Could you live in a house smaller than a large closet?

Most of us would have to get used to it, but it is doable. A student that hasn’t accumulated material things would fit more readily. The rest of us would have to do a lot more that de-clutter. More like divesting of material possessions.

The Tumbleweed homes are well done. There is an elegance in such efficient design and we see parallels in motor homes, boats and vacation homes. Pioneer log and sod homesteading structures are also scale related precedents.

Houses are sheltering structures that fundamentally provide a dry place to sleep and the means to heat (or cool) it. Then a room is added to store, cook and serve food. Then a room for bathing and plumbing… a room for entertaining…a room for granny…a room for baby…   …   …   …   …   …a home office…a home theatre…

It’ll never actually stop. We naturally like the convenience of…everything under one roof. When there is the means (usually finances) the trend is to larger and larger (or multiples and more complexity.)

That inertia like tendency will continue till countervailing trends introduce change. One of those will be the ‘green building ‘ awareness and rising cost of planetary ecological limitations.

In that light Tumbleweed homes are right on trend. Realtors used to describe smaller homes as ‘starter homes’ and while that will always be apt, it would also be wise to market them as ‘retirement / aging in place’ homes.

Any modest, easy to maintain home, especially those adapted or easily adaptable for handicapped access, will always have a solid market resale value no matter what’s happening in the finance markets.


In the past, we’ve looked at the largest house in the world. What about the smallest?  How about eighty-nine square feet? It’s not a rambling ranch for a family of five, but it is the home of Jay Shafer, an artist builder, who since childhood has dreamed of building this small house. And so he built the home he calls, “Tumbleweed” in Sebastol, CA. You can even take a tour of his wee-sized abode on YouTube.

Shafer also owns the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Since making his first tiny home he received a lot of interest from others and decided to start the company to design more XS homes and sell the plans. Interested individuals can schedule group or private tours of his home to learn more. The smallest home he offers in his catalog is actually smaller than his home, at just 65 square feet. So to be exact, THAT would be the world’s smallest home. It’s called the XS-House. Shafer, built his own XS-House and lived in it for one year before selling it to John Friedman and Kristin Shepherd.

Now I gotta say, while I love the idea of these homes and their green benefits, I get a little claustrophobic just looking at the tour video–so I’m not sure they are exactly a good fit for me. But they do look really cute and very cozy. Here are pictures of two other tiny homes in the Tumblweed catalog. Do you think you could live in one of these homes?

Loring Tumbleweed Small Home

Whidbey Tumblweed Small House

Posted By: Chrissy Doremus, U.S. Inspect Blog


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post