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The Benefit of Living in a Small Home

small SPACES

Do you feel like you’ve outgrown your living space? Maybe the closets are full and there are toys everywhere. Perhaps every time you receive a gift or buy something new you just can’t find a “home” for it.

I’ve lived in both large and small spaces. Actually, I lived in a large home and then downsized to a place one-third the size! It’s usually the other way around. You know, buy a starter home, then continually upgrade every time you move. Downsizing is tough. But, it can also be very freeing!

Today I’m going to share a few advantages of living in a small home.

  • Household bills are usually less expensive since it costs less to heat and cool a smaller area.
  • When decorating the small home there’s less furniture to buy, fewer walls to paint, and less flooring to buy.
  • You often say “no” to new purchases even if you wouldn’t normally have the willpower. If you don’t have space to bring something new into the house, you just can’t buy it. That can save quite a bit of money!
  • Giving can become a way of life. If you do need to make a purchase, you often have to find a new home for a few items to make room for the new one. Of course, you don’t have to live in a small space to be a giver. You can live in a mansion and have a giver’s heart!
  • Families are usually closer when they live in a smaller space. Since they can’t all disperse to different rooms in the house, they spend more time together which makes them a tighter family unit. This might be the greatest benefit of all!

Living in a small space doesn’t automatically make all of the above true, but if you find yourself outgrowing your current living arrangements, making a few adjustments just may make you “fit” again.

Of course, there are downsides to living in a small home as well but I like to stick with the positives!

Do you live in a small home? Are you outgrowing your space?

  • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect June 11, 2010, 9:21 am

    Well, my house is much too small. But YES, I definitely appreciate that if I had a bigger one, I’d have to clean all that space!

  • jenn June 11, 2010, 9:41 am

    We just recently (less than a week!) moved from a 4+ bedroom, 2 bath home (differs on who you talk to) to a 3 bedroom, 1 bath small townhome. The size of this place is the entire size of our former first floor!
    The purge was freeing and I’m relishing the smaller place to organize and clean!
    It made no sense for a family of 3 to continue to live in such a monstrous place! I’m a FT nursing student and hubby works FT plus just started classes and is in the National Guard. There was just no time for upkeep or cleaning, which is what prompted our decision.

  • Alicia June 11, 2010, 3:04 pm

    We just downsized from 1700 sq ft to 700 sq ft, and I have found it very freeing. LESS to clean is so wonderful. I can stand in one spot in the kitchen to cook and put everything away (both a blessing and a curse!).
    I feel forced to keep things clean because in a small space, when things get cluttered, it looks REALLY cluttered.
    But so far I am really liking a smaller living space!

    • iDreamOfClean June 11, 2010, 9:03 pm

      Oh, a tiny kitchen is tough. I guess the layout is key in that situation! It is sooooo true that you have to constantly pick up and put things in the correct place so it doesn’t look cluttered. My place is about the size as yours and we have a baby. We only have one bedroom so we are trying to sell for a slightly bigger place. But, we don’t want to go too crazy! Simple living is nice!!

    • Julia June 16, 2010, 9:23 am

      I was going to suggest you read this post, Alicia, but I see you’ve already found it!

      • Alicia's Homemaking June 25, 2010, 11:03 am

        Thanks girls! I am finding that I enjoy the small amount of space more and more.

  • Maria D. @ DownrightDomesticity June 11, 2010, 5:45 pm

    Believe it or not, living in a one-bedroom, 725-square foot apartment with my husband and two cats has been good for me as I prepare for our baby’s birth in a couple months. It’s really challenged my ideas about which baby things are actually NECESSARY!

    And having the ability to vacuum AND dust the entire apartment in ten minutes? Priceless.

    • iDreamOfClean June 11, 2010, 9:05 pm

      So true!! We live in about the same size place (one bedroom) as you and have a baby. We have saved so much money not buying unnecessary items for him! And, it’s funny, he likes to play with household items more than the toys he does have anyway! Congratulations on your baby!!

  • April Harris June 25, 2010, 8:45 am

    We live in a very large home now, but we started off smaller a few houses ago (we’ve moved a lot). Funny thing is, your stuff always seems to expand to fit your space! I try to stick to the “if it isn’t beautiful, useful or serious sentimental it goes” rule, but I’m not very good at it!!

  • TidyMom June 25, 2010, 9:07 am

    yes!! we live in a small home……..I try to remind myself of all the pluses, so I don’t get so down about the minuses LOL
    Thanks for linking up!!

  • Angela June 25, 2010, 2:07 pm

    My husband, 2 kids(2 &3) and I live in a one bedroom apt. It is basically 2 rooms, small kitchen and a bathroom. There are definately many positives to this simple living, the cost being way up there! I have also found that things that were negatives in the beginning have become positives as we have lived here longer. I 100% agree that the closeness of family is great!

  • angi June 25, 2010, 2:10 pm

    we live in a small house and love all the same things you do all though there are times that would love to have wide spaces and love it when it is warm weather as the yard and porch become part of our sorounding as well

  • KentuckyCooking June 25, 2010, 5:30 pm

    I’m over from the I’m Lovin’ it Fridays party! Signed up for your email subscription! Please feel free to stop by my blog and say hi :)
    Having less to cleans is ~never~ a bad thing!!

