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10 Warnings Before You Go Tiny

I thought you might enjoy this article from Small Home Family which gives us 10 warnings before going tiny or small, specifically with your family.

If you’re seriously considering downsizing to a tiny or small home, this may shed some light on the challenges that you may encounter. So do you still think you can go tiny or small after these warnings?

Still Think You Can Go Tiny After These 10 Warnings?

  1. Little Privacy
  2. Sharing Space
  3. Room for Guests
  4. Keeping Things Tidy
  5. Dealing with Clutter
  6. Maintaining Minimalism
  7. Paying More Because You Can’t Buy In Bulk
  8. Rationing the Hot Water
  9. Preventing Moisture Build Up
  10. Surviving Cabin Fever (During Bad Weather)

Numbers 4-6 are pretty much the same or at least very similar, aren’t they? They all have to do with maintaining your house (keeping it tidy, not buying too much stuff, etc.).

When you’re in a tiny house, if one person leaves their stuff out, the entire house feels like a disaster, right?

So… do you still think you can go tiny even with these challenges? Which one bothers you the most? Would it stop you from going tiny or small? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

For more on what it’s like to live small with family, please read the original full article here!

Source: http://www.smallhomefamily.com/2017/09/living-in-small-home-with-kids-10.html

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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!
{ 10 comments… add one }
  • oxide
    September 26, 2017, 10:01 am

    The biggest problem for me would be #1 privacy. I like my toilets to be at least a few steps removed from the living areas!
    #7 is a bigger issue than it seems. Not only are you buying smaller sizes, but you practically have to go to the store almost every day just to keep enough food around, especially for a family.

  • Pamela Poklikuha
    September 26, 2017, 10:08 am

    What is the one about moisture build up? I can deal with everything else, but am not sure about what Moisture Build up entails!

    • September 26, 2017, 6:11 pm

      I go into more detail about each point in the linked article if you would like to read more.

      The basic idea is that small homes often have less insulation due to thinner walls than traditional houses, and with multiple people cooking and bathing and even just breathing in a small space, resulting humidity can lead to condensation issues. With adequate ventilation and insulation, this isn’t as likely to be a problem, but it’s something that we have had to deal with in our home. If we don’t stay on top of the humidity issue and condensation, we have issues with mildew.

      Again, there are ways to prevent this, so it doesn’t have to be a universal problem, but it is something to be aware of when going tiny.

    • James D.
      September 26, 2017, 8:48 pm

      Depends on how well the house is designed, climate/weather of area it is located, and what you are doing inside…

      Good ventilation helps, preferably you should have dedicated ventilation where you cook and by the shower/bath, and full house ventilation makes that more effective.

      HVAC options like HRV let you retain most of the heat in winter by transferring the heat of the outgoing air to the incoming air… ERV takes that a step further and helps regulate humidity…

      Particularly humid area may need a dehumidifier or you may need it if you generate a lot of moisture in the house…

      Example, cooking and heating with propane produces moisture… Having lots of people in the house means more moisture as everyone is giving off moisture, if you use a humidifier for a cold, etc. that’s extra humidity in the house, etc.

      Main concern is areas where condensation can form and trap moisture in areas of the house where it can cause wood rot, cause mold issues, etc.

      Windows with insulation value can help, they cost a lot more but can be worth it…

      At least two inches of insulation, something like closed cell spray foam can get you a decent amount of insulation… Can be combined with other ways to protect the house but depends on budget and how advance you want the build to be…

      If planning to be in a particularly cold or hot region then 3 to 4 inches of insulation is recommended…

      Residential can go 6-8 inches or even over a foot as there’s no need to keep the walls a certain thickness but you can still put in a good amount of insulation in a tiny house if you use high R-Value insulation and you can boost it with some thermal mass if your design can handle the weight.

      Smaller space is easier to heat and cool, and it can matter more how efficient your total envelop is and properly designed and well build tiny homes can be more energy efficient than residential houses.

      It’s mainly those build to low the standards that issues can be significant…

      So it’s better to go with those built to meet and exceed residential building codes, though, really well build houses can be pretty pricey… There are lower cost ways to still provide good ventilation and prevent condensation/moisture issues.

      The house can also be optimized for a specific region climate, if you don’t need to travel all over with it…

  • Nancy M.
    September 26, 2017, 11:22 am

    I live alone in a 300 square foot cottage. It has a loft, but since I am unable to climb a ladder, and stairs are almost as difficult, it is not being used effectively. Of the warnings listed, the most difficult is privacy. There is no escape without literally leaving, so it will either make you closer, or you will end up destroying your relationship! (I lived with my daughter in an efficiency slightly smaller than my house for 10 months, and we are even closer as a result). To prevent having to shop for groceries every day or two, the only realistic solution is a larger refrigerator, one with a small freezer (with a separate door so it actually functions well). And the more gadgets you have, the less efficient your space will be. So, unless a gadget is used frequently, you probably will need to get rid of it (or store it elsewhere if it is seasonally used). If you are into any type of crafting, you will also need space to both work on your craft, and to store it when you are not working on it! Leaving it out is not functional for most small and tiny house dwellers, because every space is multi-functional. In my case, most of my crafts get stored in my small walk-in closet, with the exception of my miter saw, which currently resides in my multi-functional room because I am not done building things yet, mostly furnishings with as much storage as I can possibly cram in!

