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Tiny House Living False Realities: Simple Living Not So Simple?

You might think that tiny house living will solve most of your problems, as I have, because it will lower your bills and reduce the amount of chores you have to do around the house.

But is it really true? I’m beginning to question it even though I’m fanatic about the benefits of living in well-designed small spaces. Laura pointed out some of these realities and shared them with us in a post recently and the following are my thoughts on the issues she brought up after reading Audrey’s post over at Trying on Tiny.

Tiny House Living versus Apartment Living

Tiny houses are big on saving you money. It’s the fastest way to living mortgage free that I’ve ever heard of. But for some people, like myself, the amount of chores compared to apartment living will actually increase. Sure, cleaning your tiny house compared to your apartment will be quicker.

False Realities of Tiny House Living

Photo by Alex Pino

If you’re a renter or apartment dweller, have you had to mow the lawn lately? Have you had to worry about true house ownership like fixing leaks, maintaining the outside, the roof, and things like that?

These are the realities I’m talking about. For some these will be mundane chores that won’t faze them. If this is you, great! But for others it will cause us to miss our old apartment life where we flushed toilets, cleaned, and called our landlord when anything else went wrong.

The Extra Maintenance of Composting Toilets in Tiny Houses

Most tiny house owners are using a composting toilet, which I’m a big believer in because I hate how we urinate and poop in our drinking water. I always think, “can’t we at least use gray water to flush in our apartments and homes?”

I write that, but I still hypocritically flush my water toilet every time I go. I just know it’s not the best way and there are alternatives available.

The point is that composting requires labor that involves carrying a bucket of urine and poop out to ferment in a larger bucket so it can eventually turn into fertilizer for your garden.

Even though these can be inconveniences compared to most of our current lives we can’t ignore that they are the answers to many of our environmental problems. We’ve become a society that’s way too addicted to convenience. Even though I believe we can eventually combine convenience with what’s best or at least better for earth.

Tiny House Living Still Equals Freedom

My next point is, aren’t these chores worth it if they drastically lower financial demands in your life? If we moved into a tiny house, besides the initial financial shock of building the home, it would dramatically lower our monthly expenses.

With this newfound discretionary income we can choose to do so many things. If you wanted to work less, that’s totally possible now. If you wanted to change your career, it’s much easier. If you wanted to continue working as much as possible you can have the money to hire help around the house when you need it. The point is that there’s always a solution unique for you if you think creatively enough and act on those ideas. Either that or you can adapt to your new life. After all, us humans can adapt to pretty much anything. But the choice is yours. It’s your life!

Your Turn: Is Simple Living in a Tiny House Really All That Simple?

Do you think simple living really all that simple? It’s a tough question because it can slow your life down and help make it more enjoyable yet many times this simplification creates a bunch of new chores we didn’t think about as much.

I think the answer is in creating a customized solution for each person. There’s no one size fits all here. Little homes should be custom designed for your personal needs. Otherwise you may have some unwanted adjustments to make.

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What false realities do you see in tiny house living that would affect you? Do you think these are well worth it considering the benefits of living small? How would you handle these challenges personally?

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Carolyn B December 25, 2012, 4:25 pm

    I can’t believe I’m the first to comment. I’m in the fixed & small house “camp”. I don’t want to travel around, preferring to stay in a cozy little corner of the world alone. I need city utilities & can’t do maintenance to compost, etc.

    I would like to see new posts or be referred to older posts that have dealt with greywater consumption. I’ve done my own internet search for a sink/toilet combo for my dream home. The best one (I don’t think it’s “grey water” standards) I’ve found is for prison usage :-): http://www.bradleycorp.com/security-fixtures/combination-units/26-chase-mounted-barrier-free-stainless-steel-combination-unit

    Thanks for this post.

    • Alex December 26, 2012, 1:33 pm

      Thanks Carolyn!

    • Sharon January 7, 2013, 1:21 pm

      Carolyn – here is a toilet lid that allows you to wash your hands before it goes into the toilet bowl to flush; a great spacesaver.

      http://www.tierrapath.com/index.php/Toilet-Lid-Sinks.html

      • Carolyn B January 7, 2013, 6:07 pm

        Sharon, I tried to go to the page but the site was down. Can you remember any info on the company so i could try another website to see this? Thanks for letting me know about this toilet option.

