What Is The Number One Indicator Of Someone Actually Going Tiny?

Having covered tiny houses for eight years now, I see many people who want to live in a tiny house, but only a fraction actually take the leap.  So I thought it would be interesting to ask what some of the experts thought about what separates the people who actually make the leap to tiny house living.


I think they aren’t afraid in the unknown. People that are okay with not knowing everything but confident that they’ll figure it out.


The only commonality really is just the ability to trust their own common sense. But I also think it takes a bit of a rebel and change-maker. It really is a subtle act of civil disobedience. Most tiny housers are not afraid to buck the trend and take tangible steps to live in manner that is more affordable and sustainable in the face of a massive culture of consumerism.


They don’t make excuses. People who want to live in a tiny house will stop at nothing to live in their house.  They don’t want to live in a tiny house because they think they’re cute, they realize the life changing potential they afford and pursue their goals with zeal.


An irrefutable desire to get back to the most basic and fruitful things in life, connections with family and friends, connection with nature, and freedom to live life outside the chains of debt.


They often hold the hammer upside-down. No, there are like 4507 of ’em, but I frequently see terrible window placement on many of the tiny houses of today- that being window placement without regard to airflow, privacy, aesthetics, and rigidity/safety (while in transit for wheeled homes).


Faith in things working out. If you wait until you have every possible component and have thought of every possible thing before you start you’ll be waiting a long time. Risk takers and ‘build it and they will come’ types seem to have a much greater likelihood of taking the leap.


Unyielding determination to live the way that you want to live. And creativity- so many tiny house dwellers are amazingly creative people.


Making a decision to bring the dream to fruition. We often see people amass a ton of information, line up their ducks. figure out their finances, but nothing can move forward unless a decision is actually made to take the first step.


Happiness. Living in a Tiny House is a challenge, yet the challenge is extremely fulfilling. If you make that leap, you will be proud of your achievement.


Someone who is a risk taker. I see it again and again. If you’re willing to take risks in other aspects of your life, you are far more likely to go follow through with going tiny. This isn’t a movement for someone who wants to play it safe.


Persistence. It has nothing to do with talent, or expertise, you have to be patient and persistent. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.


Commitment to make the changes to downsize and follow through with the steps it takes to make a dream become a reality.


Dwellers IMHO seem to be decision makers. Some folks see something and decide its right for them, tossing excuses aside. Others decide something it right for them but never move the needle from “wanting” to “doing.”


A very special thanks to the folks who participated:

Your Turn!

  • What are the biggest barriers to you making the leap?
  • What have you learned that might make your journey more likely to succeed?
  1. Spoken like people with discretionary time and income. My only reason for not going tiny at this time is money.

    • I went tiny because of money. Tired of paying too much rent for too little of space. I cashed in my retirement. Found a lease that I can afford. Now I can rebuild my savings.

  2. Don’t give up! The fact that you have the land is a big plus, but lots of complications to overcome – water, electricity, heat – I am thinking of buying a shed and converting it. Some very sturdy, attractive sheds in NH at Reed’s Ferry Sheds….semper fi indeed!

  3. You need some combination of money, time and energy to get from determination to doing. More of one can sometimes make up for less of another, and if you’re really lucky sometimes you get an infusion of one or more from outside sources. You also need to recognise that you don’t need to hold out for perfection and sometimes good enough is good enough.

    My combination hit the lucky numbers and I’m about a month away from having Plan Z-2 zillion (feels like that many!)come true. Plans A to whatever fell by the wayside one by one and this is far from what I started with but it works well and will make life better. Good enough for me!

  4. I have been looking at tiny houses since 2007. Even bought a set of plans from Tumbleweed.

    While still thinking of living a smaller, simple life, I have a wife who keeps thinking bigger is better. I now have a sailboat I could live on, but wife hates that idea. I’ve been in the military and having moved around so often, I’ve been forced to get rid of stuff, like furniture, TVs, Entertainment centers, and a lot of little stuff. BTW, Goodwill is very helpful in downsizing.

    So, I think it’s important to note, that while some people like myself want to go tiny, sometimes we have someone else in our lives holding us back.

  5. What holds me back is land and finances. I want a tiny house/ small house that is stationary. Even if I do decide to build one on a trailer, I have no land to build on or no place to park it on. There are no tiny house communities in my state.

    Those that are a success with living tiny have the land and the money or they know someone with the land or money to help them out. I saw on a segment of tiny house hunters a young lady received a $20,000 home loan from her financial institute to buy or build her tiny house but she had friends who have land. I need to do some research, I suppose I could probably take out a personal loan but I still need land.

  6. Are you allowed to put a tiny house on wheels or an RV on it? If so, you can rent out the land and use the money you make to save for your own.

  7. Land is key. Suggest you find a residential lot somewhere – anywhere – then build the rest of your dream. If push comes to shove, you could even just pitch a tent on your own lot.

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