Downside Your Home and Upgrade Your Life: 8 Advantages of Living in a Tiny Home
Socrates said it best. "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less." If your mind has been hedging toward minimalism more often these days, then we suggest you give that thought a little bit more weight.
Minimalism sparks people to get rid of the excess and live a life based on experiences over possessions. It's kind of a phenomenon of human nature... We tend to buy "things" - things to feel better, things to celebrate, things to fill spaces. But, then, as time progresses, we often find ourselves wanting to purge our homes of those "things" and declutter. This creates a lifelong cycle.
So, what happens when you break the cycle and join the ranks of minimalists living happily-ever-after in tiny homes? Several things happen, including an uptick in financial freedom and a downtick in household chores. We hope what we're about to say allows you to step beyond the hedge and jump into this limitless way of living.
1. The Design Options Know No End
If you're not looking to step into a cookie-cutter home in a suburban development somewhere, then you need to start scouring the endless number of tiny home plans out there.
We could go on for days about the intuitive ways tiny home architects make use of their space. In fact, that's an entirely new article right there. But, in the meantime, let's roll out the carpet on a few of our favorite design features.
We're major fans of PANELEX Tiny Homes for several reasons. Their designs bring in a treasure trove of natural light and, because of their modular construction, they can be added on to over time.
One of their best features is what's known as a curtain wall. It's a thin, lightweight wall system, typically made of glass. They're airtight, water-resistant, and energy-efficient. Curtain walls can be installed in large or small units. So, you'll have the ability to minimize or maximize their usefulness.
If you choose to maximize them, then you're also going to create a clean, modern look for your tiny home. And, if you've secured a secluded plot of land, then it's going to feel fantastic as nature all but seeps into your living room.
When people embrace simple lifestyles, it doesn't mean they're living an archaic lifestyle. With the right floorplan, your tiny home can (and should) have all the basic comforts like a washer/dryer, stove, full-size fridge, and - dare we say - bathtub.
We came across a gorgeous house by Wind River Tiny Homes that features a bathtub with ample room. Best of all, it doesn't eat up any floor space because the floor opens up to reveal the bathtub. You can step into the shower for a quick rinse off, or lift the lid on the floor and step into a bubble bath dream. Pretty cool.
This article title is hilarious: Another Way to Hide the Bed in a Tiny House: Put It in a Drawer. A drawer, you say? Yes, indeed, We've seen this design feature over and over again, and it never gets old. Loft beds are fantastic; Murphy beds are ingenious. But, hideaway beds are something we keep coming back to.
With a hideaway bed, you don't need to make the bed or tie down the mattress, the way you do with Murphy beds. Instead, it slides under the flooring, creating a unique alteration in the levels of the flooring.
Where the bed slides in, you can set up a laundry area, office space, or reading nook on top of it. This also creates unique angles and keeps the bed out of sight, out of mind until it's time to crawl back in again.
If the hideaway bed isn't your thing and you'd rather have a dedicated sleeping space, then you may be a loft person, after all. If that's the case, then make sure you maximize any and all of your staircases.
We've also checked out the work of Tiny Heirloom a time or two. They have lots of creative ideas for tiny house stairs, including storage staircases. They often make use of Tansu steps which incorporate wooden storage boxes into the design.
You can also transition your steps into bookcases, TV nooks, writing desks, closet space, and kitchen pantries. The point is, if you're going to eat up floor space with steps, they must be functional. That's the beauty of tiny house design work. It's endlessly functional and inventive.
How many people sit atop their roofline to enjoy their evening glass of merlot of simmering pot of chamomile? Only those who've created a smart space and built vertically within the lines of their land.
We've seen this architectural feat come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes spiral staircases lead the way. Other times, bedroom windows open up to a patio under the stars. However you work in your rooftop patio, it's a magnificent way to leverage every square foot of your tiny home to its maximum potential.
2. There's Mastery In a Movable Home
What if you love both the desert landscape of West Texas and the coastal shorelines of South Texas? Well, if your tiny house isn't on a fixed foundation, then you can pop that baby on its wheels and truck on down the line to your next destination.
Digital nomads, in particular, make use of this incomparable benefit. Of course, RVers know what it's like to hop in their temporary homes and trek across the country. But, being able to take your entire home with you wherever you go is something no other lifestyle can provide.
Of course, you have to contend with knowing where to park and how to hook into water and electricity, but this is par for the course. Research the cleanest, safest RV parks and look into tiny house communities, which are popping up left and right.
3. Rewards Come from a Revenue Generator
The perks of living in your tiny home as your primary residence are clear and present. But, what if you ever need to move on from your tiny home? Well, then, you have a ready-made Airbnb on your hands. One of the best benefits of tiny homes is their ability to be used as vacation rentals or long-term rentals.
