Skip to main content

Understanding the tiny house takeover

A tiny house on wheels

It's so easy to get wrapped up in the notion that "bigger is better." Contentment always seems to be tragically unreachable whenever cravings for more and more consume us. We want more so-called "friends" on social media. We want more closet space for an ever-growing pile of clothing that we rarely wear. "Why yes, I'd like to supersize my meal!" we chant in a frenzy at our favorite fast food joints. Our appetites never seem to be satisfied.

OK, perhaps I'm making hasty generalizations and exaggerations, but we can all at least admit to occasionally being tangled in the chaos and busyness of life. Everyone has their own tedious tasks to take on and along with them come bills to pay, relationships to build and hours of sleep to never completely catch up on. Organizing, compartmentalizing and managing all of the overwhelming "stuff" that accumulates in life can make one weary and stressed. From this perspective it's easy to see why we have the tendency to think that more money, more space, more tools, more time — more everything — will help us solve all of our problems.

However, there is a group who has found contentment in having less; satisfaction in the simple life; and freedom in letting go of materialistic burdens. These unique and inventive individuals are the ones who are driving the rising tiny house movement.

The tiny house movement refers to the social and architectural movement that encourages living simply, efficiently and sustainably in small homes. Just how tiny are these homes? Typically containing a living area, sleeping loft, kitchen and bathroom, these homes rarely exceed 400 square feet. Some of them are built on permanent foundations, but many of them are on wheels and are easily portable.

Architect and author, Susan Susanka, is often credited with starting the movement in 1997 when she published The Not So Big House. Since then, the idea that bigger doesn't always equal better in home building has continued to grow. There are many strong advocates for the movement