We The Tiny House People

We The Tiny House People

2012, Environment  -   146 Comments
Ratings: 8.53/10 from 199 users.

Chernobyl HeartThis is journey into the tiny homes of people searching for simplicity, self-sufficiency, minimalism and happiness by creating shelter in caves, converted garages, trailers, tool sheds, river boats and former pigeon coops.

Basically, Dirksen made a documentary on people living in tiny houses. For around five years she was traveling the world and filming these segments.

Kirsten Dirksen is co-founder of faircompanies.com and a Huffington Post blogger. She has worked for MTV, Oxygen, The Travel Channel and Sundance Channel.

From the author: I still live in a relatively spacious 1000 square foot apartment with my family of 4 (soon-to-be 5) and I’m not looking to downsize, but I can’t get enough of these tiny homes. I’m sure there’s something Thoreauvian in my attraction to the examined lives of those who inhabit them.

I continue to be impressed by how so many Tiny House People have been able to let go of their stuff and not despite, but because of this, find a certain calm. This very Buddhist/Gandhian/Stoic concept of non-attachment as a path to happiness is hardly new.

Over 2 millennia ago Socrates counseled, "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less."

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146 Comments / User Reviews

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  1. Is everyone that lives in a tiny house a gay male

  2. Interesting idea for a 30 minute show... stretched into a 1.5 hour ramble.

  3. Boring. The narrators voice is putting me to sleep.

  4. having a small home + the world as your garden.
    i`ve learnt to minimize over the years. less is more.
    i`mm planning on living more in the woods with a couple of tents.
    grow my own food.
    to be free.

  5. If he gets to anoint himself as "fair" then I get to anoint myself as "smart, good looking and humble enough to admit it.

  6. Some day before I die I want to live in "Tiny House"

  7. this was pretty awesome!

  8. I love the idea of small houses. I don't need a ton of space. As long as I have a way of making food/storing food, a bathroom, a bedroom, and maybe a lounge area. That's enough! Trying to decide if I want to build a tiny house. I love the idea of building and designing my own house.

  9. I love this idea, but being a parent I don''t think it would work for me. I have travelled a fair bit but now I feel is the time to put down roots. Fair play to everyone who can live like this. I love the idea of low overheads and I try to integrate this into my lifestyle too.

  10. Buy a plot with planning permission and then get the plan approved?
    You'd better gave a lot of cash, in the UK, anyway!

  11. I love this movement along with minimalism, unfortunately, being married it's not possible since the other half isn't on the same page and is the main contributor. I'd prefer to live with minimal to no debt personally. I'd love to have a tiny home with touches of Japanese design. Being free of debt would leave us to do whatever we want, especially travel but oh well, all I can do is dream about it and hope one day we got enough money to do so.

  12. I wish I had something like that to live in. My very own home...

  13. while I agree that her voice is rather annoying as a narrator this is a well made documentary. the homes, the design, the people and the lifestyle is inspiring. however I find it rather puzzling that she would omit japan from her documentary....arguably the motherland of incredibly well designed, functional small spaces. they are far more ahead of any other country in the world when it comes to this concept and have been doing it for far longer. I was really looking forward to seeing that. but alas no......

  14. It is a nice idea, but trying to raise a family in that would be crazy.

  15. I've lived in small places for the last 15 years ... a shed, a tent, a small room in a warehouse, and now a 12' x 8' x 14' (high) room in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. It's easy to live in small places and it motivates you to only keep what you need and to eliminate the unnecessary. Own less, live more.

  16. There is no argument against the cost obviously. Fun, would be to try and design a normal size home but just as cheep.

  17. I live in a small flat, not this small, but it's small. It's possible obviously and a very common architectural concept. But I'm just about ready to kill someone about now, when I'm in a rush nothing works, if you fart the hole house smells like fart, in the summer you boil, in the winter you freeze, the size renders the insulation useless, I'm ready for a normal adequate size home. Small is not as functional or practical as it looks, it's a bit like the Swiss army knife, you have everything but at a cost, and the cost is functionality.

  18. The commentary is hard to listen to. Sounds so unnatural.

  19. I am going to start building one. "Simple living, high thinking" - A.C. Bhaktivedanta, Swami.

  20. i need english subtitles of all TDF. most of my friends want to watch these films but they cant speak english so i want to translate them. how and where can i find these subtitles?

