I lived in a shed in South Africa for three years.

You may be wondering how on earth this living situation came about–let me fill you in about my living space situation. For two years I worked for a non-profit organization just outside of beautiful Cape Town, South Africa.

For two years, I lived with my fellow colleagues in a guest house with volunteers from all over the world. While it was certainly an incredible experience; the moment one of the sheds on the property became available I immediately moved in and never looked back. Based on my personal experience, check out these 13 reasons why you should be living in a shed.

No Roommates

For me, this was the biggest and most important reason to move into a shed. While each has reasons that are unique to their needs; mine was because I was tired of sharing a room with other people–simple as that. I lived with friends for four years in university and felt ready to brave the world on my own (in a shed across the garden). A shed is not just for tool storage anymore. Here are some of the wonderful perks of #shedlife and not having to live with anyone:

  • You don’t need to worry about waking anyone up.
  • You don’t need to worry about anyone waking you up.
  • You can play music whenever you want.
  • You can choose when you want to be social and when you want alone time.

Live in Nature

More often than not, a tiny house shed is a secondary dwelling nearby a primary dwelling. In my case, my shed was located a mere fifteen steps from the main house where the rest of my colleagues lived. I lived so close to them, and yet, the giant palm tree that hid my shed from view made me feel like I was worlds away. While there are no lions in that part of South Africa, the occasional pigeon fledgling would flutter down and awkwardly right itself on my doorstep.

They’re Cheaper

It goes without saying that calling a garden shed home is far less expensive than a three-bedroom residential–or even a small apartment in a major city. With housing costs on the rise, tiny living appears to be the perfect solution for affordable housing with super short construction time. It’s no surprise that the tiny house movement is taking off around the world, with houses on wheels, pool houses, dome kit houses and many other types of houses.

They’re Customizable

If you think about sheds you’ve seen at your local gardening store, you might recall them being quite basic despite offering plenty of storage.

Some fancy sheds come with tiny porches, but most are basic and designed for storage with the basic wood construction. These are actually the best kinds of sheds because you can add whatever you want! I added my own pallet porch and shelving as well as new recreational space. Check out this article for more tips on tiny house storage!

They’re Portable

A huge plus to living in a tiny shed is that they’re not difficult to move and support outdoor living styles. The shed can be loaded onto the back of a trailer and hauled to your location of choice so it be placed on any block of land with access to city water. My own shed had to be moved at one point during my stay–it was lifted up so easily it was almost shocking! The frame construction is super light despite being sturdy enough to be a proper home.


While similar to not having roommates; having independence is a whole different and important reason on its own. It’s that feeling of self-reliance and pride in one’s home. It’s the feeling of self-sufficiency; despite being only steps away from everyone else.

It’s Easier to Live Legally

There are a wide variety of prefabricated sheds on the market, meaning finding one that fits your exact specifications shouldn’t be difficult. Building codes in most locations make it difficult to build your own tiny home to live in legally. By purchasing one of the many available tiny sheds, you’ll find there are far less restrictions.

Just remember that depending on the state or city you live in, you may need to get a building permit first. Check out this awesome list to learn more about getting a building permit in your state or city.

You Leave a Tinier Footprint

Living in a shed means far less energy is used to heat or cool. Additionally, a smaller space means you’ll spend more time outside and less inside using electricity. In my tiny shed in South Africa, I had electricity but no running water. I didn’t need it! The main house was only steps away and I had access to running water and everything else one would need. My highest energy use came from charging my laptop and my phone. Besides those two luxuries, I needed very little else to stay happy and comfortable while creating very little environmental impact.

They Take Up Very Little Space

The size of a tiny shed fits perfectly in the backyards of many primary dwellings. The good news is that you can choose the size of your shed based on the available land you have to work with. The small garden where I used to stay offered enough space for two tiny houses to fit snugly beneath the palm trees.

Despite having such a tiny space, you can create an amazing floor plan in a shed, no matter how many square feet you have to work with. You can find extra storage space once you start researching tiny house plans. 

They Blend into Nature

It was a common occurrence that bypassers wouldn’t notice my little shed until it was pointed out to them. The heavy palm tree fronds and tree-trunk colored walls hid my shed from prying eyes. While you can customize your own, you’ll find that sheds often come stock in colors that blend into nature.

Simple Living

A smaller space has the storage capacity for everything you need and nothing you don’t. The size of my tiny shed dictated what I could and couldn’t keep. I began to focus less on the things I owned, and more on the experiences and people I met along the way.

Spend quality time with the people you care about

The size of a shed works to your advantage when it comes to spending quality time with loved ones. It becomes the perfect setting for catching up with friends or family around a tiny kitchen table. The natural intimacy a tiny shed provides is priceless.

People love them

Living in a shed is great for those of us who enjoy going against the grain and doing something different. People love unique experiences that stand out from the crowd!

The Takeaway

Houses are bigger, cars are faster, and tiny sheds provide much-needed relief from it all. It’s apparent that amidst so much growth, society is swinging back toward nature and that real, salt-of-the-earth stuff. For instance, living in a converted van isn’t a sign of creepy–but rather a symbol of adventure!

Living in my tiny shed allowed me to see life from a new viewpoint. It helped me to reevaluate my priorities–for instance, what I need and don’t need to make me happy.