It all started unexpectedly. One recent day, my husband showed me a listing for a lovely tiny house located in Tennessee. The idea was initially appealing because it was adorable (in a classy, hey-I-can-actually-picture-myself-using-that-hobbit-shower-and-going-to-the-bathroom-in-that-charming-compostable-toilet kind of way). Then I began thinking about all the money we could save that we’re currently putting into rent (aka going nowhere toward our future ownership of a home) and the benefits of living in a more simple space.
I quickly responded that while it was a pretty cool tiny house, we couldn’t pull it off since we don’t have anywhere to park it. My husband said, jokingly, that we could park it in my parents’ yard, which is conveniently located in Tennessee near the tiny house listing we found.
Then it began. I rapidly hatched a plan for how we would buy this tiny house – which soon turned into building our own as we learned how much less expensive that would be – and park it in my parents yard all while saving money, reconnecting with my family (who I’ve not lived in the same area as in over 10 years), and dreaming up our next big plan.
Before this elaborate plan was developed, I’d never given tiny houses a whole lot of thought. After all, I want an expansive homestead so we can have abundant gardens, animals, and…babies. And where does one put all those babies? Okay, I don’t anticipate we’ll have more than a few children, but still, how does a whole family live in a home whose very name declares its miniscule-ness?!
Then I watched this video, and began to calm down a little.
My husband and I don’t have kids yet. We have (thankfully) little debt that will be paid off soon. We have a dream of someday owning a lovely, expansive homestead. Within all of this, though, lies the potential for a tiny house.
Why not put money that we would otherwise be throwing away on rent into something that we can own, that will be ours with the amount we spend on rent in just a couple of years? Why not save up for our homestead while we live in something that is ours, our very own special place that we built – rather than live in someone else’s home/apartment that we can never fully make our own?
So, I’ve been thinking and researching a lot lately about the benefits of living in a tiny house. People think I’m crazy and that the two of us could last in a space that small for more than a few months. Maybe this is true, but before I throw in the towel, I want to give this whole thing the benefit of the doubt.
This is why I’ve collected what I see as being the greatest Benefits of Living in a Tiny House (in the voice of a non-tiny home resident):
1.) Save Money
It may seem counter-intuitive, like, hey if I buy/build a tiny house, I’m spending what could have been my down payment on a nice homestead on this teeny tiny home. That’s a thought that’s crossed my mind, at least. The way I see it, though, is why not fully pay off a home as quickly as possible? If you are currently renting and saving up for your future home, or even if you’re paying a mortgage on a home right now, you can fully own a tiny house after just a couple of years. 30-year mortgage? How about a 2-year mortgage? Or better yet, pay that thing off right away with what you’ve saved up for a down payment. Now, that’s pretty appealing!
Let’s face it, when you have a big house with big rooms, there is open space. This open space tends to get filled. . . with stuff. We tend to grow into whatever size space we live in; it’s only natural. But, with less space to fill, we have less stuff to spend/waste our money on to filling the space.
Heating & Cooling
Less space = less money & energy spent heating and cooling this space.
Consider this: in a larger home, much of the house is heated or cooled that you may or may not spend time in. We’re spending money to heat areas that we literally just pass through. In a tiny home, energy efficiency is maximized not only because it’s a smaller space, but because most parts of the home are being utilized and thus not wasted.
Assuming that you’re building your tiny home or at least having a part in its creation, this is a wonderful opportunity to create something that is uniquely yours. Think of all the ways you can collect (while saving money!) parts of the home that speak to you and your individual style.
This woman is a wonderful inspiration when it comes to creating a unique space:
This goes along with the idea of having less space to collect stuff. Whether it’s frustrating or liberating, having less space to store things in is an opportunity to simplify and cut back on what we don’t need. What would it look like if we only had in our homes what we truly need? To me, this looks liberating.
4.) Less Time Spent Cleaning
A tiny house takes a fraction of the time it takes to clean and maintain an average-sized home. This for me is a big plus. When I picture moving into a larger homestead versus a tiny home, I’m more drawn to the tiny home for the fact that I will gain time I would otherwise have spent cleaning up the larger space.
Just imagine the many things you can do with all the time you will spend not cleaning in your tiny (and tidy) home!
Living in a smaller space, using less resources & energy, and having less stuff are all wonderful ways to live more lightly on the earth. Since living in a tiny home is less expensive, we can invest what money we are putting into the home on high-quality, eco-friendly materials that are better for us and the environment.
Do you actually live in a tiny house? What are the benefits and the drawbacks of your lifestyle?
Are you considering living in a tiny house? What do you think?
Share in the comments below!