How do you feel about clutter? Do you wish you were born in the 1950s? How much do you think about trees?
These are silly questions to answer a serious question: Are you, or is someone you know, a tiny houser, a member of that fast-growing movement that prioritizes experiences over stuff and space?
People shrink their lives for a variety reasons; and there are as many kinds of tiny houses as there are people who own them.
But a few things are the same. Here are five signs there might be a tiny houser in your life … even if it’s you.
You are not a hoarder. This is maybe the most important, and most obvious, barrier, experts said.
"Going beyond basic needs leads to clutter, which gets in the way of how you enjoy life," said Zack Giffin, co-host of FYI’s "Tiny House Nation."
But if you have the ability to make intelligent use of space — and actually throw things away – then you might be cut out for this minimalistic lifestyle.
“There's a transition that has to take place on a number of levels … spiritual, mental, academic, physical, commercial,” said Andrew Odom, who runs the tiny house website Tinyr(E)volution. “Living tiny is not about taking 2,000 square feet of house and shoving it into 200 square feet.”
You have a creative side. This is affordable housing, not boring housing. Limiting your resources doesn't mean you have to limit your creativity. With limited space, it can be easier (and cheaper) to decorate.
"It's such a fun project because there's so much creativity involved. It's all about lowering the demands on people in terms of resources without taking away from the quality of life," Giffin said.
Creative elements can translate to a person's home, regardless of its size. "Just because we're going small, doesn't mean that we're not creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind spaces,” Giffin said.
You appreciate the past. House sizes have grown steadily over the years, as have home prices, and some people are buying homes they can't afford with more space than they need.
Giffin said this is unsustainable. The tiny house movement is its opposite.
"What we're calling 'tiny houses' now were normal houses in the '50s," he said. "I believe that the movement is returning back from the expansion of our living spaces."
You are eco-conscious. Tiny houses mean less space – which also means fewer appliances and a cheaper utility bill, giving homeowners the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint.
"I think tiny houses address a broad range of issues that our country and the world are facing right now," Giffin said. "It's easy to feel like your hands are tied when it comes to economic and environmental issues.
“With tiny houses, you can have an impact."
You know how to live within your means. If living lavishly isn't a necessity, then you're the perfect candidate for a tiny house.
"What might be considered tiny for a one-person home is completely different for a five-person family," Giffin said. "The word 'tiny' is a relative term and it comes down to intelligent use of space."
Tiny housing challenges its occupants to live not just cheaply, but simply.
"It's a matter of knowing what you truly need versus what you might want in terms of space," Giffin said. "The lifestyle really comes down to covering your bases in terms of your need for safety, security and food in your belly."
This article is presented in collaboration with the Savannah College of Art and Design. Visit the website for information on their programs and course offerings.