The tiny house dream seems so perfectly ideal and romantic. But do you really think you have what it takes to go tiny? If you're nodding your head, then you might want to think about it a little more. You might want to get the best advice from people who have been living in tiny houses for at least three years, preferably longer. Although it has loads of benefits and sounds like a breeze, tiny house living might not be as easy as you first consider. Are you being too idealistic? The best way to realistically make your tiny house dream come true is to first ask yourself a few critical questions.
To be sure, tiny house living has a lot of pros to it – becoming more spatially responsible, lessening one’s impact on the environment, not to mention living more affordably. But before you bite the bullet and sell all your possessions with the intention of downsizing, you’ll need a good, old-fashioned reality check. Take the tiny house potentiality quiz. Are you physically, mentally, and emotionally equipped for living in a small space for a prolonged period of time? Is your spouse? Are your children? If there’s just one of you, then your chances for successfully enduring this lifestyle are much greater. But for two or three, or more, the potential for cramping each other out grows exponentially – especially if you happen to have teenagers. Other key questions are: can you really live with a composting toilet? Can you live without a full-sized kitchen? Without a dishwasher? Without a washer and dryer? Without a bathtub or ample storage space? Maybe you can for a few weeks, months, or years – but how about a decade or more?
Next, do you honestly believe you can just plop your tiny house in any old space and get on with your life? In a perfect world, this could well be – and maybe one day it will be the case – however, at present, a lot of zoning laws actually forbid it. And, even if you own your own land, you will need to obtain a permit to do so, and, depending on what locality you live in, this might be a lot trickier than you expect. And, if you’d hoped a tiny house RV might be the loophole you were looking for, this isn’t always the case either. With an RV, you’ll want to park at places with all of the necessary hookups. RV parks are often geared towards those who live in them year round - which is fine if you want a place of permanent residency, but most people dreaming the tiny house RV dream prefer to be mobile. As far as state and national parks go, quite often there’s a two-week time limit on how long you can stay. Before investing all of your savings in either a tiny house or a tiny home RV, be sure to do all of the pertinent research and create a game plan for yourself and your family.
If you’ve asked all of the important questions and conducted all of the research, and you are still convinced that a tiny home is your future, the next most practical step would be to try living in a tiny space for a prolonged test period. Go ahead with the downsizing, free yourself from all of the excess baggage – or at least put it in storage, and actually try living in a small space for a year or so. Choose a small apartment, rent a tiny home, or live in your friend’s RV. Save your money and pretend you’re already living in your very own tiny home. If you concede after a few months that this lifestyle isn’t for you, then no harm done. You can move back into a larger space and reclaim your belongings from storage. If you pass this final trial, however, then you’re now best-equipped for making your tiny house dream come true. We wish you all the best with it!