Tiny Houses, Trailer Homes and Urban Camping

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After a couple of job changes and residential moves in the last 15 years, I have become interested in living more simply — and with fewer material possessions — to both save financially but also to reduce the amount of real estate and belongings that become ‘life suckers’. My attention, energy, and time should be spent on growing in safety and comfort — not maintaining an expanse of toys in a losing battle for modern happiness.

There are a lot of options out there for simplifying and downsizing your residential footprint… I’ll be examining as many cost-effective ideas as I can find. Here is a basic, starter-list to give you a sense for what I’m talking about:

  • Move into a smaller home – Lower cost, smaller space for accumulation of junk, less to maintain.
  • Move into a ‘tiny house’ – Not for the faint-of-heart, these houses can be so small that they sit on trailers that can be pulled by a mid-size pickup (not for travelling; but for relocating).
  • Move into a Mobile Home – Usually much larger than a ‘Tiny House’, and relocatable with the help of professional specialists, these ‘temporary’ dwellings have been a favorite for lower-income living around the world for decades… but can cost almost as much as a normal residential home… but usually sits on rented land with utilities available. The advantage is that much of the planning has been taken care of for you.
  • Move into an RV (‘Recreational Vehicle’) – More mobile, less space. Many people find, after traveling in an RV, that the cost and effort of locating RV-friendly utilities is a worthwhile sacrifice when compared with the alternative (‘normal’) needs of maintaining a full-size home, a yard, a Homeowners Association, and all the stuff that will accumulate to fill in that space.
  • Move into your vehicle (car, pickup truck, or van) – Obviously, we’re now talking about so little living space that it would only be selected by those who are forced out of their previous homes — whether for financial or other related reasons. But looking at sites devoted to the practice all over the internet, there are growing throngs of individuals and families who are left with no other option. With a minimum of shelter, utilities become more a factor of location than cost, and storage of food an issue of daily temperature, while a rented storage unit (or a friend’s garage) serves to hold anything that won’t fit, or would be a great loss if stolen.
  • Full Hobo – No one chooses this until they feel they don’t have a choice… but many who do, choose not to return to normal residential living, even if their finances improve to allow it. I may be looking into studies and articles about why this is.

LINK: “Tiny houses for the homeless thrive in Eugene: Would this work in Portland, other cities?” (OregonLive.com)
LINK: “‘Tiny houses’ no solution to the unaffordability crisis” (Rabble.ca)
LINK: TheOffGridProject.com
LINK: “The Off Grid Project” (YouTube.com)
LINK: “The Do It Yourself World FORUM” (TheDoItYourselfWorld.com)
LINK: TheDIYWorld.com
LINK: TinyHouseTalk.com
LINK: RVTravel.com
LINK: “Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars” (YouTube.com)

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