It’s definitely the case that minimalist design is one of the major trends right now, but why is it so popular in mobile homes? And why do so many people turn to mobile homes to embrace this lifestyle?
To answer your questions, let’s first look at what minimalist living is and then how it applies to mobile or manufactured housing.
What is minimalist living?
At its most basic, minimalist living is choosing to live with fewer possessions. The word choice here is important because it highlights the fact that anyone can live with and use more than they need. Minimalism isn’t only for those who are rich enough to entertain it or those too poor to live any other way.
Minimalism isn’t just a choice about how much you have within sight right now. It’s a lifestyle that goes far beyond that and has much deeper implications for you and your life going forward.
Many experts and experienced minimalists also claim that the benefits extend much further than saving money and being practical. Let’s look at more of the benefits so that you can understand why everyone, from web developers to interior designers, is turning to minimalism as the way forward.
Benefits of minimalist living
Prioritize for more important things
Living with less can mean making tough choices. It might mean choosing one of two comfy and gorgeous couches or giving away some of your beloved grandma’s heirlooms. However, by prioritizing in these small ways on a daily basis, you develop the skill. Like training your body at the gym, you’re training your mind to make these choices and to live with them. As you can imagine, this narrower focus on priorities can help you in almost every part of life.
Minimalism saves money
There are many ways in which we waste money on a daily basis. The obvious way in which minimalism saves money is that you simply buy and spend less. When we live with more than we need, we also tend to forget about what we have. This leads to us buying duplicates of what we have without even realizing it. This is true for all of our possessions, from groceries to furniture to appliances.
Minimalism saves time
Fewer things in your possession and your home means fewer things to keep track of. It also means fewer things to clean, to arrange, and to buy when you go to the grocer. This frees up your time to focus on other things, like yourself or experiencing other things in life. Also, time is money!
Minimalism keeps you looking forward
Yes, we know that all ten of your childhood sweaters have plenty of memories that make you just well up with nostalgia and cozy feelings. However, these same feelings of longing and yearning to the past can also distract us from the future. Time keeps marching on and if you aren’t looking ahead, you are bound to miss out on a lot that life has to offer.
Improve your concentration
During your school or college days, did you ever notice how difficult it was to study in a dirty room or noisy library? The same goes for day-to-day life. Having less to look at, means fewer things to distract you. Over a long period of time, this mental breath of fresh air bleeds over into your daily life even when you’re not at home. Many people who have embraced minimalism report improved overall focus.
Focus more on experiences, not things
Once you have made the mental adjustment of prioritizing which physical things are important and worth your time, you can open yourself up to more experiences. This ties in with the previous step. Having fewer things that clutter your space and your mind makes it that much easier to focus on the present and live in the moment. Because you won’t be so bogged down taking care of your things, you might actually, for example, be able to take a spontaneous road trip with friends!
It’s good for the earth
Our exaggerated consumerism puts a lot of indirect strain on our environment. Because of inflated demand, we as humans collectively produce more to feed our need for things. Recycling can never replace 100% of what we consume. The only way to lessen the strain on earth is to think more carefully about what we actually need.
Minimalism improves your mood
For most people, minimalist surroundings come with a greater sense of freedom, relief, and calmness. Having fewer things to worry about or to process helps put the mind at ease. Once you have made the mental switch to put less importance on possessions, that effect only magnifies.
Minimalism lets you go free
The more stuff you have, the harder it is to just pack up and move and the more things you have to be concerned about when you’re not home. Minimalism sets you free because it’s much easier to change your surroundings or to leave it all behind and start afresh. Much of our fear of change is also rooted in the fact that we place so much importance on what we have now that we are too afraid to risk anything.
Minimalism can be stylish
Less is more, as the saying goes. Unless you live under a rock, you should know that minimalism has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last decade or so. It has not only become a lifestyle choice, but a flat-out design choice as well. It manifests itself in many different ways, from Feng Shui to post-modern design and art. When you do minimalist design right, instead of making people go “Why is it so empty?” they will go “Wow, I really love your place. It’s so tranquil and inviting.”
Why are mobile homes considered minimalist?
Now that you know why a minimal lifestyle might be worth pursuing, let’s look at why mobile homes can be classified as minimal. When you put these two pieces together, it becomes clear why so many people choose to live in mobile or manufactured homes when embracing a minimal lifestyle.
