This past weekend I was fortunate enough to speak at the Tiny House Jamboree out in Colorado Springs.
Yep that’s me up on the very cool gypsy wagon stage. It was an amazing turn out and was an awesome experience. For those of you who were there and saw me speak, thanks for the support! My presentation, “To Build or to Buy: A Tiny House, but a Big Decision,” was well received, but it also generated some interesting questions.
As the Tiny House movement has gained popularity, there are more and more reasons for people to downsize and add tiny houses to their lives. Because of this, the decision to build or buy is more of a topic now than it was in the past. As Tiny House enthusiasts, we have a lot more options when it comes to how we bring a tiny home into our lives.
When I was looking at houses last year, I could either build my own or buy from one of about four builders. This past weekend there were probably 20 or more houses available to tour at the Jamboree from a variety of builders. It is really exciting, but in some ways it adds confusion to the already complex decision of downsizing.
Today, I want to focus on this idea of knowing yourself as the first step in the process of downsizing. I was surprised at the number of people who came up after the presentation and asked me if they should build or buy their Tiny House. It didn’t surprise me that people wanted to talk through this tough decision, but it did surprise me that many of them had a hard time articulating what it was they wanted to accomplish by going tiny.
I am a firm believer that you need to know yourself before you adopt this lifestyle. You need to understand what your goals and dreams are and why they are important to you. If you don’t know why you want to go tiny, it will be nearly impossible to make good choices about any other tiny house decision to include the decision of whether you should build or buy.
For instance, unless you are clear about your goals, it will be tough to decide if you want a tiny house on wheels or one on a foundation (a question I got at the Jamboree). If your goal is to travel with your tiny house and be on the road, then the mobile option is probably better. If you’d rather be stationary and you already own a piece of property near family, and your goal is to simplify and stay put, then maybe a house on a foundation is better. But there is no way to answer questions like these until you understand what you are trying to accomplish.
The challenge as a tiny house coach is helping people not only make the transition to tiny houses, but also to make sure they are making the change for the “right reasons.” Now as I said in my previous post, I think there are tons of good reasons to go tiny, and we all have different things that are important to us. But it’s hard to offer sound advice unless I know what the person is trying to achieve. That’s why I think being clear on what you want out of life is the essential first step on your downsizing journey.
Before I moved into my tiny house I knew the following things:
1. I wanted to reduce my debt and have lower monthly living expenses
2. I wanted to be mobile so I could move with my job (as required) and travel when I retired
3. I knew what rooms I used in my current home and what spaces and things were important to me
4. I had a clear financial plan and I knew how much it cost to build and buy a tiny house
5. I could articulate why this lifestyle made me excited and how it fit in with my short-term and long-term plans
Because I understood the answers to these types of questions, it simplified every other decision I made regarding my tiny house.
At the very minimum, you should consider the following questions:
1. What does my dream life look like (what is my vision)?
2. What are my goals (short-term and long-term)?
3. How does my tiny house help me meet that vision and those goals?
If you haven’t take the time to clearly articulate what you are trying to accomplish and why, stop and take a few minutes to do that. Be clear on what things are important to you from a space and stuff standpoint. Make sure this lifestyle actually fits with your vision of your dream life and take the time to clarify this vision.
If you need help, and want to get started with this process, consider my Dream Big: Live Life on Purpose e-course that starts on August 31st. Registration is now open. As I said, in my presentation, being intentional about this journey is the critical first step to achieving your tiny house dream!
Until next time Dream BIG!