        • Sharon January 7, 2013, 6:16 pm

          No, you could google toilet lid sink, or just wait for the site to come back up. I suspect they are popular in Asia.

    • Debra VS May 5, 2015, 11:29 am

      The toilets mentioned here are 1) discontinued, or 2) website is gone. Just thought I’d mention it. BTW, Alex, the ‘Report This’ button REALLY needs to be moved away from the ‘Reply’ button.

  • davidrc December 25, 2012, 4:34 pm

    I’ve wondered when the utopian view that some have would give way to some questions about the things that way too many take for granted. The majority of Americans have gotten accustomed to things like; flip a switch and the lights come on, turn a knob on the wall or counter and water comes out, turn the companion knob and warmer water will eventually join the mix. Then, of course, there’s the human waste disposal thing. Many (the majority) would shudder over the consideration of what to do with their urine or feces if they couldn’t merely flush it all away. I recently came out of a period where I had to haul my drinking, washing, and cooking water, 7 gallons at a time. Hot water involved either a hot plate or a microwave. Electricity usage was limited by how many watts I had available to me for what I needed to do at the time. Human waste disposal involved a 5 gallon bucket, tall kitchen trash bags, and a toilet ring and lid; then direct burial when done. Bathing was done with a bowl of warm water, a washcloth, soap, one of my 7 gallon containers on it’s side so I can use it’s spigot for rinsing out the washcloth and my way short cut hair. So yeah, I know all about the realities of living rough and I lived through it and simply dealt with it as needed. You do that when your choices are limited.

    Now I live on the other side of the State, in my Brother’s 2 bd 1 ba apartment, and I have all of those luxuries again, and a pretty good job. You can well bet that I DO NOT takes those for granted. I’m living close and saving all the money I can to buy a travel trailer or a FEMA trailer so my Brother and I can have our individual lives and privacy back. Of course then I have to deal with finding an affordable place to park it (the job market here is so good that people are coming from all over the country to get them. More people than housing, lot of price gouging.). I’ll deal with that too, when the time comes to make it necessary.

    All of the issues described in these 2 posts can be dealt with too. One just has to think about ALL of the things a home does for you, then research what’s available so a stand alone or portable home can still do it without the city infra-structure. There will be a little more work involved, a little engineering will definitely be needed, and a bit of routine maintenance.

    Once upon a time we were the kind of people who wanted to see what was over the horizon. Our ancestors arrived by tiny little wooden sailing ships onto a shore where they did not know what to expect. Later they traveled across the Country by covered wagon to settle new areas. Some thrived, others failed miserably. This drive to see drove us to trains and automobiles (interesting name since there are NO automatic controls) to leaving gear and footprints on the Moon. Then something happened, we just stopped. Oh, there are individuals out there who still push things but, as a society we’ve stagnated. Maybe we’ve gotten too comfortable. Too content to let the government take care of everything (as a society that is, many of us have seen what a fabulous job they’ve done thus far.)

    Didn’t mean to write a novel here. Bottom line is; while you dream your dream, think through ALL of the details and work out how to deal with the obstacles that will crop up, then do what you have to do to make it so. The blogs about living small or tiny are great resources, look ’em up and bookmark them all and VISIT them on a regular bases. If the bloggers aren’t actually living that way, they encourage people who do to contribute posts. Those who are blessed with Grands or Great Grands still living who grew up during the Depression, Ask them about how they did stuff back in the day. Lot’s of books and websites out there to learn what you need. Or, just plunge in and learn what you need to by doing it. For some of us, that’s the fun part. Sometimes you just have to ‘just do it’

    • Alex December 26, 2012, 1:37 pm

      David thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

    • Sharon January 7, 2013, 1:06 pm

      davidrc – living tiny/small does not mean you have to live without “modern conveniences,” it’s a choice you make.

