Tiny Houses For Families

Over the years I received a lot of comments and emails saying that Tiny Houses aren’t practical, “how am I supposed to fit my whole family in 150 square feet”, etc.  At this point I should disclose that I do have a bias to Tiny Houses for one or two people as I am currently not married and have no children.  However, to understand this I would point out that Tiny Houses have no definition.  They don’t have a dictated size, form, shape, color, etc.  What does this mean?  A Tiny House is what you want it to be; it is this flexibility that draws people to us, that opens doors and minds to what could be.

The answer is that the Tiny Houses that are 100-200 square feet aren’t designed for families.  A Tiny House for a family might be 1,000 square feet, but it isn’t about the number, it is more a factor using space efficiently and reasonably to suit your life style needs.  I always tell people to consider the square footage per person living there, if they are insistent about the number.

The truth is, that Tiny Houses of 100-200 square feet isn’t a magical number, that has been divined by some deep insight or other means.    In fact the size of the trailer often dictates the size of the house, so in a way, it’s quite arbitrary.   To this point,  Tiny Houses don’t have to be built on a trailer either, because there is no true definition of Tiny Houses.

Today even the definition of a family is being challenged, it is no longer the traditional family unit that is being considered a family.  Couple that with the fact that Tiny House is whatever you want it to be and we begin to see that the Tiny House Movement as a very flexible thing that morphs to your needs, not what someone else tells you it needs to be.


Some Families in Tiny House Links:


Your Turn!

  • What do you think about raising children in a Tiny House?
  1. First time posting here, but I thought I had to say this: We have a toddler son, and live in a 900 sq ft apt in Brooklyn, and it’s the perfect size for the three of us. (It’s maybe not “tiny,” but it’s smaller than most homes for families of this size.) In fact if we have another baby, I think we’ll still be fine here.

    More space would actually be a PAIN with a child. It would just mean more room to destroy, more clutter, and more messes to clean. This was the case when I stayed with him at my parents’.

    The one thing I would like is to have a yard, or at least some outdoor space. If we do move eventually, it will be for outdoor space, not for extra indoor space!

    • I have always known the 100-300 sqft tiny houses were just too small for my girlfriend and I, but have figured something like 800-900 was good for us. We currently live in an almost 1100 sqft apartment and it’s too big. We have entire sections of the living and dining room that are basically unused, and our bedroom only has the bed-nothing else (such a waste)! I think 800-900 is perfect for two people and gives the option of have having a child as well.

  2. Seems to me small, or tiny living would be great with young kids. Might be difficult to get alone time, but they’d end up spending more time outside by necessity, and they’d feel safer and more secure being closer to mom and dad by necessity.

  3. We are a family of 5 living in 880 square feet. It doesn’t feel small; we don’t even use all of our space. I would like to go smaller, but DH wants to stay in the city and we already own this home. We are building up two home based businesses, so I do think we might end up using the third bedroom after all.

    • I think about 500 square feet would be the perfect size for our family right now.

      • That’s about what my Wife and I are thinking for us as well 🙂

  4. I remember that we learned in school that some body of UN recommends as a optimal size of living space 25m2 (270 sqft) per person. It can be smaller, but really no needs for more m2.

    • Interesting number. It’s then such a pity that new houses are getting bigger and bigger.

      • I think if people want and can afford bigger homes, it’s up to them. But I would prefer to downsize and have more money for doing the things my family wants to do.

    • I’d like to know where I can get that information from, as I’m doing a research project on tiny houses 🙂 send me an email at juliacheam(at)gmail(dot)com if you happen to find it! thanks and cheers!

  5. In the US, didn’t most multi-generational families live in tiny houses of less than 1,000 square feet before the “50’s”?

  6. When I was an older teenager, our family of 5 people (2 adults, three children) lived in a 26 foot travel trailer for several years. I’m not sure how many square feet that is, but we had to make out our beds every night and put them up in the morning when they became ‘sofas’ and a table.

