The tiny house movement has been around since the late 90’s as we know it, and if we are not including the fact that humans have lived in tiny homes for basically all of history, then we can focus on the last 20 years or so.
Are people choosing to live in tiny houses long term? Also, what do we consider as long term living?
People choose to live in tiny houses for all different reasons. Some are choosing the tiny house lifestyle for periods of transition in their lives, and some see it as a long term solution to living more affordably and with less of an environmental impact.
What makes long term living in a tiny house easy?
It’s safe to say that most people living in tiny houses don’t move around frequently, although there are several that do. Living in a small space for a considerable period of time means that certain systems need to be in place to support this style of living.
For most people, roughing it in a tiny house is not conducive for long term habitation. Systems need to be in place that function well and are not too challenging to maintain. Dependable water and electric are necessary to run tankless water heaters, refrigerators and freezers, heat and AC units, ventilation units, lights, stoves, and basically all of the systems in a home that fulfill our basic needs. Without these in place, it’s hard to focus on the other aspects of our lives when our basic needs aren’t being met. It’s common for tiny houses to have fresh water storage for when off-grid, but typically this isn’t a long-term water solution. Solar is a great option since tiny houses have a minimal energy draw to begin with, but if the solar array and battery bank is too small, then constantly worrying about energy usage can get tiring after a while.
Building a deck increases livable space and makes it easier to get in and out of the tiny house since they are typically around 24” off the ground. A small storage shed for outdoor gear and seasonal items can free up some storage space inside, or under the trailer can also work well as an extra storage area.
Living in a tiny house encourages us to get outside and be involved in our communities. However, due to limited legal parking spaces many tiny house dwellers live outside of towns in more rural settings. If this isn’t your ideal living situation then it can feel isolating and may not make living “Tiny” the best option.
Finding the ideal plot of land for your tiny house is what can make or break living long term.
It’s definitely up for debate, but it may be safe to say that living for ten plus years in a tiny house means that you are living “Tiny” long term. Dee Williams and Jay Shafer who are founders of the tiny house movement have been living tiny for over ten years. There are many other folks going on five plus years in their tiny houses. Since the movement is still young, we will see more and more die heart tiny house enthusiasts living many years in this unique and small way.
Written by Isabelle Nagel-Brice of A Tiny Good Thing