If you’re interested in living in a tiny home, there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind before you make the jump to tiny living. It’s a big lifestyle change to go from traditional living to tiny living, so below are a few tips to help you go from traditional to tiny.
Think of What You Really Need
Unless you’re already living in a tiny space, the odds are you’ll have to cut down on the amount of stuff you own before moving into a tiny home. The first thing you should do is start seriously considering what you really need to live and what is just a nice addition. This will change from person to person, and you don’t have to get rid of something just because it might be frivolous to someone else. For example, if you love clothes, you don’t have to get rid of half of your wardrobe to move into a tiny home, but you’ll have to choose something else to get rid of instead of it. Most tiny homes are customized to the owner’s needs, so think about what is really important and go from there.
Practice Living With Less
After you’ve decided what is actually important to you and what you can live without, pack up all the things you don’t feel like you need. You don’t need to get rid of them right away — instead, just see what life is like without them. If you box up some cosmetics and then realize that you do actually want to use them, you can just unpack them. After a month or two, if you haven’t even thought about what is in the boxes, you can start actually getting rid of things.
Start Cutting Down
Once you’ve decided on what you really value among your possessions, it’s time to start actually getting rid of things. Try to find a local charity that is taking donations and give them things that they will take. Make sure to do some research on what items a donation center will take before you show up with your things — some will only take clothes, household items, or other specific things. There are tons of charities that take donations either to use or to resell in order to raise money for their programming, so you will definitely have options.
Stay In a Tiny Home
If you’ve never actually stayed in a tiny home before, it’s a good idea to try at least one out before you make the leap to live in one. Because of the popularity of tiny homes, there are a lot of Airbnb options to choose from, and there are other non-Airbnb options as well.
When you’re staying in the tiny home, think about what works or doesn’t work for you. Do they not have enough storage space for what you would want? Is there a part of the layout that you like or dislike? Is it too sparse or too crowded for you? Consider what is important to you and take that into account when you’re looking into building or buying your own tiny home.
Whether you’re planning on commissioning your own tiny home or just refurbishing an existing one, you will need to have some money saved up. About one-third of Americans don’t have any retirement savings, and another 50% have less than $10,000 saved. While you don’t have to have more saved than necessary, you should have enough for at least a down payment if not enough to outright buy your tiny home or the materials for it.
Think of What Kind of Tiny Home You Want
If you’re building a custom tiny home, you have many options when it comes to the type of home you can build. Many tiny homes are refurbished from other types of structures because of the emphasis on sustainable living that comes along with tiny home living. For example, shipping containers are a popular option since there are approximately 11 million not currently being used for shipping in the world.
If you want your tiny home to be mobile, you can look into converting a van or bus into your own tiny home as well — many people have converted school buses, updated RVs, or even made sprinter vans into their homes. The options are truly endless, and it all depends on the features that you personally want.
Think About the Details
There are a ton of details that you’ll need to choose from when building or customizing your tiny home. What will your power source be? How many windows do you want? How high do you want the ceilings to be? Realistically how much storage do you need? These are all important questions that can result in your tiny home either being perfect for you or not quite the perfect match. For example, in your average home, there is a lot of heat loss through windows and doors — 38% to be exact. So if you want to have a lot of windows in your tiny home, make sure that you can afford high-quality windows and properly insulate them.
When you’re living in a tiny space, you have to think about how a space can be multipurpose. You can use a table as both an area to eat and work, use a living room as a space to hang out with friends and have a fold-out couch to convert it into a bedroom, or have other multipurpose uses for any space in the tiny home. If something only has one function, you should consider how you can make it work in other ways so that it is a more valuable use of space.
If you’re considering the move to a tiny home, you’re probably ready to just dive into buying a tiny home and start living small. However, you should make sure you put thought and care into the decision so that you don’t end up realizing that you don’t actually want to get rid of your belongings to live in a tiny home and would rather stay in a full-sized space.