    We did just fine in that small space, and I think the family togetherness (although tough with siblings at times) was good for us.

  7. I am so ready to downsize. Kids gone. Don’t like having all this space. 1700′ house. I’m really ready for this.

    • I found that you should just go for it, you can get caught in analysis paralysis.

  8. What a lot of people seem to defend as tiny house living is really apartment living. Apartment dwellers don’t need the tools and supplies necessary to maintain their homes. They call a building super anytime something breaks. They don’t mow lawns or garden or rake leaves or shovel snow. They often have communal laundry facilities, as well as storage cages (that are often bigger than the cutesy tiny houses depicted in these articles), and can often store things like bicycles and strollers in communal spaces like hallways or entryways. These apartment dwellers are often within walking distance (or mass transit) to grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and other amenities, often available 24/7, thereby negating the need to keep as many supplies on hand.

    Why advocate “tiny HOUSES,” as opposed to high-density urban living, or tightly packed suburban townhouse developments? Isn’t it about the fantasy of setting up a slice of the simple life along Walden Pond? An aspect of seclusion and communing with nature seems central to the theme, though that often seems at odds with “carbon footprint reduction,” on which so many Tiny House advocates fixate. (A 20 minute drive into town every time you run out of something — or need to pick up the mail — undermines the low-consumption lifestyle advocated by Tiny House dwellers. For that matter, living somewhere dependent on owning private transportation should really deflate the smug self-righteousness of their Tiny House sails. Though I’m sure everyone here simply wants to enjoy the quirkiness of Tiny House living, without the compulsion to condemn those who dwell in 3000sf tract houses, or derisively toss about phrases like “suburban sprawl” or “McMansions.”)

    • I’ll have what what you’re Having… Last I checked we live in America and there’s still this old document called uhm…the constitution with this nifty list of rights (every citizen has) and freedom that are protected therein so, people can live as they chose long as it’s not threatening anyone else, endangering anyone else or involving such behaviors that may cause detriment to any else or their respective properties; now I’ve seen some pretty stellar “tiny homes” and the surroundings on the net and abroad and all were well kept areas, just not standard. I would rather see anyone living within their means (whatever they are) in a manor that suits them, and happy as a family, couple, single etc.. than see homelessness and separated families which IS filthy and morally, ethically, politically, disgusting abuse . There is no excuse for us here in the U.S. to allow our documentallity and preconceivabilities to step in the way of what we feel is “LIVING” ability and sustainability

  9. We lived in 700sq ft for a summer with 3 kids. I didn’t have an actual kitchen–not because one wouldn’t fit, but because it was someone’s basement. We worked at a summer camp and they fed us. It actually wasn’t so bad. It would have been nice to have more privacy (all one room plus a bathroom) and if it was going to be permanent, separate rooms for the boys and girls (we now have 4 kids–2 boys, 2 girls) would be needed. Now we also need a home office and workshop for my husband’s two businesses and a guest room or space. A second toilet would be nice to have, but not necessary. I could do it again. I’m not sure my husband could if he had been in the house more than to sleep, but the kids and I could.

  10. We are a family of 5 living in an 1100 sq foot house. That also includes our unfinished basement which is our learning room as we’re homeschoolers using Montessori and Waldorf pedagogues. It’s a 2 bedroom house and we’re planning to add another bedroom in the basement as our oldest, a boy is now 15.
    Personally…I would love to have more room as we have so much homeschool stuff; models, materials, art, books, etc. So we’re actually thinning that out too as I’m hoping to build a home inside a 30ish foot trailer. I need more “cooking and food room though as we make our own cheese, can, dehydrate, etc.

    I would love to talk with another family that eats a more traditional diet (we use GAPS) and homeschools. I’ve been looking for a few years at tiny homes but only recently have “seen” us in one. I can’t find setups for kitchens or how homes are organized. Do you have info over that or know where I could locate posts or others who have done it.

    ~Honey Rowland
    of HoneysLife.com

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