The Downsizing Uprising | Outside Online
In the past five years, thousands of people have been taking simple to an extreme, ditching their three-bedroom homes for micro-abodes of less than 500 square feet. Tiny homes are popping up across the country—sleek glass boxes, log sheds on wheels, converted shipping containers, modern pods built by hand. You can take tiny home building courses online and buy tiny home building plans. There's an annual tiny house conference and even a new online dating network for tiny home dwellers, aka "tiny love mates" (no offense?). Splashy digital slide shows and documentaries like Tiny: A Story about Living Small and Small Is Beautiful glamorize the simplicity of mini-living.
The benefits to going small are huge: Tiny homes cost on average $23,000 to build, easing the financial burden of a big mortgage. Downsizing eliminates clutter and limits spending and consumption. In some cases, smaller houses allow you to live off the grid, in remote locations, closer to trails and back country access. And when your house isn't much bigger than a storage shed, you'll naturally spend more time outside, like Laura LaVoie, whose al fresco kitchen in her 120-square-foot North Carolina home—a wooden bar-top with cookware stored below in plastic tubs—isn't much different from our camping kitchen. Not having to mow the lawn or spend your Saturday vacuuming 2,500 square feet means more time for travel and adventure.