Home is where the heart is and my heart has been set on tiny homes for the past two years. I came across the concept almost by mistake. As I sat mindlessly browsing videos on YouTube, I noticed a thumbnail showing a house as big (or as tiny, actually) as a shipping container. It was fascinating, almost like a doll house and was definitely worth the watch. Since then, I have gone through every video uploaded on the channel Living Big In A Tiny House as well as on other popular channels that support going tiny, including a series on Netflix. So… why are more and more people in the West buying container homes or building their own?
In fact, there are many reasons for going tiny – maybe you like cozy spaces, maybe you want a DIY project to enjoy, maybe you have a knack for interior design and want to set up a space that is just yours. But when most tiny home owners are asked this question, they usually list three solid points.
Financial Freedom: The financial side of tiny living is the most appealing. Where most people in Western countries accumulate debt just trying to afford a decent house to live in, others are breaking free from the shackles of rent and mortgage by settling on smaller spaces and greater freedom. The cost of going tiny amounts to a tiny fraction of buying an average sized house or apartment. Mostly, it depends on how fancy you want your tiny home to be – not that you can’t be fancy with a smaller budget. In fact, many people are salvaging materials from demolished buildings and homes and recycling them for use them in their tiny home projects. This not only cuts down on the expense of buying raw material to build, but gives you a story for each piece you welcome into your home.
Freedom: A lot of tiny home owners have their homes on wheels. This means the freedom to move about the country and parking in scenic spots. Some people prefer to have their tiny homes built in containers on wheels, which can be towed by trucks. Others prefer the independence of driving their home themselves, by building a tiny home in an old bus. Go tiny, go places!
Sustainable Living: The tiny house movement is like a dream come true for environmental activists as a way to reduce their carbon footprint. The less space you have, the less stuff you buy, which helps the environment due to decreased consumption of materials and energy. Moreover, most tiny home owners install solar panels and rainwater tanks in their spaces, and remain mindful of how much energy and resources they consume on a daily basis. Composting toilets have also been on the rise to save water and allow people to live completely off the grid.
Tiny home living is not as restrictive as it may sound. It actually gives you the enjoyment of a lifelong project. Watch This Dream Tiny House Is A Total Game Changer on YouTube’s Living Big In A Tiny House. It shows the journey of a woman named Shaye, who has now started her own business building tiny homes for people, and shares how she built her very first tiny home many years ago. Today, she lives in a bigger sized tiny home, with an extension attached that acts as an extra room for guests. That’s right, there is no limit to what you can do with tiny living. Building extensions, attachments, or additional tiny homes to group them together for growing families or changing needs – you name it.
As I sit here watching yet another video of an exquisite tiny home, my mind drifts to an image of tiny housing communities, right here in Karachi. From K-Town to Tiny Town? Yes please.
Bisma Yusufzai is Deputy Manager, Digital Channels, NBP Fund Management Limited.