  21. Less space means less chores.

    haha. Sort of. The more space, the larger the capacity to mess it up spectacularly but as a small space dweller (my house is about the size of a 1 bedroom apartment in sq footage.) you have to CLEAN MORE FREQUENTLY because a small space is less forgiving of ANY amount of clutter. That's something to keep in mind.

  22. This is a great documentary. I've been a small house aficionado since about 2006. But her voice... I find it very hard to listen to her ponderous, zombified drone that she mistakes for engaging. This is not a voice that should narrate anything.

  23. Absolutely astonishing!
    One of the greatest documentaries I have seen yet!

    Thank you!
    You inspire me!

  24. It is sad that our human population has exponentially exploded to the point that young people are paying 800 per month for 78 sq feet. Humans are adaptable and necessity is the mother of invention. Simple life gives rise to clarity of thought and calmer emotions. I don't guess we can go much smaller now.

  25. Why everything what they build in US looks like s*it? Boring documents. Why she dont go Japan to look really innovative small homes?

  26. I will NEVER complain again that I don't have enough space!! I have too much stuff that I don't need and don't make good use of the space I have. Thank you for this wonderful documentary.

  27. I'll not comment on the film, but rather the ideas expressed.

    First, a disclaimer, since I'm sure I'll be stepping on a few toes here. The tiny homes were well-made, tasteful, efficient, and attractive in their own ways, and I can appreciate much about them.

    However, what I see here is trying to make lemonade out of lemons, instead of rejecting the constant barrage of lemons.

    There are reasons why real estate is expensive. It's because the land is taken from the commons by real estate speculators aided by the state.

    Pretend all you want that your reason for living in a tiny space is because it confirms your buddhist values, but it's pretty clear that the main reason people are taking up this lifestyle, is because they have to. Zoning, rent, and other external pressures.

    It's a lifestyle that doesn't challenge the status quo in the slightest, despite how underground these folks want to think they are. It's survival capitalism, and all these value judgments, and universalizing the subjective, only go to show how far the wool has been pulled over our eyes.

    Rarely were any actual numbers mentioned in this film. Seemed mostly middle class white people buying into some pre-packaged self-help trip.

    Demand more from those who control us. In fact, demand that we no longer be controlled. Being happy with food in your belly is a poor way to deal with exploitation.

    These are individualistic solutions to social problems. These lifestyles might well suit some, but all this talk about 'realizing what's important' is horsesh*t. Don't tell me what's important. You don't want a garden, pets, or skis/camping gear and other things that require storage space, let alone space to work on projects, then fine, but this movie was extremely condescending towards anyone who doesn't fit the mold.

    In fact, as the movie makes clear, there's no real challenge to the American Dream here. And by the look of the architecture and designs shown in many of the houses, it's really not that cheap either. Unaffordable is still unaffordable. $600,000 for a tiny house? WTF.

    This isn't that far from the mainstream, these people have hardly shaken off their attachments, and these innovative solutions are mere reforms. What's needed is some radical analysis.

    1. Right on.

  28. There is definitely something appealing about tiny homes. My first house was way too big at 2300 sq ft. I hardly ever even went into most of the rooms, so I sold it and bought a 1400 sq ft house. And subsequently discovered that that one is also too big - again, with some rooms I never even enter and others that I only pass-through.

    I don't think I would want to live in one of those 120 sq ft house for very long, but a 400 sq ft house in Hawaii sounds pretty good. Living aboard a sailboat has always appealed to me, too.

  29. Does anybody know Earth is a regenerating planet? We can blow up the United States and re build it six months later. In fact, that would be a great idea, and you could shift all the American's to Canada so they can help build all the wind farms and hydroelectric generators we need now. And you can pay them twice as much as you're paying them at Government Motors of America.

  30. A midsection mega mansion is not a "tiny home"

    Ok, no top level for all the unused gym equipment, sold that and
    bought all the assets that you don't own (ha ha)

    Oh ya, and now I'll tell you what I think is sustainable because
    I'm apart of some club I don't know I'm even been apart of
    and have been since the beginning of time.

    Give me a break. Tiny house people. More like tiny brain people.

