What You Need to Know You Before Moving into a Tiny House - Tiny House Blog
January 10, 2020

What You Need to Know You Before Moving into a Tiny House

Are you thinking about making the big transition to tiny living? Here are the top considerations you need to know to prepare yourself for living in a tiny home.

Did you know that more than half of the people in the U.S would consider buying a tiny house, specifically a house less than 600 square feet?

This factoid showcases how tiny houses are dramatically gaining popularity among Americans. The great thing about living in a tiny home is that you not only get to lead a simple life, but you also tend to save more on mortgages, utilities, and other expenses.

However, preparing to downsize and move into a tiny house can be daunting, and even debilitating and downright terrifying for some.

But you shouldn’t fret because it’s normal whenever you’re making a significant change or doing anything outside the norm. You should expect to experience a little healthy fear.

Though you shouldn’t let that fear stand in the way of your tiny house dreams. Here is everything you need to know before living in a tiny house to successfully silence that doubtful inner critic.

It Costs More Per Square Feet Compared To Large Houses 

You also need to know that a tiny home’s design costs more per square foot, because it is more complicated to build in some ways than full-sized houses. Also, many times higher quality materials are used than the stock, mass-purchased materials for new development homes.

For instance, if you hire a builder, items such as non-DIY built-in furniture have to be custom made to ensure they maximize the small space. The result more labor costs. You’ll also find some compact appliances costing a bit higher than full-sized appliances.

To save drastically in your overall costs, do-it-yourself building is your best bet. On the other hand, it can months to years to complete.

Determine What’s Important in Your Life

You also need to know if moving into a tiny house is what you most want. It’s time you need to distinguish between what you want and what you need in life.

Identify the essential factors that complete your lifestyle and the things that help you with these. Then create a list of what you’re willing to let go of if need be.

Compiling a list of your wants versus needs is paramount when you’re planning to move to a tiny house. This also helps you to understand what’s essential in your lifestyle and living space.

You’ll have to Downsize & Declutter Your House

Letting go of clutter is probably the most feel-good thing about living in a tiny house. Just think about the much time you spend selecting the clothes to wear, and you end up choosing your favorites.

Getting rid of all the other clothes that you rarely wear makes your life much simpler as it means less indecision about what to wear and even less laundry.

While decluttering may be an unnerving prospect at first, it may feel hard to do away with some of the things you own.

The thing is, by deciding to live in a tiny house, you’ll have to be comfortable disposing of more than half of the junk in your home and begin making the necessary shift to less stuff (but room for more experiences!). Start by getting rid of duplicates, whether it’s that extra TV set or excess pots & pans.

Learn to Ignore the Critics

It’s also essential that you know that by choosing to live in a tiny home you’ll inevitably find some naysayers, like parents or close friends. Prepare for a long list of questions and some criticisms about your decision.

Frankly, you might need to take a short break from some of these folks to focus on your goals. However, now’s the time to embrace people that support and respect your decision to move into a small space and like what you’re doing.

You shouldn’t entertain negative energy around you while you’re planning to transition to a tiny house; just the thought of downsizing in a tiny house is enough pressure, so it’s better to learn to ignore critics.

Cost Of Living

Living in a tiny home means you’ll be using less water and electricity than the average homeowner. This will help you save massive amounts over the year, hence reducing your cost of living. What’s more, many tiny houses can be designed to be especially water and energy-efficient by installing rainwater collection systems or solar panels.

You could offset your savings; however, if you’re forced to use energy elsewhere to perform other tasks, your tiny home is lacking.

For instance, you may be required to take your clothes to the laundromat once a month or more because you can’t fit a washer and dryer. In such a case, that extra expense will slightly increase your cost of living. Upside: it provides an opportunity to strike up a conversation with a neighbor, or enjoy a little free WiFi.

Find Your Tiny House Community

Seek out other people that live in tiny homes, or also in the transition process. To find these folks, join a local tiny house Meetup group and Facebook groups. They can offer you invaluable insights concerning construction costs, building, living minimally, and general relatability.

You’ll need this knowledge to make your living in a tiny house hassle-free and an exciting experience.

Maximizing Your Tiny Space is a Must

One of the key things you need to understand is that living in a tiny house will require you to maximize every little space available to you. Often, you’ll find tiny homes maximize their height with loft bedroom. Also, multi-functional furniture is quite common.

At times you’ll have to fold up kitchen tables or break them down into smaller spaces to create room for other activities. You’ll also have to be comfortable with tight-fit bathrooms (as compared to most American homes).

Tiny House Parking

The easiest route to secure park and to avoid zoning complications is to make sure that you choose an area that currently allows for tiny homes. Follow the American Tiny House Association and the Tiny Home Industry Association to learn about all the locales legalizing tiny house placement, as accessory dwelling units and in communities. Additionally, you can find many move-in ready tiny home communities via SearchTinyHouseVillages.com.

Hopefully, this information will help you better prepare for the tiny house living transition.

by Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog contributor
My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve traveled for 4.5 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. 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.

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