      • davidrc January 7, 2013, 9:55 pm

        @Sharon, Had you read my comment in it’s entirety you would have noted that I did not have any choices in the way I had had to live at that time. If you’ve never had to deal with adversity in your life then I envy you, but not very much. I’m stronger for the experience than I was before.

  • staceyranae December 25, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Check this out… it was a team efort but the tiny little spot was done…. @ bvtxweb.com_ magnolia_walkup

  • Mary December 26, 2012, 2:30 pm

    I think it depends on the person and their flexibility. I’ve owned a home for 9 years, so owning something smaller won’t be an inconvenience to me. To me a smaller house gives the benefits of ownership combined with some of the benefits of renting such as less maintenance and lower costs. I won’t have a loft bed, so the ladder won’t be an issue. My house will be small rather than tiny, so there’ll be a bit more storage space (which I would miss in a tiny house). On the other hand, since selling my big home I’ve rented. There are disadvantages to renting as well: privacy (landlords coming over to fix things more often), rent checks (my small house will be paid for), lack of garden space and my fruit trees and flowers, an inability to do pretty much anything I want (within ordinances) on and to my land. As far as “modern conveniences” I see that as more of a “green” issue than an issue of the tiny house movement per se. There are things I would like, like a low flow or incinerating toilet and at least some grey water that could be routed to the garden. There are other things that I would not want, like a composting toilet bucket or a house completely off grid. With modern technology, though, there are options. We can have our conveniences and enjoy them without guilt, too, if we choose responsibly (and are willing and able to pay the price for them).

    There are both advantages and disadvantages to any choice.

    • Alex December 28, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Thanks Mary very well said!

    • karen taylor December 29, 2012, 9:37 pm

      I too hve been a home owner for more than 25 years, in a house originaly built for a family of 6, now it is just me. I don’t see having that much less work, just better work. When you build something yourself, you know everything you need to know to keep a well maitained tiny house. I think that makes life more simple. Yes I want to keep my internet, but I can use less resorses to have those things, grey water for my garden, compost also for the garden. and so on. Im realistic enough to know how much work it will be. and you are correct, it is a choice we all have to make and I hope everyone has the facts.

      • jim sadler December 29, 2012, 11:47 pm

        Unless one is wealthy or retired it is really a matter of who you work for. With a tiny home, built on the cheap, you will need to work less for an employer and a lot less for some bank that sucks your earnings dry. If one is not in a conquer the world mode then the bit of work needed as income can be some simple and pleasant task. On the other hand when working for an employer a fast and difficult dance is the tune of the day it seems. And it just happens that if really hard times break out you might make it in a tiny home as opposed to total loss if in conventional housing.

      • Mary December 30, 2012, 12:45 am

        Karen, I’d be very interested in your plan for using grey water for your garden.

        Your statement “I don’t see having that much less work, just better work” is very true. For me, it will be more yard work and less constant remodeling-I have lived in two houses while I fixed them up in the last 10 years, and the work was unending in both. There was always something that needed to be redone or improved. Just having a house that is finished at some point will be nice for me.

        The housekeeping really is less for me-but that’s partly because I’m finally uncluttered and organized for the first time in years. Yes, there are still a few boxes, but nothing like what I had before the purge this year. Just keeping track of what I owned and where it was in a big house took me a few hours each week.

        But there are many other ways that the work and repairs will be the same. Plumbing and electrical problems will take as long to resolve in a small house as a large one, for instance. There may even be MORE winterizing than there was in a large house.

        Jim-you’re right, in hard times small houses can be more sustainable, both for utilities and for the fact that if you’re paid in full it will be harder to take from you. Sadly, health insurance, taxes, house/liability/vehicle insurance, phone, food and utilities won’t go down much for me, and gas might even be higher for awhile depending on where I find work. At the same time, this house is good timing for me.

    • Garth December 30, 2012, 2:48 am

      We lived in an apartment our first seven years a marriage. For the first five or so, we had a wonderful landlord and manager. Then things changed, something which we had no control over, and which we could not have predicted. Rent increases came fast and furious, and new rules became suffocating. This is one reason I vote for tiny resident-owned houses and land.

