Could you live with three kids, three cats and one hamster in 440 square feet?

tiny home family

This 2014 photo provided by Laura Baird shows, Evan, from left, Jasmine and Jessica Baird playing outside their 440-square-foot cabin on wheels in Myrtle Beach, S.C. More families with children are joining the tiny house movement, downsizing to small, often portable, homes in hopes of simplifying their lives and reducing their environmental impact. (Laura Baird via AP)

Last year, William and Laura Baird got rid of half of their kids’ toys, half of their kitchen’s contents and a third of the family’s clothes. It wasn’t just de-cluttering — they also ditched almost three-quarters of their home’s square footage, moving from a three-bedroom house into the 440-square-foot cabin on wheels that they share with their three children, three cats and a hamster.

“I was looking for less to clean,” Laura Baird said. “Less upkeep, less impact on the environment, less electricity, less use of resources.”
Living with less is the philosophy behind the tiny house movement — the rising popularity of scaled-down homes, usually less than 500 square feet, some as small as 80 square feet.

Living in these small spaces does mean less responsibility (low prices means many are mortgage-free) but a growing group of tiny-house dwellers are far from rootless vagabonds. Like the Bairds, they’re parents with young children.

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