Living in a tiny house means letting go of all the clutter that seems to come with the modern lifestyle. It is a refutation of the notion that our identities are formed by the things that we own. In short, moving from a modern home or apartment to a tiny house is an extremely radical change. Unsurprisingly, people often struggle to adapt. This is why many owners of tiny houses choose to abandon their new homes, often within the first year of moving in.
What can you do to both mentally and physically prepare yourself for this lifestyle switch? If you are considering or planning to purchase your first tiny house in the near future, you need to learn these five habits before moving day:
1. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Living in an area less than 500 square feet obviously necessitates some compromises. Your home will have very little room for trash or unnecessary belongings. You need to get in the habit of letting go of and recycling unnecessary items. Not only will it help you get accustomed to living in a smaller area, it will benefit the planet as well.
Here are some best practices when recycling to keep in mind:
- Clean your recyclables as you sort them.
- All plastics that can be recycled are marked with a symbol and a number to indicate their composition. Learn what plastics your local recycling center can process.
- When going through old unwanted electronics, check if items can be safely recycled.
- If you are recycling large items, or heavy metals such as brass or copper, take them to a scrap yard — not a recycling center.
2. Buy and Sell Furniture Secondhand
Looking to get rid of some unwanted furniture, but don’t want to simply recycle it? Or are you looking for more space-efficient furniture for your new dwelling? Keeping with the theme of sustainability, you should consider both buying and selling your furniture secondhand. This a thriftier way of outfitting your home with all of the essentials, and it can further help you rid yourself of needless attachments to physical things.
As you acquire and sell furniture in your hunt for the ideal set-up for your living space, you should be aware of the true value of each item. Do your research and negotiate for a fair price. In no time at all (and even with a small budget), you can find the perfect furnishings for your needs.
3. Get Ready to Get Closer to Nature
As most tiny home owners can tell you, living in such a small space brings you substantially closer to nature — especially if your home is mobile. Because the amenities in your home have been stripped back to the bare essentials, you will be spending much more time outside. To stay comfortable, you will need the correct clothing for the outside temperature, as well as other necessities such as insect repellent and sunscreen.
If you want to get a hands-on experience with getting closer to nature before making any financial commitments, consider renting an RV. RVs have a lot of similarities to tiny houses, though they tend to be much more affordable (usually less than half the cost) and mobile. Get a feel for the lifestyle by making a temporary switch to living in an RV. This should give you a good idea if a tiny home is the right choice for you.
4. Connect With Other Tiny House Owners
If you have any questions before buying your new home, or if you have recently moved and have any concerns, you need a group of experts to depend on. Get in the habit of keeping in touch with other tiny house owners. Will your new home abide by local building codes? What is the best method of heating and cooling your home during extreme weather conditions? Regularly ask them questions about any burning issues that may be bugging you. In addition to connecting with the tiny living community here on Natural Papa, you may also want to follow other blogs that focus on tiny home living, such as Tiny House Blog and The Tiny Life.
When you’ve grown used to following these habits, you will be ready to move into your new tiny home. Be sure to recycle and clear out the space you need for your new lifestyle. Optimize your living space by buying and selling your furniture secondhand. Prepare yourself for living closer to nature. Finally, find a supportive network to assist you with any further questions. These practices will keep you content in your new dwelling, and they will change your life for the better.
By Brooke Faulkner