Tiny house and small living are both terms are used for the uphill living trend in the US. Defined as a house between 100 and 400 square feet, these houses are small sanctuaries for people who wish to live with a smaller footprint in the world. Although living across the country differs in the cost of living, the inefficiencies of this range from affordability to environment-friendly to redefining a new image to what success means.
The price tag of a tiny house is one factor that makes this lifestyle attractive. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home is $276,900 and is steadily rising (1). This price, however, encompasses a wide variety of houses throughout the country- large houses, small houses, and all those between. Unlike this high price tag, a tiny house built by professionals can range anywhere from $27,000 to $68,000 (2). To build one is even cheaper with it being between $25,000 to $30,000 (2). That shows the huge gap between the price tags.
Another factor is that tiny houses are great to fully maximize space. Everything has a purpose in the house. The HGTV show Tiny House Hunters shows how this lifestyle is achievable with maximizing storage in these limited spaces. One way they achieve this is with multi-purpose furniture. Sofa boxes are used as storage and seating (3). A shelf pantry functions as storage for food as well as the place for kitchen outlets and a lighting source (3). The ability to use these spaces for more than one purpose highlight the lifestyle that can be made in these spaces.
The environment friendliness is another plus factor in tiny homes. Since these places tend to have a greater focus on smaller living, a smaller environmental footprint is left. In an article, environmentalist Charlie Kilman describes how owners of these houses are environment-friendly with their “minimalist life” and decreased consumption (4). As described by their multipurpose furniture, owners don’t buy more than what they need. That means less consumption as they aren’t using anything that isn’t necessary for living as “resource drain” (4). In his article, he expands on the full picture of how these houses have less waste and more purpose than the typical house.
Growing up, I was always told that I should make a lot of money and have a big house to show off my lavish lifestyle. This was how I viewed success as a child and it’s how success is viewed in American society. Many believe in quantity more than quality which is why the social paradigm is fostering a wasteful lifestyle that is detrimental to the environment (4). In order for this lifestyle to be more popular, people have to be more willing to change how they view success and have a greater appreciation for what they have, not how much they have.
In conclusion, living in a way that provides more meaning to life should be an attainable option for people. This lifestyle is a cleaner lifestyle as well as one that holds more gratitude for what life holds. Life isn’t meant to be about taking and destroying the world around us through house development and waste-filled lands. With tiny houses, less waste will result in people having more gratitude with their lifestyle.
For more information about this type of living, go to The Tiny Life blog.
(1) Dollinger, Jane. “Existing-Home Sales Subside 0.6 Percent in June.” National Association of Realtors, 23 July 2018, http://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/existing-home-sales-subside-06-percent-in-june.
(2) Alex. “Q&A: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Tiny House?” Tiny House Talk – Small Space Freedom, 4 May 2014, tinyhousetalk.com/cost-to-build-tiny-house/.
(3) Aguirre, Holly. “6 Storage Secrets From Tiny House Dwellers.” HGTV, HGTV, 26 Mar. 2016, http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/storage-secrets-from-tiny-house-dwellers.
(4) Kilman, Charlie. “Small House, Big Impact: The Effect of Tiny Houses on Community and Environment.” Undergraduate Journal of Humanistic Studies, Carleton College, 17 Jan. 2016, apps.carleton.edu/ujhs/assets/charlie_kilman_tinyhouses__4_.pdf.
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