Can you live in a storage unit? (Hint: no.)

The “tiny house” phenomenon—truly scaled-down living—is one thing, but can you live in a storage unit? The short answer is: No.

But this doesn’t stop people from asking. Lior Rachnany, owner and founder of Brooklyn-based Dumbo Moving, shared this story:

One time, a home owner called Dumbo Moving and asked us to help him with an eviction… The truck driver asked the tenant for the address where all these items should be taken and he said, “Aren’t we going to Dumbo’s warehouse? I thought I could stay in one of the storage rooms until I find a new apartment.”

Now let’s revisit the question creatively. Could you live in a space as tiny as a storage unit? People do—especially in very high-rent areas. In fact, in Manhattan, there’s even a name for these super-small (some under 100 square feet) apartments: “micro dwellings.”

With rents skyrocketing across the country, it may be tempting to ditch your “fancy” (by that I mean, it has a bathroom) apartment and live in a container. But please, for your sake!, don’t even think about it. If you want to “live tiny” there are some great options out there. As far as living for less, I’ve got some ideas to share about that, too!

“Living large” is so 1980s. Today, people are all about living simply. The Tiny House Movement has inspired aging Baby Boomers and Millennials alike to reconsider how much space they truly need to live well. While the average size of an American home is 2,600 square feet, tiny houses are typically less than 1,000 square feet. In a tiny house, every square inch has a purpose. This is especially relevant for the tiniest of houses—“extreme tiny homes.”

Compared to a 200-square-foot home, a trailer might look downright spacious. Trailers are making a comeback. No longer limited to cross-country summer camping and fishing trips, today’s “glampy” trailers combine the best of DIY renovation and tiny living. My favorites are the pink trailers—reminiscent of Barbie’s Dream Camper.

If you prefer to live in something without wheels underneath, how about a lighthouse? If you’ve got the money to buy a piece of history, there are lighthouses for sale. However, if you’re seriously considering living in a storage unit, money may be an issue; did you know that the National Park Service is seeking volunteers to live in lighthouses? Here’s more information.

There’s another way to live rent-free and see the world: house-sitting. You (and your pets, in many cases) can live rent-free in exchange for taking care of someone’s house, garden and pets. Two favorite sites for this are HouseSittersAmerica  and MindMyHouse. On either site, you set up a profile and search for jobs all over the U.S. and the world. How does house-sitting in Hawaii for a month sound?

Conna Shannon

Conna Shannon

Conna is a writer, editor and aspiring filmmaker. She's into DIY, upcylcing and macrobiotic cooking. She lives in Monterey, California, with a yellow lab named Daisy.
Conna Shannon

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