LACASSINE, LA (KPLC) - For a growing number of Americans, big is not always better. Many people are downsizing and moving into what's called "tiny houses." Pam and Kevin Mattingly have been in their new home in Lacassine for about 100 days now and they're not looking back.
"We have a fully functional bathroom which has the lavatory and we'll have a washer/dryer here," said Pam. "A linen closet, a 4 foot shower, and then a water closet."
They're called "Tiny Houses" and their popularity has grown, thanks to several nationally broadcast TV shows.
"She's possessed with tiny houses," said husband Kevin. "She's watched every video on the internet about tiny houses. She has OCD on tiny houses."
There's only 416 square feet of living space in Kevin and Pam's tiny house, but they've made great use of every inch.
"So I was real selective about what I brought over here. The things that I did put in the house were things that I really like and use all the time. Letting go of stuff is the biggest challenge. I like pushing the envelope on efficiency, to see what you can put into a space."
Maggie Daniels is with Try It Tiny dot.com. She travels the nation in her rolling tiny home, setting up places for tiny home owners to stay.
"The tiny house is less about the size of your home and more about that sort of mentality that is driving the movement forward," said Maggie Daniels. "It's just getting back to basics and what's really important."
For Pam and Kevin, it's a way of life they have to sometimes explain to their friends.
"They're all amazed at how spacious it is when the come in. They just always thought that 416 square feet is really small. But once they get here they say, wow I could leave here. A lot of people have said that. Some people think we're crazy."
While the tiny house movement is fueled mainly by younger people, many retired homeowners are joining the movement. The current interest in smaller homes follows a steady growth in the median size of homes. In 1940, a usual home had 1200 square feet. That compares to1800 square feet in this decade. For information on Try It Tiny, click here.