By Maria Galizia
Anyone who has been online or on social media in recent years (so, everyone) knows that tiny homes have been a huge trend.
Often called the “tiny house movement,” people or even families across the United States have been flocking to the idea of moving into smaller living quarters, generally under 1,000 sq. ft. These homes come in all shapes, sizes (some as small as 9 sq. ft. — yes, 9 sq. ft., you read that right), styles and can be portable or permanent. Some have lofts, others don’t. The reasons vary as to why tiny homes appeals to people, from environmental reasons to simply wanting to live a less cluttered life.
For some, living in a tiny house can be a rewarding, but difficult, adjustment. If you’re planning to move into a tiny home (or even if you’re simply downsizing into a smaller home), here are some tips for making the move a simple adjustment for you and your family.
If you commit to a smaller space, realize that you will have to get rid of many of the items that fit into your old home. Deciding what stays and what goes can be a difficult process for both practical and sentimental reasons. Simply put, you have to prioritize the items that really define you and get rid of the things that do not fit with your new lifestyle.
If this is too difficult for you, or if the move is temporary, use a storage unit or shed. Make it your goal to get rid of the things that you don’t use within a month, and follow through with it.
“Any items that don’t significantly improve your life should be given away or thrown out,” suggests Rosie Hogan, a personal development coach living in New York. “Also, anything that is damaged and needing repair just adds more mental ‘to-do lists,’ so just get rid of it.”
It can be surprisingly liberating to realize you don’t need everything that you have. You’ll also gain from a decluttered environment, which is much less stressful.
2. Stay Organized
There are many ways to stay organized, you just have to put some thought into it and be creative! “I think you have to learn to use every available space and use it wisely,” says Terri Roberge, the owner of a 400-square-foot home in Austin, Texas. “It may take two or three different tries before the kitchen is the way you want it and is the easiest for you to work in.”
Roberge also suggests inexpensive organizational tools, such as these IKEA shelving units:
They can be used against walls, in the closet or for linens as a great way to utilize space. Shelves can also be built onto the walls in the kitchen, bathroom or any place where small objects need to be stored.
Melinda Massie, the owner of a professional organization company in Fort Worth, Texas, recommends having multiple purposes for your furniture to increase space. “Get creative with space and storage containers. Instead of a standard coffee table, use a trunk.”
Other ways to multipurpose are to have patio chairs that can be brought inside for company or build a breakfast nook or window seat that doubles as a couch.
3. Downsize and Miniaturize Everything
Buy a miniature car, plant a miniature garden, adopt a miniature pet. OK, maybe I’m getting carried away, but downsizing a few household items and appliances can make an enormous difference.
One alternative is a mini fridge. You may have to go grocery shopping more often and refrain from buying in bulk, but the smaller appliance takes up about one-third of the space and energy that a regular-sized refrigerator does. Also consider appliances made for RVs and boats.
4. Embrace Your New Lifestyle
Utilize your surroundings like this person did:
Connect with nature by expanding your living area to the outdoors using large patios. Or even use the money you are saving on home expenses to buy a beautiful property, which you might not otherwise be able to afford. Decreased household maintenance is also a great perk. And with all the money saved in rent and energy costs, you will have extra time to do more of what you love. If your passion is traveling, there are even tiny homes that will come with you.
Moving into a tiny home can be a tough transition, but there’s plenty you can do to make your tiny house into the perfect tiny home.
Maria Galizia is a Digital Content Intern for New Home Source.