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Small Home Living

Updated on March 28, 2014
"Yare Cottage, Thorpe. Sitting on the north bank of the Yare, this tiny thatched house was built by James Hobrough in 1861 and occupied until 1998!"
"Yare Cottage, Thorpe. Sitting on the north bank of the Yare, this tiny thatched house was built by James Hobrough in 1861 and occupied until 1998!" | Source

Is Bigger Really Better?

In today's society, bigger is better; the bigger, the flashier, the faster, and the more one owns has been known to show wealth, power, accomplishment, and success. The issue in believing bigger is better, is that one can lose their since of self and a sense of closeness within a family. When one becomes completely absorbed by materialistic social norms, they become absorbed in a world of greed, envy, and self-destruction. Living in a large home can make it difficult to connect with other members of the family, and the vibrant and wondrous world that surrounds them. Small home living forces a family to be close, learn how to respect personal space, and provides a sense of tradition and connection to the family and the world that surrounds the home.

Positive Aspects of Living in a Small Home

  • Less space, less money, lower mortgage (or rent).
  • Less money to spend on a home, means more money to spend on fun activities and/or vacations.
  • Less space, less likely to hoard.
  • The smaller the home, the less that needs to be cleaned.
  • Small homes grow tight families.
  • Small homes forces everyone to live more efficiently and reasonably.
  • Allows one to become more aware of their surroundings.
  • Provides one with a sense of peace and humbleness.
  • Teaches one to be frugal for a lifetime.

Reasons to Live in a Small Home

In a small home families grow together instead of growing apart in large, individual spaces. Small homes provides tighter spaces, so there is not space to run away from confrontation or disagreements. The family is forced to resolve arguments in a healthy manner so that they are able to continue to live comfortably and happily within the small home. When one lives in a small space it keeps one more realistic about what they purchase and bring into their home, while keeping them less materialistic and more “down to earth”. Living in a small space also allows one to be closer to nature (and/or to their particular surroundings); when one lives in a home that is small, they are more likely to go outside and to participate in outdoor activities (or if one lives in a city, they are more to go out more often and enjoy the amenities near by). Living in a small space allows when to become more aware of their surroundings and to spend more time outside of the home, but also provides one with a quiet, calm, comfortable getaway to relax. Living in a small home allows one to discover; discover how to be efficient, discover how to become frugal, discover a personal identity and life's necessities, and to discover all of the beautiful and interesting things that hide in the giant land surrounding the home.

How to be Efficient Living in a Small Space

  • Use Loft beds in bedroom(s) to maximize floor space.
  • Make use of wall space with shelves and cabinets.
  • Use tall and sleek bookshelves.
  • Use shelves on the walls.
  • Make use of space between the ceiling and the top of the cabinets.
  • Make use of the top of dressers, and bookshelves for pictures, candles and odds and ends.
  • Use drawers, bookshelves, and baskets to organize the closet(s); this will provide storage for belongings that are not used regularly while still allowing easy access for the household.
  • Provide a “flow” with the furniture to make it cozy and comfortable.
  • Take advantage of vertical space.
  • If the home has high ceilings, take advantage by adding lofts for bedrooms, lounge spaces, or extra storage spaces.

How to Adapt to Small Home Living

Adapting to a small home for one who has been living large for quite some time can be extremely difficult, but it is completely possible. The first thing one must do before downsizing into a smaller home, is to go through all of ones things and only pack the most important and most functional pieces of merchandise. When moving into a small space, one must carefully set up furniture in the most efficient way, that has a positive, effective, and comfortable flow for the entire household. Living in a small space means that one must learn how to have numerous functions for different spaces. To adapt to small home living one must also learn how to become more organized and maximize wasted space into usable storage. For one to comfortably adapt to small home living, they must come to the realization that when one is spending less money on rent or mortgage, they will be able to put more money into making the inside of the home perfect for their lifestyle. Even when living in a small home, one can still have comfortable amenities, such as, nice appliances, great furniture, and an intimate interior. Adapting to living in a small space is easy to do, only if the person (or family) is willing to take on the challenge.

Petite Palaces

Located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. | Source
Mobile house located in a Portland, Oregon.
Mobile house located in a Portland, Oregon. | Source
"The Barbie House"
"The Barbie House" | Source

Extremely Frugal Small Home Living (Video)

My Small Living Story

Before I moved into my small home when I was twenty-one with my boyfriend and our young daughter, I lived out of my college dorm, my mothers house and my fathers house, as well as staying with my boyfriend in his small apartment. Since I stayed in so many spaces for so long I had accumulated a large amount of belongings throughout the years. When our daughter was three months old, we made a quick decision to move into an extremely nice, open concept, one bedroom apartment, since we desperately needed our own space that we could call our home and grow into a close, loving family, just the three of us.

Upon first look, I thought we had plenty of space for all of our things, but as we became comfortable, and as our daughter grew into a toddler, we quickly realized we needed to change how we had things set up to accommodate all of us without having to move into a more expensive space. Living in a small space with a child is never easy, toys easily take over every nook and corner, and kids clothes are quickly outgrown and stored in every storage space one could imagine (which is already limited when living in a small home). As soon as our daughter reached a toddler age, my boyfriend and I were quickly flooded out of the bedroom (that the three of us shared) by toys, clothes, and books. Luckily, we had a large living room, and we were able to sacrifice our dining table, that way, we could make a nook in a corner of the living room for our bed, so we could allow our daughter to have the large bedroom for everything she needed and desired. Thankfully sacrificing the dining table for us was not a huge issue since we did have a nice breakfast bar (peninsula) dividing the kitchen and the large living room, so the three of us can still sit down and have a meal together.

Since we have now lived here for three years, we have bought and have been given furniture that works more efficiently in our small space, such as tall bookshelves, a reclining couch (in case a friend wants to stay overnight), and other odds and ends that make our space flow with a comfortable, cozy, homey feeling. Our home has a decent amount of storage inside (and we do have an outside storage unit we are allowed to use), but we always need to declutter and rid ourselves of clothes, toys, and other items that we have outgrown at least twice a year. Ridding ourselves of clutter also allows us to host yard sales so that we are able to earn some extra cash to pay for fun family activities. Also, every once in a while we come up with new ideas and find new furniture items that will provide us with a more comfortable small living space.

Now that I have lived in a small space for three years, I couldn't imagine living in a large house, but I can imagine living in a small home that we own on a larger piece of property. Small home living is good for our family because we are always close, we spend a lot of time together, and we have learned how to respect each other and resolve arguments and conflicts in a proper and healthy manner.

Small Home Living is not for Everyone

Small home living does not suit every lifestyle. The size of ones house all depends on the size of the family, space necessary to provide comfort throughout the household, and the size of ones home depends on the lifestyle that one desires to lead. Before moving into any home, one should make sure the home suits not only themselves now, but will allow the household to grow and transform into something beautiful in the future.

Could You Live in a Small Home?

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bravo! I applaud you for taking the leap and going against the grain. We will be doing the same thing in two years and I can hardly wait.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      It's a neat idea! I'd like to downsize some but not that small. I'm just me and about went crazy in an 800 square foot house for me and my pets.. So claustrophobic. I would like to downsize some, though. I like the overall concept, but I also like space to breathe. Neat hub!

    • Emma Heim profile image

      Emma Heim 2 years ago

      Love this post!

      My boyfriend and I have been talking about building our own tiny house one day and I am just so obsessed with the idea right now.

      We have talked about building one on a trailer to travel but we aren't sure how we feel about not having a regular toilet yet haha

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