  • Chris December 26, 2012, 4:16 pm

    For those that think it will be hard, it will always tend to be hard, for those who think it will be simple, it will always tend to be simple.

  • Kathy Handyside December 26, 2012, 4:35 pm

    I agree with Mary – it depends on the person. I’ve been living in a 750 square-foot bungalow all my life, so when I have my tiny house, mowing grass, etc. won’t be any different from what I’m used to already. However, living expenses will be far cheaper, I’ll be able to live where I want to live, as opposed to just being stuck where my current house is.

    As for composting toilets, I was under the impression that some, like the Envirolet, reduce the waste to ash.

    With a metal roof, worrying about leaks and having to replace shingles won’t be an issue.

    I still plan to have my tiny house. All the research I’ve done, plus having seen one in person, tells me that it will work wonderfully for me, far better than the house I’m in right now.

  • Mary December 28, 2012, 2:43 pm

    Yes, Kathy, Envirolet is one company that makes an incinerating toilet that reduces waste to ash. I don’t call it a composting toilet because when I did, Dad objected, saying a composting toilet was an “just an indoor outhouse.” He doesn’t argue with something called an “incinerating toilet”, so I use that term instead. 🙂

    One thing I’ve struggled with is the difference in yard space required for a tiny or small house compared to a larger house. Lots about .19 acres are common here for 1200 sf houses, so .19 acres seems small to me. But with a smaller house, I’m thinking it would feel much bigger, especially when I mowed.

    I also look forward to a metal roof. A house I’ve helped plan and construct will also be easier to repair, since I’ll be involved in planning and know exactly where I put each piece of wire and where any troublesome pipe is at (and because there will be less of it to deal with). Basically I’ll be maintaining and cleaning the equivalent of 1-2 rooms of my former house.

    A small house is my New Year’s resolution… mainly because I know I’ll have a 320 sf cabin by April. 🙂

  • LaMar Alexander LaMar December 29, 2012, 8:09 pm

    I have been off-grid in a small cabin I built for over 15 years and yes there are different chores that goes with that style of living that not everyone may appreciate.

    I use solar and win which requires constant monitoring and some maintenance including brushing snow off of panels and the occasional turbine repair.

    The cabin is quick to clean but being small with two dogs I tend to probably clean more often.

    I use a solar composting toilet which does not require a compost pile and uses a 5 gal porta potty that I wheel out in my wheel barrow once a week to empty.

    Gray water is all recycled back to the gardens and just needs to be monitored and shifted to a new spot occasionally.

    Anything else I do would be the same if I lived in a conventional house.

    LaMar

    • Sally Schrock May 17, 2015, 6:59 pm

      LaMar, I’m intrigued by your solar composting toilet. Was that something you created yourself, or did you buy the system from a company? How much did it cost you to buy? How does it work? I have never heard of this but if it works well for you, I’d be interested in going with that myself for my tiny abode in the near future. Thank you for taking the time to tell me about it in advance…..

  • Kat January 1, 2013, 9:18 pm

    Hi everyone. I know this service isn’t available everywhere, but here in Ontario, Canada our municipal waste company picks up our compost every week. Listed as acceptable compost is animal wastes, so when I begin living in my tiny house I’m going to line my composting toilet bin with a bag and toss it out with my weekly compost! Not too much of a hassle really.

  • lola May 5, 2015, 10:25 am

    my question(s) pertain to older people. i am going to be 63 this summer, am in excellent health and strong, and dream of living in a tiny house within the next 1-2 years – but i never stories regarding older people doing this – which makes me wonder – is it impractical/too demanding/more challenging and difficult? (i’m leaning towards one storey or a two-storey with stairs.) thanks for comments and advice!

