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How to be Happy Living in a Small House!

How to Stop Resenting Your Small House

We live in a 1401 square foot house with a family of seven. I say this right off the bat so you know where I’m coming from. In some parts of the world, 1401 square feet is much bigger than people are used to. In most parts of the United States, our house is tiny for our family size. It’s easy to feel frustrated and overwhelmed when living in a house that feels too small to meet your needs. I want to share with you the mindset shifts that helped me to truly appreciate our small home that have made a monumental difference in my life.


The quick backstory is that my husband and I have always wanted a large family and we have always wanted to live a minimalist lifestyle.


That doesn’t mean that minimalism comes easily to me or that I’ve always been great at it.


I just always knew I wanted to focus on connection over things.


In my mind, a small home was the way to do that.


In actuality what happened was the babies kept coming and so did all of the stuff.


We just ended up doing what everyone else does – we bought shelves, totes, organization solutions just to organize our crap until system after system failed.


Then we bought a bigger house.


It turns out, bigger homes just have more room for more stuff.


Then, in 2022, we sold our 1900 square foot house after just a year and purchased an RV.


As crazy as the decision sounds, I was pregnant with our 5th baby when we sold our beautiful home to RV around the country full time.


We sold and donated tons of our belongings and put the rest into storage.


Let me tell you, if there is one way to make any house feel huge, it’s to live in an RV first.


Living in that RV taught me how little I actually need day to day to raise and homeschool my kids.


Then, while back in town for prenatal appointments, hurricane Ian turned our world upside down (literally) and we lost everything overnight.


Being forced into minimalism and homelessness taught me just how important connection is.


My husband was safe. My babies were safe. My pregnancy was healthy.


We truly had all that we needed without having anything at all.


6 months and one extremely expensive lease later, and we were searching for a home to purchase.


We walked into the home that we ended up buying and my husband didn’t even want to walk past the front door.


It was hideous.


Disintegrating blue carpet, a leaky ceiling, old furniture, and way smaller than we “need” at only 1401 square feet.


I knew immediately that it was perfect.


It’s over 4 times as big as our RV was!

This perspective is what worked for me, but sometimes when the stuff creeps back in, I start to miss our almost 2000 square foot house and feel like a bigger house is the solution. 

Here are the mindset shifts I needed to make that you probably do too:

Practice Gratitude: 

Focus on the positive aspects of your small house. 

Consider the benefits it offers, such as lower utility bills, easier maintenance, or closer proximity to amenities. 

Ours happens to actually be farther away from amenities, but it comes with an acre of land so I’ll take it. 

Declutter and Organize: 

This is a constant battle.

You’re always going to be getting rid of the things that find their way into your home and reevaluating the things you once chose to keep.

Maximize the space you have by decluttering and organizing your belongings. 

Get rid of items you don’t need or use regularly, and find creative storage solutions to free up space. 

A well-organized space can feel larger and more functional.

Optimize Layout and Furniture: 

Arrange your furniture and belongings in a way that maximizes space and flow.

Consider multipurpose furniture – we love our storage ottoman in the living room for toys.

Let in Natural Light: 

Natural light can make a space feel larger and more inviting. 

I make the most of natural light by using mirrors in our living and dining rooms to reflect light from the windows.

This makes a seriously huge difference – way bigger than you’d expect. It adds windows to walls that don’t have any.

Keep curtains or blinds open during the day to let in as much light as possible. 

If privacy is a concern, consider sheer curtains or frosted window film.

Spend Time Outdoors: 

Each year, we do the 1000 hours outside challenge.

I love our house, but I want this to be our launching pad for making awesome memories OUTSIDE of the house.

Focus on Experiences Over Possessions: 

We use the money that we would have spent on a higher mortgage payment on a larger house to purchase an annual Disney membership every year.

We also take an annual trip to Charleston, SC each Christmas and we go to Key West each year.

Shift your focus from accumulating possessions to enjoying experiences. 

Invest your time and resources in activities with those that you love most rather than in acquiring more stuff.

While it’s easy to get overwhelmed when it feels like you don’t have enough space, it really does just take a mindset shift and some well thought-out organization. Put your head down and focus on making your current space work for your family and then decide to make the most out of the situation you find yourself in. You will never wish you spent more time resenting your home.

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