  31. Fantastic docu. I have recently been looking for exactly this kind of inspiration and will now definitely put my thumbprint on the land I have in mind.
    I aim to build a small house in Cambodia with a fruit and vegetable garden and would be grateful for any advice.
    The land is near the beach in Sihanoukville .
    Please contact (no personal info allowed) moderator"

    1. WOW.......if you're looking to share this land/home with someone, I'm available. Sounds like a great idea. I'm willing to relocate. :)

  32. I enjoyed this documentary, I did not find the music in the least bit annoying and thought it was narrated beautifully - however I found some of the "tiny houses" were not much smaller than the "2 up 2 down" terraced houses built in Victorian times in which families still live in my hometown of Belfast and also in other cities in Ireland and the UK such as Dublin, Manchester, Glasgow etc. The cave house was not tiny by my standards and neither was the boat, however they were fantastic to see in such detail.

    My confusion with the documentary is that millions of Americans live in static mobile homes (trailers) which are no bigger than some of the apartments which were included and there was no mention or sight of any of these at all - I find that strange - surely the "Trailer" is as American as the romanticised log cabin and much more common nowadays.

    I also found it unusual that modern camper vans and the culture of Roma and other travelling people was not even referred to in passing this is odd as they having been living such pared down lives for hundreds of years.

    It has certainly made me questions the square footage of pointless "stuff" cluttering up my life and inspired me to convert my attic space into a small self-contained "little house" where I can hide away from my family when necessary.

  33. Heck, it would only take 2/3rds, or perhaps 3/4ths, of the continental U.S. to fit the word's entire population in a comfortable city like density... Not a New York style density, I'm talking Sarasota, FL density, very comfortable. Using a New York style density, it would only take a State the size of Texas, perhaps a hair bigger, so I really don't get why people feel they need to live in such cramp quarters. What gives?

    1. I think the idea is first, that some of these methods for space efficiency can make it easier to live in places where density is very high and space is at a premium, such as New York and Barcelona. Secondly, a smaller space requires fewer resources to construct, maintain, heat, cool, etc., and so winds up saving natural resources.

  34. Uh, you do all realize that there isn't a shortage of space on this planet, right? The entire world's population could fit in Los Angeles, shoulder to shoulder. So, why is the thought of living in a trailer-like-space so radical, as if we need to see a documentary on it? The concept is nothing new and it does little to "save the planet", very little. This seems more like propaganda to me, not a documentary. If it is a documentary, it is made by people who don't really understand the factors at play in this world.

  35. This doc was absolutely incredible! Very inspiring

  36. There is nothing wrong with contentment by sincere individual choice. Just keep all options and take care not to get carried off or lose both your home and the land of your offspring at the end to be stacked without consent in ever tinier and more expensive rental habitat boxes and urns.

  37. Thanks, I enjoyed your story and video perspective. I am a art, Photography student with some video background and enjoyed your work. I am going to try and capture the Seattle movement.


  38. An excellent introduction to a radically different approach to habitation. It inspires a creative perspective. It is not a contest to see how small a space, any more than how large a space I "live"in. Rather the opposite. What parameters best free me and meet my needs. A favorite quote, by Erich Hoffer: "It is impossible to get enough of what you don't need to make you happy."

  39. Brilliant film, I am well into small living (but not necessarily tiny living), but someone else can save the planet, I am too old for that! Great for ideas, but we need more people to be interested in order to get this ball moving.

  40. Bank of America directors must be panicking because of this trend. The days of people chaining their lives to a home loan that they could never pay are coming to an end and very fast. Next in line, college education. Harvard, watch out!

  41. Anyone interested might want to check out the Katrina Cottages. These plans were designed as an alternative to FEMA mobile homes. They start at 200 sf and have many floorplans. You can even get some as kits through Lowes.

    1. Just be careful. In our area, you can't build anything less than 400 sf, even in the areas with no building codes on how the structure is actually built! Also, sewage concerns must be met before being allowed to reside in that dwelling, regardless of any other factors. There are some here who disobey these rules, and many others who are kicked off their secluded land/home by the county for not complying. Just something to remember.

  42. I can't imagine paying $800 a month for 78 sf.

  43. The background music does nothing to advance the story.

  44. I thought I was going to watch a documentary about people living in tiny houses, not a documentary about gay people who can't afford to live in big houses.

    1. dude, 10% of the human population is gay. (to give you an idea of how big that number is: it's the same percentage of Americans of African descent) Homosexuality has been observed in all manner of mammals and thoroughly in all primates, -so get over it! Some people are gay. Who cares? Oh that's right, latent homosexuals frustrated by their inability to be true to their own sexual orientation do. Or and small-minded uneducated bigoted people; take your pick.

