If you haven’t yet heard about the Tiny House Movement, read this.
I’ve only just started reading about tiny houses, but since moving into a house of my own that is fairly large (over 2000 square feet!) I have been contemplating the costs of such a home, and thinking about the alternatives. Although we know we need the space, and would not be as comfortable in a smaller house, many people are turning to the tiny house movement to make their own dreams of owning a house come true.
But what does this movement mean for Americans in general? Sure, a tiny house means less of a carbon footprint, which is good considering the problems of climate change. Sure, a tiny house means less cost, also a good thing when we consider the debt Americans can get into. A tiny house can be comfortable, beautiful. A tiny house can be fixed in place, or movable. It can be for one or two people, or even three or four.
Tiny houses also mean less things, less need for ‘stuff’. And Americans have bought into the consumerism that business and advertising has fostered onto the public. In tiny houses there’s less space to store and display things. Does this mean that if the tiny house movement really takes off, especially among millennials who are facing less ability to buy a larger home, there will also be less need to purchase stuff? How would this play out among advertisers and marketers?
And what about families? In a tiny house a person cannot think about having large families. There is no way to have more than say 1 or 2 children in such a home. And even that many may be an over use of space available. Less children, less population, but also less need for things. Again. Marketers and advertisers who depend on people needing things might need to rethink their outlook. What if people don’t really need to buy things anymore?
Many tiny homeowners are singles, or couples. They relish owning their own space. They believe in being more aware of the space they use. But they also are independent minded people who just don’t want to share space with others. Perhaps they have shared space – apartments, other homes, with family and friends, with roommates. And ultimately they chose to be on their own, away from others. This mindset permeates American culture, and it has created the need for more and more housing. Are tiny houses the answer to the issue of space available? Will there be tiny house developments in America’s future?
Right now the tiny house movement is, well, tiny. Barely a ripple. But it could grow as more and more people want to purchase a home and cannot afford the traditional ones. A tiny house costs about a 1/4 of what a traditional house costs, and definitely less cost to maintain the house as well. And a movable tiny house means that a person whose job is mostly contract work can move their home with the job location. In some technical fields this might be the answer to having to move every 1-2 years. Just move the house whenever a new job is obtained.
Sitting here in an office that is about as large as some tiny houses feels weird right now. The house I live in is huge compared to a tiny house. And there are so many things I would miss if I moved into a smaller space (like my personal library!) But when it comes right down to it, a tiny house has everything necessary, and none of the waste that my traditional home brings with it. Perhaps there will be a tiny house in my future, when this house just isn’t comfortable anymore.