    • Heather May 5, 2015, 12:16 pm

      Hi Lola,
      First off I think this is wonderful that you want to live in a tiny house! I’m only 30 but my health is not the greatest. My husband and I live in a 130 sq ft tiny house. I thought that our ladder would at times be difficult for me but in actuality I think it helps me to get some sort of needed “exercise” without realizing it. Most people around your age are not in as good of shape as you sound and therefore they feel that “living tiny” would not work for them and that is why I think you do not here many stories like that. Living tiny is really not physically difficult. Depending on how adventurous you are and how your health looks for the future, you could probably get away with a ladder, however there are some great ideas for low key stair options. There are also the options of tiny houses with a bedroom on the main level. BUT my biggest suggestion would be not to make the tiny house too long or wide, especially if you might think about moving it more than once. The larger it is, the harder it is to move(travel with) especially by yourself. Remember, age is just a number and just keep it simple to what YOU need. There are many eco friendly and tiny house friendly “living” options that do not require “hard labor” on a regular basis, so it is possible to live simply in a tiny house. Our “biggest task” is emptying our composting bucket every week. We have not ordered the composting toilet that we want yet so we use a 5 gallon bucket. I make my husband do it but that really is the “hardest” job. Even mowing our grass doesn’t take very long and only needs to be done maybe once a month at the most. Our compost pile(for the garden)…my husband uses the shovel to make a couple turns for about 5 minutes every other day and that’s it. You know what?! For an OCD person like myself, making the bed is tough for me. I like all corners to be perfect, even and smooth, but it’s just not happening in our loft. So if you’re OCD like myself, then THAT will be your biggest problem. If you choose to have a single size mattress then you might be able to make it perfect. Ha ha ok… Hopefully my thoughts helped you in your endeavors Lola!

  • Dean May 5, 2015, 10:39 am

    I don’t think that “tiny” is the real goal. Having a paid for living space that you can afford to keep up is the real thing. If you keep it small and simple it is more affordable. If you are not handy, simple is easier to afford. The financial crisis of 2008 taught us all a good, sometimes hard lesson. Debt and living pay check to pay check is not a way to live. If you own your own home with no mortgage and you loose your job, you can get by. If you have debt, you loose your home and all you have worked for and end up on someone else’s couch or homeless. We built our own home and like taking care of it. We don’t have a tiny home but what we have is paid for and we owe nothing to anyone.
    It is not about living tiny for most of us, it is all about living within your means and having little or no debt.

  • georgina May 5, 2015, 10:45 am

    It is important to understand the realities of owning and maintaining
    a Tiny House before you decide to commit…
    The composting toilet issue is obviously a big one.
    I have seen an incinerating toilet available for tiny homes that
    turns the contents of the toilet to a very small amount of ash that is sterile and easily disposed of….the manufacturer is in Sweden or Denmark…and hopefully will be available in Canada and the USA soon.
    I will investigate the Miracle Loo and post the good news soon…I hope!

  • Cynthia Taylor May 5, 2015, 11:44 am

    An incinolet is an electric toilet that incinerates the poop and what is left is potash to add to the garden. No poop in the water. If I were to have a tiny house on wheels I would make the roof out of solar panels and use the electric toilet and an induction cooktop instead of a gas or liquid fuelled stove. No microwaves they destroy nutrients.

  • Nita May 5, 2015, 1:35 pm

    I lived in a 37 x 8 ft trailer as a kid and I say NO THANKS to tiny house living. I was there with my mom and two sisters and to this day we don’t get along because we were squeezed into that tiny place for two years. Never want to do that again.

  • Susanne May 5, 2015, 8:19 pm

    Yes, renting apartments means someone doing maintence but she forgets to mention that one does not own that? Unless a condo, townhouse, of course. Also the care, maintenance , for Tiny House would ideally be much less, faster, cheaper.

