Here’s a special guest article about the USA Tiny House Movement: Affordable Housing Revolution – from Alex Pino at TIny House Talk, one of the USA’s largest Tiny House blogs.
Hi, I’m Alex Pino!
In 2007 I started to simplify because I wanted to take more control over my life, was unhappy with where I was at and wanted to do something about it.
So by 2009 I went from working as a government computer technician and living in a 1400 square foot home…
To writing about tiny houses and simple living while building my own Internet publishing business out of a 500-square-foot apartment. Since then I’ve tried living out of my backpack and explored many tiny and small homes of all kinds.
In 2009 I created Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter because I wanted to share my passion for living smaller and being more purposeful with anyone who was also interested. And that’s still what I’m doing today. So this is a place for you to explore and share inspiring simple living stories.
From people who live in 120 sq. ft. tiny houses on wheels to those who live in 825 sq. ft. solar powered homes and just about anything else in between.
Some common questions you might have include..
- What is the tiny house movement?
- What is a tiny house?
- How ‘tiny’ is ‘tiny’?
- Why are people living tiny?
- Can families live in them?
- How much do they cost?
- Can I build one myself?
- Where can I live in one?
What is the Tiny House Movement?
Simply put, the tiny house movement which is also known as the small house movement is a growing real estate trend where people are choosing to live simply in smaller homes.
What is a Tiny House?
The truth is that tiny is really a matter of opinion because all situations are relative. Typically a tiny home is anywhere between 65 to 400 square feet.
What is a Small House?
Small homes range anywhere between 400 to 1700 square feet depending on the number of inhabitants and their lifestyles. In most cases, though, 400 to 1000 square feet is what most people in the tiny housing world consider small but it’s all really a matter of opinion.
Square footage isn’t really as important as most of us make it out to be. What’s really most important is that we (that means you) get our needs met from our homes (and not much more). And yes, this also has to include the needs of our family members (if you still want to live with them, right?).
The Real Message
The real message behind the tiny house movement and simple living for me is being more conscious about how we live. This includes the purchasing and consumption decisions that we make but it also includes even deeper things like making goals for our lives and getting rid of the necessary ‘baggage’ to get what we want.
Facts on Housing in the United States
According to the 2010 Census the average size home in the US was 2,392 square feet. Back in 2007 it was 2,521 square feet. When you go back to the year 1973 on the chart, the average American home was 1660 square feet. (source)
According to this CNN article from 2013 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Meaning if they lost their jobs, they’d pretty much be in financial ruin. So for many people the idea of a small home or even a tiny house is an incredibly smart decision. Here’s why.
The Benefits of a Smaller Home
People who downsize from a larger home and into a small or even a tiny house experience the following benefits:
- Less time cleaning.
- Less time maintaining the house.
- Easy to find my stuff everyday.
- The monthly bills are all cheaper.
- It feels cozy and easy to manage.
- It’s better for the environment.
In summary… A smaller home can save you time and money. On top of that they might even give you more peace of mind and while you’re at it you’re doing something that’s good for the environment by living small.
But there’s more because living simply can lead to unexpected opportunities later on because you’ll have more resources (time and money) because of your decision to live small. The possibilities are endless but it’s always you who has to take charge (whether you live small or not).
In a way what I’m really saying is…
How Living Small is Really About Living Big
It sounds funny, doesn’t it? But if you let it sink in for a moment it’ll make sense because what I’m saying is that the tiny house movement is about downsizing for a purpose.
It’s about getting rid of our unwanted stuff, yes.
It’s about decluttering our life, yes.
But as you do that it’s also even more importantly about noticing what comes out and makes you feel meaning. Because meaning is purpose. And this is huge, here’s why..
Purpose leads to more caring which shifts people from fear to love. And the tiny house movement is making it possible by creating more affordable housing everywhere. Not only that, it’s inspiring others to simplify in other ways too because it’s not all about houses. It’s more about caring.
And……. You Can Simplify Everything
That’s right. Not only can you simplify your home by making it smaller, sharing it, or just clearing out the clutter in your current home… But you can also:
- Simplify your job or business duties.
- Simplify your relationships.
- Simplify your meals.
- Simplify your exercise routines.
- Simplify your thoughts.
- Simplify your attitude on life.
And all of these little changes add up to huge positive results in your life later on and sometimes even right away. Without having to move into a tiny house! But if that’s something that you feel you’re called to do, great. But you can most likely live simply right where you are now without having to change much. Think about it.
What The Small House Movement is REALLY About
I want to close by saying that the Tiny House Movement is about freedom to be you. The small house movement is about taking a stand on our human rights while creating and spreading freedom for ourselves and others because we deserve it. You deserve it. We’re here to end homelessness for good by inspiring and creating affordable homes to help all beings on this planet live happy and free.
Thanks Alex – that pretty much pots up the whole idea! If you enjoyed this article, you’ll LOVE Alex’s Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter!