We have compiled a list of 16 Things that you MUST consider if Tiny House Living is a possibility for you!
1.The Right “Tiny House Living Attitude”
There needs to be some serious thought into why you are considering tiny house living. The idea can be romantic to downsize and live small but it takes time to think of all the things you will gain and some things you may lose (Having the family over for Thanksgiving at your house). We highly recommend you go and see a tiny house, take the tour, however short it may be. You need to feel what it is like to live in a space that can be potentially smaller than a persons closet. You will know as soon as you step inside. Take the time before the this lifestyle change. The right attitude is key to beginning your tiny house life.
2.Support (a.k.a. A Yes Man)
It is always nice to have a cheerleader on the sidelines telling you “Yes, great idea, keep it up!”. You will need someone to share ideas with no matter how crazy they may sound because they understand that this is how you operate. It is so important to have a friend or family member allowing you to dream and dream big about your tiny home and lifestyle. They will help you dream bigger when you have doubts and reign you in when you need it. The support system needs to be in place before even one nail is hammered.
It is important to know what you want and the determination to go and get is so important when it comes to tiny house living. When you want something so small people can have BIG opinions and it is knowing what you want and why you want it that will make all the difference. You need to be confident in the choices you are making, people will pick up on the confidence. Once they hear confidence in your voice, the conversation will change from “Why would you ever want that!” to “That’s really interesting, what makes you want to live in such a small space?” The confidence in a life style change will not only make you more excited about your change but others will start to get on board with your new adventure.
4. A Good Old Purge of your Stuff
“Do I really need this?” This question is one that you have to accustomed to when thinking about living tiny. A good rule of thumb is that if you have not used it, or even touched it in the past year, GET RID OF IT! This process can take awhile and is something you should start with when thinking about living in a tiny household. Regardless of whether you do end up living tiny, it is a good process to practice. Consider donating your extra stuff to the Salvation Army.
A tiny house can seem like a cave very quickly if not designed properly. You want a tiny house, not a shed. There is a simple solution. . . LIGHT! Keep light in mind when designing and building your tiny house. The space can seem much more open if when you walk in you are not looking straight at a wall but rather through a window. If you decide to have a loft a window is a must, especially for those who are not fans of tight spaces. Openness is your friend in a tiny house. You want to feel like you have quick access to a peek of the beautiful outdoors. Light will make the difference between a cave and a beautiful tiny household.
This goes along with #4, light. Open space may seem like an oxymoron when it comes to tiny house living, but it is essential. How am I going to feel like I have open space in a tiny household. A tall ceiling or big window can give a sense of a much larger space. Having tall ceilings and no junk hanging from the walls will give you a feeling of a home and not just a shipping container with your stuff in it. Open space is valuable when every other inch needs to have purpose.
This is not referring to having a huge Saint Bernard in your tiny home. This is referring to plants, living breathing, flowering, green plants. Plants give a sense of life inside your home. You do not need a total greenhouse inside but something that is green and provides nice compliments to any wooden surface in the house. A small plant on a table in your bedroom is a nice touch. A little draping green plant in the bathroom will give a refreshing feel and in a tiny house a tiny bathroom can use any sprucing up it can get. There will not only be a beautiful aesthetic change in the tiny home but with livings things growing inside you will feel a positive vibe.
It can be easy to stick with something that is safe when it comes to color inside a tiny space. Color can give a visual sense of separate space and brighten up a part of the house that can go unseen. Try a different color between your side walls and ceiling. Doing this not only separates the space but will make it feel much larger than it actually is. Add a little color to a corner create a unique space. Color may seem like an afterthought but it is something that can change that tiny space into a burst of life.
Pictures of friends and family is so common place in the “normal” homes and apartments,that is should be the same in your tiny household. Even in our office spaces we litter our desks with pictures of friends, family, and past adventures that it is important to do the same for the same reasons. Let them be reminders of the life outside these little walls. Your tiny household may be the place you dwell but it is not always the place you live. Get pictures of the faraway places that you’ve been and want to go. Let people see that the tiny household is a jumping off point for all the places you want to go, let the pictures show who you are without saying a word!
