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#724885 - 11/11/11 04:27 AM Would you live in a tiny home?
Jilly Offline
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Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
I am actually getting very used to living in small spaces. My studio is 150 square feet and I share that with hubby. And cats. smile

Previously I lived in my RV which wasn't much bigger.

The interesting thing is now that I can't imagine wanting to live in a big house. My place is just right, is cozy and has cheap utilities.

Tiny houses are becoming more popular as the economy sinks. Would you live in one? What is the smallest space you ever lived in?


Edited by Jilly (11/11/11 04:50 AM)

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#724890 - 11/11/11 04:41 AM Re: Would you live in a tiny home? [Re: Jilly]
Diana-Exotic Pets Editor Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 2358
Loc: Huron, South Dakota
I had always wanted a big historical huge house. We bought one in South Dakota. I deeply regret it now for many reasons. One is that it runs on two furnaces, very expensive. After my last surgery we moved downstairs to the other side of the house, today we moved back upstairs. It was just too much expense so we closed down the other side. Two, its very hard to clean. Spring cleaning takes forever. Three, I had bought it with an extended family in mind. My daughter, her husband, and children lived here for quite sometime. They recently bought there own, old big historical (they use that term-just means old, hard to maintain and things break). I took care of my mother-in-law for about five years. My own health kept me from doing that anymore. Now it is just George and I rambling in this old house. The other day he was looking for me. With two stair cases we literally missed each other for about an hour. I long for a small house again. So, in answer to your question, YES!
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#725079 - 11/12/11 02:27 AM Re: Would you live in a tiny home? [Re: Jilly]
Jilly Offline
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Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
A big place always seems appealing! Rooms to do whatever you want, lots of space, more storage...but also more to clean, to maintain, to decorate, to clutter up and to heat/cool.

I really am reconsidering a lot of things we take for granted lately with times so tight. Like that we need big homes to be comfortable. I think i'd rather have a nice piece of land and some outbuildings and a small dwelling. So, for me, i am thinking a little studio to live in with the other buildings being a workshop, a shed for storage, a potting bench/shed and a large covered porch for outdoor dining/living. An outdoor firepit too. A carport too, maybe.

I agree that for you, closing off some house sections makes the most sense.

Didn't people used to have bath houses that were not attached to the home? That could be neat - it could even have a wood burning sauna!

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#725085 - 11/12/11 03:07 AM Re: Would you live in a tiny home? [Re: Jilly]
Susan-Colleges Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 556
Loc: North Carolina, USA
My house that I live in now is pretty small (in my opinion). It probably wouldn't be considered tiny, but it's far from big. I don't know the exact size but I know that it's tight with four people and a dog. I have been trying to downsize my things for a while. But that takes time. And I can only downsize my things, not others' things.

In a lot of ways I like a small place. The worst parts are that I don't always have a place to put things and it looks messy right away because all the living happens in one small room. I have been to friends' houses where they have more stuff laying around but it doesn't look as bad because it's spread out into different rooms.

The smallest space I lived in was a tiny efficiency apartment. I had a roommate and we both had friends over fairly often. So, it could get quite tight. The worst part was there was only one closet and it was a tiny coat closet. We both had more clothes than any one person needs. So, the closet was a bit of a problem, but we made it work. However, I think we would have gotten along better if we had a little more space. She was (is) a good friend, but that much togetherness in a tight space can be rough. More power to you Jilly.

I think "needing" a big living space is a very American culture notion. In a lot of other countries everyone has small spaces. I try to remind myself of that when it starts to get to me.
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#725101 - 11/12/11 05:34 AM Re: Would you live in a tiny home? [Re: Jilly]
Jilly Offline
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Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
Susan, that is very true that in MANY places in the world - an entire family lives in a small one or two room space. It is astounding, really, to think of the massive homes we think are 'normal' American birthrights.

I know in places like New York and London that an efficiency flat is considered spacious.

