Courtesy of Bela, thisxlife
- Tiny house living requires a minimalist lifestyle — and some major changes.
- Six people who live in tiny houses opened up to Business Insider about what they wish they’d known before going tiny.
- Many tiny house dwellers weren’t prepared for improvements the lifestyle would bring, while others wish they’d known more about potential challenges.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Living in a tiny house involves major lifestyle changes.
Downsizing to 100 to 400 square feet of space requires both a physical and mental shift, from reducing possessions to getting acclimated to a tighter space.
Business Insider talked to six people who went tiny about what they wish they’d known before taking on a minimalist lifestyle. Many had no idea their life was about to get that much better, from the overall building experience to the ease of transition. Some wish they had been more prepared for a few complications — like parking restrictions and the importance of mobility.
Here’s what these tiny house dwellers said they wish they’d known beforehand.
Jenna Spesard found the transition to be easier than she expected.
Photos by Guillaume Dutilh
With a bit of trial and error, Jenna Spesard of Tiny House Giant Journey built her 165-square-foot tiny house without many resources. She told Business Insider she had some anxiety about tiny house living before moving in, but found the change to be an easy transition.
"I do wish someone had told me that the transition would be a lot easier than expected," Spesard, whose tiny house is currently parked on Whidbey Island in Washington, said. "I believe people easily adapt to their surroundings. It didn’t take long before I had a routine and living in a small space was no big deal … the truth is, as long as you downsize and design your space well, it’s an easy transition."
Laura LaVoie learned that building a tiny house is all about the experience.
Courtesy of Laura LaVoie
While building her 120-square-foot cabin with her partner, Matt, Laura LaVoie of Life in 120 Square Feet learned that building a tiny house isn’t about the house itself, she told Business Insider.
"It was about the experience," LaVoie said. "We wanted to prove we could do it. That we could build a home from the foundation up by ourselves. We went into the experience with our eyes wide open knowing that it would be a lot of hard work. If I had the opportunity to do it all over again now, I would buy a finished [tiny house]. Building was an adventure of a much younger couple."
The couple built their tiny house in North Carolina while living in Atlanta and working corporate jobs.
"We spent weekends and vacations working on our tiny house, which was a symbol for the things we wanted to outside of full-time jobs," she said.
Couple Tim and Sam realized it doesn’t take a tiny house to live a minimalist lifestyle.
Tiffany The Tiny Home
Tim and Sam of Tiffany the Tiny Home bought their 270-square-foot tiny house, which they live in in Florida — but they wish they had transitioned to a minimalist lifestyle sooner.
"You don’t have to live in a tiny house to change your life to better reflect your values," Tim told Business Insider. "For example, I love to give and receive experiences rather than items as gifts. Having fewer belongings to keep track of is a mental space saver no matter what space you are in. Buying consciously and looking for multi-use items has changed the way we spend our money."
He added: "Getting outside more is a huge benefit of living tiny, but anyone can do it. Overall, going tiny made us a lot happier, but we didn’t have to wait to change our space to feel this way."
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