The Real [hidden] Value of Tiny Houses

Lauren, who blogs at Hipstercrite, recently wrote a fairly humorous, yet sarcastic review of the tiny house lifestyle — asking a bunch of good questions, albeit with a bit of a heavy-hand. Apparently the post was good for her blogging career, as it garnered her tons of traffic.

While posts like that are entertaining to a degree, I think they tend to conceal the real value of the whole tiny house thing.

Tiny Houses embody an idea that goes beyond the old less is more notion. They show us that when we choose to dump the baggage & debt, that a new found freedom can emerge. In other words, increased happiness is at the end of the downsizing process for many — and it doesn’t require a tiny home.

I think most folks pick-up on that fairly quickly, especially aftering seeing a tiny house in person; although it can be a little overwhelming to step into such a tiny space. Most folks just can’t imagine living that simply after living large for so long.

Initially they ask a lot of the same questions that Lauren did. But once the initial shock wears off, the benefits jump out quickly.

As far as Lauren’s critique of the glossy idealized photos, stories, and TV shows are concerned… I think they help spread the values of downsizing in a oddly comsumerist-spun kind of way.

So even if you keep your larger home… reducing debt, possessions, and commitments will have a positive impact on your freedom and happiness. Small moves are good too, and someday you might even find yourself so ahead of the game that you can quit your day job and do something silly like blog for a living.

I count myself among the silly by the way.

This post first appeared on Medium.

8 thoughts on “The Real [hidden] Value of Tiny Houses

  1. Damon says:

    We have an untold numbers of young 20-25 year old people walk in to our company office and order a trailer for their own tiny house project. What is very moving for us is that it very much resembles the 16 year old kid who worked odd (and crummy) jobs all summer long to save up to buy their first car.

    This is just like that… College aged young adults with the foresight to not have high college town rent extorted from them whilst they try to establish themselves in the post high school world, are taking the tiny house movement very much to heart. My wife and I love the opportunity to work with these people to make them homeowners, debt free, or even an entrepreneur by way of the tiny house movement.

    The movement is not a fad, as some believe it is, but rather the end of economic slavery, in that the people who make the choice to not become financial worker bees for the establishment for the rest of their working lives. We applaud the courage it takes to make this stand, and the country we live in will be a better place because of the people who become our customers in the tiny house world.

    • cathy hooper says:

      well said, Damon, and kudos for all you do. greatly inspired and feeling hopeful by those in the tiny house movement. thank you so much

    • Michael Janzen says:

      I don’t think it’s a fad either. I think the TV shows etc have given some that opinion but I agree with you… it’s the beginning of the end of economic slavery. Debt enslaves us. The desire to want more More MORE enslaves us. If we can change the way we think about happiness and success we free ourselves from debt enslavement – and a host of other traps that come with wanting more than we need.

  2. Dianne says:

    At least 3 people send me Lauren’s blog on tiny houses since they know I am hoping to build my own THOW in the next couple years. I think the biggest thing about going tiny is the freedom it brings. No matter if you are trying to escape from debt or stuff or being tied down to one location. Going tiny is scary, but it is freeing all the same.

  3. alice h says:

    It’s a fad for some people but for many others it’s yet another sensible housing option. When the faddish move on to the next big thing there will still be a solid core of appreciative and innovative people working to make tiny houses a viable option. While the popularity of a fad keeps tiny housing in the public eye is a good time to work on changing rules to get them accepted in as many communities as possible.

  4. Catharine Hay says:

    As a former home owner who lost my house during the recession, I think the tiny house movement is a great alternative to having a bigger house with a bigger mortgage. Living in the S.F. Bay Area you find that $500,000 doesn’t get you much in terms of a house, although you might get a little more now-a-days since house prices went down after the recession. Personally, I don’t want to have a $3,500 a month mortgage ever again. I recently discovered tiny houses and I am completely enamored of them. I think they are a great solution for some people and I definitely agree with the comment about the “freeing” aspect of owning a tiny home.

  5. Brenda Barnes says:

    We were fraudulently evicted by developers and the City conspiring to profit, five months ago from our tiny house (an old-fashioned 1953 trailer) we had owned and aid space rent on for 28 years in Santa Monica. We were already living the Tiny Home way.

    However, when we were evicted from the space our house was on and prohibited from moving the house, we really learned what it means to be free. We have lived in at least 10 different Los Angeles neighborhoods since February. We feel like we have really finally in our late 60s grown up.

    Life is what we do every day now, not planning for our one vacation a year. Every day we remember to enjoy being alive, well, and able to park an RV on city streets for free and stretch out our legs all the way in real beds, unlike the six weeks we slept in our car.

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