Some of it is about re-sizing our expectations of need, as you said. And the rest is probably downsizing our stuff!

At this point I am keeping my nicer clothes in the shed. I have my everyday sweats and PJs in the studio. It helps to have a nice piece of land to have adequate, unheated storage, doesn't it?

I should take a video of what I have going on here.


Edited by Jilly (11/12/11 05:36 AM)

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#725132 - 11/12/11 12:52 PM Re: Would you live in a tiny home? [Re: Diana-Exotic Pets Editor]
conniem Offline
Koala

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 2090
Loc: oklahoma
We also live in an 100+ yr old 2 story house and have 2 furnaces and I totally relate to your post! I broke my ankle a couple of years ago and couldn't get up to my bedroom for 3 months. As my kids left it seemed like such a waste to have 2 different floors! Hubby says when we get too old to go upstairs we will just shut the door and turn the upstairs furnace off. We also have a large basement (where the laundry and deep freeze is) so hopefully one of us will be able to go down there to get the laundry done when we get old!
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#725149 - 11/12/11 02:39 PM Re: Would you live in a tiny home? [Re: Jilly]
Sandy / Cocktails Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 566
Loc: Texas, USA

I just moved into a really tiny space a few weeks ago and I'm liking it more and more as I get settled in.

A wildfire necessitated a very hasty move so I wasn't financially prepared to shop around for housing. I work from home so I needed to get settled quick so I could get back to work without losing too much business. I'd been sharing a house with a friend who had all the furniture needed for the shared part of the home so my stuff was limited to bedroom, bath, and office. That's pretty much what I'm working with now.

I call it my basement cabana because it's underneath my sister's big house built into a very steep hillside. My indoor space is about the size of a two-car garage and there's no plumbing coming in. In this space, I've got a makeshift kitchen, my office, bedroom (there's a closet - yay!), a big round table for dining, arts and crafts, etc., and a library area lined with 5 bookshelves and tons of my books (they weren't destroyed by fire or smoke - I was so relieved about that!). It's all one big open space. There is a separate bath house with all the necessities, including a second closet (but, alas, no sauna). There's a commercial-size double sink outside the bath house that I use for washing dishes.

My makeshift kitchen consists of a microwave, coffee maker, crock pot, and toaster oven. I've got an antique armoire that I use to store my dishes and eating utensils. Plastic bins and similar devices store my cooking utensils, kitchen linens, spices, and pantry supplies. I use an electric skillet outside and would probably BBQ if we didn't have very strictly enforced burn bans all across the state right now. After having my life changed by a massive fire, I'm not excited about open flames for any reason right now, either. BBQ-ing can wait.

My indoor area has lots of windows on three sides. As I sit here at the computer, the ground is above eye level so I look up and see trees, flowers, deer, squirrels, and my dogs, when they roam that part of the yard. There's about 4 feet of walkway between me and the retaining wall so I can almost reach out and touch the animals out there. It's so cool to look up and be face to face with deer grazing just a few feet away. (We feed them fruits and veggies so they come around often.) My sister's granddaughter (age 4) likes the view and calls this my treehouse, even though it's technically at root level and not in the tree tops.

The entire area under the sister's house is concrete patios and wooden decks so I've claimed those spaces as my living room and dining rooms. Between her patio furniture and mine, it's a very comfortable place to hang out. This outdoor area is bigger than any house I've ever lived in and I'd rather be outdoors than in so I'm loving it. I often take my computer outside and work there instead of indoors. Living mostly outdoors in Texas is quite doable most of the year.

The house is supposed to be on the waterfront of one of Texas' coolest lakes but our awful drought has our cove totally dry, no water in sight anymore. Instead, the hillside becomes beautiful rocky canyons (that are usually hidden under water) at the base of the hill and the view from my living space is miles and miles of rolling hills, frolicking deer, and breathtaking sunsets.

