Television and online media have created a dramatic lifestyle narrative about downsizing and living in a tiny home. These quaint, energy-efficient living spaces usually provide all the amenities of a larger house at a fraction of the cost. These are some of the top reasons people consider downsizing from a single-family home to a tiny one.
- Single-family homes are increasingly challenging to maintain as they now average more than 2,260 square feet.
- Tiny homes typically run between 100 and 400 square feet.
- The average cost of a new construction home is estimated at $383,900.
- The cost of a new construction tiny home averages $59,000.
- Existing single-family homes average a listing price of $275,000.
- A DIY tiny home can be constructed for under $23,000.
Single Americans, couples without children, and empty-nesters, among others, see tremendous value in living with less. But too many fail to consider how much “stuff” they have accumulated and how to minimize it before moving into a tiny house. These moving strategies could prove fruitful if you decide to get small.
1: Downsize Your Personal Belongings
The average residential home reportedly stores upwards of 300,000 items. If that seems difficult to believe, consider that people often exceed the space in closets, garages, attics, sheds, and rent self-storage units. Comedian George Carlin once told a skit about how we keep buying bigger and bigger houses to put all our “stuff.”
When transitioning from a single-family home or large apartment, you may need to reduce to about 1,000 belongings. Consider clearing out one room in your current living space and putting only the essentials you plan to take. It probably won’t fit in the tiny house if it doesn’t fit in one room.
2: How To Purge Excessive Possessions
One of the attractions of tiny house living is simplicity. A recent report about transitioning indicated that the average person spends 153 days each year looking for stuff in their home. The minimal square footage of a tiny house dictates that all of your belongings are a few steps away or within arm’s reach.
Consider starting early and putting valuables for sale online on platforms such as Craigslist, Etsy, and local shopping sites. After earning money, hold a tag or estate sale. These are typically good ways to sell bulky furniture. As possessions dwindle from 300,000 to a few thousand, donations to charitable organizations may offer tax-deductible benefits.
3: Moving Day Contingency Plan
Even though you streamline all that stuff, working with a professional moving company could prove invaluable. Enlist the services of packers and movers to transport your things to the tiny house. If you are physically able, have the movers place your boxed items near the front door. Then, have the pros bring in any furniture or heavy appliances.
Once that has been accomplished, bring in your personal items and put them where they belong. When people downsize to tiny houses, they typically exceed the space limits. You may be tasked with making a few tough decisions about what fits and needs to go. Contracting with your moving professionals to circle back and pick up anything that won’t make the final cut down may be worthwhile.
Tiny home living can be rewarding because of lower costs, energy efficiency, and a simpler lifestyle. However, having a plan to become the consummate minimalist can make moving a positive experience.