How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot
Cabinet Contract Flowers Lightning Paintroller Teardrop Toolbox Pin Cross Search Search Arrow Thin Arrow

Less is More: How to Live Happily in a Tiny House

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Interior Decoration > Less is More: How to Live Happily in a Tiny House
Less is More: How to Live Happily in a Tiny House

On one end of the spectrum, you have large, sprawling, opulent homes – the very epitome of materialism and success. On the other end of the spectrum – tiny homes. What’s up with tiny homes? Where did they come from and what’s the reasoning behind them? In a nutshell, tiny houses are a countermovement to rally against materialism.


Get yourself up to speed at the Northwestern University website by reading about a student project to build a tiny house. With careful planning, architecture and engineering, this house exemplifies sustainability, creativity and simplicity. The “less is more” attitude can be an effective way to simplify your entire life, including the home you live in.


Once you see the benefits of a smaller domicile, you may need to learn important tips and suggestions for living happily in a tiny house.

  1. 1.Paring Down Possessions

    Obviously, when you decide to shift from a large home down to a tiny home, one of the biggest issues you’ll need to resolve is what to keep and what needs to go. Paring down your possessions can be a freeing exercise that forces you to examine and analyze every item you own to determine whether you want to keep it. Because space will be limited and storage will be premium, you’ll only be able to keep the most important and precious items you own. This process can be enlightening and incredibly freeing, especially on the other side of it when you’re down to just the essential and most important items. Instead of your stuff owning and controlling you, you gain control and stay on top of the stuff.

  2. 2.Design and Organization

    To make a tiny house work for you, the design and organization of the space will be key components for success. Once you’ve pared down your possessions and you know what you’re keeping, it’s time to create a living space that will house and incorporate these important items. Many tiny houses have shelving and storage incorporated into every wall to utilize this space effectively. Consider shallow shelves as opposed to deeper shelves to make it easier to access your items. The kitchen will need to be a space with efficient design and storage to enable you to cook effectively. Many tiny houses include an outdoor cooking area for use when the weather permits.

  3. 3.Less to Maintain

    A large home – and all the stuff inside of it – takes an incredible amount of time and effort to maintain. What with organizing, reorganizing, cleaning and maintenance, many people find that maintaining a standard home consumes a large part of the day – and a lifetime. With a tiny home, there’s less to maintain. Organization will be a must to maintain order, but with everything in its place, your work will be done. You won’t have multiple bathrooms to scrub and scour and rooms to dust and vacuum.

  5. 4.Reduced Expenses

    A tiny house has reduced overhead, which should dramatically reduce your living expenses. In fact, many people who have made the move to a tiny house find that they are able to live debt-free. This often enables people to work less because expenses will be much less than average. In fact, many people even get creative with the type of tiny house they build, enabling them to build it without the assistance and services of professional contractors.

  6. 5.Simple Living

    With a tiny house, gone are the days when running upstairs to the bedroom to get something is a hassle. When you live in a tiny house, it takes mere seconds to retrieve items or find objects because everything is close by and easily accessible. It’s difficult to lose things when you don’t own a jumbled mess of items. You’ll have less to manage, so your style of living becomes simpler and less frazzled. When you have a tiny house, you adopt a new mentality as well. Unlike so many people who have a drive to constantly find new and better things to add to their collections, you know you don’t have the space to buy and add more “stuff” in your home, so you spend your time and energy elsewhere.

  7. 6.Smaller Footprint

    If you’re looking for a way to reduce your footprint and impact on the environment, a tiny house can be the ideal solution. With the average American house topping 2,000 square feet, the greenhouse gases it emits can be staggering. By living in a compact house, you reduce your own personal sprawl as well as the amount of waste and greenhouse emissions you produce.

  8. 7.Time Outdoors

    By placing your tiny house in a pleasant climate, you’ll have the use of the great outdoors for more of the year. Expand your living areas outdoors by building a deck or patio area. You can use this area for cooking and living space if you add a grill, a countertop for food prep and furniture for sitting. You may also be able to add storage with weatherproof bins and benches.

  9. 8.House on Wheels

    Some people who embrace the tiny house movement opt to create a tiny house on wheels instead of setting up a tiny home in a permanent location. With a tiny house on wheels, you can set it up in different locations as the whim or desire hits you. Follow the warmth and ensure that you’re always living where it’s nice and pleasant outdoors. This alternative technically creates a trailer instead of a house because you can move the house by attaching it to a truck. If you choose this option, research building codes carefully to ensure that you comply with applicable codes.


    It’s entirely possible to apply the “less is more” attitude in a real way to your life. Living happily in a tiny house may take creativity and ingenuity, but many people find that this new and different lifestyle fits. Learn about the tiny house movement to see whether it would work for you. Drop by the Red Beacon website, too, for more ideas and tips that may get you started down the tiny house road.

Find Handyman Services Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 24 hours or less.