I live in a small home. While that’s a pretty subjective statement, I can’t help but see the large houses in the subdivisions all around me. They’re pretty big. In the (relatively) modest subdivision next door, the houses are between 50-100% larger than our house. And if I were living alone, my house would be plenty spacious, but thankfully I’m surrounded by my family, which means there are five of us living under this dainty roof.
I could complain about my small house. But I won’t. Because at the end of the day, I have a house. It’s dry and warm, clean and safe. I’m happy that I live here. And I’ve realized some pretty cool advantages of living in smaller digs.
1. I can vacuum my entire house without unplugging the vacuum cleaner. It also doesn’t take that long to vacuum (or dust, or clean the walls, or…). Plus, I don’t have to deal with stairs.
2. Because I can’t fit very much furniture in my house, it’s much less expensive to furnish. No formal living room set. (Does anyone even host friends here instead of the actual living room?) No chaise lounge in the bedroom. (Do they ever get lounged upon?) No china hutch. (It’d get broken anyway.)
3. For better or for worse, we can’t escape each other very easily. There are definitely times where one (or all of us) has completely burned through their patience for people. But guess what, sweeties. You gotta learn how to get through those homicidal tendencies. It’s a life skill, kids.
4. Baby monitor? Who needs one when you can hear when the baby wakes up clear on the other side of the house!
5. If my kids’ bedroom is only 10 feet by 10 feet, there’s only 100 square feet of space they’re going to have to clean up at the end of the day. If my three kids each had their own bedroom at a more modern 13′ x 13′, that’d be 507 square feet of space to tidy up, a five-fold increase. Plus, my kids can’t hoard toys with which to spread about the house. After every Christmas we must go through to weed out all the toys that never get played with so that they’ll have places to put their new ones.
6. I am more aware of what is going on with my kids throughout my home, since I can often see and usually hear what they are doing. Annoying? Yeah, it can be. But it also gives me opportunities to correct when misbehavior is happening that I wouldn’t get if I was far, far away in a big house.
7. Home maintenance and utilities are cheaper. Does the carpet need to be replaced? It’s cheaper to replace 800 square feet than 1800, potentially by thousands of dollars. Heating is also cheaper. Typically property taxes are cheaper as well (especially in older homes that have locked property tax increases). Really, pretty much everything is cheaper.
8. Forced simplification. If I had a walk-in closet, you bet I’d fill it up with things that I “need”. Well, I don’t have a walk-in closet. Anything unnecessary goes to a new home (if it even makes it through the door to begin with). I don’t feel like I’m drowning in stuff. (Up to my neck in it at times, yes. But never drowning.)