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9 Benefits of Living in a Tiny House

9 Benefits of Living in a Tiny House

I’m obsessed with tiny houses. I watch all the new shows dedicated to this unique style of living: Tiny House Hunters, Tiny House Builders, Tiny House Big Living, Tiny House Nation. I just eat all of them up. I love learning about the different benefits that tiny houses offer to their owners. I also love seeing the different ways they’re designed and decorated to be perfect for their owners’ needs.

Over time, I’ve learned about nine big benefits of living in a tiny house:

1. You can take it traveling

tinyhouse2
    Nicolás Boullosa

    One of the biggest benefits of having a tiny home is the ability to just hitch it to a truck and drive it to a new location.

    Whether you’re trying to move to a new spot of land or just go on vacation without having to pack up some suitcases, having a tiny home makes it surprisingly easy to see new places.

    Different tiny homes are built in different ways. Some are equipped with rainwater collection and solar panels. They are designed to live completely off the grid and can be parked just about anywhere you want. Other tiny homes are built more traditionally, needing power and water hookups. They are better suited to dedicated plots of land or RV/mobile home parking.

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    No matter how you design your tiny home, its potential mobility is a huge benefit.

    2. You don’t have to spend a lot of money building it

    tinyhouse3
      Tammy Strobel

      If you have the time and ability to design and build the house yourself, you can only spend your money on materials. There are tiny home designers out there who will create and build it for you, but that obviously costs more as you’re paying for material and manpower and that company’s overhead.

      That said, tiny homes are just a fraction of the price of traditional homes, and you can have everything designed specifically for you. Prices for tiny homes can range from less than $19,000 to around $50,000 depending on its size and the kind of finishes that you want.

      The low price also means that you can potentially pay cash for it if you’ve spent enough time saving up. If you can’t pay cash, the loan payments will be much smaller than a traditional mortgage. No more $2,000 house notes for you!

      3. You don’t have to worry about future moves

      tinyhouse4
        Nicolás Boullosa

        One thing that often holds people back from purchasing a traditional home is its permanence. You’ve invested a lot of money into this immovable structure and the land surrounding it. What happens if you get a new job in a different city, state, or even country and have to move? Or if you just get some super annoying neighbors?

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        Unless you actually buy a plot of land to park your tiny home on, you’re not tied to any property. Your only permanent tie is to the house itself, so if you get a new job somewhere else you can just hitch it to a truck and drive it to that new place! You still have to find a place to live, but the actual house itself will never be in question.

        4. You can be extremely environmentally friendly

        tinyhouse5
          Tomas Quinones

          Because your house is going to be so small, you can make a lot of it out of recycled, re-purposed, and salvaged materials. In addition to making your house look cool and unique, it also saves that same amount of new materials from being made.

          Like I mentioned in the first point, you can also set up your home to live off the grid. Using solar or wind resources to give your house power, using a rainwater catch and filtration system, and installing a composting toilet are all steps to enabling your tiny house to be functional anywhere in the world.

          5. You can be extremely energy efficient

          tinyhouse6
            Nicolás Boullosa

            Whether you use solar power or hook your house up to a power line, the energy needs of such a tiny space are much smaller than the energy needs of a traditional home. Smaller appliances work more efficiently and a smaller space uses less power to heat and cool the air.

            If you need to connect to a power source, you’ll still have to pay your electric bill, but it can be a quarter or less of your traditional house’s bill. On top of everything you’re saving on your mortgage, think about all the trips you can take with that money you’ll be saving!

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            6. You can de-clutter your life

            tinyhouse7
              Matt Harriger

              Well — you have to de-clutter your life. After living in a traditional home for a few years, stuff just piles up everywhere. You can’t stuff everything that fits into a 2000+ square foot home into a 200 square foot home, so by necessity you’ll be donating or selling a lot of things.

              This gives you a chance to really look at your possessions to see what honestly matters to you and what you just have around because it’s always been there or it just looked cool so you bought it.

              Once you’ve pared down your possessions, you’ll only have meaningful and really necessary things. Plus, it’ll make your move much easier.

              7. You can spend less money on decorations, even if you love to change things up

              tinyhouse8
                Tammy Strobel

                If you’re the kind of person who loves to redecorate a traditional home every year or two, a tiny house might be the best canvas for you. Even if you wanted to repaint the whole thing, it would be done in a single afternoon with just a can or two of paint. New flooring? You only have 200 square feet to recover!

                If smaller pieces of decor are more your thing (pictures, throw pillows, rugs) the same thing applies here too. You have such a smaller area to coordinate that it’s much easier and cheaper to redo the entire house. You won’t have to go just one room at a time since you have extra money in your budget — the whole house is yours to play with.

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                Maybe that’s where your energy bill savings can go.

                8. You can spend less time/money on cleaning

                tinyhouses10
                  Bill Dickinson

                  Another benefit that comes from having less space is you won’t use as much cleaner since you won’t have to buy it so often. Sweeping will only take a couple of minutes. Dusting? Even less time.

                  Some people love cleaning, so this might be a disappointment. However, if you hate cleaning, then this is a definite plus of tiny homes.

                  9. You can stay tidier easier

                  tinyhouse9
                    Tomas Quinones

                    This follows naturally from having to de-clutter to move in to a tiny home. You have less stuff, but everything actually goes somewhere. You’ll never let stuff pile up on the floor just because you don’t know where it goes or because that back closet is just too full.

                    What is it your mom always says? “A place for every item, and every item in its place.”

                    Again, if you love to clean, this won’t really mean anything to you. However, if you’re perpetually cluttered and untidy, this will be a great bonus to you because you can finally quit worrying about tidying before guests come over. Even if you let things get a little untidy, cleaning becomes much, much faster than before.

                    Featured photo credit: Tammy Strobel via flic.kr

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                    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                    Boundaries are limits

                    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                    • When do you feel disrespected?
                    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                    • When do you want to be alone?
                    • How much space do you need?

                    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                    Sample language:

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                    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                    Final Thoughts

                    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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