Our Tiny Home experiment is coming to an end, not because we want it to, but simply because it’s a “summer home”. I originally planned for this to be a six month journey, but after our experience, I’ve learned that Tiny Living is about more than just square footage- it’s a lifestyle. We are saying goodbye to our tiny beach house, but will continue to blog about our Tiny Living experiences.
A little history about our area:
There once was a time when Long Island was dedicated to summer homes and beach houses as weekend retreats for city dwellers. (Keep in mind, I’m bypassing hundreds of years of native inhabitants and colonization.) In the late 1800’s resort towns were beginning to pop up. You could only access the island by steam boat so traffic was kept to a minimum. This exclusivity drew in the uber wealthy and they built themselves glamorous homes (aka The Gold Coast Mansions).
During the 1920’s and 1930’s Long Island began suburbanization as bridges and parkways were built. More people could now access this beautiful summer retreat. It was becoming less of an island and more an extension of the mainland, Manhattan. With so much to offer, population skyrocketed with developments such as Levittown that housed the returning GI’s after WWII. The post war boom defined our nation’s first suburbs.
Today, Long Island is “the most populated island in any U.S. territory or state and the 17th most populous island in the world, beating Ireland and Jamaica. If Long Island were a state, it would be the 13th most populous and first in terms of population density with 5,402 people per square mile, or 2,086 people per square kilometer. It is one of the most densely populated regions in the country. Long Island has 39% of the total population of the state of New York.” (According to World Population Review )
Our Tiny Summer Home
You’re probably wondering how I even found a tiny home on Long Island! It was no easy feat. However, there are small capes and old-school beach houses still remaining on Long Island if you know where to look.
Surrounded by the ocean, sound and numerous bays, Long Island has cold, wet and windy winters. A home designed for summer living is no match for Mother Nature here. Home owners have had to transform their retreats with heating, insulation and modern windows. Most of these transformations took on a life of their own turning beach houses into McMansions. Yet some die-hard islanders, who would not survive without salt mixed into their oxygen, have kept their quaint beach homes. They use them for summer guests, weekend entertaining on the beach, and soulful meditation. We were lucky to find such wonderful brethren and be welcome for an unforgettable summer, living in their tiny home.
Tiny Living Options
After experiencing the full extent of what living in a tiny home entails, we’ve realized that we have been surrounded by tiny living options all along. By definition a tiny home is under 400 square feet, but a small home under 1000 square feet is becoming the debatable tiny norm. Check out Finding Your Home for communities and building options.
If you think about it in only square footage terms, a tiny home can be a house boat, a condo, or an apartment. You don’t need to live in an adorable cottage-type house to be part of the tiny living movement. Check out Choosing a Setting for location ideas.
After Careful review
We weren’t sure how we would feel about living in a home that is so small with what seemed like almost none of our belongings. We took a leap of faith. We fell in love with our lifestyle. It is so much more relaxing and it allowed us to accomplish some goals we would not have been able to do in a larger home.
Our plan, moving forward, is to decrease the items we kept in storage by 50%. If we succeed we will have purged a total of 90% (😮👏💃) of our possessions from when we lived in a three bedroom house. (Keep in mind, this was done in stages. By the time our items were put in storage we had already purged 80%. Check out Getting Rid of Stuff)
As we move on to our next location, we want to continue “living tiny.” We’ve been motivated by a new kind of freedom (almost like that awesome outdoor shower I will miss so much). Adventure awaits!