Featured in tiny living

A Small Guide to Tiny Living

March 31, 2015

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You’ve heard about the tiny-house movement, seen the Tiny House Nation series on TV and now you’re even considering living small yourself. But how do you really know if it’s right for you? There’s something about a small living space that is intrinsically attractive, but the truth is it’s not for everyone.

The below steps will help you determine if tiny living is right for you and if the answer is yes, guide you towards making that lifestyle change.

Identify Lifestyle Goals

If you are considering living small, there are certain aspects of the lifestyle that are appealing to you. What are those aspects? Fewer possessions? Sustainable living? Freedom to travel? Consider if living in a smaller space will truly help you accomplish these goals, but also consider if aspects of your current life that you aren’t willing to give up will fit into a tiny living lifestyle. If hosting friends for gatherings on a regular basis is important to you, you’ll have to think about if your new home will be able to accommodate that. The same goes for work, pets, collections, leisure, etc. Do these other parts of your life fit into your aspirations for a small living space? If they don’t, are you willing to give them up?

Need vs. Want

Having considered your lifestyle goals, the next step in determining if small living is right for you is to evaluate your needs versus your wants in a home, and decide what physical items you are willing to sacrifice. What is essential to your lifestyle? Bed, bath and kitchen immediately come to mind. But do you also need a washer and dryer? What about an at-home office? Storage space for your outdoor gear? An art studio? An entertainment center? Decide which of these items, if any, are dispensable. Make a list of your needs and wants and hone it down to what you think can realistically fit in a tiny space. Did you just lose your will? If so, tiny house options may not be for you, but if are excited about the progress you made during this exercise, you’re on the right track.

Research your Options

So do you still think tiny living would work for you and your lifestyle? Then it’s time to start planning. There are many tiny living options available to you. Airstreams, campers, RVs, and boats could all be suitable options depending on your priorities. Take into account square footage, mobility, design aesthetic, structural features and appliances and hardware as you decide which option is right for you. There’s something for everyone out there, and if you’re looking to maintain your modern luxury lifestyle in a small-scale, moveable unit, one of the Wheelhaus modular cabin models could be right for you.

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A Place for Everything & Everything in its Place

As you research different tiny living options and decide which type of home is right for you, you will need to consider how your essential items will fit into the layout of you new living space. Create an informal blueprint and decide exactly how much room you require by deciding what items will fit into each space. Think about how you can take advantage of every square foot. Consider how essential items can serve a dual purpose. For example, collapsible furniture, or furniture that also serves as storage, can save space and be functional. The below questions may also help you consider if you truly will have enough living space after all of your belongings are arranges inside.

  • What is your morning or evening routine? What physical space do you need to achieve that?
  • Where is your workspace?
  • How will you store what you need to keep?
  • How do you see yourself dealing with visitors, friends and family?
  • How do you spend your relaxing hours?
  • Do you have room for your hobbies?

Whether you sew, craft, woodwork, throw pots or bike ride, you need to consider how those interests fit into a newly downsized life.

Downsize

Now that you’ve identified your most essential items and determined how they will fit into your new space, it’s time to start organizing and sorting your belongings accordingly. Eventually, you’ll need to go through every storage nook in your current house and get rid of everything but the necessities. We recommend starting this process one step at a time. Perhaps start with the kitchen cabinets or linen closet and slowly work your way up to the garage or basement. Organize the items that you’ll be taking to you new tiny home, and sell, donate or trash the rest. If you’re unsure about an item, set it aside and if you don’t find a need for it over the course of a month or so, you can feel good about getting rid of it. This process may seem brutal, but if small living is right for you, it will also be cathartic.

Make the Move

You’ve considered your lifestyle, researched your options, and downsized your belongings. It’s time to make the move. Since you’ve already made a plan for how each item you’re moving will fit into your new space, this is the easy part! You can feel at home right away, knowing that you’ve made a conscious and well thought out decision to embrace a new lifestyle. Now you get to enjoy it! And remember, it may not be easy at first. It could take some time to adjust to this new way of living, but if you have the right mindset it will be worth it.

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