Thank you to the EA Game Changers program for providing me with an early access code for this pack.
Here are my top ten tips for building small homes with the new Tiny Living Stuff Pack!
1. Portable Objects
Living in a confined space does not necessarily mean there is no room for activities, you just have to use your space wisely. The Murphy Bed is the star of the Tiny Living Stuff Pack and it means that a double bed no longer needs to take up 6 tiles [and the surrounding space]. You can fold it away [carefully] when it’s not in use. Some of the Murphy Beds already come with an attached sofa, so when you fold it away you have instant seating!
This is where portable objects can be pulled right out of your Sims’ inventories and put to use in the space! Want to learn the keyboard, invite friends over for a game of cards, or get into shape with the yoga mat? All this items have an inventory-able version and you can Live Drag them into the world whenever you want them without having to go into Build Mode! There’s even a portable single bed in the Outdoor Retreat pack! Other portable objects include the cardboard dance-floor, some grills, guitars and easels. So when you’re not sleeping you can build your skills!
2. I like to MOO it, MOO it!
The ‘bb.moveobjects on’ cheat is your new best friend! It allows you to place items much closer together and a little bit of careful manoeuvring with the ‘Alt’ key helps to ensure Sims can route to all the objects. There is a little bit of trial and error involved here and you may need to play-test your builds several times before you find the perfect angle, but you’ll be surprised at how much you can fit into a room with this cheat!
Savvy builders might also use the ‘9’ and ‘0’ keys to raise or lower objects to get them into the ideal position, or the ‘[‘ or ‘]’ keys to size the objects up or down so that they fit the space juuuuuuuuust right. If you’ve never used these cheats before you’ll be surprised at how much more you’ll be able to squeeze into those tight spaces!
3. Multi-Purpose Objects
Another cool object in the Tiny Living Stuff Pack is the Media Marathoner, this is a brand new object that combines existing functionality in one. So instead of needing a separate TV, radio, bookcase and games console, you can just plonk this baby down and save valuable floor space!
Think about other ways you can make a tile work in different ways. Wouldn’t that counter top also make a great desk? Well, grab one of the portable laptops and you can Tweet where you eat! Just watch out for crumbs!
4. Space Savers
The pack came with some neat little updates that make existing objects more small space friendly. One of the changes made decorative book stacks into functional bookcases. GENIUS! These are useful as they have a smaller footprint than the standard bookcases, meaning they take up less space and can be placed on surfaces with other items. For example, you could place a book stack on top of a dresser and make that tile multi-purpose!
Another space saving idea that the developers had was to allow TVs to be placed on side tables. So instead of those bulky TV units, you can now pop a small telly onto a cute little unit in the corner. How sweet!
5. Take the Inside Outside
While the indoor space is restricted if you use the new Tiny Residential Lot Type, there are no limits on outdoor spaces as long as they are on flat ground [not a foundation] and they are not enclosed. Basically, if you click on it and the game recognises it as a ‘room’, it counts. If you click on it and it does not allow you to select it as a ‘room’ it does not count. So you can even make use of rooftops if you are clever about it!
While it’s up to you how far you exploit this, I think it is helpful to use the outdoor space in realistic ways. For example, one of the new Lot Perks is Let it Grow, which gives a boost to the growth rate of plants. So why not take advantage of that with a vegetable garden or by growing some herbs on your balcony?
If you have Seasons installed, this provides a nice balance as you take advantage of sunny days and head inside during less favourable weather. Why not do a spot of yoga outdoors, or have a barbecue and invite some friends over for a game of cards?
6. Multi-Purpose rooms.
If you opt for the most challenging lot size, the 32-tile Micro Home, then you may find you have to make rooms multi-purpose. This may mean your Sim might eat their meals in the kitchen or have a desk in their bedroom. As you are building your lot, try to think of ways you could make those rooms multi-purpose.
7. T-shaped Bathrooms
While 5-tile bathrooms allow for a bathtub, you can get away with building a 4-tile bathroom in the shape of a ‘T’ with the door in the middle. This saves vital tiles when building the Micro Home, which is restricted to a teeny 32 tile limit! Every tile counts!
8. One Sink is Enough
Do you REALLY need a sink in your bathroom AND your kitchen? REALLY???
9. Beds are Seating Too
Sims can sit on their beds to eat, read, chat or watch TV. Save valuable tile space by using your bed as a sofa! There are actually TWO seating spaces on single beds, so if you are clever with the placement of objects, you can create a nice space to socialise or enjoy a movie marathon with friends!
10. To Clutter or Not to Clutter
While some advocates of Tiny Living will encourage you to de-clutter and keep things organised, you can actually create really cosy looks by cluttering up your lots! Not only does squeezing stuff into your small spaces create a quirky hippy aesthetic, it also has a practical use as you get more functionality! As long as you can route around it, of course!
So whether you are an efficient minimalist who likes to keep their spaces clear and functional, or you are a messy hoarder who wants to place ALL THE THINGS, there is something in this pack for you. Try building in both styles and enjoy the challenge of thinking in new ways as you build and working out how to best utilise those small spaces. Go forth and live tiny!!!
[This article was created with other expansion packs installed and not all items in the images are included in this pack. I am just providing tips for constructing small homes here. For CAS and Build/Buy overviews there are a number of specific videos available on Youtube by other Gamechangers.]