The housing market is changing. With the rise in age of the average first time buyer in the UK to 34 years old and so many young people unable to afford deposits on traditional homes, many people are turning to the tiny house life or life on the road.
Tiny houses are cheaper, easy to build and often greener than traditional homes. Sometimes they’re cabins on wheels, sometimes they’re ex-shipping containers, sometimes they’re caravans, RVs or old horse boxes. For more information about the advantages of tiny houses, read this article about the tiny house movement from Money Crashers.
With their lower expenses, lack of mortgage and lower environmental impact, a tiny house might sound like a dream come true, and for many people they are the right choice. However, moving from a traditional home into a tiny home can be a little bit of a shock to the system. The implications of having dramatically less space sometimes don’t occur to people and it can be tricky.
To make it easier for you, here are our top tips for moving into a tiny house!
1 – Tailor your home to your needs.
Whether you’re building your tiny house from scratch, converting it, or just giving it a little bit of a revamp when you move in, you’ll need to think about what your needs are.
It’s good to think of your tiny home as a blank canvas. The two most important things to consider are your lifestyle and your location. Location will dictate things like windows, utilities, and insulation and other materials used in building. Lifestyle will dictate how you lay out your home.
For instance, if you have a hobby that involves lots of equipment then it’s important to allocate the necessary amount of space. There’s no room for dead space in a tiny house. Making sure that all your surfaces are multi purpose (i.e your kitchen counter also works as a desk and your bed also works as a sofa) can really help you here.
However, when you’re planning the way you’ll use your space, be careful to make sure that you can move around without feeling cramped. If you know that you don’t have enough space for both business and leisure in your tiny home, look into renting office space!
2- Bring less!
If clutter drives you crazy in your home already, imagine how much it would bother you in a tiny home. The best way to avoid this is simple: take less stuff with you. A great tip from a tiny home veteran is to stack up everything you want to take, and then remove half. Then remove half again! If you don’t use something for more than a month, chances are that you can live very well without it.
If you’re reluctant to let 90% of your belongings go, consider taking out some self storage. This is a great idea for the things you know you wont need day to day but don’t want to get rid of. Think occasion wear, seasonal clothes like big winter coats, vinyl records, sports gear that you only use a couple of times a year, and old mementos. You can also store important documents in self storage so that they’re still accessible but don’t take up your limited space.
3- All things in their place
Everyone has that drawer in their home somewhere that houses things that don’t quite go anywhere else, right? Or things that never really go away and instead get shifted from room to room? The bad news is that there’s not really space for these things in a tiny home.
Designating a place for every item you own saves you from the exasperation of not being able to find what you need. Not only this, but you’ll never have to deal with clutter or hours of tidying up. Rigorously appointing places for everything might sound boring, but when you’ve only got a small amount of stuff it makes life easier in the long run.
4- Buy organisers. Lots of organisers.
No matter who’s tiny house you visit, you can bet that pulling open every drawer and cupboard will reveal drawer organisers and tupperware bins or baskets. There are so many ingenious space saving options for every kind of home, like fold down fabric shelves for saving cupboard space, accordion style shoe organisers, and magnetic spice and knife racks.
Check out our blog post on space saving kitchen ideas here for more.
5- Stay tidy
Tidying as you go will keep you sane in a tiny house. If you don’t put something away as soon as you’re done with it, it’s likely to get in the way of whatever you have to do next. This is especially true if your surfaces are multi-purpose. If your dinner table is also your desk, leaving out dishes or paperwork will make eating and working frustrating.
6- Decorate mindfully
Decorator Elsie de Wolfe said “I believe in plenty of optimism and white paint.”
No matter your personal style choices, decorating to maximise your space in a tiny house is vital. White paint can make your space look open and airy, as can disguising your storage solutions as decor. Consider hanging pots and pans neatly (especially if they’re brightly coloured) and stacking pretty dinner dishes on shelves.
7- No more shopping ‘til you drop!
It’s a material world, and we’re all just living in it! One thing that can really help with living in a tiny house is adopting a net-zero shopping policy. This means not buying something new unless you’re willing to get rid of a similar, older or obsolete version of that item that you already own. Cast-offs that have some life left in them can be donated to charity shops. This net-zero approach not only stops you from endlessly accumulating things, but also helps save you money!
Self-storage can again be handy if there are things you can’t possibly let go of but you’re desperate for some retail therapy.
If you’re considering tiny house life (or if you’re already made the leap!) and self-storage seems like a good solution for you, find out what we can do for you here at Magenta self storage and get a quote today.