As with the shift in trend of access over ownership, our homes are also getting smaller. Although this isn’t necessarily by choice. “The Case for Space” report written by The Royal Institute of British Architects’ claims the UK has the smallest new build homes in Western Europe.
Big is Better. Right? Our overconsumption has contributed to the boom of the self-storage industry. According to the SSA, the UK generates revenues of about £355m with over 250,000 self-storage customers. The US is even bigger at $24bn – ever seen Storage Wars on the TV? Hmmm, indeed.
Why buy so much stuff that you can’t even store it in your own home? It’s predicted that 80% of items in UK and US homes are used less than once a month. Do you even need it?
I have been excited to see the rise of “the tiny house movement” and inspired by the minimalistic way of life. It’s understandable that this trend saw a particular boost as a result of the property crisis and global recession, with the US taking it up a lot quicker than the UK.
This alternative outlook on living is not only significantly more affordable but advocates also argue that it offers an ecologically-friendly alternative. Prices start around £6,500 with many firms using reclaimed lumber and solar panels that generate more than they use. Plus, they can be built on wheels so moving house will never be so easy!
Should 2015 be a time when we begin to question our overly lavish lifestyles? Do we really need to surround ourselves with so much clutter to live a happy and fulfilling life? Maybe it’s time to think small.