There appears to be a stigma or misconception that sometimes surrounds the tiny community.
By community, I mean the ever-growing movement of people who are opting out of thousands of square feet in exchange for the smaller living spaces of recreational vehicles, tiny homes on trailers, school buses, shipping containers, motorhomes, yurts — the list goes on and on. An adventurer might even call a cargo van or camper van home for a while.
And for some reason, many people assume that to choose this sort of alternative living, a person must be either a hemp-covered hippy, or just plain broke.
Well, we’re both, so joke’s on them! Aha!
Just kidding… And hemp looks too itchy… It’s probably not, I don’t know, now I’m stereotyping.
Anyway, the point is that you’re not an automatic flower child for being drawn to the tiny community, and turning away from the traditional housing market doesn’t make you some kind of medieval peasant of a lower class.
Actually, living tiny requires being an expert in ergonomics, and some degree of advanced or creative technology is usually employed. We sure do loooooooove our gadgets. Did you know you can buy a portable power generator that runs off a little propeller dropped in moving water? Or that you can build a hot water heater that operates solely from the sun?
You don’t have to live in a converted helicopter-wheelbarrow to appreciate fine engineering like that. 😉
So why does this lifestyle have such an appeal? Or baffled curiosity, at least?
Well, I would be lying if I said that the financial freedom isn’t a big reason people look into tiny living, especially when considering the outrageous trends of the housing market in many places, or how much money is wasted on renting property without owning it.
Plus, that mountain or beachside escape suddenly appears much more doable when you’re not shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a traditional home and utilities.
In fact, Sean and I are shopping around for permanent Colorado acreage that would’ve never been attainable had we taken the traditional route, and we aren’t sacrificing any of our sanity or happiness to do so. Just some stuff.
And for a lot of people in the tiny community, that’s actually part of the appeal — not having to manage all the stuff that accompanies a certain lifestyle. Have you ever sorted through your belongings in preparation for a garage sale or something, and wondered just why in the hell you had half of that junk in the first place? Well imagine the relief you feel after the sale is over and all of that junk is gone. Imagine waking up with that feeling everyday.
I don’t think we realize how materialism really can dictate our lives until we start shedding some of it. Once we begin making room — literally and figuratively — for what matters most to us, all other things that overcomplicate our lives become strikingly clear.
But be careful, the discarding of those things is addicting, and next thing you know, you’ve quit your job, sold your stuff, and are cruising through the mountains in a little camper straight out of the sixties.
So before you write-off this alternative community or decide that it isn’t for you, think again. Because you never know, you may just be one scenic trip or Hoarders episode away from getting yourself a “tiny house.”