Money seems to be tight for everyone these days. One look at almost any family’s budget will reveal that most of their money is spent on housing followed closely by food and restaurant expenses. Even though it’s a challenge, you can make a small home work for your family.
Why live in a small house?
My family lives in just 1000 square feet and we love it. I think every family should consider downsizing, even if they’re planning to grow their family in the coming years. The reasons to live small are more than just financial, although that’s the selling point for most people with this lifestyle.
There are also the quality time benefits. If you’re not cleaning a 2000 or 3000 square foot house, you can be spending that time with your family making memories. It’s so sad to me that so many people waste their weekends maintaining a large home, decorating it (which gets expensive), organizing it, and keeping it clean.
We can get our house completely decluttered and back in company-ready condition in 15 to 20 minutes.
If you’re considering downsizing to afford the lifestyle you really want or to just simplify, here are a few tips to make a small home work for your family.
Stop Being a Homebody
Invest what you’re saving in mortgage payments and spend some of that money in memberships instead. We have memberships to our local science center and zoo. Each have reciprocal programs that get us into museums, science centers, aquariums, and zoos all over the country. We spent around $200 on both memberships combined and we’ve been able to save SO much money on entertainment when we travel.
Maybe we aren’t even really saving money because I would have just found a free solution, but this lets our kids be around other kids when we’re traveling, play with really cool things, see animals, and do more than they would be able to do if I just took them to a free park.
In fact, as I’m writing this we’re out of town for my husband’s job. We went to a park the other day and had to pay $10 for parking. Craziness!
The following day, we went to the local science center for free and got to examine space ship replicas, dinosaur bones, and play with really cool exhibits about minerals and weather patterns. That beats the crap out of a park any day – especially the rainy day that we spent there!
When you go out a lot, you’re not only making amazing memories, but you’re preventing that “the walls are closing in” feeling. Don’t get cabin fever, just get out of the house!
Your home should be a Launchpad for all your adventures. Don’t spend so much on it that you can’t afford to make fun memories. Remember what’s important – probably not storing tons of stuff you
Have less stuff-
It’s probably obvious but a place for everything and everything in its place needs to be your new moto.
Gone are the days of buying a ton of stuff on a whim because you had a bad day. Unless you’re like me and Dollar Tree shopping sprees are a need, not a want. Our house is a little overrun with organizing supplies I bought on one of my many shopping trips.
Don’t be afraid to purge your home of things you don’t love and to find creative ways to store what you do decide to keep.
Combine room functions.
Our master bedroom (which also functions as our kids’ bedrooms because we cosleep also functions as my office.
This is one I struggle with daily – but get and stay organized.
I guess my Dollar Tree shopping sprees do serve a purpose after all. When you have a place for every single one of your possessions, it’s so important that that item finds its way back to its home every time you use it. Clutter makes a room feel so much tinier and it’s the first thing that’s going to make you look at your significant other and say “this was a mistake, we can’t live in a space this small.”
Ask me how I know.
When your home is organized, you’ve purged, then purged again, you’d be surprised how small of a space you can truly make work. You just have to find organizing solutions that work for you.
Challenge Your Excuses
Think of every reason a small space can’t work for you, then start coming up with solutions.
For us, it was not having enough bedrooms when we know we want a big family. Okay, but we also are completely committed to bedsharing. How many bedrooms do we need? Does this mean we need to budget to add on in a few years when our oldest inevitably wants his own space? Or do we just accept that we’re going to grow out of our house eventually and have to move somewhere else? Either are fine with us.
Not having a designated office space – we spent a ton of time recently trying to come up with cute office solutions for me, then at 10 pm when it’s time for me to work, I wanted to just grab my laptop and work in bed next to my adorable sleeping family. It’s lonely to work somewhere else!
It turns out, I didn’t even need an office. Maybe when Scotty is blogging full time too, we’ll have to come up with a better office solution, but right now, propped up on pillows in our big bed works perfectly for me.
What excuses do you have for staying in a larger home? Wouldn’t it make your life easier to have a smaller home complete with a smaller mortgage payment and less to clean? Let me know in the comments why you want to move into a smaller home or why you’re committed to staying in a larger one. I love hearing from you!
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