Over the past decade, tiny homes have become quite the phenomenon, and there is no indication of the trend slowing down, much less passing. A simple search of the term “tiny house” on Google Trends indicates that more people than ever are dreaming of downsizing their belongings to live a freer life.

The enthusiasm began a few years after the housing bubble crisis of the late 2000s, along with the subsequent Great Recession, and really picked up around 2014.

Why Are People Choosing Their Own Tiny Lifestyle?

The section title here is somewhat misleading in that most people who decide to sell their 1,000 square foot or more home and build something well under 500 square feet doesn’t feel like the choice to lead a tiny life. Most would correct the statement to reveal the opposite, actually.

Consider the fact that 38% of tiny homeowners are 50 years or older. Many of these people are moving out of the corporate job and suburban home lifestyle—some are simply retiring and no longer need the big and fully stocked nest—to search for something more meaningful, tangible and down-to-earth.

Some people, perhaps millennials just out of college, are choosing the tiny house lifestyle as a less expensive option while paying off student loans. For some, it is a chance to live creatively, building a small and tidy space all their own while other simply want to reduce their carbon footprint by installing solar panels, collecting rainwater for gardening, and plunging into the adventures associated with compost toilets.

The reasons are seemingly endless and highly personal for each tiny home dweller.

The Trend in Tiny Home Styles Continues to Evolve

The variety of homes highlighted at pages like Tiny House Talk, via their regular and jam-packed newsletter, reveals that there is absolutely zero lack of creativity when it comes to aptly named Tiny Home Movement.

While it all started with the tiny trailer-style homes on wheels, which is still the beloved benchmark of this movement, other big-brained and tiny-focused minds have introduced new options into the mix, like the following.

Shipping Container Homes

While many may immediately be taken aback by the idea of living in a shipping container, the idea really grows on you quickly, especially after watching the story of Lulu and her wabi-sabi, DIY California shipping container.

Lulu’s story shows what you can do on a shoestring. After finding a free shipping container, Lulu applied some basic building skills and wisely used $4,000 to move into her home with her daughters in a relatively short time. Her cozy space is a work-in-progress, but it shows how quickly a shipping container can become the most basic home, with potential for great things.

Brenda Kelly, all the way on the other side of the world in New Zealand, took a more technical approach, and the results are spectacular in her 40-foot shipping container home with a breathtaking view.

Brenda’s engineering background, along with the small matter that this is her second shipping container home design and build, likely played into the highly functional and finely finished results.

And there are many designs, styles and outcomes in between and far beyond for shipping container homes to appeal to a variety of tastes.

Shed Homes

Another ready-made home alternative includes the basic, or not-so-basic, shed. Vice caught up with a happy shed dweller. One Londoner, who was already paying high rent, received notice he was about to be struck with a hefty price hike and decided to search for a reasonable alternative. His solution was a gardening shed, which worked like a charm, and offered joys he hadn’t anticipated with more actual living and breathing space.

Much like prefab, modular or otherwise manufactured homes, sheds come assembled, or they come with easy-to-follow instructions to assemble yourself. The price tag, however, is often much lower than other designed structures while still being near-ready to move in.

Take Jim’s shed-to-home conversion story, which was featured on HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters. Jim, a single father, wanted a safe, affordable and comfortable space for himself and his daughter. His 240-square foot tiny house was the perfect solution.

What started as a blank shed became a happy home for this minimalist father and daughter duo. Jim shares that the lack of mortgage payment or increased debt is the ultimate in living freely and happily.

Do You Dream of Downsizing and Living a Life of Freedom?

Additional Tiny Home styles abound, including yurts, silos, small garages and rail cars; all leaving you to your rich imagination without shackling you to a multi-year mortgage.

Purge all the chaff of life, buy or rent your dream plot of land, build your Tiny Home, and live your dream with less stress and plenty of life’s simple pleasures.