Anyone living in a "tiny house?" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 05-03-2013, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Tiny houses are becoming more popular, but very few are occupied by families. I'd love to hear from anyone living in under 1000sqft with two or more kids, and truly liking it. How did you make the transition?

 

If anyone is making it happen in one of those trailer-type tiny houses, please add your perspectives too.

 

We just moved from 700sqft to 1000sqft with a huge leap in rent (we're in Boulder, CO). With baby #2 on the way, we're facing financial crisis and the tiny house movement is calling to me.

 

Here's one website/blog that's really inspiring, though they own their land (that feels like a leap for us):

tinyhousefamily.com

 

Thanks!

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#2 of 9 Old 05-03-2013, 07:33 AM
 
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I think the size of the actual property makes a huge difference. We're in the city and have 2,000sq ft and no land (house reaches all property lines) and we're cramped with one child and 2 dogs. 

If I had a huge property like these people have, I'd be more than happy with a tiny house. It would just be a place to eat and sleep in, all of our time would be spent outside, and it would just be less house to clean.

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#3 of 9 Old 05-03-2013, 08:40 AM
 
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Seems like you are already living small. (700 and 1000sq ft)

I've done it for most of my adult life. 5yrs in a 1br apt with 1kids in 500sqft. 1000sqft with 2kids.

Just have to pair down the stuff in you life, furniture the correct size and a good floor plan.

The older the person, I think the less sqft you need, but ideally an increase in privacy.

Like pp said, having a decent amount of space outside of your home helps, plus weather to enjoy it.

We've had a few stints of living in larger spaces. My dh loves it, don't think he could ever have too much space. Myself and dd1, hate large spaces. So you need to make sure everyone is onboard for living tiny

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#4 of 9 Old 05-03-2013, 08:40 AM
 
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Seems like you are already living small. (700 and 1000sq ft)

I've done it for most of my adult life. 5yrs in a 1br apt with 1kids in 500sqft. 1000sqft with 2kids.

Just have to pair down the stuff in you life, furniture the correct size and a good floor plan.

The older the person, I think the less sqft you need, but ideally an increase in privacy.

Like pp said, having a decent amount of space outside of your home helps, plus weather to enjoy it.

We've had a few stints of living in larger spaces. My dh loves it, don't think he could ever have too much space. Myself and dd1, hate large spaces. So you need to make sure everyone is onboard for living tiny

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#5 of 9 Old 05-03-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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We are a family of 1 adult and 3 children(12, 8, and 5) living in 824sqft(including unfinished basement room and bathroom).  I see no issues with the size of the house.  It's a fairly open floor plan with the dining room and living room so it doesn't feel small.  There's two official bedrooms and a small half of the basement is finished so we use it for another bedroom for my 12 year old.  We have a nice sized fenced backyard(shared with the neighbor) which helps a lot.  When the kids get on each other's nerves, I send one or more outside to play.


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#6 of 9 Old 05-04-2013, 11:01 AM
 
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I live in a 575 square ft apartment with my 2 kids (DD 9 and DS 7)...I love the space we have, but wish we had outside space--I think that makes all the difference (layout of the space also makes a difference too).  We're in Denver and I'm looking around trying to figure out if I can find a similar size space (maybe a tiny bit bigger so the kids can have a bit more of their own space) with some outside space of some kind.  I have dreams of living in a tiny house, too...would love to figure out how to do it in the city!  Are you tied to being super close to Boulder?  If you check out places a little bit east of town and up into the mountains a little bit (Boulder Canyon, Coal Creek Canyon), you'll find some more affordable options.  


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#7 of 9 Old 05-04-2013, 02:07 PM
 
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My current situation doesn't count since I think the house we're renting is 1,100 or 1,200 sq feet. 

 

HOWEVER, the home I grew up in was 960 sq feet and I have five siblings.  In all honesty I loved it.  It was wonderful having all of us piled on top of each other (4 girls in one room, 2 boys in the other).  We had a fairly big lot for being "in the city", around 1/4 and acre.  When I was eight my family bought 60 acres and we spent a lot of my childhood out there, but we continued living in our little home. 

 

My brother now lives in that little house and they're about ready to have their third.  IMO I think kids don't need as much "personal space" as everyone thinks they do.  There is comfort in being close.  And this is coming from someone that has a fairly large personal bubble.

 

Bunk beds are musts, btw.


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#8 of 9 Old 05-07-2013, 03:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post

My current situation doesn't count since I think the house we're renting is 1,100 or 1,200 sq feet. 

 

HOWEVER, the home I grew up in was 960 sq feet and I have five siblings.  In all honesty I loved it.  It was wonderful having all of us piled on top of each other (4 girls in one room, 2 boys in the other).  We had a fairly big lot for being "in the city", around 1/4 and acre.  When I was eight my family bought 60 acres and we spent a lot of my childhood out there, but we continued living in our little home. 

 

My brother now lives in that little house and they're about ready to have their third.  IMO I think kids don't need as much "personal space" as everyone thinks they do.  There is comfort in being close.  And this is coming from someone that has a fairly large personal bubble.

 

Bunk beds are musts, btw.

 

I think children adjust to the situation they are in out of necessity and so they might appear to need less personal space than everyone thinks but really it will depend on the personality of the child. Some children do fine with being piled on on top of the other, and thrive from that. Some children survive being piled on top of each other since they have no choice but to accept it. I was of the later kind, growing up.

 

Me and my siblings (I have two) grew up in an apartment just above 1000 sq feet. It had three bedrooms, and it was all fine when we were small children and usually played together. Me and my sister shared the large bedroom just fine, while my baby brother had his little nursery in the smallest bedroom. But with time, with me growing into a more and more introvert child with sound sensitivity issues, it was soon clear that I needed my own room just to be able to wind down after a day of too much sound and too many people. I simply couldn't cope with being around even my sister after a day out and about. So, my brother and sister briefly ended up sharing the large bedroom but that didn't really work for that long since he was by then used to his own space and was an introvert like me. In the end, my parents decided to sleep in the living room and give us kids a room each, to lessen the constant tension between us kids. That worked much better, except for the fact that my parents of course didn't have much privacy, and they had the same need for it as us kids.

 

I think one of the saving graces for my family was the discovery of good quality, non sound-leaking headphones, our dog which we could take out walking when tempers really got the better off us and the fact that once we all reached our teens we did get a large house (2800 sq feet) and thus the space and silence at least I craved.

 

All this to say that small spaces are definitely doable, even with large families with huge dogs and cats, but how well it works will depend on the personality of all the family members. I think, as the others have said, that if your children can go outdoors by themselves to find privacy it will not really be that much of an issue if they have to share a bedroom with a sibling or two. Some parents claim to give their children that privacy by putting up curtains...but for me, a curtain never did the trick because the issue was not not being seen/not seeing but rather the constant awareness of others around me. Not being able to relax into myself, even as a small child.

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#9 of 9 Old 05-07-2013, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for these great contributions. They seem to point to the fact that we, as humans, all need some sense of space, whether it comes from inside or outside the dwelling. Either way, we need it.

 

I have noticed that in the "tiny house" movement, people so often move their homes (if it is one of the smaller ones on a trailer) to areas of expansive nature.

 

I think the issue is that we just can't afford to live in Boulder anymore (which has great trails with privacy just out the door). No amount of scaling down is going to help with that. We know that for now we can make life work reasonably in 1000sqft, so finding that size in a more affordable area (with land around) will have to be our goal.

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