Most humans on this Earth have had days where they feel like selling all of their worldly possessions, packing up the minivan and driving off to parts unknown. Though merely a dream for many, there is a growing segment of the population that is doing just that: living simpler, but with a twist. Welcome to the world of Tiny House Living.
The Tiny House movement has been picking up steam over the last few years and is even seeing mainstream popularity with shows like Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunters. Former homeowners are opting to downsize their life, sell their homes and challenge themselves to live smaller and simpler, while also providing less impact on the environment.
The “tiny house movement,” also known as the “small house movement,” basically describes the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. The typical Tiny House is less than 400 square feet and often as small as 80 square feet; a far cry from the national average in 2014 of 2,453 square feet. Tiny Houses can be placed on a permanent foundation like a regular home, or on a trailer for a more mobile living lifestyle.
“Society does condition us that more is better, and bigger is better,” shares B.A. Norrgard, Tiny House Luminary and owner of A Bed Over My Head. “Many of us were raised in households where we keep things that we ‘might need someday.’ Reality is that we probably never will use them. It sounds cliché, but downsizing possessions really is very liberating. You will feel free when you don’t have to spend time and money sorting and organizing possessions in pretty tubs and boxes with labels.”
The cost of a tiny house is remarkably low, so the lure of financial freedom is one of the many reasons for their growing popularity. But make no mistake; adjusting to a smaller space and fewer possessions is not a small undertaking. A large part of transitioning to living in several hundred square feet is drastic downsizing.
“My world is a world of people in tiny houses, or people moving towards living in tiny houses,” Norrgard says. “With all, extreme downsizing is a big part of the journey. Many of those whom I counsel and work with do secure a storage unit, either as a stepping stone to downsizing, or as a permanent solution for items they need for work or seasonal sporting equipment. Having a storage unit isn’t something that is a shameful secret, and it can be a valuable tool for those looking to live tiny.”
“Downsizing is a process,” she goes on to say. “So be kind to yourself and strive to purge in layers. Once done, you will be able to celebrate your freedom of not spending valuable time organizing things or hoarding things that mean little to your ultimate happiness.”
For some, the tiny house movement has become a way of life and the means to adjusting to a smaller space and fewer possessions. For others it offers up the new opportunity to save money, own less and focus on relationships and experiences. Whatever category you fall into, taking the first step towards your new tiny house living dreams is the right step in a new and empowering direction.
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