  45. I'm all for simplicity but, that teenage boy who wants a Composting Toilet in his tiny space, I draw the line at that point

  46. Im not a homosexual architect so i do not know if the community would accept me

    1. No? What kind of job do you have then, Doug?

  47. great doc gave me some ideas for my tiny rent-a-closet

  48. You have inspired me to get a tiny home when i am out of college. Thank you!

  49. marvelous documentary and so inspiring!

  50. I did enjoy the home in Spain. The nature, simplicity and view of the mountains, caught my eye. I could pick up from Canada and live like this in another country. It makes it very difficult to live like this here, for the simple fact that we have bitter winters. We practically NEED a house, and the sad reality is, that a small 900 square foot home, goes for $200,000 in Canada. I remember the days where homes cost $50,000 and it was a decent home. Now, we are lucky to find a shack (literally a shack) for that price!!

  51. I absolutely loved this documentary and am inspired to downgrade and live small! Thank you so much for the research and the footage. Just goes to show that we do not need lots of stuff to make us who we are.

  52. Ya know , I think with today's economy (US) a tiny house is not a bad insurance investment. (If your single) or young and don't have a family to support. It's mobility provides a huge advantage if society could collapse you could just move to a water resource and bam! you have a living place, and if someone were smart this could become a college style of living. and charge rental space, and having to build this would certaintly prepare one for the many challenges of life both in the work and social realities or perspectives. i like this!

  53. Holly cow so much has this been seen such to little houses videos! Over one hour has been lifted from one video!

  54. terrible music, wish I could silence it without losing the narration

  55. Suddenly my house doesn't seem so small anymore

  56. annoying music,stopped watching after a minute

  57. i lived in apt that was ~80 sq ft. like i have a civic and if somehow it managed its way inside, the car doors would barely have been able to open. it was awful and a nightmare, but it was old, worn-down and disgusting.

  58. This is a fascinating look at the tiny house movement. A number of them were built and sold not far from us on SE Division.

  59. I can't stop thinking about the things Ive seen and learned in this documentary. Im back to watch it a second time. Brilliant work, Kristen!

  60. Great documentary! I am a sideshow artist, I've done street performing and stage work. I KNOW this is my future, I need a tiny house lol

  61. Thank you for this inspiring documentary. I have been following the tiny house movement and am very interested in finding something like this for myself. My advantage I think is that I live in Sonoma County, a Mecca for this kind of forward thinking. I believe this is the wave of the future, maybe not for everyone, but most definitely for those who like me, are ready to live more, in less. :)

  62. One chance, and it is chance, to live and then? never again. So, do you - not someone else.

  63. yeh could do with millions of them in africa,.such lousey slums and this is new idea,.MAYBE


    I was raised in a certain type of northeastern Unites States culture that devotes a HUGE amount of energy (both physical an psychological) into the purchase, maintenance, and decoration of their suburban homes. I knew from a young age that the longer I lived in that environment the crazier and more neurotic I would become. I'm grateful for the life my parents provided me with. My father was a trained architect who was talking about eco design before it was fashionable. A lot of the house renovations he built with his own two hands after sketching them on napkins. I admire this immensely.

    However the constant maintenance and cleaning and upkeep of keeping the house had annoyed me since I was old enough to have to do hours of housework with my mother, constantly keep the counters clean, wash, dry, fold, and maintain the wardrobe that was expected of a "young lady" and spend time around toxic cleaning chemicals. For her, she claims, all this was a labor of love. She worked constantly since she was 12 years old to escape the poverty and alcoholism of much of her family and for her the house is a grand symbol of that escape. Not living that, it is hard for me to have the same feeling towards that home.

    I currently live in a two bedroom apartment with my boyfriend and two cats. I can not fathom living in a larger space, I can barely maintain this space. (Looks around at the messy floor and stove with crumbs on it). My brother is 44 and lives in Ridgewood, Queens, NY and it is a source of great anxiety to my mother (and great admiration by me) that he is able to live in one room (which he fills with live ferns, collected rocks, and crystals). For people like my mother ( a child of the poverty of 1950s Newark) her large Gothic Victorian is a huge source of pride. We moved their when I was 12. We had moved almost ever two years as a child ..always to larger and larger houses. This meant more and more cleaning (which as an adolescent I came to interpret as a total waste of life and a cause of soul death). I found that living in such a sterile orderly environment left me sick for almost a year when I moved out of my home into the dorms. I was so secluded from people (my only brother moved out when I was 2) that my immunity didn't build up. I wasn't encouraged to go out and play because my mom was so afraid of me being kidnapped. The rare friend that was allowed over always said it looked like a museum. I remember being told over and over that the rugs werent clean enough, the clothes not ironed enough, etc. etc. etc....My mom called it a respect for hard earned objects, I called it OCD. As a result, my living spaces tend towards chaos. She has accused me of not having respect for objects. Perhaps that is so. My mom has chilled out a bit since she has retired, but not much. She just buys and buys and buys and is addicted to ebay... i guess its understandable if you worked yourself out of poverty by owning your own business.... i don't know..this doc touched many places in my heart and mind....

