on your stove top. A single burner just doesn’t cut it when preparing more than a basic meal. We have a convection oven which covers most of our needs—baking, broiling, toasting, and heating. It’s compact but does need plenty of space when in use because of the heat. Cooking for two to three people or baking only one pie at a time (or a small sheet of cookies) works with this small oven, but that’s its limit. Entertaining a large dinner party is out unless you have the food pre-made elsewhere. A microwave saves a lot of trouble in heating food and can be very compact, but it’s really not a healthy option to get used to.
Many tiny home enthusiasts use a barbecue grill to balance out their options. Barbecue is terrific, but not too many people can eat it every day. It may not be a good daily option either if you experience inclement weather or are sensitive to the weather of changing seasons.
The ideal tiny home would accommodate a small stove and mid-range sink with plenty of counter space (even if it was a pull-out or drop leaf counter). You can make a small kitchen work if you think long term when planning it out. Try not to talk yourself into too many lifestyle changes when it comes to your food preparation and consumption. Otherwise you may become too “hangry” in your tiny home and not enjoy the rest of the amenities.
There’s little to no storage in a tiny home. You need to pare down your belongings if you’re going to fit. We cheated and found a cheap long-term storage unit for cherished mementos and things we’re saving for future generations. A long term storage unit costs much less than monthly storage because it’s not intended for constant access.
(For comparison- a 10’ By 10’ monthly storage unit averages $200 where we live, but the same space in long term storage here costs $57. That’s a big difference!) Long term storage is also a good idea if you’re new to the tiny home experience and want to give it a try before parting with all of your furniture and extra belongings. As for fitting into our tiny home, we have had to make concessions. I’ve read other blogger’s stories about wearing the same dress to different events and being embarrassed when it became obvious through social media pictures. She explained that she wasn’t unable to purchase several diffferent outfits for each event, but that she simply didn’t have the room to store them all in her tiny home.
Minimizing your wardrobe is a big part of fitting in. For my son, having a functional minimalist wardrobe is easy. He’s a kid that goes to school, rides a bike, hangs with friends—there’s not much need for extravagance. The crushing blow of reducing our wardrobe items came to me and my sweater collection. Getting rid of the old clothes and shoes that I never wear or don’t fit was easy. Downsizing my sweater collection from filling the tiny home on its own to just fitting onto a shelf in a cabinet was painful. (I have to be honest…I did my best picking some favorites that might be useful in the coming season, but then I stored the rest in that long term storage unit. I just wasn’t ready to part. AND what if tiny living wasn’t for us….I might need all of those sweaters again.)
Of course we didn’t downsize our pets! We were fortunate to have pretty small dogs to begin with. Yet they are still doggies and they get excited when you come home and they need to prance around under your feet in celebration of your return. Personal space can be an issue for us humans, but our pack friends are just fine with the dog pile created each day. In a tiny home, there is no sending the dogs to the other room to go lay down. I know this is their favorite feature of the new house, but I could use a little more personal space, especially when preparing meals.