Anyone who has researched living in a tiny house, watched the tv shows or tiny house youtube channels, or lives in a tiny house knows that there are some essential belongings and built-in multi-functional furniture options that are tiny house specific. These items often make living in a tiny house more comfortable and sustainable for long-term living.
Tiny house dwellers who have radically downsized their belongings to fit in under 400 square feet have learned a thing or two about what’s essential and what’s not. We can learn from these people who have gotten down to the bare bones and are living small long-term.
In our opinion there are 6 not necessarily obvious items that stand out, and that tiny house dwellers find useful.
1. Bottle Jack – don’t be deceived by its small size! These compact jacks are miracle workers when it comes to leveling a tiny house. Especially, when the site itself is not level, or when raising the house to take weight off the axles. Yes, tiny houses typically have built in stabilizing and leveling jacks, but each of those jacks can only support a portion of the tiny house’s weight and can make it difficult when lifting the house. The built in jacks have been known to warp and break off specifically when trying to lift and level a tiny home from side to side rather than tongue to rear. A bottle jack can also be moved around the trailer where lifting is needed. One that costs about $32 can lift up to 24,000lbs. More than twice the weight of an average size tiny house.
2. A Porch/Deck – increases outside space and quality of life. Whether your house has a fold down deck that’s built in or you are staying in one spot for a while, a deck helps in many practical ways. It creates outside space separate from the ground and the elements to an extent. It helps to put things on it when cleaning the tiny house, like your dog or rugs. Of course it’s lovely to have for entertaining, creating a more functional living space, and making your house look more like a home.
3. A Hitch Lock – or way to make your home theft proof or more difficult to steal. Really, this is just a preventative measure, but tiny houses have been stolen. The smaller a tiny house or less established and “grounded” to a space is what makes it more appealing to steel. You would think that whoever steals a tiny house must not be very smart because of how large and unique they are. This makes them easier to recover, but a hitch lock makes the process of hitching up to a tiny house and driving away much more difficult. This small and easy deterrent could give you peace of mind if anything.
4. Tiny House Insurance – It wasn’t around for the majority of the time that the Tiny House Movement has existed. It’s great that tiny house insurance is now available to professionally built tiny homes as well as some well built DIY homes. Having the tiny house build certified definitely helps with attaining insurance. Tiny house insurance can cover full-time living and for when the home is moved just like with RV insurance. Therefore, people who tow their own tiny homes can have coverage for the trip.
5. Small Dustpan and Brush – This is one of the most frequently used combinations of items in a small home. There are always nooks and crannies that need attention and tiny spaces get dusty quickly. A handheld brush is useful in the lofts of tiny homes and reaching spaces like storage compartments under cabinets, which a normal sized broom would not be able to access. Small vacuums are needed every now and then, but by far the dustpan and mini-broom set are useful all the time.
6. Light – Now, this is not exactly an item but more of a design element. Ample light in a tiny house makes the space feel larger and brings the outside world in. Living tiny inherently connects you to the seasons and the natural elements more than living in a big house. Large windows without blinds can set your biological clock in a healthier way and can help with seasonal depression.
Hopefully this non-conventional list was useful in making your tiny life a bit easier. If living small long-term is your goal then we think these will make your life more sustainable in the long run.
Written by Isabelle Nagel-Brice of A Tiny Good Thing