I grew up being something of a pack rat. I kept old school papers, any piece of meaningful mail I received, and all the toys my parents didn’t make me ship off to Goodwill. Once I moved out on my own, and then moved again and again, I realized that owning a lot of things wasn’t actually a great choice. It was hard to move a lot of heavy boxes, and sometimes it was hard finding space for everything in my apartments. Most of the time I’d have at least one closet that was stacked with unpacked boxes.
But even knowing that I owned too many pointless belongings, it’s hard to make yourself cut down. Even if you’re not sentimentally attached to anything, it just seems hard to throw things out in our culture. To help push myself towards the lifestyle I wanted to lead, I moved from a three bedroom house to a 450 square foot garage apartment with a lofted bed. This definitely made me cut down on belongings – for example, I went from five bookshelves to two! I kept only my favorite DVDs and put all of my music on the computer so I wouldn’t have stacks of CDs all over the house. I only bought what I needed for the bathroom and kitchen, and traded my couch for an armchair that could fit in the corner without being in the way. It was tough to do, but I felt so proud of myself once I downsized and lived more within my means.
Since then, I’ve seen pictures in the news about the popularity of downsizing to live in a small house, but this couple takes the cake! Andrew and Gabriella Morrison live in a tiny home – it’s only 221 square feet, but it has all the amenities of “big” house living! Both of them have a background in construction, so building the house was like a dream come true for them. In fact, they now own a business called TinyHouseBuild.com, which helps direct other people who want to build their own small houses. After checking out photos and a video tour of the tiny house, you just might be inspired to move out! And you can move anywhere, because many tiny houses are built on wheels, and are small enough to be towed behind cars and trucks.
The biggest benefit of tiny homes is, of course, the financial savings. Building a tiny home costs between $22,000 to $35,000. That’s one-tenth of the price to build a single-family home in the United States, which averages out to be a cool $246,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That means you can have a home without having a mortgage hanging over your head. And, since tiny homes are so small, it doesn’t call for much to heat and cool them. They’re incredibly energy efficient, and since many are on wheels, you can always move them out of the sun and into the shade if you need to. Those are benefits for your wallet and the environment!
Besides the money, my favorite thing about tiny homes is how stylish they all look. They can have loft beds, or murphy beds, or beds with drawers underneath. The storage areas can’t be hidden in a closet, so not only do you cut the clutter, you have cool looking shelves and spaces for all your stuff. Every inch of space is used in a practical way, so nothing is wasted.
You can still have a full kitchen. I’ve seen kitchens in regular sized houses that don’t have this much cabinet space!
There’s a spacious bedroom…
An office area…
And a dining area next to extra seating for guests.
Storage space looks more stylish when you don’t have closets jam-packed with outdated clothes.
It might seem like a major change to downsize from a large house with three or four bedrooms to a tiny house that is just one room with different levels and spaces carved out, but doesn’t it seem worth it? You only keep what really matters to you, you only buy what you need, and you have your spouse and family in the coziest of close quarters.
For a full tour of Andrew and Gabriella Morrison’s tiny house, check out this video:
Featured photo credit: Gabriella Morrison via accuweather.com