  • Jodie Dew May 9, 2015, 11:37 pm

    Being a single mobility limited female who is not good with tools I swore I would never own another home. However I fell in love with tiny living. While due to needing a wheelchair in the foreseeable future I am going small instead of tiny. I made sure to have good warranties on every aspect and made my own floorplan to make sure it is all wheelchair accessible. ..something u dont find in ready made available small homes in my area…believe me I toured every single one of them listed for sale. .between the purchase price and renovations that would be needed along with updating overall it was at least 50000 cheaper for me to build my small home…we r FINALLY in the drywalling stage!! So excited…when I say finally the entire build has only been going on for 3 weeks. I ordered an amish built barn did my own design and have put soooo many hours into each decision knowing this is my final home and I dont plan to be changing anything…do it right the first time. All in..land, tree removal, excavation and foundation, barn, ext doors. Having my design made into a blueprint, required here…plumbing, electrical, tap fees, and all the finishings I will be under $60000…and no I didnt go with the cheapest nor anywhere near the expensive finishings. I just wanted quality within my very limited budget. Over the ladt 3 weeks we have had an average of 6 people a day stop by and comment in shock…last time I went by here it was an empty lot and now 2,3,4, etc days later there is a gorgeous home here!! Because the amish erected the barn in 1 day…including the 8ft wide covered porch! The weather here in southeastern ohio has been a challenge. The first 10 days or so were wet n cold and now we are in a heatwave…lower 90s…cant wait for aep to get my power up and running this week ahead so we can at least run fans…we use the generator to run equipment.

  • MJ October 27, 2015, 12:38 pm

    Insightful post and comments, very much appreciated. Has anyone considered going in as a group and buying an RV park and turning it into a “tiny town”? For example, there’s an RV park in CA selling for $575,000 with 44 spaces – if 44 people go in together, it’s just over 13k each. Has anyone tried doing this before?

    • Alex October 27, 2015, 2:20 pm

      That’s a great idea, MJ, just takes some organization, etc. but can definitely be done! It helps if someone already has the money and/or credit to buy it. Whenever anyone does something like this I love to help spread the word about it through our newsletter and blog!

  • SeasonedRealist April 8, 2016, 11:25 pm

    WARNING!!! SERIOUS REALITY CHECK AHEAD!

    My parents are both old “hippies” so I was raised with a certain amount of unrealistic, fantasy-land pipe dreams to deal with that “would be really cool man”… but weren’t grounded in reality. A lot of things in life sound PERFECT on paper… until you actually do them. Then you deal with the real world…

    At the end of high school, I lived in an old 1959 teardrop trailer for a few years. For an 18-20 year old kid, it had it’s advantages but it also had it’s share of nightmares. It was a “micro-home” before they were the trendy hipster fantasy they are now.

    Here’s a LONG list of the drawbacks:

    Something breaks, YOU fix it and YOU pay for it—not the landlord. And believe me, in a tiny space that is constantly being used, things are CONSTANTLY breaking. Without TOOLS and MATERIALS handy to repair anything with (no room to store them), be ready to hire someone else to do everything… on a regular basis. KER-CHING!

    They aren’t “easy” to keep clean, as a matter of fact, they are actually IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean. You can go crazy cleaning everything and… later that day, it’s a disaster again.

    Because there is little to NO COUNTER SPACE, NO STORAGE SPACE and NO WORK SPACE, everything piles up on everything else FAST. Dirt gets tracked in no matter what you do. When it rains, dirt turns into MUD and that’s always fun to live in.

    You can’t prepare any type of REAL food so be prepared to live on cans of beans, frozen burritos and Pot Pies. You’ll be eating out A LOT… like every single night. Again, no counter space to prepare ANYTHING and no room for any real kitchen utensils—let alone appliances.

    “Microwave burritos… ewww, I only eat organic!” LOL HA HA!!! Good luck with that one “Sunflower”. Say goodbye to your smoothie blender… and your coffee pot. The whole foods or “Trader Joe’s” down the street isn’t going to do you much good since your fridge is going to be the size of an ice chest (or maybe an actual ice chest!). The only “eating fresh” you’ll be doing will be from Subway!

    Say goodbye to baths—forever. Need to soak those sore muscles or just want to relax with some nice romantic candles & bubbles? Not gonna happen… EVER AGAIN. Get used to squeezing into a shower to get clean and say goodbye to anything “non-essential” like a medicine cabinet with anything in it. It takes up too much space 😉 Soap, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, towel and hopefully some deodorant and a bottle of aspirin (if you have space for it). You’re gonna love it, it’s just like prison!

    As you may have figured out, buying EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE in single quantities costs A LOT MORE than buying an “entire package”. For example, buying a WHOLE GIANT PACK (of 4 rolls… let alone 12) of toilet paper just probably isn’t going to happen… it’s amazing how much space a pack of toilet paper actually takes up. That’s just ONE ITEM.

