Monday, April 4, 2016

Tiny Houses for You and Me

As you've probably noticed, tiny houses are all the rage right now. Full disclosure: I WANT ONE.

I want one like whoa.

Here's the thing, though: I actually know that I could live in one, because The Fella and I lived in a studio apartment for almost two years. I don't know the actual square footage of that space, but I would estimate it at around 200 sq feet. Two adults. One room. No storage.

Two years.

If you are interested in living in a tiny space? Friend, I have some tips for you! Learn from my experience!

1. Decide What You Cannot Live Without

Everyone says they want to live in a tiny house because they want to scale back. That's great, but scaling back actually means scaling back. As in, you're going to have to get rid of some stuff. Before you commit to dwelling in a teeny tiny space, you need to decide what you can't live without.

The truth of small-scale living is this: if there's a big list of stuff that you absolutely cannot do without? A tiny space is not for you. Giving up the things you really love will make you resentful. You will begin to hate your living space. You will be miserable. You will make other people miserable. Don't be that guy. It's okay to need more space than a tiny house allows. Needing and wanting room in your house is not a personal failing!

2. Recognize That Clutter Is Your Enemy

I am a person who HATES clutter. I hate it. As a result, my personal decorating style tends to be very streamlined. Clutter makes small spaces feel smaller. If you need to be surrounded by lots of things? If your decorating style is "fill every available surface"? A tiny house might not be for you.


There were two things that eventually drove us out of our tiny abode:

  • We have a seven year old (aka The Wee One) and desperately needed a bedroom door. (or, you know, ANY doors)
  • We needed some storage
You have stuff. Your stuff needs somewhere to live. Presumably, you do not want to look at all of your stuff all of the time, and you don't want other people to see all of your stuff. As as result, you will need to have places where you can put your stuff away.

Most tiny spaces are designed with storage in mine (ours was NOT) and will have clever little nooks and crannies to put things in. Despite this, you will probably find that you need to get rid of stuff to make it work. As I said before, you'll need to decide what you can't live without because you will definitely end up living without some of your possessions simply because you will have no place to put them. 

4. Personal Space? Part One: HAHAHAHA

When The Fella and I moved into our new, bigger apartment, we frequently joked that it was weird not being able to see each other all of the time. If you are partnered up? You need to ask yourself if you are okay being in very close proximity to your loved ones -- ALL OF THE TIME. Like, always. You will be up each other's buckets. This worked for us because of our personalities (basically, our crazy lines up perfectly), but it would not work for everyone. 

5. Personal Space? Part Two: Consider Growth

I recently saw a video of a tiny house featuring a family with two children. The children -- toddlers, a boy and a girl -- shared a loft bedroom. And a bed. This works right now, because they are little. 

It won't work forever. (While watching the video, I actually said, out loud, "I give that three more years, tops.")

As I said before, The Wee One played a significant factor in our need for a bigger space. If you have a growing family, you need to take that into consideration before you go the tiny house route. 

6. A Tiny House is Still a House

All homes require maintenance. While the maintenance of a tiny house is going to be quite different than that of, say, a two story Cape? There will still be work and upkeep required in order to keep it in tiptop shape. Due to the unique and nontraditional designs of tiny houses, the work may actually be more difficult or more involved than the maintenance of a traditional, larger space. It's important to realize that when you're deciding to make the jump to small scale living -- small house does not equal less maintenance. 

Still want to live in an adorable, tiny, sweet little space? Then go for it, my friend! Tiny houses are not perfect, but they are awesome.

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