According to IKEA, living small is the new living large. If that is true, then our family of 7 (we are down to 6, since our oldest daughter moved out) is living humongously in our 1500 square-foot small space home.
It has been a challenge at times, to decorate and host family functions, but it can be done. Read Design Your Own Winter Beverage Station to see how we serve cocoa and coffee in our galley kitchen.
We all know the drawbacks of having less space, but are there any benefits to being square-foot-challenged?
The most obvious perk is financial. The monthly payment, taxes, and insurance are all cheaper with a smaller home. Other budget-busters like utilities and maintenance cost a lot less as well.
Larry Burkett was a financial counselor with Crown Financial Ministries until his death in 2003. On his radio program he often said, “Stop trying to elevate your lifestyle.”
I would think to myself that Larry was nuts. Why wouldn’t you want to elevate your lifestyle? Isn’t that the point-THE American dream? Nowadays I dream of the freedom we will hopefully enjoy someday, if we keep our housing costs static.
In 2018, USA today listed the average yearly housing (mortgage/taxes/insurance) bill at 18,886 (that includes all housing costs). The average yearly household income at that time was $75,000 (pre-tax dollars). Read about it here.
The average family will spend one forth to one third of their income on housing and related costs.
Less money for housing is one of the main ideas behind the Tiny Homes Movement. It is officially defined as “a social movement where people are choosing to downsize the space they live in.” A Tiny Home can range from 100 to 400 square feet, while the national average for square footage is 2600.
It seems like the people living in Tiny Homes want the economic freedom to work less, go more places, and do more things that they love. We enjoy going on vacations as a family, and don’t want to be tied down with a large house payment. We went on a great vacation to North Carolina last fall, with the proceeds from my eBay store, The Little Dish Cottage.
They also value their time. They want to spend less time cleaning and maintaining their homes, and more time enjoying life and building relationships with other people.
In addition to time and money, another plus to small space living is greater peace of mind. I try to look at life as an exciting, challenging, homeschooling, one- income, great adventure, like Laura and Mary Ingalls in the Little House on the Prairie. Sacrificing a larger living area feels good when you have a higher purpose.
One of the greatest advantages of abiding little is the togetherness it necessitates. Our children are a lot closer to each other because of room-sharing, and we are all a lot closer after sharing one bathroom for 13 years, until the addition was built. You certainly have to learn to work together in that situation.
I don’t know what the future holds for us, or if we will always stay here in our lovely little cottage. But for right now, if living small equals success, we definitely have the victory.
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Happy Small-Space living!
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