Stuff. What a funny word. But also, a very simple concept - we all have stuff. Perhaps one day you’ll look around and realize that you have way too much of it. For me, it happened during a recent move. My girlfriend and I were wading in a cubic sea of cardboard boxes, trying to keep our cool as we unpacked all our junk. This was the moment we seriously considered buying a tiny home and forcing ourselves to purge the unnecessary stuff from our lives.
The Square Footage of a Tiny Home
There’s a searing debate about square footage in the tiny home world. It’s wild. HGTV sets the limit of what qualifies as “tiny” at 600 sq. ft. Really? Sold. Call us humble, but that seems like a mansion compared to the picture in our heads. Reading on, we found designs for tiny homes between 90 and 160 sq. ft. These are the ones we imagined - ones that look like overgrown dollhouses. And while the thought of being within steps of my significant other at all times seems nightmarish (jk - love you, hun), I think we might be able to make it work – as long as we can learn to let go.
Living Life to the Minimal
Let’s circle back to all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. Now, think of all that stuff in terms of need vs. have. For example, you need a bowl, a plate, and silverware for each person in your family. In contrast, it would be nice to have saucers and monogrammed cocktail glasses, but totally unnecessary for your day-to-day tiny function. If you commit to living in a tiny home, these are the kind of sacrificial decisions you are going to face. The mantra that we are trying to embrace is that life is more important than the stuff we accumulate. No, we didn’t come up with that, someone much smarter did – but we like it.
Tiny House. Tiny Mortgage.
For lots of prospective tiny home DIY builders and buyers, a small monthly payment is the #1 benefit. Just imagine cutting your mortgage payment in half – or even more if you have the time and know-how to build it on your own. Our option would be to buy a home that is built and outfitted on a parcel of land that is cleared and ready for utilities. So, even though these must-haves place us on the high-end of buying a tiny home, a reasonable budget still comes out under $100k.
For Those Who Need to Spread Their Wings and Soar
While the thought of buying a tiny home on wheels was a hard no for us, it’s a very popular option. One of the reasons is that if your home is mobile, you knock off the costs of lodging when you travel. From skiers who chase snowstorms to craftsmen working on the road, having your home on wheels provides the comfort and peace of mind that hotels just can’t deliver. If your tiny house is built on wheels, you will most likely have to get an RV (recreational vehicle) loan which comes with a unique set of qualifications – just ask your loan officer.
Will We Be Investing in a Tiny Home? (Yes/No/Maybe)
Last week I had to give away a bunch of my sneakers because we just don’t have the space. I love my shoes, especially the ones with the gum soles. But they were on the purge list, and so I sent them to live on a farm in upstate New York. My point is that we’re not ready to rid our lives of our stuff.
Moving is definitely a stressful time. Add on to that the variable of moving into a tiny home, and you should find some ways to cope with all of it. Here is one way that Yoga can help you destress at work.