I wrote a post called, 5 Reasons The Tiny House Movement Is Doomed To Fail: And 5 Things We Can Do About It, back in January, 2016. It’s become the most controversial post on Hip Diggs. The post also has more comments than any other post on the site, many of them critical. So I thought I’d revisit the idea of tiny houses.
Some people think I was pretty tough on the tiny house crowd. My initial negative points about tiny houses were that the tiny house movement…
- is a counter-culture movement.
- has an escapist mindset.
- is evasive of authority.
- is not practical.
- appeals to a small population.
I must have struck a chord with a lot of people for the post to become the most controversial on the blog. For more details, see the original article here: Tiny House Movement.
Guess What? Those Points Are Still Valid
I don’t hate tiny houses or the people who choose to design, build, and live in them. And certainly some of my points are generalizations and don’t apply to everyone who likes to live small. But in general, each of these five points are valid.
That doesn’t mean that some good things haven’t happened in the tiny house world. I love to see tiny houses being used to house the homeless in some cities. And I love some of the more eco-friendly designs that have come about.
My initial article was not aimed at the tiny houses themselves as much as it was an idealist plea with the people who make up the movement. It wasn’t really meant to be controversial.
I see a lot of waste and excess in this world. I think the tiny house movement has the potential to stand up against those excesses. But as long as part of the tiny house population appears to be rebellious and eccentric, I’m not sure the message will get through to a larger population. I’d just like to see more people choosing to live small.
Do The People Of The Movement Really Care?
If you read through the comments on the original post, you’ll see that more people agree with my thoughts than disagree. However, when I posted the article on social media, I’ve often seen these kinds of comments from people who choose the tiny house lifestyle:
Who cares about the mainstream? The tiny house movement isn’t for the mainstream.
This works for me and I don’t care what you think. I’m saving money and living debt-free.
Damn right we’re going to evade regulations. There are too many worthless codes to begin with.
I’m sorry, but you’ve just proven my original points: counter-culture, escapist, anti-authority, etc.
Based on this feedback, I get the feeling that many people who choose to build and live in tiny houses are only out for themselves. They’re not considering the greater good. They’re not living small to decrease pollution or to help the Earth. It’s simply about living cheap and gaining a false sense of freedom.
They don’t want more people to join the movement. Other than the ones making money from all the tiny house TV shows, they want it to remain small so they can be left alone.
Sorry, I guess I’m still being tough on the tiny house crowd. Again, I’m sure not everyone falls into this its-all-about-me category, but they’re out there.
The Second Half Of Hip Diggs’ Most Controversial Post
I didn’t end my original post with the negative. I offered five positive ideas to inspire more people to live small. Some people found this controversial, too:
- Ditch the wheels.
- Accept reality.
- Increase the size.
- Stop fighting authority.
- Buy existing structures.
These are valid points. I do understand that wheels and sizes are personal preferences. My point to the second part of the article was simply suggesting that we find ways to promote small living to a larger population.
Again, the majority of readers have found common sense in these suggestions. But again, many of the people who live in tiny houses screamed foul and found the article controversial to their beliefs.
Perhaps, what I’d like to see happen isn’t really applicable to the tiny house movement at all. Maybe, I’m more excited to see a larger trend toward downsizing in a more conventional way. So perhaps my most visited post was a little off-the-mark in that regard. It’s not the tiny house movement that can lead the way to new trends in housing. It’s people who truly have a passion for simple living, no matter what size of house they live in.
Hip Diggs’ focus is on simple living and healthy habits. I throw a tiny house post in the mix and it gets all the traffic. Funny how that happens. It was controversial and it ruffled a few feathers. I think that’s a good thing. If nothing else, it gets people thinking about a larger variety of small living options.
Live Small And Prosper
However you choose to live small, whether in a tiny house, an RV, a yurt, a studio apartment, or a VW bus, more power to you. Even if you live in a 2000 sq. ft. house, but you live with significantly less stuff than the average person, my hat’s off to you.
Just do your best to live with less. What more could we ask for?