Mobile homes are smaller
The average family home size in the U.S. has gone up by more than 1,000 square feet. From 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,687 square feet in 2017, according to this census. That’s an increase in size of around 60%. This drive for bigger houses comes largely from the importance we place on having more and the notion that “bigger is better.”
However, most people will find that a lot of the space in their homes go completely unused. The cost of constructing a house largely comes down to the cost per square foot. That not only means that you are wasting space, but that you literally wasted money on that space as well.
The average double-wide (which is the most common type of mobile home) size is just under 2,000 square feet. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are less practical, as the materials they are constructed from and their simpler designs use up less of the total space.
Mobile homes have simpler designs
A key cornerstone of minimalism is to approach things simplistically. Overthinking is the root cause of a lot of our anxieties and frustrations in day-to-day life. While modern mobile home designs are far from being Spartan, they mostly offer much simpler and more straightforward experiences.
Mobile homes are more “boxy” in design. For some, this is a flaw, but it’s also part of what makes them so practical. Straight sides and 90° corners might not be ornate, but they allow for the most efficient use of available space and are easier to furnish and design.
A simpler architecture gives you a good canvas to create your minimal lifestyle and home.
Mobile homes are less expensive
There is no doubt about it, mobile homes are much more affordable than traditional housing. You can buy a brand new, top-of-the-line double-wide mobile home for under $100,000. The average home price in the U.S. is almost double that at around $190,000. The equation is roughly the same when it comes to rental.
You can rent a mobile home and the lot for around $600-$700 which is almost half the average apartment rental in the U.S. You can get a lot more space and often much better surroundings for half the price.
This gives you more financial freedom that you can use to enhance other aspects of your life. If you think of it in terms of needing to get a mortgage, you can avoid one altogether by purchasing a second-hand mobile home or by being able to pay it off much sooner. A mortgage effectively chains you to something for the duration of the term, limiting your freedom.
This also means that mobile homes are much easier to leave behind or to move away from, giving you even more independence. Sometimes just having the option is enough, even if you never exercise it.
How to live minimally in your mobile home
Finally, we’d like to share some tips with you on how you can start to live minimally and experience the benefits of living the minimalist lifestyle. The great thing about going minimal is that you don’t have to go all the way. It’s not all or nothing. Every time you inch deeper into a minimalist lifestyle, you already achieved a small victory.
So, yeah, you don’t have to throw out all of those sweaters we talked about earlier. Start with one or two and then scale it from there.
Let’s look at steps you can take now to go minimal.
Before you jump right in, you should really sit down and think about what you want to achieve. You are probably reading about the subject because something in your life right now wasn’t sitting right with you and you want to change it. So do you
- Want to lessen your attachment to physical objects,
- Live less cluttered, or
- Save money?
Then these are all good reasons to embrace minimalist living.
Declutter and discard
A good place to start is by getting rid of the most obvious surplus in your home. You could start by throwing out everything that you have two of. This is the easiest line to draw between what’s necessary and what’s not and can help ease you into the process. For most people, their wardrobe would be a good place to start.
Create a minimal living area
Another handy way to start integrating this lifestyle into your home is to create one completely clutter-free and minimalist room. You can find examples of minimal design online, particularly on Pinterest. Once you create this space, you can start to notice how you feel when you are in this space. Do you want your entire home to be like this? Or is it enough to have this space to retreat to?
Be more mindful
Try and stay focused on what you want to achieve in the short-term, long-term, and on a daily basis. Live towards those goals. A minimalist lifestyle is all about removing obstacles from your path and concentrating on what matters to you. You can start by creating a list and checking each day that you have done something that brings you closer to it. This also means to avoid doing too many things that keep you from working towards your goals.
The Minimalist blog provides a lot of information on living minimally and is presented in a very helpful, insightful, and relevant way. We recommend visiting their site and reading their blogs or listening to their podcasts to help you find more ways to live minimally.
Embrace minimalism in your mobile home
Almost by their very definition, mobile homes can be considered a minimalist alternative to traditional housing. This doesn’t mean that traditional housing can’t be minimalist, but mobile homes have some integral characteristics that make them prime candidates for this type of lifestyle. You might find that this year’s spring cleaning is the perfect time to start implementing a minimalist lifestyle.