Somewhere, somehow over time we as a society looked to upgrade our way of living. Larger homes were gradually sought after even though the average size of our families has decreased over the years. Not only did we move into roughly 2,500 square foot homes by 2007, leaving behind more humble spaces in the 80's consisting of around 1,800 sqft, but we collected more and more stuff to fill our castles too. Material wealth and prestige has long been attractive through royals and celebrity, but by the time our nation hit a recession in 2008, scaling back became a necessary way of life for most Americans once again. More and more today we are seeing an adorably creative movement taking place across the globe. People are trading their large homes for much smaller versions and truly getting in touch with simple means and a freer way of living.
Famed architect Sarah Susanka has been credited with putting this small home movement in motion after she published her 1997 book on the newly popular way of living, The Not So Big House. After the massively devastating hurricane Katrina in 2005, followed by the housing and economic crash of 2008 did we really start to see this countermovement to smaller homes and tidier means. Tiny houses today range from a mere 80 sqft to no more than 500 total for the home. What's even more surprising and/or enticing is that most of these small dwellings are built on trailer hitches or wheels, allowing the homeowner to pick up and literally move whenever and wherever they feel the urge to do so.
There's a whole world of reasons why more people are jumping on this relatively new movement today, but mostly these consists of environmental and financial concerns as well as the freedom attached. Of course, small-living isn't for everyone, most of these participants have been empty-nesters, singles, or those couples without many children, but making the change has gifted the escape of the near 70% of housing debt many Americans face today. Living small greatly delivers self-sufficiency, environmental consciousness, life simplification and freedom of adventure, and sound fiscal plans for those committed few that really want to make a "big" change in their lives and for the planet.
Perusing through galleries of some of the best tiny homes online today is something that has become an awe-inspiring hobby of late. It's amazing what some of these small dwellers can do with 200 sqft of living space, and how extraordinarily chic these miniature homes have been outfitted with gorgeous decor, but what these homeowners have given up in the process is where the real beauty and honor lie. A walk-in closet full of clothes, a playroom full of toys, two extra bedrooms and a four-car garage can be impressive accomplishment, sure. But at the end of the day, to be truly rich is having a roof over your head, food on the table, one good shirt on your back, stars in an unobstructed sky and the freedom to move about without a single fret about money or debt.
We applaud those that have turned their big lives into something small and more meaningful. To live simply, is purely living large.