I do laundry upstairs in my sister's house and, when my dirty dishes pile up, I borrow her dishwasher, too, but I try to respect her privacy as much as possible and contain my activities downstairs.

I find the smaller the place the more important it is to have a place for everything and everything in its place. I hate housework but it seems easier to keep this place tidy than the bigger homes I'm used to. I lived in a tiny apartment in downtown Portland, Oregon, when I went to culinary school there in the 1990s and I thought it was so cute. This place is reminding me a lot of that apartment, instead of looking out the windows at an urban landscape there, I'm getting countryside here. Very nice, either way.

I live alone, too; my family is me and two dogs. I think that makes living tiny easier than trying to share very limited space.

It's unconventional living space but I've always preferred unique places. All it takes is a little imagination and the willingness to be innovative. Home is where the heart is and my little basement cabana has lots of heart. smile



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#725157 - 11/12/11 03:15 PM Re: Would you live in a tiny home? [Re: Jilly]
anna*AHHA* Offline
Gecko

Registered: 01/29/11
Posts: 743
Loc: earth
Interesting food for thought you guys.

As mentioned, a big house = $$$, esp. if you live in a cold climate. Heating costs are through the roof! And cleaning such a large space is a pain in the you know what.

I would definately live in a smaller house (ours is on the bigger side) and with the economy being what it is, it makes a lot of sense. Sandy as you said, being able to glance out the window and see nature, is a must and your cabana sounds creative, cozy and your HOME.

I've seen some House Hunters episodes where people are looking for apts. in Europe -- for example Paris -- and they are small -- 150 to 200 feet, but lovely and they meet all needs.

With all of the Mc mansions that were built in the heyday, I think it came down to wants vs. needs. People went with the wants and the whole thing went south. We see the results of excess, of expansion. Now, we're experiencing the polar opposite of contraction. Everything balances out eventually.

WHAT is it that we really need?

A bed to sleep in
Protection from the elements
Clothing to cover us (optional certainly in some cases)
Food to eat

A simple life has advantages!

Great post, Jill. Thanks for getting the brain cells thinking.





Edited by anna*AHHA* Ruscult* (11/12/11 03:21 PM)
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#725163 - 11/12/11 04:10 PM Re: Would you live in a tiny home? [Re: anna*AHHA*]
Elleise - Clairvoyance Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Zebra

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3944
Loc: IL
In a HEARTBEAT!

A small home is just space.

Some nights I take a look up into the sky and I'll either feel a significant part of something solid, something that has stood, that we can see, across the millenioums (sp) or I can't relate to it at all and that's usually the time I'm trying to make sense of the trivia of everyday life.

As much as people are facinated by the Queens and Kings and newly elected, whatever...forget how they were living even before they become elected -

Try to digest what happens no matter how big a house or powers they get into to.

Isn't it the "Wizard of Oz" where they say, if happiness isn't in your own back yard...

It's kind of like that. If you're not happy within your own Soul, you're not apt to find it no matter how large a space you live in. You're kind of more likely to have to try harder to pay the bills or if you have a public to appease, keep spending money to make the pretense that you are the epitomy of what people should look up to.

Either a part of something Universal
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#725207 - 11/13/11 12:06 AM Re: Would you live in a tiny home? [Re: Jilly]
Claybird Offline
Parakeet

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 969
Loc: Indiana
I have lived in my small, not tiny, house for over 30 years. It suits me, my 2 cats and 30- 40 house plants very well. 830 sq.ft. on one floor with a basement. I work at home and the second bedroom is my framing studio while I create most of the art by a window in the living room. All of my friends have much bigger houses, some of them so huge I wonder how they can feel comfortable living in them! I don't envy them at all! I DO manage to clutter all 830 Sq.Ft up pretty well, though. I had some friends over for dinner last week, which forced me to clean the place up and get rid of some stuff. Getting rid of stuff is a constant concern, so it really helps me to have company every now and then. ;-)

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