Living in a Tiny Home: Benefits & Drawbacks

2. Less Time Spent Cleaning. Cleaning two or three small rooms takes far less time than cleaning seven or eight large ones. Cleaning also goes faster because you don't have knickknacks and clutter to pick up or clean around.

3. More Savings. Living in a tiny home saves money in many different ways. You don't spend as much on heating, cooling, property taxes, or home maintenance. You save money on groceries (since you have a smaller pantry and refrigerator), and you cut idle shopping almost entirely out of the picture.

4. Higher Quality of Life. Many tiny homeowners state that their quality of life and overall happiness improved when they shed their "stuff" and started living small. There are many reasons for this: They don't feel weighed down by all the frivolous items they used to own or a huge mortgage, and they spend less time and money cleaning and maintaining their home, which allows more time and money for leisure activities.

5. Lower Carbon Footprint. Lastly, all of these benefits add up to a major benefit for the environment. Tiny homes are green homes, as they use less energy, produce less waste, and consume less resources (in the form of products that are no longer being purchased) than larger homes.

Drawbacks to Tiny Homes

Many people have bedrooms or even closets that are larger than these tiny homes. And the thought of squeezing all of your worldly possessions into such a small space can be daunting.

Here are several disadvantages to tiny home living:

1. Organization Is a Must. You need to utilize every organizing idea for small spaces, otherwise your tiny home will look like a cluttered closet. You won't want to spend time there.

2.You Can't Have It All. It can be difficult to decide what possessions to take with you into this tiny space, especially if you have abundant or large family heirlooms.

3. Entertaining Is a Challenge. Entertaining in a tiny home has limits. In warm months you can go outside, but winter can force you to limit your guest list.

In spite of the challenges, the idea of living in a small house has been gaining popularity in recent years, especially since the recession hit.

Real Stories: Life in a Tiny Home

In 2003, Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell and her husband Dale built a 480 square-foot lake house in Bull Shoals, Ark., to use as a getaway from their busy lives in Kansas City. Their original plan was to build a 1,000-square-foot home on their 30 acres, and use the little lake cabin as a guesthouse. But when her mother passed away in 2007, Fivecoat-Campbell realized she needed to get out of the city, so she and her husband decided to move full-time to the Ozarks.

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