7 bedrooms, 8 people, and stuff everywhere from the attic to the basement. That is how I would describe the house I raised my kids in. It was crammed, hard to clean, and crazy! When the kids grew up and moved out, I decided to live in a tiny house.
The days of big houses and having lots of stuff are becoming a thing of the past. Now it’s all about tiny homes and minimizing your things. The trend is moving towards smaller spaces that are greener and cleaner and therefore, more healthy to live within.
Why I Live in a Tiny House
When I moved to Florida from Pittsburgh I had stuff, a lot of stuff. I had to have a 24 foot U-Haul truck just to move it here. If that isn’t a lot of stuff for one person, then let’s not talk about all the things I already had stored in a 48-foot trailer my parents had on their property already!
It was crazy. How can one person own so many things and know what they have? In 2013 I decided to build a house on my parent’s property to help take care of them since they were getting up there in age. After a lot of research, I learned that even building it myself was going to be expensive so I downsized my plans and built a whopping 200 sq. foot house for myself.
I have exactly what I need now, I have a kitchen, a bathroom, a sleeping area, an office/living room, and a front porch. I love my tiny house. It is exactly what I needed. I needed a small space that was easy to clean and held only what I absolutely needed, nothing more.
The Advantages of my Tiny House
My tiny house is tiny! It fits exactly what I need and definitely has its advantages. It is easy to clean for starters. If I go every morning and sweep, mop and dust, I am done in about 20 minutes. My larger house took me hours.
It utilizes my space in a way that allows everything to always be neat and tidy. From shelving to built-ins, everything has its place.
Small air conditioners and heaters are used depending on the season and the electric bill is next to nothing because it heats and cools so easily. No more 300 dollar gas bills in the winter and 200 dollar electric bills in summer. Now I pay around 65 dollars a month year round!
Maintenance is at a minimum and roofing repairs in the future won’t be such a large expense to save for if they are ever needed. Repainting the exterior cost me the price of a five-gallon bucket of paint and I had enough left over to paint the shed to match.
The Disadvantages of my Tiny House
The disadvantages of my tiny house are pretty minimal. The biggest one being that I had to eliminate A LOT of stuff. I sold all the extra furniture, downsized all my craft stuff and donated extra clothing blankets and other things I had an abundance of.
Unfortunately, no matter how many things I got rid of, there were many things I didn’t. I could not fit a lot of the things I wanted to keep such as heirlooms and kids stuff from when they were little. Christmas decorations were a problem too. I ended up sorting that big trailer on the property, eliminating 75% of what was in there and stored the rest of my things in there.
Another disadvantage of living in a tiny house is that you can become a little crowded and stuffy. It is a small space but it feels smaller if I spend too much time inside. For that reason, I have since built a patio from pavers as an alternative place to sit. I had a gazebo behind the house that I used to work in but Hurricane Irma eliminated that.
Entertaining is almost impossible. There is enough room for me, maybe one more person, but that’s it. When my daughter comes here with her 3 children it feels like we are walking around each other a lot.
My Advice for Tiny House Living
Now that I went through the entire process of building my own tiny house I can tell you there are things I will caution others to do.
First of all, plan out the whole process. Think about how much space you need. Allow storage, everywhere you can find it. Consider builtins, custom seating and bedding.
Try to make your space multifunctional. Can your table turn into a desk to work on? Will the couch open into an extra bed if you need it? Can you add a fold down counter for more space in your kitchen so you have an extra counter when you need it?
Eliminate most of the things you can before you move into the tiny house. This is one time it is better to have too little, then to have entirely too much and no place to put it. Figure out what you need and what purpose it will serve when keeping or discarding things. Check out Tiny House Talk for great ideas on how to downsize your home and possessions, or you can read an article I wrote on downsizing here.
All in all living in a tiny house was the best thing I have ever done. I have less stuff, therefore less stress. The cleaning and maintenance are much easier and way more affordable. I have everything I need without all the extras I don’t. My tiny house has given me the freedom to homestead, garden, and enjoy more of life because I’m not buried in tasks at home.
Do you live in a tiny house? Are you considering it?
Check out my Pinterest board “Tiny House Ideas” for inspiration before you start planning for your tiny house. For an extensive site on the tiny house movement and lots of information in various areas of tiny houses see The Tiny Life website.
Welcome to the tours of the inside and outside of my tiny home! Hope you enjoy!
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