I can’t remember when I started being interested in tiny houses and tiny living in general. It just happened and, without realising, it took my family and me on a journey of big decisions.
In October last year, the youtube channel ‘Living big in a tiny house‘ posted a video which I shared to my husband with these words: “An option for us?” It was a house which I actually thought could work for us.
And this is where today’s post comes in. I want to share our journey to a tiny house and how we made our decisions. I hope this helps anyone considering tiny living.
I watched a lot of videos and looked through many, many photos of tiny houses. I always liked the designs and ideas people had put into them. Each house shows the personality of its owners. And each house has so much thought put into it which I thought was hard to beat.
However, for about one year there wasn’t one house that I could see myself living in. They were all great for the people living in it but not for me. With two kids and working from home, I couldn’t see us living in a tiny house.
And then said video on the youtube channel came by of Ben Garrat’s design and I had found a real inspiration to start thinking seriously about this idea of a tiny house.
For me, this one video and design was key to start dreaming tiny. And actually, it’s the most important piece of advice I have for anyone thinking about it: find something (or someone) which inspires you. This inspiration could be a video, a photo, or someone talking about their design. Starting without inspiration is difficult because in the process you will need to return to what originally brought you to tiny living. There will be decisions to be made about details which will confront you with the realities of tiny living.
Every detail is individual
The advantage of a tiny house for me is that every part of the house has a purpose. Nothing is put into the design by accident. And this makes tiny houses so unique. They aren’t built for the masses (at least not yet) but for the individual living in them.
As an inhabitant of a tiny house this however also means to only put items into the house which have a purpose. There is no room for ‘stuff’. We had to downsize and declutter … a lot. It isn’t easy to decide on every single item but if we wouldn’t have done it beforehand, we would have had to once we’re in the house. We know that there won’t be room for stuff because we designed it that way.
Decide what you need to build and live in it
We aren’t building our house ourselves but we have a builder we trust. The decision of building yourself or letting build is something you have to make yourself.
For us, we are moving to a new country and we need the house rather quickly. We found a local builder, got some references for him and off we went.
We are at about to enter the interior design phase and luckily our builder is very open to our wishes. I feel like I have just as much say in the process as I would if I would build it myself. Plus, he has the expertise and can say what works and what doesn’t. It’s a very good working relationship.
If you are in the same situation as us, wanting someone knowledgeable to help out or to build it for you, trust your gut. Because tiny houses are so small, they should be tailored to the individual living in them. I would not be as happy as I am if our builder would simply tell us how he is going to build it.
And even if it’s not for the construction of the house, get in touch with knowledgeable folks to find out about legal requirements of tiny houses and dwellings in your area. The legal aspect might not be as much fun as the building but in order to live a tiny house, you need to abide by (or at least know) the rules.
I always find it inspiring to join online communities and connect with people who are doing similar things to me. And tiny house communities are very active.
There are, of course, other factors to consider when going tiny but for me, these are the most important ones. If it wasn’t for the initial inspiration, the fact that the house is designed to our needs and ideas, and our great relationship with our builder, we wouldn’t have gone down the road we’re on right now.
Stay tuned for more updates on our tiny living journey!