Looking To Simplify? How To Get In On The "Tiny House" Trend

Posted on: 4 July 2016

One of the hottest trends for consumerism-weary Americans is to downsize to live in a so-called "tiny house." Tiny houses are so small they can generally be towed from one location to another, and yet still come with most modern amenities. Costs are low, mobility is high and for many people, the liberation is tremendous. But transitioning from an average American home lifestyle to the tiny home life can be a tough task. If you're thinking of taking the tiny house plunge, here are the 5 steps to get you there.

Square Up Your Finances

Shifting to a tiny house and traveling more starts with understanding and controlling your finances. If you have debt, payments or limited savings, you may want to shore things up before making a major lifestyle change. While reducing housing expenses will help most families a lot, other expenses may still get in the way of your new, non-materialistic lifestyle and dreams of starting over. Make a written plan for getting rid of debts and freeing yourself up to follow your dreams. Then, work hard toward accomplishing your plan. 

Lower Your Overhead

Once you've taken control of your big picture finances, it's time to start reducing your overhead expenses. Living in a tiny house is generally not compatible with lifestyles that emphasize shopping, purchases, keeping up with the latest gadgets or hosting large gatherings regularly. Look at your budget and think about what you want to be doing once you move into your tiny home and get rid of most housing expenses. Do you want to work less? Travel? Take up art or music or writing? Turn a hobby into a home business? The possibilities are endless, but you must usually reduce your expenses as much as possible to be able to have the freedom to find them. 

Purge What You Can

One of the most important aspects of tiny home living is to divest yourself of the accumulation that's common to most families. Cramming 1500 square feet of stuff into a 200 square foot home is a sure recipe for disaster and unhappiness. Instead, donate items, have yard sales, give away to friends, sell online and return things. Try the "spark of joy" discarding methods of organizer-Supreme Marie Kondo or ask for help from others. Be ruthless and determined. Digitize your music, your movies, your documents and your photos.

Store What You Do Need

As you work through the downsizing process, it may be necessary to rent some personal storage for items you truly cannot live without -- and that's okay too. Don't cause regret later by discarding things of true sentimental importance or monetary value. Keep your stored items physically accessible by renting a space that's a little larger than you need. Assess your storage about twice a year to ensure that you aren't keeping things you don't need. Contact a company like Econo Storage for more help.

Know Your Needs

When actually planning your tiny house, be sure you know what's important to you and will make you happy. Do you need more kitchen space to cook? A full range? A bathtub? A big screen TV? Or is it the ability to have an outdoor deck that will please you? Do you want a house that can travel or will you be leaving it behind on vacations? All these questions -- and others -- will help you decide on the style and builder of tiny houses that's right for you. 

Choosing to live in a tiny house isn't for everyone. But as you follow these steps, you may find that it's the perfect path for you -- both financially and emotionally -- and allows you to start a fresh new chapter in your life.