The tiny house movement

Maya Saleh
Contributing Writer

The secret to happier living may be found inside a tiny house.

Andrew and Gabriella Morrison, creators of hOMe, are debt free and have the time and money to travel and enjoy their lives with their family.

At a TEDx event in Colorado, Andrew delved into the concept of the tiny house movement, a movement that started in the US that encourages people to scale down their houses.

He relates housing to the American dream; how living in a beautiful house meant more time spent paying for it, than enjoying it; a financial burden that stops us from living a more fulfilling life. After some calculations, he estimated that about two out of five of our workdays are spent on paying for housing.  

People root for this cause because it allows them to be more efficient, self-sufficient, and environmentally conscious. Modernized versions include installing rainwater filters and solar panels stretching along the rooftops of tech-savvy designer homes.

The standard house in the US takes up almost 2100 sqft, while a tiny house takes up around 186 sqft, meaning that it takes about 11.3 tiny houses to replace one standard house. Imagine the waste.

According to Andrew Morrison, the total cost for building his house was around $30,000, in contrast with the national average cost of a staggering $250,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders. With the time and money saved on cleaning, utilities, maintenance, and other costs, you can learn a new language, spend time with friends and family, or even travel.

Moreover, the small space brought about by these houses can help bring people together, and foster intimacy. Andrew Morrison mentions an incident during which his daughter, emotionally agitated from a recent fight, rushed into her room and closed the curtain shut. The small space allowed him to communicate honestly with her, wholeheartedly resolving the conflict.

So what is in a tiny house? The space includes bookshelves, a full size bathroom, a mini fridge, master beds, and windows.

One of the downsides of buying a tiny house in high density cities like Washington DC is the high land costs and permit-related issues, especially with houses built on wheels. You pay for an affordable house only to discover that it costs more to pay for Internet and cable than in a standard house.

A young woman that has been living in a tiny house for a couple of years said, “it helps make sure my housing fits my lifestyle and my lifestyle fits my housing.”. Decluttering allowed her and many others to enjoy “simple living”, and to move away from stressful tasks like paying bills, allowing her to be healthy, follow her passions and meet her goals.

“Freedom.” another tiny-inhabitant replied when asked what living in the house meant to her. The movement is “a philosophy”, she says.

The tiny house movement is a lifestyle, embracing resourcefulness, being happy with less, and setting apart those things that bring us good vibes from the bad.

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