Have you heard of the small house revolution? Families who join this movement are actively trading in their large homes for miniature ones, and they’re actually enjoying it too. And I do mean miniature—in an article published last year on cnn.com, many of the new homes enjoyed by tiny living homeowners were as small as 200 square feet.
I found the praise for tiny living both unexpected and inspirational. People with smaller homes have said they feel they have more time, save money, work less, live debt free, enjoy the outdoors more, engage better with the community, reduce their environmental footprints, and feel more peaceful and less distracted.
Of course, for many the mere thought of trying to live in 200 square feet is enough to trigger the onset of a minor panic attack. It may be hard to imagine giving up the flexibility and variety that a bigger home affords. Having space for hosting guests, projects, work, and kids can no doubt make the daily routine smoother in many respects.
The inevitable flip side is that taking care of a large space or an abundance of stuff can weigh us down. In a country where the average home size has more than doubled since the 1950s, distinguishing between what’s useful and what’s a hassle is more important than ever. The good news is that you don’t have to take on a herculean downsize in order to benefit from some of the great ideas championed by the tiny home movement.
At its essence, living tiny hinges on an idea that can benefit all of us: To use our space and material possessions more purposefully.
At JP&CO, we’re all about maximizing the functionality of a home. A smaller home can feel spacious with the help of thoughtful design and a little de-cluttering. Similarly, an expansive space can feel claustrophobic when it’s chock full of furniture, lacking smart storage, or designed without attention to the way it’s used.
Getting creative with the space you have is the best way to make the most of your home. How purposefully are you using your space? How about the things that fill your cupboards, drawers, closets, desks, tables, and garage? Are these things useful—do they enhance your daily life in some way?
As one tiny home owner from Louisiana put it, the goal is not “’How much can I fit in a tiny space?’ but ‘How much can I eliminate and still be comfortable?’” Examining what’s important for a comfortable life is a helpful way to keep your home in check, and acting upon your observations about what you use and how you use it can help you establish the simplified life enjoyed by so many tiny homeowners.
Remember that your house should change to accommodate the way that you live, not the other way around.