One upon a time, when I was a poor, starving, college student, I lived in a tiny house (small t, small h), which is not the same as living in an adorable Tiny House. Have you seen them? Tiny Houses are usually no more than 400 sq. ft, often hand-built, craftsman-style, sometimes on wheels, and largely off the grid. They are for people who want to decrease their impact on the earth and who don’t have a lot of stuff. Here are some links to give you an idea:
Quick Google Images Search for “Tiny Houses”
25 Brilliant Tiny Homes That Will Inspire You To Live Small
Small House Movement (Wikipedia)
And…for your amusement… Dear People Who Live in Fancy Tiny Houses
My tiny house was kinda cute, but it wasn’t adorable, or very comfortable either. It had originally been built as a pool house, a place to change into your swimsuit before taking a dip. By the time I moved in, in the late 1970’s, the swimming pool behind the apartment building had been filled in with dirt, and the pool house served as a detached apartment. I had 200 sq. ft. of living space, but there was also a covered 10×10 screened-in porch for hanging out on nice days. (If it was rainy, forget it. The roof leaked like a sieve.)
One of the drawbacks of living in an old pool house, since it was never meant for habitation, is that the walls, um, did not quite meet the roof. Granted, this was in Southern California, but even so, when it’s 40 degrees and rainy, one notices when the walls don’t actually meet the roof! Other creatures notice too.
Another drawback was that my 200 sq. ft. contained three completely separate rooms with floor-to-ceiling interior walls that formed a combo kitchen/dining/living room, a bedroom with closet, and a bathroom with shower. Tiny Houses are designed for optimal storage and function, and they usually feature an open floor plan. Mine had no clever storage nooks, but it did include an intriguing appliance, the likes of which I have not personally seen before or since: a combination stove/sink/refrigerator.
A Tiny House usually has either a loft bedroom, or at least a sleeper-sofa. Mine had a small sofa, a twin bed, and not much else. If it had been cuter, and if I’d been planning to stay longer, and if I’d had the funds (I was still years away from purchasing furniture of my own), I might have gotten a sleeper-sofa and used the bedroom as a little home office. Or installed one of those cool Murphy Desk Beds. As it is, the only way this space worked for me is: 1) I was single and had no pets, 2) I owned nothing, 3) it was all I could afford at the time.
What about you? Could you live (or have you lived) in a Tiny House?
(I know two couples who live full-time in RVs…which totally counts…)
Please share in the comments below!
Copyright 2015 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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I just attended a minimalist meetup tonight and one of the attendees was about to move into an RV full-time and another was talking about her plans to purchase a Sprinter vehicle and convert into a livable space. I was definitely intrigued by their ideas, but I’m not quite ready to embrace tiny living (yet?!).
I fantasize about traveling in a tiny RV (like a Rialta). But not living full time.
Maybe. If I lived alone and had no pets. But feng shui says we shouldn’t have computer in our bedrooms, so I’m not sure…
I’m not a feng shui expert, but my guess is that it would be OK if you were limited in space and if the computer were turned off at night. But… I’ll be we can find lots of other feng shui violations in small spaces!
Maybe after my kids are gone. My parents retired into an RV but I think it was bigger than your tiny house. It is definitely a different lifestyle when you have to consider the size, weight and storage location of everything you own. I learned a lot about organizing watching my parents live in their RV.
The desire to travel would definitely have to outweigh the desire to own stuff!
I love the idea of an efficient home that can store stuff effectively. I think tiny living is great for 1 or 2 people, but it can be pretty difficult for a family of 3 or 4. I love the idea that you can have them on wheels and go around the country. Great for retirement. It’s so important to know what you are getting yourself into before you start living in a tiny house. Doing research and making a home exactly what you want it to be will help ease the transition. Thanks for sharing your experience.
My current home is TEN TIMES the size of my tiny house! I could easily live in a smaller space, but have no current plans to do so.
Before I came to Canada 20 years ago I was living in a one room converted single car garage. Life was simple and uncluttered and it fitted my needs at the time. The more space the more stuff you need to fill it.
Yes, and even if you don’t feel the need to fill empty space, it’s so much easier to think, “I might as well keep it, I have the space.”
My husband and I were just talking about building a tiny house on his parent’s farm, but I’m not sure I could live there all the time! Of course TV shows are making them the latest and greatest, but as a person who needs A LOT of personal space I just don’t think they are for me. Great post though!
Perfect way to visit your in laws without having to bunk with them!
I love these small and efficient options for living with only what you need and love. Excited for this to be my downsizing plan, don’t think hubby is reasy to give up his Habs room just yet though
Had to Google Habs. Hockey, eh? And where do you plant to locate your Tiny House, Margie? (Unless, of course, it’s going to be mobile.)
I’ve lived in small homes and I like that it was fairly straightforward to live simply and without excess. That said, it’s harder to do when you don’t live by yourself!
I currently don’t share 2000 sq. ft. I can’t even imagine sharing 400 sq. ft. (or less) at this point in my life!
In my country it’s not a small house but like a small room without a kitchen. A small house like this still looks good to me because I can have a kitchen. I’ve lived in a small place without a kitchen, so I have to go out to eat. Thank you for the article. biesterbosgroep.nl