'Tiny House' Movement Has a Little Secret

Lots of people upsize after realizing they're too cramped, says op-ed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2016 10:03 AM CST
Tiny House Movement Has a Little Secret
Too small for the long run?   (Briana Sanchez/St. Cloud Times via AP)

It's tough to argue with the merits of the "tiny house" movement as proponents radically downsize and shun their materialistic ways. But Erin Anderssen has a piece of advice for those who feel themselves being swayed by a convert: Wait about a year and check back with that same convert—there's a decent chance they've moved into a bigger place after feeling too cramped. "To be fair, the people abandoning their tiny homes aren’t trading them for McMansions—their fallbacks are still small by modern standards," she writes in the Toronto Globe and Mail. "And there are certainly people who make a full-time go of it. But it’s not hard to find up-sizers, even among the movement’s keenest enthusiasts."

Anderssen interviews some of them—she makes her case anecdotally—and draws from her own experience vacationing at her family's 400-square-foot cottage with her husband and two sons. She, too, embraces much about the lifestyle but cautions that so many people end up reversing course that it's clear they're buying into a romantic-sounding notion they don't fully understand, swayed by picture-perfect profiles in magazines and on TV. "Before tiny houses—and shipping container homes—are considered as solutions for affordable housing in cities, that should give urban planners and policy makers pause," she writes. "It’s one thing to live by choice in a chic shack in a pastoral setting or a warm climate," but "it's quite another to be forced into a micro-room without a view because that’s all you can afford." Click for the full post. (More tiny houses stories.)

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