Living With Less

Over winter break, I found myself doing a whole lot of nothing other than binge-watching home improvement shows – and aside from learning about placing bathroom tile and house buying, I felt myself wandering a bit too close to my childhood dream of buying a 20-room princess mansion than I wanted to. Fast forward a few days into this nonsense and I soon discovered an amazing show that proved that living large isn’t exclusively for the rich after all.

“Tiny House Nation” explores the world of condensing the functionality of a full-sized home into 600 square-feet or less. Externally, most would drive right by these hidden gems assuming that they are a backyard shed – but they are so much more wondrous than that. Although they may appear cramped to some, most tiny homes come packed with stunning features that both utilize every square foot to their true potential and cut down living costs exponentially.

I was originally drawn to the idea of living in a tiny house because I have always loved things that are miniature versions of larger ones. Seeing the tiny gabled roofs and miniature porches of these tiny homes reminded me so much of the full-sized wooden playhouse that my had dad built for my sister and I, completely by hand, in the backyard of our childhood home. The thought of actually living in a tiny home was just trivial to me at first being that my closet and dresser at home are practically bursting at the seams with junk and clothes already – but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. Not only would going tiny force me to eventually de-clutter myself, but also save a lot of money in the long run, too.

According to, the tiny home movement ignited from the economic crisis of the past decade and caused homeowners to revert to a simpler lifestyle that easily reconnects them with friends, family and nature. Some of these homes can cost less than most of today’s luxury SUVs, which is advantageous for those looking to avoid the commitment and stress of having a mortgage.

In America it is easy to see that overindulging in immaculate homes is definitely a trend. While there is a great deal of accomplishment present when we work for the things that we want, sometimes it is all too easy to lose sight of modesty in the process. Far too often, people fill the void of healthy relationships among friends or family with belongings instead. To me, that isn’t what being happy is about at all. Although the thought of downsizing seems enough to induce anxiety in those who have lived in moderately-sized homes their whole lives, I think that it would benefit everyone to take on that challenge of going tiny.

One of the biggest concerns of owning a tiny home is apparent: what if the home is just too cramped? The solution to this concern is all in the design plan. Most come equipped with full-sized kitchens, hidden storage spaces (such as drawers built into stairs) and high ceilings that make them look and feel much more spacious on the inside. These high ceilings also allow homeowners to loft their bedroom and have it double as an office or music room whenever the bed is folded up into the wall during the day. Repurposing space like this is one factor that enables tiny homes to be so cost-effective.

Aside from the functionality that the design of these tiny homes brings, they also allow room to save money on electricity, heating costs and furniture expenses. The methodology is simple : the smaller the space you have, the less room you have to fill with heat and furniture. Being that most of these tiny houses are specially-designed for their owners, they can be as minimal or extravagant as desired. On the higher end of the building budget spectrum, some emulate miniature log cabins, modern condos and even victorian-style estates. Though the homes may only measure in at a mere 250 square-feet, there are some amazing ones out there with some serious curb appeal.

If I had the opportunity to live in one of these homes, I would absolutely take advantage of it. Before learning about the tiny home trend, it was easy for me to think that I would be financially strapped for an eternity if I ever wanted to buy my own home. Now that I have seen a few episodes of “Tiny House Nation” and have done a bit of sleuthing on the Internet pertaining to the trend, it completely seems like an amazing and genuinely frugal possibility to pursue one day when the time is right.

If you’re not quite sure about simplifying your way of living to go tiny, look around for  a tiny home in a destination of your liking to vacation in to get a sense for it. Imagine being able to step out of your tiny home and straight onto the beach in the mornings, or sitting around a fire behind your personal cabin in complete seclusion from the traffic, lights and sound of a big town or city. A tranquil, stress-free area can do a lot for the psyche.

Sometimes all we need is a peaceful break and a smaller house to bring family and friends together and recognize that simplicity is key to being happy. The less that we have in terms of unnecessary belongings, the more opportunity we have to appreciate the beauty of those who surround us. Even the smallest of homes can be a gem in the grand scheme of life, nurturing opportunity to appreciate a simpler living style with less complication and expenses. This teaches us not only that big is not always better, but also that living smaller is truly living smarter.

About Kristen Warfield 72 Articles
Kristen is a fourth-year journalism major and editor-in-chief of The Oracle.