Would We Ever Go Smaller?

More than two years ago, I answered this question here on our blog:

If you could go bigger, would you?

And the answer was a complicated one.

The other day, it occurred to me that I've never really touched much on the opposite question:

Would we ever go smaller?

Never say never, right?

Seriously, though, it's a good question.

Our house is barely tiny. Many wouldn't even truly consider it an official "tiny house," so compared to a lot of families who have embraced a tiny lifestyle, our house probably seems huge. There are families living in Airstreams and other RVs full time. There are some living in vans and converted school buses and honest-to-goodness tiny, tiny houses. Our house is easily double the square footage of many of them.

The difference I notice, though, is that for most of these families, the tiny lifestyle is really a stepping stone to something else. Very few families that I have encountered plan to embrace tiny living indefinitely.

Many only stick it out a few years.

Often that's part of the plan. Perhaps the tiny house is a place to live while a homestead is being saved for and constructed. Maybe the RV is for the adventure of a lifetime, exploring the world while the kids are still young enough to be full of wonder about the experience. Sometimes the plan is to only live in the tiny house for a few years before turning it into a rental or an Airbnb and recoup the cost of the build over the long term.

Other families realize that living tiny isn't as romantic as it seemed at first. Or they can't find a place to park (legally). Or circumstances change for whatever reason, and the tiny house dream has to be set aside.

But families that want to (and do) live tiny forever? There aren't many of those.

And that's fine. This isn't a competition. There is no right way to do any of this. Moving on to bigger things when it makes sense to move on is being prudent, not failing, especially if that's been the long-term plan from the start. And even when that wasn't the plan, having kids in a tiny space is hard, and it's not always the best thing for every family that tries it. It would be unwise to continue when other options are a better fit.

We're in it for the long haul, though. We've been in our house for eleven years now, more than six of those years with children. And if we're being honest, having a (very) "small" home rather than a truly "tiny" one has really made that possible. We didn't choose our home in order to embrace the tiny lifestyle (which was barely even a thing when we bought our house). No, we chose our home because we needed a place to live, and it was the only one we could afford without sacrificing things we weren't willing to sacrifice. That hasn't changed much in the intervening years.

I love to see how other families make it work in even smaller spaces than ours. They are so creative, and they have so many good ideas. There are a lot of beautiful tiny family spaces out there, and I love to read about these families' adventures.

That said, we are not nomads. The wanderlust gene skipped us, and we have put down some pretty deep roots over the years, so having a truly mobile house is not even on our list of priorities. And our house suits us. It's affordable, and it's almost paid off. We have no reason to downsize at this point.

In the future things may change, of course, especially once our children are grown.

For now, though, while we still have young ones under our roof, we're content. Going smaller would be a stretch for us with no real benefit at this point in our lives.

I'm fine with that.

Related Post: Tiny House Manifesto

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! If you want to read more about what it's like to share a tiny house with the love of your life AND kids as well as how to make it all work, check out our post Love and Marriage in a Tiny House!