    I admire these tiny house people. I am trying very hard to remove things from my life. It's hard. I'm very attached to my books and my plants. Now I'm being pressured by my parents to marry, and "start building a life". I don't understand what this phrase means. I work hard (I teach) and have established a career that I find honor in, my boyfriend and I have been together 6 years and been through countless life experiences together.... isn't that building a life? For them no. Although they won't come out and say it - for them it means marrying and buying a house. I already have thousands of dollars in medical debt from before I had insurance. I can't fathom gaining a mortgage. What a terror! Then not only am I tied down to a debt, but I'm tied down to living in one place! My life dream is to travel! It sounds horrid to me living in one abode for thirty years.... uggggg. They can't understand this and think I am the weirdest of the weird.

    1. You have built (by the sounds of it) a wonderful life. You don't have to answer to anyone but yourself. I think you should show your parents this doco. and your comments and maybe just maybe they will start to understand why so many of us "run screaming" from the thought of a larger house with a large mortgage attached. But if they don't then you've done your best and you just need to move on with your life in the way that makes you happy. Oh and by the way all I can say about the wanderlust is......just do it. There is a huge wide world out there to be discovered and it will change your life in ways you can't imagine. Why don't you do a TEFL course and travel and teach? Then you can go whenever you want and stay for as long as you want. That's what I did and have had the time of my life.
      Good luck and keep living your dream!!!

    2. I think its awesome that you feel this way. I feel quite similar to you and my mother while not living in a Victorian mansion, also equates having "stuff" with being accepted by society, and can't possibly fathom that I live in a 500 sf apartment with NO storage locker - horror of horrors. So keep on doing what you do...you rock! PS: no respect for objects? nah me neither!!

  65. Very interesting documentary.

  66. Lovely.., inspiring documentary.

  67. so many negative comments. I'm shocked, its such a beautiful idea. If everyone lived in a house no larger than they needed (obviously it would be more than 100 square feet for a family of 4) then we could pretty much cure super consumerism. With no extra space for stuff, priorities change. Great doc. I look forward to building my own tiny house.

  68. Was excited to see Jay Schaeffer's little house on here, after having visited it in person last year during an open house. The philosophy of simplification is so attractive. Thank you for a great up-close look at this lifestyle.

  69. Lovely documentary, very inspiring! We should all simplify our lives a bit.

  70. Totally awesome , inspiring, watch it you will enjoy!

  71. Loved it!

  72. So well done! A longtime fan of Thoreau and Walden Pond, I love your references to him and others of note and their pared down lives! Thank you so much for your humble and inspirational narrative!

  73. poor children..

  74. Errrr.....Third world?????? its customary!!

  75. The last house, the one people line up to visit is all made of wood inside, even some 2x8. I thought he would gain quite a bit of space (even inches would be quite a bit) if he used thinner material.
    I suppose it must make it very heavy, imagine the size of the truck one would need to make this a travelling home.

    1. This is off topic so will probably be deleted. I just wanted to say to you, I wasn't trying to drag you into the bs fighting a couple of weeks ago with that poem I wrote. I felt inspired at the time :) You were the only person to comment that there actually was no 'ex-"wife"'. I thought you were the only one to notice the trap I'd employed to try to quiet the fighting I'd stupidly become part of. I wasn't trying to drag you into it, I was amused and impressed that you were the only one to comment on there being no 'wife'. (that's why I picked that random thread to post the poem to you, same as here) You'd be the last person I've read on here I'd expect to join in any stupid fighting, that wasn't my intention and I apologize if it felt like that.
      I just wanted to say that to you. I do like they way your mind works, and wouldn't intentionally insult you. :)

    2. I'll blame my memory, my lack of connecting dots or simply my way of letting go...but i really don't remember what we are talking about here. I like you as i like all people here for different reasons for each (of course some more than others). When someone challenges me, i see it as a mirror always. It gives me a chance to reflect on my reactions, sometimes i bite or should i say i nibble. I am not against anyone here, i am always for myself...not in a vain way in a learning way. This is off topic but i will add....I am a tiny house for a spirit and i have the goal to keep myself warm in times of storms.

