Unless you’ve been living under a rock, by now you’ve probably heard about the tiny house phenomenon that’s trending right now. With the average square footage of homes in the U.S. continually rising the tiny house movement is a trend that I’m hoping will stick.
Tiny homes range from 100 to 400 square feet and are typically built on wheels. I love the idea that there is a more reasonable option for people to purchase sustainable homes, one that can help them reduce their mortgage debt and clutter, and live in a home that is not such a huge burden on the environment. The idea of tiny homes sounds like a great solution to so many problems.
I often find myself daydreaming about living in a tiny house of my own one day, but I’m not sure it’s ever actually going to happen since I have a family. It’s great to hear the stories of trendsetters who have made the leap successfully, but I wonder if the lifestyle is practical for everyday families and people of all ages or simply just a fad for young, single people with no kids.
Is tiny house living practical for most people? More specifically, is it right for you? I’m not talking about the act of getting rid of most of your belongings (that would be the easy part), but rather the logistics of it all, and actually living in such a tiny space with more than one person.
Kids and Tiny Homes
The biggest worry I have about owning a tiny home is if it can even be done with children. I know that having a lot of stuff doesn’t make anyone happier, but when you have kids, there are definitely certain items that can make your life much easier, and many of those items are sizable, such as strollers, baby swings, and cribs. It’s also great to have some space for your small kids to play in, and sometimes just for a chance to get away from them for a bit, even if it’s only in the next room.
There are plenty of single and newlywed couples living in tiny homes (because all you want to do as a newlywed is be close to each other), but I’ve never met a family, even a small family of three like my own, who live in one.
Is It an Option For Older Generations?
I also think about my 80-something year old Granny living in a tiny home. Would it even be possible? Would she be able to climb up a ladder to get to her bed? I imagine not. She is pretty spry and gets around easily in her sprawling home but I don’t think she could even consider living in a tiny home due to certain physical limitations.
So is living in a tiny home a temporary solution for only a certain period of your life? Is it something that could be used as a forever home? I’m not exactly sure that’d be possible for most people.
Is It Safe?
Many of the tiny homes I’ve seen are on wheels, which makes me wonder if it’s any better than living in an RV or camper. I don’t exactly live in tornado alley or an area that is prone to flooding, hurricanes, or wildfires, but I have been in my fair share of windy thunder storms that make me a little nervous when my house starts popping and cracking.
Sure, you can actually move a tiny home, but you can’t exactly do that when a fierce storm pops up, so what is a tiny home owner to do in that case? I want to feel safe in my home, and I’m not sure how safe I’d feel in a hail storm with my head two feet away from the roof of my loft bedroom in a tiny home.
The What If’s
I know you shouldn’t live your life around “what ifs,” but life happens. What if you broke an arm or leg? What if you have knee surgery or pull a muscle in your back? Would living in a tiny home make it uncomfortable or even impossible to live in your own home if you temporarily needed a wheelchair or crutches or had to crawl up into a loft bed with a bad knee?
Small Living Instead of Tiny Living
Clearly my answer is obvious — I need to focus on downsizing to a small home (1,000 square feet or less) instead of a tiny home. I’d still reap the benefits of having a smaller impact on the environment and reducing my stuff, while still having plenty of space to entertain my child.
Hopefully downsizing, whether it’s small or tiny, will continue to catch on so that smaller living can become an ideal solution for families big and small.
Are there any tiny home dwellers out there? I’d love to hear from you about the pitfalls and joys of tiny house living! Do you think you could live in a tiny house? What are some other reasons tiny house living might not be the most practical solution for everyone; or even for anyone with a family for that matter?