Tiny house living may give you visions of living in a human fishbowl. There are no “interior” rooms, or an entire second floor, basement to escape to. You need to make sure you have proper curtains setup to close at night because with lights on your are put on display. This may seem pretty obvious but it is important to remember when you get to finishing up and moving into your tiny household. People may see your tiny household and wonder what it looks like inside and just decide to peek in any and all windows, THIS WILL HAPPEN, and it is important to have the option to keep your curtains closed for a little privacy. A different pattern for the different areas in your tiny household will also help differentiate the spaces and once again create the feeling of separated areas with a little pattern and color change. When you think privacy, think curtains.
Separate spaces can be difficult to accomplish in a tiny house, especially if not in the design plans. A very simple way to create spaces as mentioned before is color. Creating different areas with color is an inexpensive way to differentiate one area from another. If there is a small hallway in your tiny household leading to your bathroom, a simple piece of fabric hanging from a tension rod can turn the hallway into a whole new space, a changing room perhaps. Creating a space like this will allow you some privacy without closing all your curtains. Separate spaces is also so important because if the tiny household looks like a giant box on the inside it will feel like a box with your stuff in it. The congested feel of tiny house living is likely to happen every now and then. Try to have these separate spaces and it will allow more comfort in the long term.
Functionality over Form, Form over Functionality, this is the question that haunts everyone thinking about tiny house living. There needs to be a balance of course but when it comes to tiny house living, the reality is that you need to favor function. Using color on the walls and creating separate spaces is what will give you form and you can focus on the function of what takes up valuable space inside. If you are looking at seating, make sure it serves at least 2-3 purposes with storage or more seating if combined with other furniture. Living tiny is about maximizing everything’s usability. Take time and find space savers and multifunction pieces, and if you are handy, make some yourself!
13. Comfortable Seating
Comfortable seating is so important because there are not many places to go in your tiny household so when and where you sit needs to be comfortable. So comfortable you think “Man, I shouldn’t sit down because I always fall asleep in this chair!” As a sleeping bag is so important when you camp, a comfortable chair is as important in a tiny household.
Once your #4 “purge” is over you will inevitably will still have material possessions you need and want to keep. A tiny household can quickly turn into a tiny storage container, even worse a storage container and your stuff is everywhere. Simple unified storage, white bins with tops, can be a quick and easy way to make sure all your stuff is neatly packed away. Tiny house living can get messy because of the limited space. Having dedicated areas where things belong is another easy tip to keep the mess manageable. You can also keep an eye for some unique storage units to work into your design. Many people design their stairs with extra storage in each step. Another balance of form and function.
15.The Humble Trash Can
A trash can is the unsung hero of a household and in a tiny household they do not mind be hidden and out of sight to perform their duties. An accessible hidden trash can seems so simple but it is one thing that will make having guests less nerve racking and something to keep your tiny household nice and tidy as all tiny households should be!
16. A Golden Throne!
When it comes to a toilet in your tiny household this is completely relative to the needs you have but one thing is for sure, research, research, research. Sometimes a simple solution is best, a bucket and a seat works perfect for you or you need the Cadillac of all composting toilets. Spend the time and read what people use and how they like, how to clean it, and everything thing you can find to make an informed decision. For some the whole tiny household sounds grand and wonderful and when they get to the bathroom the idea of even the possibility of using a composting toilet is enough to turn them off. inform yourself so nothing is a surprise. A good toilet is worth spending the time and money on to make sure you make the best informed decision you can for your tiny household.
If you have an important Tiny House Living Consideration that we’ve left out, please leave it in the comments below.
And, if you know of anyone thinking about downsizing their living space, please share this with them. We hope that it helps for an easier transition into this amazing lifestyle!