Going Tiny: Living Simpler and the Benefits for Military Families

By: Jason M. Jowers, M.S. MFT

Moving Truck pulling a Tiny House Trailer
Pixabay[Tiny House on Wheels, by Viscious-Speed, June 1, 2019, CC0]
When searching for our first home, my wife and I made a list of “must haves” and established a budget. It was important for us to have a house that fit our short term needs, while honoring our long term goals. Having always viewed our parents’ homes as our “home base,” we considered what it would look like to go “tiny.”

So what makes a house considered “tiny”? A tiny home can be described as any home smaller than 500 square feet. This trend has been going on for several years now and has been a great alternative for those who want both personal and financial freedom.

Families across the globe are going tiny and it may benefit some military families to get in on the action! Imagine for a moment, your family just received orders to PCS. Your next adventure is about to begin, in a new city a couple hundred miles away. In true seasoned home-makers fashion, your family prepares for the big transition. Indulge me in imagining a “move” where you can take your house with you.

Tiny living is not avant-garde for military families. This blog, from military spouse Lauren Lomsdale, describes the adventure of trading in 4,500 square feet for a micro home and embracing military-family-friendly-tiny living. Lauren shares, “Although I loved our beautiful 4,500-square-foot home nestled in the backwoods of Virginia, I can say for certain now that I wouldn’t go back. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and in military life I feel like having less stuff is the way to go. After all, that means you just have less boxes to unpack at your next duty station.”

Decreasing your unpacking time isn’t the only advantage to going tiny. Going “tiny” could help military families:

  • Save money
  • Cultivate togetherness
  • Have more time for all the little things

The tiny house movement has not only caught on for active duty military families, but also for veteran communities looking for stable housing.

One tiny house nation that has caught the attention of many, is the community built by the Veterans Community Project, offering stability for more than fifty unhoused veterans in Kansas City, MO.

While my wife and I found a home that is not technically considered “tiny,” we are still pursuing an intentionally simpler life.  Tiny living may not be feasible for everyone – but the essence of tiny living can bring families closer together no matter where you live or how much square footage you have. The “tiny” movement has gained quite a bit of traction in the United States, particularly for individuals and families, looking to downsize. Many tiny homes pack a punch and include all the modern conveniences and even the aesthetic of a regular home. The possibilities are endless for military families looking to go tiny.

For more info on life events, such as home-buying and relocation, tune into our archived webinar,  “Financial Planning for Life Events.” This webinar is part our MFLN Family Finances Series in which CEU opportunities are still available.

Also, you can watch the recording for “Home Is Where Your Heart Is“, another MFLN webinar related to relocation transitions for military families with kids. This webinar is part of our larger Kids Serve Too Series, in collaboration with Sesame Street for Military Families. CEUs are available for this programming as well.


Lomsdale, L. (2017). I Moved Into a Tiny House and I Love It. Military Spouse. Retrieved from: https://www.militaryspouse.com/spouse-101/at-home/i-moved-into-a-tiny-house-and-i-love-it/

Veterans Community Project. (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.veteranscommunityproject.org/?utm_medium=google

This post was written by members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Learn more about us at https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/family-development, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter.  Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.

Meet the Presenters for Yuck! I Don’t Eat That! Nutrition & Selective Eating in Young Children with Autism

Did you miss this webinar Yuck! I Don’t Eat That! Nutrition & Selective Eating in Young Children with Autism? 

The recording is now  posted at https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/event/30362/

RDs can earn 1.0 CPEU!



Jamie Pearson, PhD

2019 EI Webinar Series Presenter

Dr. Jamie Pearson, a former ABA therapist and autism program consultant, is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Pearson earned her PhD in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she developed FACES, a parent advocacy program designed to support African American families of children with autism. Her areas of focus include: (a) investigating disparities in the diagnosis of autism and access to services for minority families, (b) assessing the impact of parent-advocacy and empowerment training on family dynamics and child outcomes, (c) implementing classroom-based interventions that promote effective learning and engagement for underrepresented children with autism; and (d) building positive partnerships between educators and parents of children with disabilities.

Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky

Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky, PhD

2019 EI Webinar Series Presenter

Dr. Hedda Meadan is an Associate Professor at the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois, a Goldstick Family Scholar, and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Meadan’s areas of interest include social-communication skills and challenging behavior of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and intervention methods to enhance these spheres of functioning.

The objectives for the June 12 session are below.

  1. Participants will describe the behavioral, physiological, and cultural factors that contribute to diet and eating preferences in children with autism and related disorders
  2. Participants will identify behavioral strategies for overcoming food aversions in children with autism and related disorders
  3. Participants will identify nutrient dense alternatives to foods that are non-preferred by children with autism and related disorders
  4. Participants will discuss family-centered, naturalistic teaching strategies to strengthen family mealtime experiences