Tiny living, downsizing, right sizing, small living, micro living. Whatever you call it, this huge trend is all about paring down living spaces and simplifying everyday life.
Tiny houses are classified as anything 500 square feet or smaller, and some are as small as 100 square feet. They can be primary residences, vacation homes, in-law cottages, rentals, boomerang bungalows or private spaces for live-in caregivers.
Some people look to tiny living as a way to lessen their impact on the environment. Some find that it relieves the stress of household maintenance and expenses. Others turn to the mobile variety as a way to change the scenery outside their windows.
All of these goals mesh perfectly with those of Boomers, So, it makes sense that approximately two out of five tiny-homeowners are over 50, according to the National Association of Realtors.
One tiny house builder even sells a model called “Tiny Retirement,” which is all on one level, with no sleeping loft stairs to climb.
But the tiny movement is not only about where you live; it’s about how you live. Even when Boomers aren’t ready to lose their large houses, they want to jettison their time-consuming possessions.
So, how can marketers leverage a trend that seems opposed to what they want Boomers to do — buy, spend and accumulate? Actually, quite a few businesses can benefit from aligning themselves with the tiny mindset:
Builders and Real Estate Developers
tiny architects, builders and developers offer everything from plans to finished homes and community plots. Big-box home improvement stores don’t yet list any tiny homes for sale, but they do offer 200-300-square-foot, pre-built storage sheds. Will you soon be able to order your tiny house from Home Depot?
From cabin to sailboat, a tiny house can take many forms — so why not a studio or one-bedroom apartment at a retirement community? Many communities find that smaller units are harder to fill than more spacious accommodations, but aligning with the “tiny house” movement could put a new twist on the benefits of living small. Smaller apartments are not only environmentally friendly and affordable, but they offer conveniences like washer/dryers and freedom from tiny issues like zoning and building code problems.
Books like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, have become bestsellers. One Boomer we know truly finds the Kondo process life-changing. “Do I really need six sets of silverware?” she asked. “There are so many things that used to give me joy but now are weighing me down. I say goodbye and release them from my life, and then they release me. My experience has been one of complete joy.”
Second-hand Stores: Consignment boutiques and nonprofits like Goodwill are seeing a boost in donations from the “tiny living” trend.
Electronics: Our Boomer friend loves Kindle since it lets her store so many books on one small device. And she can’t wait for a smartwatch to come out that will allow her to dump her smartphone.
For a tiny article, this is more than big enough, so I’ll stop here. What are some ways your business can leverage the tiny living movement?