  76. I've been thinking... Will these houses stand when the hurricane comes?

    1. Since they are small they should have little windressistance. And if built properly a house like this sholud be relatively heavy. And why build a house where a hurricane could destoy it.
      Thats where the good old cave comes in handy. Try blowing one of these down:)

  77. I love the idea of my own self contained "shack" without being bugged by other humans, and being able to roll it out, and away from discord is a BIG plus!

  78. I'm home today with the flu and this has been in the background...the only reason it went past the 5 minute barrier is because the painkillers rended me temporarily senseless and I had no strength to leave the confines of my bed, leaving me helpless against that narrator's voice.
    I await for her next doco - 'We the Tiny Hat People' with the same enthusiasm I await my next bout of influenza.

    1. no, tell us how you REALLY feel.... :-)

    2. @batvette
      I really really feel nothing about these little teeny weeny houses. Honestly, if I ever want one - mine will be disguised as a campervan. x

    3. Oh I think the houses are cute in a silly way, but it was the presentation that made it unwatchable for me-since I wasn't on painkillers (even with sciatica) it made about 45 seconds in before getting the hook. Couldn't see over an hour of nails on a chalkboard boredom.

  79. Packed with vaguely effeminate men (except for the French guys), cute houses, and recurring cameos from two adorable little blonde-haired babies... This whole documentary is a little spine-tingly, like petting an especially affectionate house cat!

  80. Cute, but Monster Trucking Today is being relentlessly requested . . . . Alas! Dynamic Dan wins out over Tiny House People.

  81. Lovely!!

    Sadly I bought a bigger than needed house as I had to house 4/5 kids and a wife...

    ...but my saving grace is I have been able to start up, and now run, a successful "light industrial, 'design and manufacturing' business" entirely from within a low-ceilinged space that's an awkward 'L' shape and just 120sq feet!!

    ...and to think I used to have to earn £10k a year just to be able to afford to commute daily into London!... I now get by, with a HUGE smile on my face, manufacturing stuff efficiently from an area the size of a small shed in the attic.... and just need to convince everyone else here to be a tad more efficient...(& happier!) :D

  82. The documentary completely missed the monolithic dome houses and cabins. Small efficient and disaster resistant homes.
    Have you ever looked around a modern housing developement? There is more house than land. Building smaller and more efficient would do wonders to creating a housing community rather than a collection of social prisions dedicated to the ego.

  83. If you think about it a three bedroom house in which a family lives is like a small town made by interconnected rooms - which in the village's case are the houses of the different family members - and the resources (bathroom) are shared. Thats the problem with such tiny housing, most of the people on this doc were a 1 person family, sure they had guests over but the guests don't bring all the stuff they need to stay for their lives, but with family members everyone has their stuff so naturally the sizes of their houses needs to be tripled or doubled for family members. And with families you want some privacy also, and trust me putting a few millimetre thick sheet between two people (as the teacher had done) won't dampen the sounds of intercourse. ALTHOUGH I do agree that most people have a lot of un-neccesary items, 30 to 50 inch tv, massive cars and some people will even waste room for jacuzzis, the list can go on and on. Nonetheless houses could be smaller but only about 25 to 50 percent depending to where you live.

  84. There's this invention called the camper-trailer, it's pretty neat--expert technicians/engineers premanufacture these 'mobile homes' so that you don't have to build it yourself. You can pick up a use one for pretty cheap! amazing

    1. They're not so cute though, and I don't know if you've spent much time in caravans but they get very condensationy and cold :)

  85. I've just moved from a matchbox to a shoebox! and its like a mansion!

  86. Have been thinking about using a 20´shipping container for a house for some time. Just placing it with the small side down and you get a 2 story house very solid and water proof. With a nice flat roof to grow some vegetables on. And it only uses 6 square meters of land:)

    1. I've seen houses built of those, good idea but the architect went a bit mad and stacked them like lego, could be a lovely tiny house :)

    2. I already know a lovely place at a lake out in the forrest. And the house should be all red to make a nice contrast to it´s natural surrounding. Think it´s important to keep it simple with some good and functional ideas.
      The house on the rooftop in the documentary was nice but it somehow seemed to be overdone. And it surely was not cheap.

