The Trend Tracker: Tiny Houses

© Nicolás Boullos

Welcome to the first-ever edition of The Trend Tracker (or TTT), where I report on new things certain people seem to be doing.

First up: tiny houses. Tiny houses are built on trailer platforms, are often illegal to occupy, and sought by young people who want to get off the grid or live a more modest lifestyle. I first learned of this Trend from Alec Wilkinson’s recent article, Let’s Get Small {New Yorker}. An excerpt:

People who live in tiny houses, or aspire to, appear to fall into one of three overlapping categories. The first consists of young people who see a tiny house as a means of owning a place while avoiding property taxes and maybe rent, since they can often find places to park their house free…

According to Greg Johnson, the publisher of a tiny-house Web site called, to inhabit a tiny house “you have to remodel your sense of what success is and how important it is to you to convey to the outside world ‘Hey, I have a big house and big car and I’m successful.’ If you have a piece of inner tranquility, you don’t have to prove anything to anybody.”

To me, I’m skeptical that tiny houses are anything more than pseudo-humble. How many tiny house dwellers have their stuff stowed away in a rented storage space? I think they can go back to their “big house, big car” lifestyle whenever they choose. For now, they opt for the life of a stylish mobile home. Good for them.

Further reading:

Related trends:

  • Raw-food diet
  • Volunteering on a farm
  • Being Amish
  • Singing in a folk band