Considering a move? What you need to know
By Heidi Thiel
Are you considering downsizing to a tiny home? The popularity of tiny home living is on the rise as homeowners recognize the many benefits of moving from a large home into one much smaller. Not only are tiny homes good for the environment, but they’re also great for your pocketbook and finances. Still, other people are choosing to move to a tiny house so they can live simpler lives.
Here’s everything you need to know about tiny home living and what you can do to transition from a large space to one much smaller.
What is a tiny home?
Any home structure that measures under 400 square feet is considered to be a tiny home. That’s much smaller than the detached single-family home in North America that measures, on average, 2,600 square feet.
Not only are tiny homes small, but they’re also mobile, which means that you can either place them on a solid foundation on your own lot or they can travel with you wherever you want to go. This is ideal if you move frequently and don’t want to look for housing with each move.
Motivations behind downsizing to a tiny house
People who choose to live in tiny homes come from many different backgrounds, with many motivations behind their move to a small space. These include:
- Homeowners who don’t want to have a mortgage, but still want to qualify for home insurance.
- Retirees who want to travel and downsize.
- Young millennials who may not be able to afford a larger house but who want a home to call their own.
- Homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprint.
- People who want the ability to take their home with them when they move.
The benefits of living in a tiny house
Tiny home living comes with some big benefits and advantages:
Reduce your carbon footprint
Perhaps one of the biggest impacts of living in a small house is the ability to significantly reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment. Tiny homes are extremely efficient and use much less energy to heat and cool. By reducing the space you live in, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 36%.
The average cost of a tiny home is $23,000, which means that you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars on housing. Whether you build it yourself or hire a contractor, moving to a tiny house allows you to save on average $478 more each month, money that you can set aside for retirement or use to travel.
Live like a minimalist
There’s a lot of emphasis these days on minimalism—living with less by downsizing and getting rid of items you don’t need so you can focus on life experiences rather than materialism. Tiny home living allows you to experience this minimalist lifestyle for the simple reason that you’ll no longer have room for all those possessions you had room for in a larger house.
Living in a small house allows you to simplify your entire life and live much more efficiently with less, with each item in your tiny home having a specific and functional purpose.
Improve your lifestyle
With less room to do things inside your tiny home, you’ll be inspired to do more outside. Whether it’s being more active outdoors or pursuing hobbies, small home living encourages you to get out and focus more on your lifestyle.
Are you ready for tiny home living?
If you’re considering moving into a tiny house, there are some things you can do to make the transition an easy one. Moving from a big space to a small home requires some preparation:
Test out a small space
Whether you rent a tiny home or small Airbnb, spend some time in a small space so you have a good understanding of the amount of room you’ll have. As appealing as it may sound to you now, tiny home living isn’t for everyone.
Once you’ve made the decision to move into a tiny house, it’s time to start downsizing. Start working your way through one room at a time, deciding what you can get rid of by selling or donating. This is also the time to realize that living in a tiny house means living with a lot less, so you’ll need to make some important decisions about what you can live without.
Think about which tiny house plan is going to work best for you. There are many different concepts for tiny homes—is a larger kitchen area more important to you or do you want more bedroom space? Design your tiny home based on how the space will give you the most functionality.
After you’ve moved into your tiny home, be patient. It will take you some time to transition to a much smaller space, getting into the routine of living in under 400 square feet. Keep reminding yourself of your goals and priorities for moving to a tiny house.
Final words on tiny home living
Now that you know all about the benefits of tiny home living, you’re ready to downsize and make your move. If you’ve built your tiny house and aren’t ready to move in full-time just yet, consider alternative uses such as using it for a home office or workshop, or renting it out for extra income.
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Heidi Thiel is a writer and content creator based in New York City. When she isn’t writing about green living and lifestyle, you can usually find her reading in a coffee shop or hanging out with her bearded dragon.