Living simply is something more and more people are looking to do these days. As a result, the “tiny house movement” is replacing the “McMansion expansion” of years past. Though not everyone is moving into a house that’s no bigger than some people’s bedrooms, the trend towards tiny houses and a simpler way of life is definitely on the rise.
What are Tiny Houses?
Tiny houses are the newest living trend as people reclaim a minimalist approach to life. The tiny house movement is sweeping the world by storm and replacing huge living spaces that became so popular in years past with a more simple way of living.
In 2013, the average house size was 2,598 square feet. In 1973, the average house size was 1,525 square feet. The typical tiny house of today? 100-400 square feet. They come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. Some are mobile, some are not, but regardless, the options for design and function far surpass the tiny size of the house itself.
As we progress towards more conscious ways of living, tiny houses are looking to be one of the top trends in minimalist living. As we as a culture, evolve, we are looking at new ways of living that support a new way of existence
Why Tiny Houses?
While tiny houses may not be for everyone, there are definitely many people who see the advantages of living in a small space. Some of the reasons people decide to choose to live in a tiny house include:
- Reduced Carbon Footprint
- Simpler Way of Life
- Reduced Cost
- Lower Taxes
- Greater Mobility
- Easier Maintenance
Reducing one’s environmental impact is extremely important to many people these days and tiny houses offer a way to do just that. Living in a tiny house is a big way to influence how many resources are consumed: cutting the size of one’s home in half will reduce emissions by 36%!
Think of how much electricity and natural gas it takes to upkeep a “normal” sized house. A smaller space means less area to heat and cool, and will therefore drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime. More than 80% of a house’s environmental impact over a 70-year lifespan is caused by heating and cooling. Tiny houses can do wonders for helping to protect our environment and keep it clean for future generations to come.
People are finding that when they opt to live in these smaller spaces, their overall mood improves. As the space they live in decreases, they’re finding their capacity for conscious awareness increases. Living more simply may be they key to a happier state of mind!
5 Ways Tiny Houses Bring More Happiness
The world, and the way many people see it, is rapidly changing. While materialism still rules the media, there are many people who are waking up to the fact that we don’t necessarily need piles of possessions to be happy.
Tiny houses offer people around the world the opportunity to learn that real happiness is not about what you have, but how you appreciate what you have. Do you really need 2,000 square feet to be happy? Oftentimes having this much space can lead to greater unhappiness as we strive to fill it with the things we think we need.
Less is definitely more when living in a tiny house. Many people who have made the switch to tiny houses express increased happiness and peace of mind. Five big ways tiny houses can offer increased happiness are:
- Easier Maintenance
A tiny house is much easier to maintain. Those long hours spent cleaning and maintaining a large house are dramatically reduced when you cut down your square footage. This means more time for you to spend doing the things you love to do.
- Less Expensive
Tiny houses are much less expensive to purchase and maintain, leaving you with more money in your pocket. While extra money certainly doesn’t buy happiness, it will certainly reduce your stress levels and provide more disposable income for hobbies and adventures.
- Increased Awareness
Living in a tiny house may not turn you into a zen monk, but it will give you the opportunity to increase your awareness of your surroundings. Living in a smaller space offers greater peace of mind and conscious awareness.
- Less Physical (and Emotional) Baggage
There’s something about living in a house that is as big as some people’s closets that makes you drop your baggage at the door. Living in a tiny house makes you get rid of all those things you tend to carry around that you really don’t need. What does this do? It leaves more room for the things you actually do need, which you’ll learn aren’t really “things” at all.
- Increased Family Time
Living in a big house often means living separately from the people who share the same roof. Families that live in larger houses can often be found isolated in their separate spaces. Living in a tiny house, on the other hand, increases social interaction. This is definitely something that might take some getting used to, but is a wonderful way to form irreplaceable family bonds.
The Bottom Line
Tiny houses are really are the next “big” thing in housing alternatives. While they may not be for everyone, they do offer a different lifestyle to those who are looking to change the way they live (and save some cash in the process). Simplifying our lives can be one of the biggest steps towards personal freedom and spending more time doing the things that really matter. Following our passions and embracing the true spirit of life is much easier when we’ve got less “stuff” to worry about.