Tiny House Living: How to Transition to a Tiny House

Tiny House Living: How to Live in a Tiny House


Over the past few years, I’ve watched the tiny house movement take the real estate world by storm. There’s a growing trend to eschew the big house and opt for tiny house living instead.

While I haven’t completely adopted the tiny house mindset, I have been moving towards a more minimalist house approach. I’ve always been someone who despises clutter and the mental messiness it entails, so minimalist and tiny house living have a certain appeal to me.

If you are considering moving into a tiny house, here’s how you can transition from a normal-sized living environment to a tiny house:

Tiny House Living: Research, Research, Research!

Before you purchase a tiny house, make sure to do your research. There are tons of options out there! You could have something as small as a few square feet, or you could opt for something with a few hundred square feet. There are plenty of design options, too.

Additionally, you’ll want to decide how far off the grid you’ll be going. Will your tiny house be 100% self-sufficient? Does it need to be anchored somewhere? Will it be something you drive or tow? These are all questions you need to answer before you take the tiny house living plunge.

Essential Design Features

As you decide the type of tiny house you’d like to live in, don’t forget about non-negotiable design features you must have. Think about the creature comforts you need versus those you want. A clothes dryer seems like a must-have in a normal house but maybe you could opt for drying your clothes outside? That dishwasher will eat valuable space in a tiny house; maybe it’s time to hand-wash your dishes?

Think about how you’ll store your food, clothing, any personal items. Opt for multi-functional pieces whenever possible. Be specific about your organizational needs, too.

When you go to buy your tiny house, you’ll have to decide between building it yourself or purchasing a mass-produced or used option. Make sure to design your tiny house in a way that works for your lifestyle!

Tiny House Living: Cut the Clutter

After you have your new tiny house, you’ll need to carefully examine everything you own. This will help you decide what to bring and what to toss, donate, or recycle. I read an interesting fact while researching this post that says we spend 80% of our time wearing 20% of our clothing. How much space could you save if you only kept that 20% of what’s stuffing your closet and drawers??

As you purge, make sure to only keep what is necessary. Transitioning from a normal-sized home to a tiny house is a big adjustment so make sure you’re setting yourself up for success by reducing the amount of things you’re carrying around.

Adopting Different Hobbies

As you transition into your new tiny house, you may find that some of your old hobbies don’t fit your new lifestyle. Instead of dragging around all kinds of extra stuff, consider finding new hobbies. Think about things you can do outside (bonus points for more exercise!). I love to hike, rock climb, and canyoneer, so I already have a long list of outdoor hobbies. However, I also like to draw in my bullet journal. I don’t think all of those pens and markers I’ve accumulated would be essential if I adopted tiny house living.

If you’re a book lover like I am, you may need to go digital. I’ve always loved the act of turning the page and feeling the book, so digital reading was an adjustment for me. I eventually chose to invest in a Kindle, and I no longer miss all of those books cluttering my home office. 🙂

Tiny House Living: Opt Outside

If you choose to have a tiny house that isn’t mobile, you can spend plenty of time enhancing your yard. Doing so can double or triple your living space! If you have the yard space, you may want to opt for a fire pit, a garden, or even an outdoor kitchen. The more you spend your time outside, the less you’ll feel cramped and cooped up in your new tiny house.

If you opt for a tiny house that can be moved, seek out places that have plenty of outdoor amenities such as parks, nature trails, and outdoor picnic areas. Get out and about and you’re sure to love your tiny house even more.

Keep Your Perspective

Above all, remember that tiny house living is not for everyone. If anything, it isn’t easy to stay on top of clutter, especially if you’ve had lots of possessions in the past. If you’re serious about tiny house living, you can reap many benefits. These include saving a substantial amount of money and seeing more of the world.

I know someone who has a tiny house and she no longer has a mortgage payment. Now, she and her family live debt-free thanks to their tiny house. They also travel a bunch and have amazing stories to share. If I ever opt for tiny house living, I’ll definitely travel even more!

Would you ever live in a tiny house? Do you know anyone who does? Share your thoughts below! 




Willow is the founder of Miter Saws and Mary Janes, a lifestyle site about DIY, personal finance, travel, real estate investing, and home hacking. She chronicles her DIY, travel, and outdoor adventures and how she makes over $10,000/month online. Click here to learn how to start a blog!

6 thoughts on “Tiny House Living: How to Transition to a Tiny House

  1. I love how one of the first things you mention is about adopting different hobbies. I’ve also adopted more of a minimalistic mindset recently, but I probably have a nearly 350 square foot office with a ton of sewing/crafting supplies. I think that alone will keep me from ever living in a tiny home. I think the tiny house movement is amazing though to help people see that stuff just really isn’t that important.

    1. Haha…I know exactly what you mean! I couldn’t do the tiny house thing because I have too many tools and plenty of gear for my outdoor adventures. I suppose I could have the tiny house with a huge garage/shop but that pretty much defeats the purpose of the tiny house, eh? 🙂

  2. I’m fascinated with tiny homes. I think my family (of 4) and I could definitely pull it off. The only problem that I have with them is that you cant really legally park them anywhere. Well there are some places, but options are few and far between. If this ever changes though, I’m totally on board with the tiny house life style.

    1. I love them, and I’d love to own some as rental properties. I haven’t made the leap for the exact reason you mention–the logistics of parking. I would opt for owning the land and have a permanent tiny house fixture. But I do love the idea of having a mobile tiny house some day!

  3. You bring up a great point that tiny house living might require adopting new hobbies. I see this as a benefit, since you have less room to store crap you naturally have to find hobbies that involve very little gear or equipment like spending time outside, hiking, etc. Tiny houses have always appealed to me so it’s nice to hear your perspective on them 🙂

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