Time for some real talk. Most people want a bigger house. I don’t. Our home is 1200 square feet, which feels absolutely perfect for our busy family of four. Here’s why I think less equates to so much more…
Having a home with a smaller footprint means a smaller monthly payment for mortgage, taxes, insurance. Because we have chosen to live within our means, we don’t feel the financial strain that comes with investing in a bigger or more impressive plot of real estate. Living small means we need less of literally everything (house paint, tools, cleaning products, furniture, organizing products – you name it!). Being able to comfortably pay for our home and maintain it leads to less overall stress and relationship strain, and frees up resources we can use towards eating out, travel, personal development, and philanthropy.
Less to Clean and Maintain
To be perfectly candid, I’m not a fan of cleaning, and there are a million things I would rather do than spend my time on household maintenance and upkeep. A smaller home enables us to spend less time cleaning, decluttering, and organizing, and more time relaxing and enjoying our home and our lives. I’m even relieved we don’t have a backyard because the thought of having a lawn to take care of fills me with dread – I can barely keep a houseplant alive.
We Can Invest in Fewer, Better Things
Years ago, when we decided to retile our bathroom, I realized that we could afford to pick out any tile we wanted because our single shared bathroom is the size of a small postage stamp (not even a regular stamp, People. It’s tiny). With less rooms to furnish, paint, and style, we have the luxury of splurging on high-quality products, furniture, and finishes that we absolutely love. I also love to splurge on fresh flowers, fancy candles, and other little luxuries to elevate our home, and having a small home enables me to go big and make our home feel good without breaking the bank.
It’s Better for the Planet
I’m always looking for ways to reduce my environmental footprint. A smaller home uses less energy and resources, and produces far less waste than a larger home. Heating and utility bills are smaller because there’s less space to heat and cool. Cleaning products can be reduced because there’s less to clean (we use this single all purpose cleaner for our entire home!). A smaller home requires less furniture and decor, so small space dwellers can consume less, which also means less packaging and less waste.
Quality of Life
I am restless by nature and love traveling, eating out, going to meet friends, and having city adventures and day trips. We love spending time together at home, but it can sometimes start to feel a little too cozy. The good news is a smaller home can be a catalyst to connect with friends and neighbors, be more creative and resourceful, and get better acquainted with the world outside of your four walls.
Sure, sharing one tiny bathroom is no picnic, and occasionally I daydream about having a spacious mud room, but we love our home, and don’t feel weighed down by our things or the responsibility that comes with managing and maintaining a larger property. Overall, having a small, minimal home has resulted in more time, money, energy, and freedom for our whole family. File that under win-win.
I’m curious: Where do you stand on the great house size debate? Do you think bigger is better or opt for the less-is-more approach like me?
Photography Credit: Vivian Johnson