    • James D.
      September 26, 2017, 8:08 pm

      Alternatives to getting a larger fridge is just change the way you store food…

      Options like freeze dried foods can be bought in bulk and take up very little space and have a shelf life up to 25 years if stored in optimal conditions.

      You can also do canning and fermentation, the later making the food even easier to digest and more healthy with probiotics… You can check the Fy Nyth youtube channel for an example of a woman living by herself in a tiny house and she does canning, and usually has enough food stored in her house to last months if she had to hunker down and not leave her house…

      While growing micro greens take up very little space and as they have more densely packed nutrition it doesn’t take as much to sustain you and they can be grown within a month or some of them as little as 8 days from seed… Just to give an idea, there’s a guy in New York who runs a micro-greens farm out of his apartment, just one large bedroom dedicated to it, and he makes around $$100K a year doing it…

      Many herbs can be grown indoors and there’s planters you can get that can directly hand off any glass. So you can hand them directly on the window, along with vertical wall gardening options.

      Vacuum sealing food also helps make them last longer and lets you stock more in the fridge…

      You can also keep multiple fridges instead of one big fridge to spread the storage… Ideally, anything frozen is better kept in a freezer that opens on top as they helps keep the cold in when you open it and is thus more efficient… To save space you can also consider building it into the floor…

      Drawer fridge can also be more compartmental… So each one can be kept at a different temperature depending on what kind of food you are storing.

      You can also keep food storage on the outside of the Tiny House… If on a property you can set up your own root cellar…

      There are a couple of other options as well, but that gives a good idea of options…

  • September 26, 2017, 12:33 pm

    Thanks for the share!

  • Kim Pratt
    September 26, 2017, 2:29 pm

    The biggest problem of the privacy issue is that there are no blinds or curtains, on the windows, which I have noticed on many houses, even larger houses. I would have the windows tinted with a mirror like tint, it lets light in, and it also keeps the ultra violet rays out, makes it difficult for anyone to see in, and keeps it cooler (in summer). I would also have some blackout curtains, just as you would put in a bigger house. A regular or rv size refrigerator, (instead of a half height), refrigerator. I would want a house that is a bit longer with a couch/bed combo similar to those in the Airstream trailers or a murphy bed, with a couch when the bed part is up. I have seen Airstream trailers that are about 28-30 foot and the Airstream trailers are not to tall so that when you are traveling, you can easily fit under bridges. A closet with and dresser, the bathroom on one end and the kitchen on the other end or living area on the front end, with a galley kitchen in the middle. I also would have an electric fireplace, and a TV mounted above on a swivel mount. A mobile cart with casters to eat or work at like a sewing machine, or computer. A stand for your printer and scanner. I have seen some designs that I like and would like to design one on floor and in corporate the designs that I like. I would want a retractable awning over the door, and if I choose a French style door, I would have one with blinds inside the door. (I have some houses with that both on larger homes as well some of the smaller houses – and the doors are on the side of the house instead on the end, that seems to make the house seem more roomier. Solar panels and a retractable dish for your TV viewing with a mini cellular antennae on it as well. Under the bathroom window on the outside a built on storage area for outdoor foldable furniture, and separate for equipment for the solar panel. A washer/dryer combo. I saw one with a ramp up to the front door that would fold up to the door when traveling. Ideas I had if I were to have a small drivable house.

    • September 26, 2017, 4:05 pm

      Our home actually has many of these things. We have blinds on nearly all of our windows and a blackout curtain in the bedroom where our children sleep. We have a (smallish) full size refrigerator, and our couch turns into a bed. Our closet has a built-in dresser, and our kitchen is walk through with the bedroom and living room on opposite ends of the house. We no longer have a printer as we couldn’t justify the space it took up when we used it so infrequently. We get most of our TV content online, so a dish isn’t a necessity for us.

      I would love to see a design that incorporated all of these things into a more portable home! We have a 400 sq ft park model that requires a permit to move.

  • Paul Larsen
    September 26, 2017, 8:31 pm

    1 and 2 . I am a very private person but with one more person ( wife) I can manage with out problem.
    3 A phone number and address of the closest motel is the best way to deal with guests
    4, 5 and 6 . working on these , stuff seems to expand to fill the available space
    7 I dont buy in bulk so no issues
    8 no problem with rationing hot water
    9 a dehumidifier might work for this or just some ventilation
    10 Internet or watching movies is a good cure for cabin fever or planning activities for better weather.

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