Why go tiny
There are as many reasons for going tiny as there are kinds of tiny home.
Not everyone who dreams of living tiny wants to live in a homemade RV totally off grid in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing wrong with wanting that lifestyle and I am happy that, in this country it is possible to live in a tiny cabin in the woods miles from anyone else. But it is also possible to live tiny in a conventional, but small home. And for as many types of tiny living situation that can be dreamed up, there are as many reasons for wanting to go tiny.
Whether you want to get out of debt, avoid getting into debt, or save for your kids’ college, or retirement, dramatically downsizing your home usually results in a dramatic downsize of housing payment too.
In the area I live the average 2600 sq ft house will cost you around $2000 a month. A house half the size costs almost half that. I have an extra $1000 a month in my pocket because I live in a smaller home.
Not only the rent or mortgage goes down with a smaller home, so too does the cost to run the home (heat, light, cool etc,). Tiny homes take this one step further. Living in my 2500 sq ft home I used to spend around $200 a month powering the house and that was with actively using free heat and cooling by opening windows, closing blinds etc. I have seen stats that say a tiny home can be heated for as little as $20 a month although $50-$100 seems to be the norm among tiny living people I have polled. The person that came in at $100 a month included the cost of water in their calculation because they live off grid and power is required to pull water from the well.
Have the ability to work less and still have a good life
Lowering your housing cost can mean you don’t need to work so much to afford the life you want to live. If you had $1000 less a month in expenses you’d be able to work less and have more time for gardening, reading, walking the dog, playing with the kids, learning…. What would you do with more free time?
Spend money on experiences and travel
Have you ever wanted to have a vacation home but don’t think you can afford it? Could you afford it if both homes were small or one was small and one was tiny? Maybe you’d like to free up money to travel the world instead of spending it all on paying the mortgage. Or save for a future event such as kids’ college, your own student loans, or saving for retirement instead of spending on housing.
Save the planet
Living in a smaller footprint, using fewer resources to build the home, using less to maintain and run the home is the reason that many go tiny. Have you ever noticed that children seem so much more connected to nature? Well yeah, they’re closer to the ground so they notice the flowers more. Tiny living puts you closer to nature outside by the shear physical fact that your rooms are smaller and there are fewer of them! It’s impossible to lose yourself in the middle of a tiny house. And tiny living may just help you find yourself!
Reduce the stress of living and caring for a big home
It literally takes half the time to vacuum a 1000 sq ft house than it does 2000 sq ft. And going lower than 1000 will take no time at all. In my clutter-free small home it takes no more than an hour a week to clean and that includes sweeping all the floors every other day (because I have cats and if I don’t sweep that often the dust bunnies get scary!). I’ve seen one statistic that said getting rid of clutter in the home would reduce your housework by 40%. I used to think this was one of those crazy, no one in real life could achieve this kind of stats. But here I am living in a home that is clutter-free and takes next to no time to clean. I can imagine a tiny home taking no more than 30 minutes a week, including laundry!
It all boils down to spending less on buying, maintaining and running the home to give you greater freedom to either spend your money or your time in different ways or spend your time in different ways.
It’s all about what YOU want it to be and not to fit in what someone else says is the ‘right way’ to do things.
No one tiny situation is better than another.
I love seeing this tiny house movement growing as more people choose to step away from ‘normal’ and embrace their dreams to create a life that fits them better. But I’ve also seen a small group of people judging and deciding that one version of tiny is better than another. When I transitioned to a whole food plant based lifestyle there was a group there too who loved to point out how others were failing in their journey to a better diet. And don’t get me started on the folks who love to point out where parents are failing. My mantra has always been “progress not perfection”. So whatever version of tiny you strive for and whatever your reasons they are good enough.