    3. I liked the cave house, though I wouldn't call it tiny, just simple. My favourite would have to be the one the hippy chick built with wood from the tip, and then the one the kid was building in his parents garden. They both seemed more in the spirit of tiny house life. I wonder if the authorities are not so keen because they might end up with quirky little shanty towns and travellers. Who knows, personally I think if you own a patch of land or you should be able to live on it any way you like :)

    4. Just do it. I live in a shipping container and I wouldn't swap my little home for the average 2-3 bedroom house for all the tea in china.

    5. Oh that's awesome! Would love to see pics.

  87. This film was great. Althugh I would have liked to see more of the cheaper side of building small houses, seemed when she got to Europe, those houses looked more chic and expensive with all the custom Ikea whatnots.
    The stuff that Jay is doing is fantastic though!
    I pretty much live out of my 90L backpack so one of these houses would be a massive upgrade. The cost of these homes Im sure, are much much much less than a conventional one, AND! Ones only option is not to buy land to put it on, I mean, they had WHEELS!

  88. Interesting.....to each his own!

  89. Blah, blah, blah, minimalistic lifestyles . . . have you seen the cost of building one of these things? With the cost of land to build it on??

    1. In my town the average cost of a two bed flat with no garden, 250k :)

    2. A lot less than 100k. and you dont NEED to buy land to put it on. We humans are creative.

    3. sure they are expensive if you buy the name brand kit from tumbleweed, but you can easily build your own for around $5000.. and you don't have to have land... the point of it is it's mobile, it's built on a trailer.

    4. The whole point with most of them is that they are moveable so you dont need to buy land and they are small enough to get around the housing permits.

      11,000 bucks is WAY more reasonable than 250,000.

  90. Plant a garden outside and you can grow your own food too! Taking a shower from freshly rained rain water must be awesome feeling of freedom.

    Imagine if the roofs had solar panels... and a little mini wind turbine ! Collect your rain water and distill it. You can make drinking water from the muddiest of water by distilling it.

    I live in a 3200 sq foot 2 story house and the amount of garbage we produce is alarming.

  91. What a novel idea. Throughout the years I have always dreamed of owning a house on a lake or near the ocean and having a beautiful landscape and garden, and you know, the size of the house never really entered my mind. This sort of housing actually makes my dream life possible because now all I have to worry about is buying land. It's funny that there's actual laws prohibiting people from building a small home, maybe their argument is that it would be inhumane or too small of a space for someone to live in, but obviously the laws didn't consider this approach. It's not the size of the space, its house you use it. :)

  92. If all the world's housing were divided between all the world's people, everyone, if they were lucky, might get 10 square feet, a leaky roof and no indoor plumbing.

    As someone who has been paying mortgage money out for over 30 years and still owns nothing (I mastered the art of buying high and selling low!) I wish I had thought of this, NO, had the NERVE to do it back when I did think about it, lo these decades ago. Woulda been able to travel the world with the savings both in mortgage interest money, the most sinister invention ever, and the savings in junk I didn't buy.

  93. come visit India -- 90% population is "tiny house People" -- you will be amazed to see how many ppl can you fit in a small house

    1. Another category of "tiny house people" are students or soldiers who live in dorms - lots of smal rooms but with sensible shared facilities and central administration. It's probably a much reasonable way to lower the cost of living and share the work required to maintain housing without sacrificing too much comfort. The "tiny own independent custom-made house" on the other hand sounds like something that appeals to the vanity of people who either can't quite afford the big version or just wish an "adventure".

    2. Totally. I remember when I lived in a dorm in Boston, it was some of the most freeing, engaged in life, nest like feelings of my life.

      I never minded the small spaces, it was always the roommates that pissed me off.

    3. Man I hear you, I hate roommates with a passion lol

    4. I think the challenge in lots of people in a small space is keeping things sanitary. I have not visited India but my friend lived there (her husband is an american with family in India) and she said in the cities especially it is quite easy to become very ill.

  94. Absolutely beautiful. We are 6 living in a two bed flat at the moment. My 17 year old wants more space, most kids that age are straining at the bit anyway and she is not unhappy living close with us all. The other kids hardly even notice, home after all is a place to eat, sleep and be together. My man would happily live in a tent if it was up to him so no worries there. Myself, I love to be with my family, nobody hides in their rooms or closes the door on another, everyone keeps their stuff together because there is no room for mess. I don't want more space to live in, the only thing I would really like is a bigger balcony but we get round that by going to the beach or the parks. The kids have to play on the path which has bought other kids out to play. One of the families I clean for have a house so big that they are further apart in one room than we are in our home :)

    1. that sounds like you're leading a happy life & even though i don't know you personally,i'm happy for you.i bet you have great kids & your
      spouse seems to be a cool cat!reading your post awakes idyllic
      scenery..........just beautiful.

