Micro-Living: Are Small Spaces the Next Big Thing?

Featured Image from Tiny Eco Homes


Micro-Living refers to tiny living spaces that are deliberately designed not to conform to minimum space standards. Whilst some people live this way out of necessity, micro-living is becoming an extremely popular choice for people worldwide as an offshoot of the broader minimalist movement. In this post, we explore why micro-living is becoming so popular.


One pretty obvious reason why downsizing might be a popular choice is that it gives people the opportunity to save money. Whether you buy or rent, size is usually the best indicator of price after location. Generally, the smaller your property, the less you pay out each month on rent or mortgage payments relative to other properties in the same area.

The cost of utilities and household bills also tends to correlate to the size of a property – think of the extra energy it takes to power a large house or the council tax banding associated with having more rooms. Downsize your space, downsize your bills.

Another way micro-living can save you money is by limiting the space you have available to accumulate things. Which cost money. It forces people to be selective about the material items they buy, leaving more money in their pocket and less in the store. So, for practical money-saving reasons, micro-living is a great idea. But, for many people, the appeal goes much deeper than that…

Minimalist Lifestyle

The minimalist lifestyle generally refers to the rejection of the consumerist notion that material possessions can bring happiness. Minimalists seek to reduce the number of material possessions they have, with each item they own being justified as something which is necessary, useful or bringing joy.Of the many reasons that minimalism continues to grow in popularity is the sense of escape it offers to the mainstream culture which, for many people, has caused nothing but stress and dissatisfaction. People, in western societies at least, increasingly feel overworked, underpaid and that their lives lack meaning. When they turn to minimalism, they free up time and space for the things that really matter such as people and spending time doing what they love.

Micro-living is one expression of a minimalist lifestyle; when people drastically downsize, they necessarily must have minimal possessions because they simply cannot fit them into their property. Tiny living spaces directly challenge the long-held value that we have put on the idea of property and property ownership in western capitalist societies.

Solving the World’s Problems

For some people, micro-living is not simply a personal choice but rather a solution to many of the modern problems we are facing in the world today. Of these problems, the primary one that comes to mind is overpopulation. We simply don’t have enough space to keep building houses for the ever-growing population. Micro-living offers a way of solving this problem – if we all live in tiny houses, or similar solutions, more of us can squeeze onto the finite space we have available.

Another major issue that micro-living can go some way towards helping is the environmental crisis. Our properties, and the things we fill them up with, use vital resources which are depleting at an alarming rate. Smaller properties which demand us to buy less stuff are perhaps one part of the solution. Where micro-living really makes headway in this argument is when reclaimed materials and resources are used to create the living spaces and they are designed to be super eco-friendly in their energy usage.

As well as environmental decline and overpopulation, micro-living is also seen by some as a possible solution to the homelessness crisis. Smaller properties are often more accessible to those on a low income who may otherwise have nowhere to live. In some places, experiments have been done using shipping containers as temporary housing for the homeless, which is one example of micro-living in practice.

So whilst micro-living can not claim to be the complete solution to any of these major problems, it is perhaps a creative element that, in combination with other things, can make a real difference.Whether for practical, ideological or ethical reasons, micro-living appeals to many people. Whilst some people value their space too much to drastically downsize, the micro-living trend is a great example of the growing innovation we are seeing surrounding living spaces.


Tiny House

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