Alternative Lifestyle Experiment

Important Life Lessons Learned (And Taught) By “Living Tiny”

While the tiny home/tiny life certainly isn’t for everyone, it comes with more benefits than simply “it costs less than a full-size home,” or “I prefer living simply.”

While there are a multitude of reasons why changing to a simpler lifestyle is more appealing — there exists some emotional, and mental reasons, as well. Not only can you learn to live with less there to distract you, you learn to appreciate the simple things in life, and how, in a lot of ways, it trumps everything else.

Lesson #1: “Avoiding a materialistic life means avoiding a stressful life”

I think for a majority of people, myself included, the more stuff I have, the more I feel like I have to worry about. Whether it’s cleaning up after myself or someone else, keeping track of chores that need to be done, broken things that need to be fixed or replaced — honestly, the thought of having to only worry about the bare necessities is one of the many blessings available to inhabitants of tiny homes. They don’t have to set aside different days for taking care of different rooms (at least, not in the same way the owner of the previously-mentioned 4-bedroom would have to), they don’t have to worry about losing something within the mess, and the only time they’ll ever have to worry about organizing clutter is during the “preparation” stage when transitioning into a tiny home.

That sounds pretty good to me.

Lesson #2: “You don’t need a ‘house’ to have a place to call ‘home’”

“Home is where the heart is,” belongs in more places than cross-stitch patterns and in frames over beds in hospital rooms. A home is wherever your consider it, whether that’s a 2-bedroom apartment, a tent in the woods, or the front seat of your car. It doesn’t carry the burden of only being allowed to be a 4-bedroom ranch house in a suburban subdivision, with the best furniture and bed sheets from a nice range of comforters at LH.

“House” was left in quotes within the title for a reason — tiny houses are certainly houses, for all intents and purposes, but perhaps not as the majority of people would see them. While, yes, they’d smile and share Pinterest links with their friends, plenty of people would never consider a tiny house to compare to that of a real house. The aforementioned house with 4 bedrooms and two bathrooms.

A home is what you make of it, and I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding that a tiny home offers all of the same necessary amenities of a large house, only more compact. You can still customize every aspect of a tiny house to your liking, you can change the wallpaper, utilize crafty lighting, the carpet or hardwood floors– it’s still all under your command, only you don’t have such a large renovation bill at the end of it all. Most people even suggest using outdoor features like in-ground ponds or patios to help the place feel a little more homey, without adding to the square-footage of the house itself.

Lesson #3: “With less to clutter your surroundings, there’s less to clutter your mind”

As previously mentioned, materialism may contribute a few good conveniences to our lives, but for the most part, it seems as if they’re only there to get in the way, make a mess, or, as this section is titled, “clutter” our minds.

With living in a tiny house comes the need to declutter and purposefully organize the things you absolutely need, cutting out any of the extra background/white noise that might exist otherwise. You learn not only to throw things away without attaching unnecessary significance, you learn how to avoid buying things you otherwise wouldn’t need, and you take care of what you do have.

Lesson #4: “Being ‘alone’ doesn’t automatically equate to being ‘lonely’”

For some unknown reason, people who choose to go out to eat, or go to a movie, by themselves, are seen as “strange.” Or “lonely.”

The problem with this assumption is, however, the implication that being alone is bad, and unwanted. The truth is, despite humans being naturally social creatures, we also crave time alone with our thoughts in order to clear our heads, take a breather from the real world and interpersonal obligations, etc.

Whether it be to the movies, or somewhere out in nature like on a hike, the stigma against being alone is uncalled for. And living in a tiny house doesn’t automatically mean you have to be a lone wolf– not only are there grander tiny homes that allow for a scrupulous family to live in, but tiny home neighborhoods might soon be just as common as common suburban ones are!

Lesson #5: “Living tiny allows you to return to nature, without the constant hassle of a tent”

What better way to go back to the roots of simply being a human mammal than by staking your claim of a small plot of land out in the country, the forest, the mountains? Except, this time, you’ll be there for good to enjoy the scenery, rather than only temporarily on a camping trip before eventually having to pack everything back up to go back to work on Monday.

Of course, while larger homes exist in nature in this manner, their costs are much greater than a tiny home would be, particularly in insurance costs. And so, with everyone eager to move to the mountains to live their dream of being a mountain-man/woman, chopping their own lumber and living off the land, a tiny house seems like the ideal choice to me.

By Brooke Faulkner

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