Oh, the joys and challenges of small house living! In the past decade we’ve lived in (and ran businesses out of) two smaller homes (1100 feet or less) that had minimal built-in storage. We also spent several months living with our two small kids in a 26 foot camper. I haven’t always loved it – in fact, there have been times I hated being confined to such small spaces. But I’ve also come to a place where I truly enjoy living in our small home.
There are some distinct challenges to small house living – especially with other people. It doesn’t take much for a small space to feel cluttered and messy. Sharing space with other humans takes work and communication and patience. You really can’t just let the housework go.
But there are some amazing benefits to living in a small home too. If you’re there – struggling to enjoy the small space you’re living in, let me encourage you: You can love your small home.
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The biggest secret to living well in a small home is to own less stuff.
Every time I start to feel claustrophobic in my own home, this is the issue. Now, I know we all have stuff that we need. But really, we don’t need as much as we think we do. Purging our first home before a move was what started us on our journey towards minimalism. It’s an amazing perspective switch. Travel to any third world country and you’ll realize that my “small” home is actually more than enough for almost anyone.
Minimalism – our pursuit of it at least – has been the saving grace for us in living in a small home. If you want to love your small home get rid of stuff. This book has been so very encouraging for me in this area.
As I learn more about the benefits of living with less, I’m decluttering with a new sense of purpose. When your spaces are free of clutter it’s easy to find the items you actually need and use on a daily basis. It’s easier to clean. It’s easier to tidy. It’s the one thing that will make the biggest difference for living well in a small home!
Other things that will make small house living easier:
Keep surfaces clear (and make your bed!)
This is pretty simple, but don’t discount it. Keeping surfaces clear makes a HUGE difference in the feel of a room. It also makes cleaning faster and easier. On that note,
The downside of a small house is that you use the space more regularly, so it won’t take long to get dirty. The upside, though, is that if you stay on top of the housework you’ll be able to clean the whole thing top to bottom in no time.
Create focal points.
I’ve found that a small house is the perfect canvas for a few well placed focal points. In fact, a room that is clean and free of clutter is the perfect frame for a vase of flowers or beautiful piece of art. These focal points will transform a room from small and plain to a clean and calming haven for the soul.
Plan (and budget!) to get out of the house.
No matter how clean and organized and clutter free your small house is, you still need to get out every once in awhile. For us, our smaller house has actually freed us financially to get out and do more – and we love that! Being intentional about living life outside of our four walls has helped us to enjoy small house living even more.