Is Downsizing Into a Tiny House For You?

Can you imagine living in a house the size of your current bedroom? I’m talking about sleeping quarters, kitchen, bathroom, sitting area — the whole kit and caboodle — in one teensy space. My immediate reaction is “Heck no,” but I’m intrigued by the idea, and in case you haven’t heard, tiny houses are all the rage, especially for retirees.

Tiny houses feed into that playful sense of miniatures and dollhouses. I love the clever way each carefully-designed element within the house serves a useful purpose as well as providing another “that’s so cute” moment. But is living in a tiny house real or only play?

I did a blog post last year on “she sheds,” those delightful spaces some of us women create to escape the world and spend time by ourselves. If you’re fortunate enough to have a she shed that’s an entirely separate space, then you have a clue what living in a tiny house might be like.

For many seniors, creating a living space in the form of a tiny home is the perfect solution to downsizing and having a minimum amount of space to purchase and maintain.

Lots of retirees downsize with retirement; for many, moving into a tiny house is the answer to how, when, and where.

Some people feel tiny houses are nothing more than a modern version of mobile homes. In fact, tiny homes are generally much smaller than the average mobile homes. Tiny homes that are on wheels average 140 square feet (yes, you read that right), while single section mobile homes average 1,200 square feet and multiple-section mobiles average nearly 1,700 square feet. Even FEMA trailers average 240 square feet of living room. Some of the more stationary tiny homes —  the ones that are less movable after installation — average 500 square feet.

The advantages of living small are pretty obvious:

  • Smaller houses = fewer possessions = less tied down
  • Environmental footprint is generally reduced
  • Fewer expenses and debt
  • Increased adaptability, especially if your tiny home is mobile

The disadvantage of living in a tiny house:

  • You have to be willing to let go of a substantial portion of your possessions.
  • You must thoroughly research exactly where you want to put your tiny house to confirm that all zoning and permits allow its establishment.
  • If you’ll be sharing the miniature space with another, be sure you are able to be that close without conflict for the most part.


If I were to live in a tiny house, it would be with two conditions:  1) I would have to live there alone and 2) the bedroom could not be in a loft. (For the number of times I get up in the middle of the night, I’d hate to risk breaking a hip climbing a ladder each time I had to pee.)

What about you? Would you consider living in a tiny house?