Whether you're looking for affordable housing in a big city or are apt to pick up your things and move on at any moment, the micro-housing movement is presenting a variety of solutions with your needs in mind. In general, micro-housing is defined as a living space at or around 350 square feet per person.

Steadily rising in popularity for the past decade or so, micro-housing is now beginning to catch on enough for large media outlets to cover the concept. Not only do micro-housing options present a cheaper way to live wherever you want to, they inherently help you reduce your energy use and are often constructed at least in part by repurposed materials.

Container housing

One of the most popular forms of repurposed micro-housing, the exterior frame of each container house is made up of used shipping containers. These steel boxes come in two standard sizes, and can be easily transitioned to housing. Some popular designs incorporate several containers in order to achieve a larger square footage.

People have been turning used shipping containers into homes for years all around the world, but the micro-housing movement has finally turned the concept chic in the developed world. As with many forms of micro-housing, container homes not only reduce the literal footprint of individual homes, they essentially recycle materials by repurposing what would otherwise be useless, abandoned metal on the outskirts of a port.

Tiny Houses

The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, www.tumbleweedhouses.com, makes its business creating solutions for individuals looking to downsize their homes, and possibly create a home that can be picked up and moved wherever. The company's House to Go™ line features house plans that range from 73-172 square feet – each of which is designed specifically to be pulled as a trailer. Customers have the option of purchasing the moveable houses pre-constructed or purchasing the plans and constructing them on their own.

Tumbleweed also offers a variety of plans in its Cottage line that can range from 261-874 square feet, all of which are designed to be permanent installations.

Urban solutions

Micro-housing in urban areas isn't necessarily spurred by the same impetus of other micro-housing styles. For the most part, urban micro living occurs in newly constructed high rise buildings of tiny apartments. In areas like Seattle where micro-housing has really taken off, these units rarely have their own fully functioning kitchen, but residents do have access to communal facilities.

Also, it's common for urban micro-housing to come furnished and to have utility costs included as part of the rent. All told these projects offer a unique housing solution that enables individuals to live in urban areas they may not be able to afford otherwise.

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