With unique design elements like we mentioned above, the right plot of land, and a fair price, your tiny house can provide a steady stream of income. This would require you to put on your landlord hat or your hospitality hat, but there's a reason plenty of people look into income properties. They're well worth the payoff.
4. Lower Your Energy Bills
Whether you make one of the incredible tiny homes of the world your domicile or somebody else's, you're going to lower your energy bills. You can go close to off-grid, creating huge savings, or do something a little less dramatic. But, however you slice it, you're going to have lower energy bills.
Some folks like to use solar panels, rain catchment systems, and woodburning stoves to save on energy. Of course, you can also dip into the electrical grid wherever you park. In this case, plenty of minimalists have gone before you and can provide you with a breakdown of their monthly bills.
Typically, water and electricity will be part of your lot fee if you're residing in an RV park or tiny house community. In which case, you might be looking at a little bit of gas to fire up your stove or kickstart your water heater.
5. Enjoy Clutter-Free Cleaning
We'd be remiss if we didn't touch upon one of the best perks enjoyed by those with simple lifestyles. In a tiny house, the counter space is smaller, the floors are tinier, and the shower stalls are more compact.
This means you don't have to dedicate all of Saturday to household cleaning. On average, we find that one to two hours will do. Also, your closet is going to shrink, which means fewer loads of laundry and less dryer time.
6. Feel Fuller Financial Freedom
We've kind of touched upon this a few times now, but let's look at this major perk a little more closely. First things first. With the right builder, you may not have any sort of mortgage or loan out on your tiny house.
Whether you build your house yourself out of recycled materials, hire a builder, or design a custom creation, it's likely your financial situation is going to be far more tenable than your peers who took out a $250,000 mortgage.
Right now, the average cost to have a professional build your tiny house is about $60,000. However, that number can drop down as low as $12,000 if you build it yourself or swing upward as high as $200,000 if you create a custom dream home.
Whether it costs $12,000 or $112,000, there's still something else to consider. If you pair the cost of the build with reduced (or nonexistent) property taxes, lower energy bills, and less "stuff" to maintain, then you're looking at a level of financial freedom the rest of the world can't even fathom.
7. Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Existence
With lower energy bills, the plausibility of solar panels, and other off-grid tendencies, there are a lot of eco-friendly points for consideration here. A few months ago, we read an article that indicated people reduce their energy consumption by as much as 45% in tiny homes.
You're consuming less energy, (typically) using less water, creating less trash, and looking at alternatives when it comes to food consumption. Living in a tiny home does not preclude people from growing their own veggies, for example. In a tiny home, the secret is to make use of your vertical space.
We've seen many tiny homes with vertical gardens growing on the exterior. Imagine a morning where you dip outside your kitchen window for a little sprig of peppermint in your morning tea? It's not only possible but also quite enjoyable in tiny house living.
8. Maintain Minimalism
You may have picked up on this theme by now. But, a tiny home leaves no room for any other lifestyle than a minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism doesn't mean you go without. Rather, it means everything you own is functional, practical, and - in our opinion - spectacular.
If time is the measure of all things, then how do we want to be measuring our time? Do we want to work exorbitant hours in the office to maintain that $300,000 house? Or, do we want to take a less demanding job, cut down on our cost of living, and make time for the things that really matter?
Minimalism embraces only what's required for true happiness and joy. There's nothing superfluous about it. With less time spent mortgaging, maintaining, and cleaning, what will you do? Will you start monetizing that blog you've been thinking about? Will you save for that vacation fund with your decreased energy bills?
The choice is yours. But, tiny house living creates a pleasantly forced sense of minimalism that, with its sense of clarity and peace, clears the pathway to a treasure trove of new avenues for exploration.
Tiny Homes: Come One, Come All
To our way of thinking, the naysayers simply haven't done enough research on tiny homes. The things that are sacrificed to live this lifestyle are just that - things. Time, memories, and adventure still remain.
Here at planksip, we devote our days to the minimalist movement. Why? Because we believe in it. We live it. We know it brings elevated peace and contentment that surpasses all worldly enticements. We want to encourage people who are looking for a change to embrace minimalism.
Recently, we waxed philosophically about the pace in which we walk through life. In so many ways, we've turned life into a frantic race with high stakes. But, what about the ol' tortoise and the hare? That story has stuck around through the ages for a reason. The manner in which we walk through life dictates our level of contentment in life.
So, as you review your current lay of the land, we hope you'll keep coming back to enjoy more of our content. We're here to encourage minimalism, tiny house living, and the explorations of our mind. Until then, keep dreaming and we'll meet you back here for more on how to live with less.