    2. Everything is feeling idyllic right now, life has been a bit of a maelstrom for the last few months. But now the sun is out and everything is beaming. Sometimes it's so easy to count your blessings, Cheers ;)

    3. That's so cool. I bet you have a lot of quality time with your family and your kids learn about sharing and efficiency really early and well

  95. This documentary is comforting and refreshing. Sharing it.

  96. Great Doc', really enjoyed the look at living small. Reminds me of my Navy days. Thanks.

  97. i thought this was gonna be about the tiny people who are living under the floor and in the walls of my house.

    1. you got those too?

    2. "i thought this was gonna be about the tiny people who are living under the floor and in the walls of my house."

      They steal your socks, keys and TV remote ?

  98. I am inspired, or should I say 're-inspired' ?
    I have been thinking about boats and trailer homes for a long time now. The fact that they are a home that move with you tickles me pink.
    Maybe one day ill look into one of those free boat things and fix one up.

    As for current living conditions, my bedroom is around 176 sq feet out of a shared house, all I would need outside of that on my own is a kitchen, bath and a small workshop.

    1. There are portable stoves and refrigerators you can buy for your room, if your house owner will allow. Personally, I 've been thinking about outfitting a van with such things for traveling, a house on the go. The technology is all there nowadays to be free and self sufficient if you want, just be willing to give up some comforts.

    2. Yeah, there's plenty options for small electric or even propane camping appliances. All it takes is a little motivation and capital to commit to it and of course, the willingness to leave some of the modern comforts behind. Personally, If I were to go 'wild and free' I would build something like a VAWT and do everything up electric. Find a site, deploy. Could even potentially push onto the power grid and have the electric company pay your site and utility fees :P

  99. This is WAYYY COOL!!!

  100. One step to the right Direction :D

  101. I just find it funny how they are talking about 400 square feet for the teacher fella as having to make choices and that strange bed thing. I live in 38 square meter apartment (~410 square feet) and I haven't seen any reason to make such compromises, I have big kitchen with dinner table for two, I have big living room with couch that can be opened as bed, I also have big LCD TV and in a corner I have my computer set up, my bed is normal bed in a far corner and it has this small curtain I can pull over it to make it dark/private (so it has walls on two sides, closet on one side and the curtain on the fourth.

    Only time this place feels small is when I'm having a get together with more than 5 people, otherwise this is more than enough space for one person to live in (and I guess it could be enough for two people, but you really don't have any private space then :P)

    1. Good point. For many people 400 square feet isn't tiny for a single person. Though to most Americans (at least those outside the big cities) it's generally considered small. And this particular teacher really likes to entertain and have more than 5 people over for big meals and parties so I think 400 square feet for him could feel small if he couldn't fold away most of his apartment.

    2. Well, pretty much same situation and impressions here. 38 sqm is plenty for a single household. I used to live in a 12 sqm dorm room earlier and had no complaints either.

      The only "drawbacks" is that friends and family who are used to bigger appartments will hesitate or refuse to visit and you can't use your property to brag/impress people. The compensation is that you don't waste rent/mortgage for space which you effectively don't use, what would otherwise be your "PR budget" can go into savings.

      I spent most of the time in a much smaller working area anyway. The only practical reasons for the 38 sqm is to have enough room for the kitchen and bathroom.

      Exteriors do matter a lot, however. Having clean air, clean streets, gardens, trees, beautiful views, no crime, pleasant neighbors is more important than having lots of own housing space.

    3. In Israel people can choose to live in a Kibbutz its a self contained city in a way you work there live there supply what you need granted its been a while that i visited one but something that was green a long time ago

  102. An interesting watch. Lifestyle choice . . . to each their own.

  103. sign of the times!i personally love these small housing boxes,reminds me of my state sanctioned holidays,where you maximize comfort by enjoying all the small things which one takes for granted.i've always been a minimalist,it's my life philosophy,but sooner or later,we're all be sitting in a small boat when everything continues as it is!minimalists UNITE!!!!!!
    (shoplifting is a virtue.......new-age rebellion!lol'ly)