There are many reasons to go tiny, and likewise many reasons to not. Going tiny is not for everyone in every stage of life. It comes with its own set of challenges, as does any form of home ownership.
My reasons for going tiny:
Living simply and intentionally. This may be my greatest motivation for going tiny. I have found that I am more myself when I live simply. There is simply less to get in the way (see what I did there). Less responsibility, yes. But maybe more importantly, less distraction. While living in Kenya for 7 months and bike touring across America I saw this in profound ways. I owned just a backpack, or a couple of bike panniers full of important items. My life was really simple, and my relationships reflected this in hugely possitive way. I became closer with Christ, my friends, and with the people I met on a day to day basis.
To quote the Josh Garrells song, Benediction, “Love will make your days complete.” You don’t crawl into bed wishing…if only I had bought that garlic peeler, my day would have been worthwhile… or …now that I have that car I have wanted for years, my life is complete! At least I don’t, anyway. I know its the days that are full of connection with God and with people that I feel it was a day well spent.
Timing. Maybe 23 seems a little on the young side to be concerned with home ownership, but I feel quite the opposite. Being 23 years old, I want to START my life by living simply and intentionally, rather than mindlessly accumulating lots of stuff and then having to pare down. I am also at a time in my life where I have time, which is the most precious resource of them all! I know this is sure to change, so it would be irresponsible not to build a tiny house, RIGHT!
Want to learn and challenge myself. To quote Einstein, “you stop living when you start dying.” Harsh. But true. Enough said.
Desire to build my own home. Food, water, shelter. Does it get any more fundamental than that? In a world that allows us to be far removed from the process of obtaining our own food, water, shelter (factory farms, manufactured homes, city water systems, etc.) I and many others have acknowledged a desire to reconnect themselves to these fundamental parts of life. I believe that the perspective that going “back to the basics” may bring will far outweigh any associated burden.
Wanting a “home base.” I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel and do things abroad. I have been away from home for years, but there was always this feeling that I had a place to go back to. My parents’ home served as a “home base.” A place of rest, familiarity, and belonging. A home base is something I had for years, and didn’t realize the grounding effect it had on my life, until it was gone. My parents whom I love very much are in the process of divorcing and going separate ways. This has been extremely hard to grapple with for many reasons.
It wasn’t until fairly far in the research phase of going tiny that I had a revelation- I was getting to recreate (though maybe never quite the same) that “home base," and therefore that groundedness.
Financial freedom. I saw a super interesting presentation about home costs in America (the current [Jan. 2017] average home cost is $188,900) while at a tiny house workshop. They compared the amount of time the average American actually spends in their home compared to the amount of time they are required to work JUST to own that house. The presenter calculated that during the workweek the average American has 4 hours a day to actually spend enjoying their home that they work so hard for so many hours to pay for.
I would love to avoid this if at all possible. Building a smaller home means less cost to purchase and maintain it, meaning that I am able to work less, if I so choose, and focus on the things that are really important to me.
Down with Rent! No one likes investing time or money into something that doesn’t last. Rent is an obvious example of this. This goes along with a desire to be intentional. While paying rent is necessary as it fulfills a short-term need, it doesn’t really serve a long-term goal or purpose.
Thanks for reading!