First annual Georgia Tiny House Festival draws thousands

Attendees had the chance to participate in 19 presentations, vendor and tool workshops, a movie night, a concert—and of course, tour tiny houses.
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Photo by Hannah Kicklighter

For something so small, tiny houses are sparking a huge movement. The average American home is around 2,500 square feet; the average “tiny house” ranges from 100 to 400 square feet. There are many reasons folks are taking the concept of a close family so literally. Some people are tired of clutter, others want to be eco-friendly, and some want to be more mobile.

The first annual Georgia Tiny House Festival aimed to show Georgians what tiny house living is all about. During the three-day festival, 5,000 attendees had the chance to participate in 19 presentations, vendor and tool workshops, a movie night, a concert—and of course, tour tiny houses.

Will Johnston, founder of a new advocacy and educational group called Tiny House Atlanta, and Claudia Morris-Barclay, an Atlanta-based entertainment and lifestyle consultant, spoke about purging unnecessary items and inhabiting just a fraction of your current footprint. They maintain that a tiny home can clear the clutter in both your home and your mind.

“I want to go, be, see, and do,” Johnston said. With tiny houses, especially ones that are mobile, you can literally pick up your life and go. Even ones with permanent foundations usually create less of a financial burden, allowing more money for travel.

For people considering a downsize, Morris-Barclay suggests blocking off entire rooms or wings of your house one by one for six months. If you  successfully stay out of those spaces, you know you can get rid of what’s left in those rooms, she says. Eventually, you will pare down to true necessities. “Customize your space for the life you want to lead, not just the life you have,” she says.

In tiny houses, each piece of furniture usually has more than one use. So even if you can’t part with your average-sized home, it’s interesting to learn innovative ways to save space.

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