Recent economic difficulties have forced everyone to make some hard choices when it comes to the household budget. Many people are downsizing everything in their lives from the cars they drive to the homes they live in. For some, the movement toward tiny houses is about saving money but for others, the opportunity to live a simpler life is just as big a draw.
The average size of a tiny house is between 100 square feet and 400 square feet. By comparison, the average size of new houses built in the United States in 2013 was approximately 2,600 square feet. A compact living space is attractive to individuals of all ages, including college graduates, newlyweds, and retirees.
One of the most obvious advantages of a home this small is the owner does not need a huge plot of land. The house is portable enough to move virtually anywhere. Manufacturing costs are low because builders do not need as much material and it takes fewer hours to assemble. That translates in a significantly smaller price tag making it affordable to more consumers. Tiny house owners do not have to worry about signing a 30-year mortgage just to have a roof over their heads.
The savings continue long after moving into this type of house. They are much less expensive to heat and cool than a house that covers a couple thousand square feet. Miniaturized appliances cost less to purchase and require fewer resources to operate.
New construction traditionally puts a strain on the Earth’s natural resources. Moving into a tiny house is especially attractive to those people who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Because of their size, many of these homes are constructed with recycled materials. After they are built, they are energy efficient and produce less waste.
Tiny house designs make the maximum use of the space available. Concealed storage closets and cubbyholes take advantage of areas that are typically wasted. Without extra space, occupants are less inclined to accumulate possessions that they do not really need. Without the clutter, the rooms appear and feel bigger than they actually are. Cutting down on purchasing impulse items means less waste, less money spent, and more money saved.
Many people realize that they lead a higher quality of life after they have eliminated unnecessary possessions. They lose the desire to buy status items just to keep up with their peers. They feel less stressed and receive more happiness out of the little things in life that are more important in the grand scheme of things.
A smaller home means less time spent on maintenance and cleaning. Instead of taking hours to dust, vacuum, and wash windows, it takes just a few minutes to clean the entire house from top to bottom. This means more time spent with family and enjoying life.
Despite all the benefits, living this type of lifestyle is not for every. Before making the commitment to living in a tiny home, individuals should weigh their options and consider the disadvantages of downsizing to just a few hundred square feet of living space. One of the biggest problems is likely to be deciding which possessions to keep and which to sell, donate, or discard. As difficult as it may be, many people find this process to be liberating once they make it through.
Living in smaller quarters requires a high level of organization. A little bit of clutter goes a long way in a small space. Someone who cannot stay organized will become quickly overwhelmed. The home will look more like a storage closet and will lose all of its appeal.
Someone who loves to entertain guests at home will have a hard time following this lifestyle. Accommodating any extra people indoors will be challenging if not impossible. Depending on the climate and the time of year, homeowners can consider entertaining guests outdoors. Creative use of outdoor space is an effective way to increase the amount of usable space available. A porch or deck provides a comfortable place to barbecue, dine, or just kick back and relax whenever the weather permits.
The reasons people choose to move to smaller homes are personal but many are looking for a simple life and a way to escape living from paycheck to paycheck. The satisfaction of being self-sufficient is something else that people gain when they downsize their living space. Moving into a tiny home can be the ideal solution for someone who wants to achieve financial freedom while living a lifestyle that is friendly to the environment.