Let’s face it. Going tiny is no small endeavor. We all desire or even resolve to get organized, downsize our personal belongings, and simplify our lives. But actually going through with the major change that is going tiny is tough to attempt. Don’t worry, there are warning signs to help you see if this is the right time in your life to tackle this massive undertaking. Here are five signs that you are not ready to go tiny.
We as human beings have a lot of stuff. Regina Lark of A Clear Path, who does professional organizing and productivity says that there are over 300,000 items in the average American household. According to IBISWorld (via this article), the self storage industry made $36 billion in 2016. Going tiny means making some really tough choices and means getting rid of some of that ever-loving stuff. Now I am not saying that you couldn’t find a small storage area for a couple of your heirlooms that just don’t fit into your new tiny home, but you are going to have to call it at some point. If you can’t get your life into a tiny house and a small storage facility, you are probably not ready to go tiny.
TOM: Tiny Home Builders, how can I help you? FUTURE TINY HOME BUILDER: I would like a tiny house that is 12 feet wide, 60 feet long and two stories with an elevator. TOM: (shaking head) ??????
OK, so it is not really that bad, but we do get asked all the time what the maximum dimensions are for a tiny house (read them here). We continually watch as people try to squeeze every extra quarter inch out of their tiny house. Now, being space conscious is certainly warranted when you are going from 3000 to 300 square feet. But don’t get lost in the minutia of measurement. That extra half of an inch that you saved might make you proud, but in the long run isn’t going to make or break your home. More than likely there are places where you can gain height, length and width where you haven’t even looked before. Maybe you didn’t think about building out over the tongue, cantilevering the sub floor over the ends of the flange, or even that the house will settle under it’s own weight giving you another 2-3 inches of height. Also keep in mind that you may not need every inch. Dan remembers a conversation he had with our friends at http://tinyhousegiantjourney.com/. When they started out they were trying to figure out every possible space that could be used for storage. But because of time constraints they couldn’t add all of the little nooks and cubbies they wanted and decided they would go back and add them later. Only after they moved in and became accustomed to living tiny did they realize that they simply didn’t need them. They had paired down so much, they no longer had the stuff that needed to be stored.
Your home is a very major part of your life. You would think that people would want to do some research before making a major decision that affects one of the three basic necessities. That however, is not always the case. We have talked about this in our article “Getting The Most From Your Tiny Home Research,” and the same holds true for when you purchase your tiny house: know what you are talking about. You will run a lot less risk for being taken advantage of as well as derive help from experts in the industry with much more ease.
This is kind of a part two from the sign above, but because of the importance of it, it is worth breaking out as a separate bullet point. The absolute biggest challenge that you will come up against when going tiny is finding a place to put that house once it is built. We have covered this before in “Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Tiny” but I will say it again. MAKE SURE you have done your due diligence to find out about the laws and codes in the area where you are thinking about living. Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive list for everywhere that Tiny Houses are allowed in the USA (the landscape of legislature changes too frequently to honestly keep up). You are just going to have to make calls and visit places and talk to people from the area to get a feeling for it. Don’t let it discourage you! There are plenty of places that are out there where tiny houses are perfectly legal and easy to accommodate. You are going to be fine!
Let’s be very clear here. Even if your tiny home has a separate bedroom that is closed off by a door, or two lofts so that everyone has their own space, you will have a VERY small space. This is sometimes not enough space for you and your significant other to have “breathing room.” If you have kids, they are going to be all up in your business, especially on the days where they may be inclement weather out there. This does not need to be a defining choice in your “Going Tiny” decision, but it is something to definitely keep in mind. If this is something you cannot handle, maybe you are not ready to go tiny. So what makes you so ready or not ready to go tiny? What obstacles are you coming up against. Let us know in the comments below.
Published on 11/18/2020. Published in Tiny House Research.