The Tiny House movement has been so hyped up in recent years, that TV shows and movies make it out to be the solution to everyone’s housing problems. While it truly may be a great way for young people to live cheaply who are in an in-between stage in life, that doesn’t mean it is a good option for everyone. These are the downsides of tiny house living that so few people are willing to admit, but you truly need to know.
10. You Cannot Invite a Lot of People Over
Forget about ever hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your place, because your family won’t be able to fit inside of a Tiny House. And it’s not just because everyone would be crammed in like a can of sardines. The metal trailer that the house sits on may crack and buckle under too much weight. Some people may see this as a positive thing, because it gives them a valid excuse to not host a family reunion. But for someone who loves entertaining, this is unacceptable.
9. A Messy Home is Unavoidable
Tiny Houses do not have a mud room or an entryway. Often times, you are in the main living area as soon as you step through the door. So if it rains or snows, you are immediately getting your floors wet and muddy. If you have a dog to keep you company while you travel, their hair will get everywhere.
Also, everyone tends to have lazy days, even if we are generally clean and organized. If you do not put things away immediately, your stuff will quickly consume the house, and there is nowhere to hide.
8. No Room For a Growing Family
If your Tiny Home is on a trailer, you have no option but to keep it the exact same size forever. There will never be an opportunity to build on an addition. This means that if you decide to get married and have children, you are going to have to figure out where your baby will sleep. Not to mention all of the baby supplies you suddenly need to buy. There will eventually come a time where it will be completely necessary to give up the Tiny House life.
7. The Lack of Personal Space
One of the biggest issues with living in a Tiny House is trying to have a relationship in such a confined space. If you are arguing with one another, there will be no escape. Even if one person chooses to “sleep on the couch” for one night, it really might actually be the floor.
This isn’t to say that it’s impossible to make it work. Many couples claim that they find a solution to this by spending more time outside, or one person visits a cafe to work while the other stays at home. However, there is a good reason why a lot of Tiny House owners are single. You need to think long and hard before you decide to move in with someone.
6. Sleeping in a Loft
The idea of sleeping in a loft seems cool, and for some, it brings back memories of sharing a bunk bed with a sibling. But the reality is far from that. Climbing up a ladder is difficult, even for able-bodied people. And if you have had any previous injuries, you can forget it. The idea of growing old and still being nimble enough to climb a ladder and crawl into a loft seems very unlikely.
Many tiny home owners report waking up at night and accidentally hitting their head, because they sat up as they normally would have in their previous home. Others say they suddenly feel claustrophobic and have a panic attack.
Keep in mind that you will have to make the bed up in the loft, too. It is nowhere near as simple as walking around the bed to get fitted sheets on. According to a YouTuber named Jenna Spesard on Tiny House, Giant Journey, she feels like she is getting a workout every time she makes her bed, because she has to roll around in order to get it done.
5. The Smell of Everything Is Intensified
Imagine cooking, the bathroom, spraying perfume, trash, dirty clothes, farts, and a dog all in the same 150-square foot room. There is almost nowhere for their smells to escape. Yes, you can open a window, but in the winter time, that may not be an option for you. Certain smells will linger on you for hours (like onions or garlic) and without a viable option to escape it, you just might drive yourself crazy.
4. You Can Almost Never Buy or Receive New Things
All of us have people in our lives that want to give us things. Maybe it’s hand-me-downs from your parents, or a thoughtful birthday gift from your best friend. Where, exactly, are you going to store that stuff? For more people, moving into a Tiny House means downsizing all of their belongings, so that they can get only the essentials to fit. If you are a woman who loves a big closet with an outfit for every occasion, forget about it. There will only be enough room for a few things, which means that in order to get new stuff, something old will have to be tossed out, first.
3. The Toilet Situation
Since most tiny homes are mobile, you are most likely not going to have real plumbing to use for the bathroom. Most of us never have to worry about where our “business” goes after we blush, but for tiny home owners, they need to seriously get used to the adjustment. To make matters worse, you guests will not have any idea how to actually use it, and you might just have to give everyone a lesson as soon as they enter the house. Gina Blanchard on The Off Grid Living blog goes into detail about how gross compost toilets truly are.
2. Finding a Legal Place to Park The House
You can’t park a tiny house wherever you feel like it. Even though people on Instagram make it seems as if they can park the house in the middle of a beautiful, scenic atmosphere, that may not always be the case. You may have to rent a space from a campground, ask a friend if you can leave it on private property, or do some research on local zoning laws before you make a cross-country trip. Even if you get permission from a property owner, it still may be considered illegal. According to a story from PBS, one young woman built a Tiny House, but her town voted that Tiny Houses and “backyard apartments” should not be allowed. Now, the house is sitting in a storage unit, because she has no idea where to put it.
1. The Struggle of Transportation
People seem to think that buying a tiny house is a great replacement for renting an AirBnB or a hotel room when they travel. While it’s true that you might save $100 a night, this is what you have to do, instead: Hitch the tiny house on a truck trailer and driving it cross-country at a snail’s pace, as not to damage the home. There may be low-hanging bridges, massive potholes, or any other obstacles in your way that you might not be prepared for. It will be necessary to buy insurance, but the premiums will be high, considering the risk. It is also very expensive to pay for gas in a pickup truck, too. Sure, maybe if you’re staying somewhere for an entire month, you will eventually recoup your cost. But in terms of taking a vacation, most people would agree that it’s simply not worth the effort to keep a home-away-from-home.
Shannon Quinn is the editor-in-chief of InspiringHome.org