Could you live in a tiny home?

For years before my radical move to a floating home, my inner tree hugger craved a Tiny Home. I have always preferred cottages to castles, so ever since I grew an environmental conscience I have been dreaming of an “eco” home. When my daughter graduated, and fled the traditional nest, I seized the opportunity to downsize and divest myself of mortgage, utility bills and a houseful of “stuff”.
Selling up is an easy enough thing to do. Finding that perfect size to down to is not! I soon exhausted every property search for a small patch of land on which to settle. Planning laws in the UK strangle any visions of a woodland hut. Inner-city space is equally squeezed. So where can one go with one’s ideas for sustainable dwelling?
Is the Tiny House Movement for you? Originating in the USA, this social movement encourages those who prefer a few hundred feet of living space to a few thousand. Their homes come in all shapes and forms but allow the occupant to live a simpler life in an efficient space. Many businesses have seized the opportunity to develop such homes and market a lifestyle that many a free thinker might aspire to. They are often built on a trailer base, to be mobile and get around planning laws in some states.
The popularity of these homes has led to changes in planning and property laws in some States. In Denver for example, laws on minimum sizing have been ended and codes allowing ladders instead of staircases have changed. The homes may be for those wanting to buy land and save on construction costs, or may use the structures to house independent offspring or visiting guests on a larger property. In Seattle schools have engaged in a challenge to design and raise funds for tiny homes to house homeless people, in a specialised tiny house village. A similar project elsewhere houses vagrant veterans.
Here in the UK, where space is at more of a premium and planning regulations are often cripplingly prohibitive, the movement has struggled and been slow to catch on. Fashion and trendy magazines portray quirky shepherd’s huts and cosy gypsy caravans, but in reality these remain the domain of B&B offers and those with a large back garden.
Converted shipping containers may be our closest option, as these appear reincarnated in many places, as café’s, city centre pop-up shops and occasionally a photographically, trendy array of Grand Design type apartments. If you’re still not sure if you want a simpler, smaller living space, here are some things to consider:
1. How much of your home is used for living, and how much just to store “stuff”? When I considered my own modest house, I realised that I spent most of my time at the kitchen table or otherwise in bed – the sitting room and spare beds were rarely used.
2. How much of your hard-earned income is spent on utilities, maintenance, fashionable furnishing and other such money pits? How would you prefer to spend it?
3. How much of your “leisure” time disappears on chores related to the size of house or garden?
4. How often do those guest rooms get used and could there be an alternative?
5. Do you want to an affordable, sustainable lifestyle; to get out more and live life to the full?
If these simple questions have made you stop and think, you may be ready to downsize at the very least. Getting out of “stuffocation” gives many a sense of liberation. Simplifying your surroundings can be therapeutic and healing. The opportunity to identify what really matters to you, to listen to what your instinct is telling you and obey that inner voice can be transformational. If a midlifer like me can survive it so can you. Who knows, we may start a little movement all of our own!

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Could you live in a tiny home?

  1. I left a link on Facebook related to the above post. I too, love the minimal as you will have seen from my own blog maybe…. the inside of ‘Free’. Eventually the time will come when I have to live ashore again, especially with the anti ‘liveaboard’ legislation and increasing fees everywhere. Once you’re free, it is impossible to put up with what most folk take for granted.

    Like

  2. Government loves to govern and freedom both of thought and lifestyle terrify them and their paranoid financiers. I must admit, the joy that comes from being a part of their problem, rather than them being a part of mine, is a gratifying bonus on top of the freedom itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally love this Hilary! We downsized to the country. People see our home from afar and assume it’s huge given its on a large plot and barely visible until approached up close which is impossible too haha. Our house can sit comfortably in the lounge of our last home. We’re it not for my numerous fur kids needing the lounge to avoid having to ALL climb in with me in the specially purchased super king bed specially for them …. then I could live without the lounge. The office is needed for my husband and my creative room suddenly got turned back into a spare room! Not by me. I have ONE bathroom, it’s 2017! Haha, it’s great. The kitchen is probably larger on your boat than in my house. I love the outdoors so my extended lounge is a raised terrace I fill with blooms.

    Like

  4. We’ve just fitted out a 40ft shipping container for our family 2 adults, 1 toddler, 1 baby). It’s a little squeezy at times but for the most part we love it! Also loving the more minimalist lifestyle that comes with tiny homes!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s