Erin Doman on January 27, 2016 21 Comments The tiny house movement is sweeping the nation. Chances are you’ve spoken about it with your friends or colleagues, watched something about it on the news or simply come across information on the movement while browsing the web. You might even find yourself considering whether such a small space is the right fit for you. If any of these signs apply to you, downsizing your space could be just what you need. 1. You Want to Save Money One of the first reasons people begin to consider downsizing to a tiny house is to save money. How much did you pay for your current home? If you’re like many Americans, your house is probably about $290,000, and that doesn’t even include maintenance costs or utility costs! Even if you rent, you likely spend a large percentage of your income on it each month. Factor in electricity, water, sewage and other necessities to run a large household, and the financial stress keeps piling up. How to Join the Tiny House Movement Here’s how you can live in a small space, and increase your sustainability without sacrificing the modern conveniences you’ve come to love. Learn More By contrast, building your own little house only costs about $23,000 — less than half of a down payment on a traditional home. When it comes to utilities, you’ll be using far fewer resources than you would in a 2,200-square-foot home. In fact, the average person who lives in a tiny home only spends $30 to $50 per month on water, electricity and sewage combined. The only monthly bill that would remain about the same is your cable and Internet, and you could even cut the cord to save more on this. You can save even more money when you are furnishing your tiny house. Tiny houses require much smaller appliances to be able to fit everything you need into the unit. You can find small appliances of almost anything you need — from dishwashers to combination washer and dryers, from refrigerators to cooktops. Consider, too, you might need to pay more to hire someone who has expertise in installing appliances into tiny homes, but that is just a small disadvantage when you consider the big picture. 2. You Care About the Environment Your bank account isn’t the only thing to benefit when you move into a tiny home–the environment reaps plenty of benefits, too. A traditional home takes about seven logging trucks of materials to build, but a tiny home uses only about one-half of one truck. You will be using much less energy, too. How many lightbulbs do you have in your home right now? The average home has 45. By contrast, a tiny one uses only about six bulbs. If you live in a particularly sunny environment, you could even harness most of your energy from the sun. Finally, living in a smaller environment drastically reduces CO2 emissions. Your current home probably uses about 28,000 pounds of CO2 per year, but a tiny home needs only about 2,000 pounds. 3. You Have Wanderlust Who doesn’t dream of taking to the open road and seeing the surrounding country once in a while? People who love to spend their lives traveling are embracing the tiny home movement at rapid speed. Because small homes are typically 100 to 300 square feet in size, they can be specially mounted onto trailers and pulled with a vehicle, giving you the freedom to live practically anywhere. If you live somewhere with cold winters and always wanted to go south during that time, a tiny home allows you to do so. Maybe you already live somewhere warm, but wouldn’t mind seeing snow on Christmas. Small homes make it possible. This is especially true if you’re part of the growing number of people who telecommute for work. Whether you’re a freelance writer, photographer or simply have the freedom of skipping the office most of the time, a trailer-mounted house gives you freedom to roam. If you do decide to travel, be sure to research zoning laws before parking. Many large cities currently don’t allow this modern type of mobile home in city limits. However, this is changing quickly, with some cities even building co-ops. 4. You Want to Be Part of a Community In an increasingly fast-paced world, it has become harder and harder to get to know your neighbors. The co-ops popping up are changing that, though. These small neighborhoods include anywhere from 20 to 100 small homes on a few acres. They typically provide community garden space, a larger common house for gatherings and the ability to truly build relationships with your neighbors. Some even include storage units so you can hold on to sentimental items that don’t fit into your home. Research your state to see if there are any similar communities near where you live. Again, many large cities are not as accepting of these types of villages as other areas, so these communities might be harder for some people to come by. This is quickly changing, though. With greater public interest in the tiny house movement comes greater acceptance and availability of these villages. 5. You Want to Live the Simple Life Studies have shown that large homes lead to large stress. Consider how much time, effort and money you spend maintaining your home. From cleaning, to repairs, to simply keeping track of all the stuff you have — it seems as costs and responsibilities rise, so does your blood pressure. Imagine if you only had the necessities. A single laptop holds music, movies and pictures. Cleaning would take less than an hour. Repairs would be considerably more affordable. Downsizing your life means clearing your mind of excess, giving you the clarity to better enjoy your family, your hobbies and other things you’ve put by the wayside. The simple life. It can be yours. 6. You Are Single or Part of a Very Small Family Of course, a tiny house isn’t practical for every family. Some four-person families have managed to make it work, but for most people, a small house just isn’t feasible for more than three people. Statistics show that most people living in tiny homes are young couples, couples who are retiring and have no children living at home or single people. If you do decide to live in a tiny home with children, you will need to consider the method of schooling if you decide to travel, and you will need to create a space for homework and consider how to fit two bedrooms into the space. Whether you’re a single Millennial traveling the country, a retired couple who wants the ability to follow good weather or simply someone considering how to save money and the environment, there is no denying that the tiny home movement is versatile and interesting. If any of the above applies to you, perhaps it’s time to start deciding what to keep and what to donate.