Part One: Living Small in Tiny Homes
Part one of a series of three: This series will cover the topic of tiny homes, a new form of living being embraced around the world. In part one, the blog post explains various reasons why tiny home living can benefit your lifestyle.
Over the last five to six years, there has been a steadily increasing trend in the housing market- tiny homes. Instead of the size of your house growing with the size of your paycheck, people are opting for a different way of life- one with higher financial freedom, a smaller carbon footprint, and the means to travel more than ever before. Living small isn’t just defined to one size either. By definition, a small house is 501-1400 square feet, a tiny house is between 101-500 square feet, and if you want to go even smaller, micro homes are 100 square feet or less. Small living quarters isn’t a new phenomenon; In Hong Kong, the average living space is 343 square feet. Here in Canada however, the average house size runs around 1614 square feet, coming in in the top three for largest homes on average across the globe. Canadians and other countries across the world have started to take note of the benefits to living with less and are starting to adopt these practices.
Why live small?
1. Less clutter- Living small ultimately means living with less space. It also means living with less stuff and more valuables. When living small, you’re living purposefully. Every item that enters your home will need to be thought through and guaranteed not to take up necessary space. A smaller space doesn’t need to mean a bigger sacrifice though. Many people have said that moving into a tiny house allowed them to realize how many unnecessary items they had and just how much they weren’t using in their previous homes. Living in a tiny house means that everything you surround yourself with will be something that brings you joy.
2. Easier to maintain- with less clutter and less space, there is less overall space to clean and fix. Instead of cleaning seven different rooms, you’re cleaning one to three. Instead of changing out 20 lightbulbs, you’re changing out 6. If something breaks, you’re aware of it right away and can take care of it as needed. With less time spent cleaning and maintaining your home, you’ll have more time for other things, like getting outside or visiting family and friends.
3. Less debt- the cost of a tiny house is significantly less than that of a three or four bedroom, two bathroom house on the market these days. Whether you choose to build or to buy your tiny home, you own the house with no mortgage. If you weren’t planning on owning a house soon, you were most likely considering or already paying rent. A tiny house is all yours with no monthly rent cheques or condo fees to pay.
4. Less environmental impact- tiny homes offer an excellent opportunity to reduce your overall energy use as well as your carbon dioxide emissions. On average, a regular sized home consumes between 12,000 and 13,000 kilowatts of energy annually while a tiny house only uses between 900 and 1,000 in the same time span. With less space to heat and less lighting needed, you can make a huge change in your environmental impact, not to mention your wallet will thank you too.
5. More freedom- with the opportunity to save your money, travelling becomes a viable option in your future plans. Whether you plan that great Europe backing trip or take a long weekend away up north, you’ll know you have the means to do so without worrying if you’ll be able to afford the trip and next month’s rent. If your house is built on a trailer with wheels, you can take your home with you and find a site to park on instead of hotel rooms.
Though living small in a tiny house might not be for everyone, there is no denying that it offers desirable alternatives to the standard way of living. Whether you want to live with less debt, live a low-impact life or have the ability to hook your home to your car and set off on your next adventure, living small isn’t just a trend anymore, it’s a way of life that’s sticking around for good.