    Use your imagination and multiply that by every single item in your life…

    Buying one roll of toilet paper, one frozen burrito or one bar of soap gets CRAZY expensive FAST. I’m not talking Costco quantities here, I’m just talking about REASONABLE quantities of EVERYTHING. I hope you have a store close by because you’ll be going back and forth all day and every day!

    You WILL learn the true value of STORAGE SPACE. After seeing some of these super-compressed “micro-homes”, it’s pretty obvious that the designers have never actually had to LIVE in one for a long period of time. Here are a few things you would have never thought of that you WILL have to store: Sheets, towels, clothes, a broom/dustpan (you’ll be using it constantly), cleaning supplies, laundry soap, dishes, kitchen utensils, toiletries, office/computer supplies and “other”. If you have any hobbies (musical instrument, fishing rod, art supplies, electronics etc.) you need storage for that stuff too. That’s just the stuff off the top of my head… triple that number and that’s the space you’ll REALLY need. One option is to get a spare vehicle (like a cheap cargo van) to use as your own little mini-storage unit.

    Do you have a “significant other”? (wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend). If you have EVER been in an argument with someone, imagine what it would be like while standing 2 feet away from them before, during and after? The alternative? You can always go outside in front of the neighbors and argue 😉 If you have NEVER had a serious argument with your spouse or partner, YOU WILL. Being joined at the hip with someone is the FASTEST WAY to loose them. They WILL drive you insane. Personal space in KEY in a good relationship and without it, you’re pretty much doomed.

    You really end up paying around the same or even more for the self satisfaction of “going green”. You’re gong to find out fast that being an unrealistic idealist isn’t cheap. As a matter of a fact, it costs a fortune. ALL of that money you saved… EVERY PENNY will go into places you never even thought about.

    -Buying EVERYTHING in tiny quantities.
    -CONSTANT maintenance and upkeep.
    -GAS from constantly traveling back and forth to the store.
    -Eating out virtually EVERY NIGHT.
    -SERIOUS STRESS ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

    Now don’t get me wrong. For SOME people, tiny spaces are GREAT.
    -SINGLE college students leaving home for the first time.
    -SINGLE Bachelor or Bachelorettes who spend MOST at their time at work or on the road.
    -SINGLE elderly people.

    For a single college student without a lot of possessions who is leaving home for the first time, I ACTUALLY RECOMMEND IT. For many people, it beats sharing everything with room mates. It also teaches them about the responsibility of how to manage a “micro-home” before maybe marrying and taking on a larger one.

    Another odd positive thing about living in a tiny place is that it teaches you how to maximize space. You kind of feel like a spider after a while in that everything is in arms reach or just a few feet away. You learn fast between the things you really NEED to live and the things you WANT. When/if you move to a larger space, it makes you value all of the extra things you have; the space you have to do it in and the freedom that extra space provides.

    As a kid and through most of high school, I was “the hippy” with long hair, tie dye shirts and crazy ideas about the world. The few years in that tiny little space really changed how I look at myself and the rest of the world… forever. I ditched the tye dye shirts and that whole mindset around the same time I ditched my hippy “friends” (parasites) and my trailer (“micro-home”). That was a long time ago…

    Fast forward to today… I’ve been married for 15 years and live in a nice, quiet, roomy 2 bedroom apartment… WITH A GARAGE. I learned a lot of life lessons early on from being on my own in that teeny, tiny little spot. I now value personal space, personal freedom and hot bubble baths more than almost anything in life!

    I don’t miss those days at all. As a matter of fact, I think back on them and shudder. I don’t regret the experience because I leaned a lot from it, but I definitely don’t want to go back to it.

    • S May 12, 2017, 3:32 am

      Life is only as complicated as you make it out to be. Some of us live more simply and with less stress than you. Some live in smaller houses, yet posses all the means needed to survive. I could go on.

      In the end, we all die, and the only thing we take with us is memories and lessons learned from personal experience. THAT is the only “reality check” there is.

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