house in human hands

Tiny House = Happier Life

By Rachel Richards


Three years ago my husband and I were really excited to be shopping for our first home, looking for the one that would be perfect for us. In the end we chose the largest home we could get for our budget: a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, fixer-upper on a near-acre lot. We were so proud of ourselves, feeling truly grown-up and successful.

Within the first year I realized we had bitten off too much.

The required updates to the home became a source of stress; we didn’t know where to start: rewiring, rebuilding the staircase, or redoing the exterior. Cleaning the big house became an impossible task and we began to live in a very cluttered and dirty home (especially when we added dogs to the family). I soon became overwhelmed, spending my weekends cleaning, organizing and stressing over how empty the house was and how I needed more furniture and décor to make it nice.

Getting tense reading this? Try living in it.

And then one day a realtor knocked on our door and said someone was interested in buying our house. We jumped at the chance.

For our second home we decided to simplify things and downsize. My husband had his doubts at first, but eventually we chose a small house: a little two-bedroom cottage our friends were selling. We went from 1700 sq. ft. to 875 – and you know what? It was the best decision we could have made.

6 Great Things that Happen When You Downsize To A Tiny House

1. Less to clean/maintain/fix

Big houses always need something repaired – a leaky faucet, a faulty light switch, a drafty window. On top of that, they take forever to clean – especially if you’re into green cleaning. My new tiny house takes 1.5 hours to fully clean, compared to the 4-5 hours my big house needed.

2. No junk

De-junking when we downsized was my favourite part of this whole process. I got rid of SO much stuff. With every bag that went to Goodwill, or piece of furniture donated to someone else, I felt freer and freer.

In a smaller home, every item has a purpose. There is no junk.

3. Life becomes richer

Whether you buy a small home like I did, or opt to build your own tiny house as so many are doing, the experience of de-junking and simplifying your life alongside your family can be an incredible bonding experience.

And just think of all the time you’ll save maintaining and cleaning your smaller home. This is time you’ll have for family, visiting friends, bike riding, heading to the lake, making beautiful dinners, and the list goes on.

4. Kids play outside more

When you have one living room for the whole family and the adults are using it, watch how often your kids will opt to go outside and play in the yard, climb trees, throw balls, and do all the things kids do.

5. Better for the environment

We are a wasteful culture, and using up valuable resources to heat/light unused rooms is such a waste. Would you leave your car idling all night long? Of course not!

We need to learn to have less impact on our environment and smaller homes are a great way to do so.

6. You save SO MUCH money

Our mortgage, taxes, insurance, and utility bills were cut in half by the move. This is what sold my husband on the home. While we could afford our old home, we didn’t have much cash leftover at the end of each month. Now we can build up a good savings and pay off debts.

Downsizing was the smartest decision we could have made and I am absolutely in love with my little home. For too long our society has held that “bigger is better” when it comes to homes, but times have changed! We’re all growing tired of being house poor, having too much home to care for, and tired of the stress, and responsibility.

When it comes to homes, bigger does not mean better!

Curious about tiny house living? Check these out:

Rachel Richards hails from Southern Alberta where she leads two lives: office worker by day, and health and fitness enthusiast by night. Rachel is always on the lookout for her next adventure, whether its trekking through the mountains with just her dogs as companions, running races and triathlons (without training for them), or spending time with loved ones. Read more about Rachel’s adventures on her blog, Betty Livin. 

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