  • nikki June 29, 2010, 12:50 am

    we are about to move our family of 10 (yes, we have 8 kids!) from a 5000sf house on 3 acres to a 3000sf house on 6 acres! I’d rather have more yard and less house–I don’t have to vacuum or mop the pasture or the pond! To most people, the “small” house is big–but for that many people, it will be a challenge. However, I am LOVING the idea of downsizing, opening things up, having less cleaning, and most of all, my kitchen is actually going to be 3X the size in the smaller house! And I love that the smaller house is a ranch with only 2 living spaces and 1 bathroom in the basement–in our current home we have a second kitchen down there, 3 bedrooms, an art studio, a dining room and a home theater–what a HUGE waste of space, and an even HUGER waste of time cleaning rooms that get used for 10 minutes every third day! I am LOVING the challenge and fresh start of the change–smaller is BETTER for me!!!

    • iDreamOfClean June 29, 2010, 2:20 pm

      Oh, wow! Yes, that is a much smaller house for such a large family! How nice to have such a large yard though. I’m sure the kiddos are going to loooove playing outside on all that land!

  • Annie August 1, 2010, 10:12 pm

    The kid and I live in a 2-bedroom 720 s.f. mobile home, but we would be comfortable in something smaller. Just waiting for the right time and place. We have lived in 500 s.f. when all three of the kids were home.. it was a bit tight then but would be perfect for just now! Who knows what the future will hold?

    • iDreamOfClean August 2, 2010, 10:01 am

      Isn’t it interesting how we can get used to just about any size living space? I’m a huge fan of small spaces right now! If you had thee kids in 500 square feet, we sure could learn a lot from you!

  • Julia January 15, 2011, 10:18 am

    We live in a small home, which is something I always wanted. I grew up in a big old house and thought that a tiny place would be easier to clean. And it is. But the messes still pile up quickly!

    Since we have three children, we would like a slightly larger place in the future. Right now we have all three kids (ages 3, 5, and 7, one boy, two girls) in one bedroom, which can make bedtime challenging. Still, we try to make it work, and it does for the most part.

  • Verity January 4, 2012, 8:27 pm

    I completely agree with this post!! I grew up in a 4,000 square foot Victorian. There was a full basement and a full third floor. Since my mom was organized and clean, we rarely needed to get rid of anything! I remember when we moved from that house, we filled a FULL semi-truck to the brim with all our stuff!

    I’ve been thankful for the challenge of living in a small house. It has taught me what I really don’t need, how to make space more efficient, and anything bigger would be a little overwhelming for me at this point!

    My husband is talking about our next bigger house (baby #3 is on the way), but I’ve been encouraging him that I’m happy with something small!

  • chanelle August 20, 2012, 12:31 pm

    I found the part about your family being close as a result of a small house really interesting- and true for my family! I grew up as the oldest of 8 kids (+2 parents) in a 3 bed, 1 3/4 bath home. There was a lot of together time and little privacy, but it was a blessing to grow up that way. We HAD to learn to get along because we were always together!

  • Marina October 14, 2012, 9:14 am

    Probably true about family being closer, when living in a small house. Grew up in a family with 4 kids and we had a 1-bed apartment. And we always had animals, be it dogs, cats, hedgehogs or something else. And we grew up pretty close to each other, at least closer than other people I know who had their own rooms and lots of space for themselves. Though there are a lot of negative sides to living in a small home, too… But I guess you can always find pros and cons :)

    • iDreamOfClean October 14, 2012, 8:00 pm

      There are definitely downsides to living in a small home! I actually started to write a post about it to counter this one, but it just felt so negative as I was writing. I *try* to stay positive about all things in life so I just decided too trash that post and focus on the bright side :)

      I’m glad you focused on the positives too and are enjoying your family!!

  • Justin February 23, 2013, 1:08 am

    You are spot on! Several years ago we downsized from nearly 4000 sq feet for 2 people to 1200 sq feet and it was a huge adjustment at first and I had get rid of a great deal of furniture as well as many of my beloved kitchen items, not to mention clothing, shoes and just a lot of things that were quite frankly useless to me. But, just to know that I don’t have nearly as much stuff now is less stressful, not to mention easier to organize. And although budget plays a big part in considering purchases I do say no to many things also because there is less space. If I don’t need it chances are I won’t buy it (most of the time), whereas when I living in a much larger home I thought nothing of anything beyond budget when I made or said no to purchases.

  • Amber March 13, 2013, 7:34 pm

    I live with 3 dogs and my other half in a 400 sq. ft. tiny cabin. Sometimes I do feel like we’ve outgrown the space, but then I do some decluttering and rearranging and I’m happy with my home again. I agree that living in a smaller space makes us closer. There are only so many places to go in this tiny space, and there’s no locks on any of the doors except the ones leading outside, so if we happen to get into a fight there’s no escaping each other, and we have to be able to talk things out. Of course if it gets to the point of exploding we have our ways of telling each other that we need time to cool down before working through the problem, but I truly feel like if we lived in a larger space we wouldn’t work through problems as quickly and easily as we do now. I absolutely love my tiny house and wouldn’t trade it for the world!


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