Are you planning to downsize your home?

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Proposed rule of thumb: “Is it connected to another dwelling? If so, it’s not a ‘tiny home’, it’s just you getting screwed by a real estate market”


Um… Isn’t that just a townhouse?

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-Aaaaand… Here it is! Ain’t it cute? Just two hundred thousand pounds!
-That’s… that’s the broom’s closet.
-Call it tiny home! Easy to clean, and comes with its own broom. It´s a snip!
-It’s under this guy’s stairs! Inside HIS home!
-Nay nay nay, call it housing complex!
-I don’t know…
-C’mon! It’s a bargain! It’s only forty minutes (driving) from your workplace!
-But… it’s quite expensive…
-You can have the keys tomorrow!
-Mmmm DONE! I’ll take it!

My home is already under 900 s.f.

Any smaller and I can’t get fat in my dotage.


…but where will I put my Dodge Power Wagon collection? No, not models. Actual Dodge Power Wagons.
(Not me, just someone I know.)

So these “micro condos” are the size of an average NYC studio or one bedroom in $1500-$3000 per month bracket? Yeah most people living in those are desperate for something cheaper and/or larger.

Also this whole fad for “minimalist”, small house, get rid of all your stuff living just strikes me as fetishising poverty. There’s something to be said for deliberately living below your means. But speaking as some one who’s spent a fair bit of time having nothing, coming from families that spent generations having less than nothing. It’s not simpler or purer or whatever smug lifestyle you’d like to get lauded for living. And it’s certainly not any easier unless you’re wealthy enough that what you already have is pretty easy.

It’s just less. Less than the other guy, less than you want, less than you need. What it is more of is more depressing.


I think it makes sense to downsize a bit, considering how digital equipments, document and books had all but vanished into convergence devices and digital storage. Also, appliances take less and less space for more capacity (there are limits to how much you can shrink washers and fridges, of course). But then again, it’s probably really about financial constraints of middle class living.

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There are things that cannot be downsized well. A drill press, a 3d printer, a laser, all sorts of machining equipment, stock of material and new and old and spare parts… Granted, the computers got smaller. But a lot of things did not.


It’s dedicating yourself to a life of simplicity and minimalism. It’s the difference between having 5 shirts in the closet vs.50 shirts, of which you only wear 5 anyway. It’s about trimming the fat. Poverty is different. I grew up poor too. Poverty is like only having 3 shirts and no laundry facilities.


… …

“Honey, we can’t downsize our house 'cause of the lasers I need!!!”

Can you believe that is the second time I have heard that in a week? Do I frateranize with supervillains (am I a supervillain!? (Holy shit))


Self promotion - skip if it offends you on principal:
My collection of modestly sized modern styled house designs, and I’ll also show you how to make them very energy efficient:

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I like this one, courtyards rule.


Considering that we don’t really use one room and most of the basement yeah we could downsize. Then again the mortgage payment is less than some 2 bedroom apartments and definitely less than 3 bedroom ones which would be needed if a home office is required so yeah thats an issue.

That could be doable if I trim down my warhammer stuff a bit and really it needs it anyway.

You guys scoff, but I’m serious about downsizing. 11 years ago, I sold a 8K SF house in San Francisco to move into a 5K SF house in Oakland. A year ago I started building a 2K completely self-sufficient 1-storey home – 16K rainwater tank, 14.7kWh solar, all electric, 2bdrm, 2bath home, with all wireless lights, security, door locks, thermostats, radiant heat in concrete (yes, the eco kind) floors – with a 1-car garage for my Leaf. (In my former profession, we call that Bleeding Edge.)

I am building a not-really-small-but-maybe-moderate-sized home that not only will use zero resources, but will actually make more electricity than I use, and if I’m conscientious, will provide 100% of my water needs. It’s a pleasant, light-filled home with a few large rooms, an IKEA kitchen, and the most spectacular view of the San Francisco Bay that you will ever see. The closets are small, and all the shower/laundry water is recycled for irrigation.

Some of us don’t do it for the price, we do it because we believe that using less resources and living kindly on this earth is the right thing to do. So don’t be so hard on these 20-somethings. They are learning early to live smartly with less resources.


I live in Sydney, which is ruinously expensive. It’s all been sharehouses until my current place, which is a basement conversion. I’m a private person and getting my own place has been fantastic.

It has a lounge, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. The bedroom is too noisy from the neighbours’ upstairs and outside foot traffic, so I have my bed in the lounge (it’s a sofa too if it needs to be) and have turned the bedroom into a (very) small workshop, gym and storage room.

It’s the first time I’ve ever had a whole room of my own to just mess around in without requiring constant management and tidying to avoid turning my own living quarters into an embarrassing bachelor cave, and it’s incredibly liberating. I dream of a garage, even a double garage. I’d love a space that big to make music and work on larger carpentry projects.

Living in a small place is fine. Lacking space for basic human activity and socialising in your own home sucks.


Watching “Tested” will make you even more jealous. All those glorious tools!

There’s a big difference between scoffing at the tiny house movement, and scoffing at greedy developers taking advantage of the movement to sell tiny, shitty apartments and roll in dough.


The article says “Americans” are downsizing, but then the example is from Toronto. Not sure if it’s the Beeb or Boing Boing who made the geography slip, but the comments here show it’s a world wide thing.

Toronto’s market has gotten weird. I could only afford to buy a condo half the size of what I was renting – in the same neighbourhood. I’m glad I downsized, because housecleaning has also been minimised, and while the space is smaller, the amenities are better.