Choosing to live in a tiny home comes with the understanding that you are choosing to live with less. Often that means less space to spread out, smaller and fewer appliances, less storage space, and if living with others, less personal space. The realities of tiny living. The transition into this lifestyle can be inconvenient. Frustration is not uncommon, especially as you adjust to the required compromises.
I remember getting so annoyed when waiting to get to the bathroom in the morning while my boyfriend was picking out something to wear from our closet, which blocks access to the bathroom. We have now gotten really good at the tiny house choreography, aka "the tiny house dance", the rhythm of moving about our space in way that reduces conflict. The key is improved communication and familiarity with our space. Now I see how the space sacrifices we have made, have led to a stronger relationship. I am grateful for the lessons in patience and conflict/resolution.
Per experts of psychology, gratitude is proven to boost our happiness levels. And if tiny home living creates more gratitude, then it must make tiny dwellers happier. Less is more! For me, tiny living helps to achieve a higher quality of life that begins with minimizing belongings and obligations to reveal my goals. That's just the beginning. Living consciously and simply helps create more gratitude.
5 Ways Tiny Living Promotes Gratitude
1. Greater Savings
Tiny homes are typically a fraction of the cost of a traditional American house, which results in no or reduced 'mortgage' payments. For the first time in my life, I am a homeowner, in what I see as a recession-proof house. The reduced housing costs for many tiny dwellers gives them the opportunity to save up and/or have more expendable income to enjoy more experiences. It also can give you ?confidence to make a major career change. Living tiny has enabled me to take a ? career risk. I left a secure 9-5 job to pursue my passion for documentary filmmaking. As you might imagine, there is not much money in that line of work. No matter what happens with my film project, I will have no regrets because of the amazing life experiences and personal growth that I have achieved. Definitely worth the risk.
2. More Free Time
Tiny house living often allows the homeowner to work less, at a job or at home. Reduced living space results in reduced maintenance, from less home repairs to less grass to mow. Many tiny dwellers will point out that tiny spaces get dirty quickly, but on the upside, only take a few minutes to clean. With the extra free time, you can spend more time doing what you love and with the people you love.
3. Less Waste
When you live in a tiny house, you are intimately involved in your house’s utility systems, like sewage and water usage. I found that it gives me great pleasure to be aware of how much water I am using and saving. My composting toilet is potentially saving as much as 2,000 gallons of water each year. When we are off-grid, we have to keep a close eye on our freshwater levels— not always convenient. As a result, I typically turn off water when I soap up my hands. Now when we are on-grid with full water hook-ups, I find myself doing the same water conversation techniques. Our natural resources are precious. The realization that my overall footprint is just a fraction of the typical household makes me feel warm and fuzzy, like I’m doing my part.
On a recent family visit, I found the lack of efficiency in a large kitchen quite frustrating. Too much walking back and forth! Though tiny spaces can limit your available workspace. I have found that I relish cooking in our tiny house. In a simple spin motion, I can to access everything I need to make a delicious meal, all within arm’s reach. The simplicity is surprisingly convenient.
5. Less House, More Home
A little sacrifice of convenience can go a long way. Lack of space does not interfere with a fulfilling lifestyle. In fact, the opposite appears to be true. Tiny living is empowering, a way to achieve your lifestyle and financial goals. Intentionally living tiny has given me greater gratitude for the what I do have. No more taking my things and my space for granted. The things I do have are essential to my daily life and enjoyment of my life. When I visit into larger living spaces, even just 100 square feet larger, it feels luxurious. It doesn’t make me feel like I’m lacking, instead poignantly demonstrates how little is required for me to live a happy life in a tiny home.
How has living tiny promoted gratitude in your life?
by Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog contributor
My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road three years for our documentary and community education project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life and our true passion project. We are very grateful to be able to experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.