Living in an (Almost) Tiny Home

It was once thought that bigger was better. People were buying up these giant homes providing at least a 1,000 sf per person. The tables have now turned since the housing bubble popped. Tiny homes have become the new McMansion. People are protesting the monstrosities of the 4,000 sf home by living in 244 sf apartments. The smaller the better. It’s all about living in a 78 sf apartment – the size of the small closet in an McMansion.

We live in an almost tiny home – not as small as a closet but smaller than what most people live in and smaller than most 2 bedroom 1 bath apartments. It was a conscious decision. When we started looking to buy a home our specific requirements were “large property, small house.”  That’s exactly what we got. At 750 sf it can be tight for two adults and a teenager. I get asked pretty regularly what it’s like to live in such a small home. Is it worth it? What would I change? So here’s the low down on living in a small house.

Pros

  • Cleaning the entire place, top to bottom only takes about an hour.
  • It limits the amount of junk you can accumulate. And keeps the chicken tchotchkes to a minimum (Tom, I’m looking at you).
  • It takes no time at all to heat up the house in the winter. The wall heater is more than enough. And a few fans can cool it down pretty quickly.
  • Which leads to less money spent on energy.
  • You know that the kids can hear you when you call them.
  • Maintenance work and remodeling costs a lot less.

Cons

  • No storage space and no pantry. Well, our garage serves as our primary storage and as our pantry.
  • We had to get rid of a bunch of our furniture when we moved from our previous 970 sf home. Amazingly, 220 sf makes a huge difference when you’re living in relatively small homes.
  • Our garage is so small neither of our vehicles fit in it. Mine is too tall to get through the garage door (and it’s not a 4 wheel drive) and Tom’s vehicle is too long to fit in the actual garage. This did help with our decision to turn it into our pantry/laundry room/storage.
  • No dining room = no entertaining in the winter.
  • The small kitchen makes it a challenge to process a lot of food at once so we’ve now set up a spot outside to do some of our processing. It’s a good thing most of it occurs in the summer. Also not having a dishwasher due to lack of space to put it means that a dish rack takes up a good chunk of our precious counter space.

What is the ultimate feeling about living in a small house? I’d like a bit more room if just for a bit larger kitchen and an actual dining room. A pantry would be nice as well. Not too much more room but a bit more would be good. Would I go smaller? I can unequivocally say “no.”

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