Tiny houses are all the craze lately, as more an more people join the ranks of those who want a simpler, less environmentally impactful existence. I have to admit, the thought is an intoxicating one that I’ve toyed with from time to time. What would it be like to let go of materialism and just live with the essentials?
The idea of living in a tiny enclosed space isn’t what draws me—it’s most of what pulls me back, actually. Perhaps a really tiny house isn’t for me, but I’m sure I could do with a bit of paring down. Do we really need all of the possessions we tend to acquire? The answer is probably no.
Visit The Tiny Life and you’ll find a multitude of resources on tiny houses and tiny living. Tiny living means less debt, more savings, fewer building costs, a higher likelihood of home ownership, and more. The average “tiny house” runs anywhere from 100 to 400 square feet, as compared to the massive 2,600 average American home. Check out this awesome infographic from The Tiny Life:
Another reason to consider tiny—or at least smaller—living is the fact that most Americans spend anywhere between one-third and one-half of their income just for rent or mortgage payments. According to a survey released in June 2013 by Bankrate.com, over three-quarters (76%) of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, unable to put away money for emergency savings. About half of the 1,000 people surveyed said they had less than three months’ worth of savings—while 27% said they had no savings at all.
Ian Anderson has a 100-square foot home in Worcester, which he built himself after graduating from Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). “It keeps things simpler,” he said, “my goals were to have a place to be able to hang out, read a book, cook food, sleep.” And, perhaps surprising to the rest of us, he’s able to do all of that just fine in his tiny home.