Whilst waiting for our settlement day, (which is this Friday! Yippie!) I’ve been thinking a lot about why it is that we like living in small spaces. We’ve lived in a variety of tiny apartments, rental units, and even our caravan for a week here and there, and although it’s not always sunshine and rainbows with all of the chaos of kids and a dog, I have never pined for a huge house with multiple living spaces, and an ensuite for each bedroom. I’ve seen lots of families get in deep because of that little mantra “well, we only get one chance, so make it bigger!”. It’s terrifying. And in my opinion a little bit wasteful if it’s solely for that bigger-is-better nonsense, although if I had six kids I think my feelings on this subject would be vastly different. Living in a little house doesn’t suit everyone, but here are my reasons for why it suits us!
Here are 5 reasons why we love living in little houses:
1. Family Togetherness :: Becoming and maintaining our close family unit is important to us. We are lucky enough to have identical twin boys, who are each others best friends. I don’t know how the future is going to pan out but I feel like we are a tight knit bunch, and I think that living in close quarters means that there is a lot of communication, a lot of hanging-out-together time and when it all becomes a bit cabin-feverish, we resort to the great outdoors, or a local cafe. If we had kids of different genders and ages, this might not work, especially throughout the teenage years, but it works for us, and we are happy.
2. Clever design :: We are only starting our little house reno, but I’ve always love nutting out a small-scale design, making sure it’s functional, with an illusion of more space than there actually is. Well designed storage and clever flexibility are key! It’s like Tetris, and I’m addicted.
3. Less stuff :: I’m the first to admit that I love a garage sale, or a good secondhand shop find. But as stuff comes in, it also goes out. I always have a bag in various stages of fullness that is on it’s way to the charity bin, or secondhand bookshop. Decluttering is so cathartic. Our kids have enough toys, not heaps, but they are never bored. Having less space means that you physically can’t have too much stuff, so the stuff you do have becomes more precious to you.
4. Less cleaning :: I think that a small house is one that a vacuum cleaner can reach every room from one power socket. The concept of having less cleaning to do is fine by me. And less cleaning means less cleaning products, less expense, more time to do the stuff you enjoy the most, which for me is anything but cleaning bathrooms!
5. Less is green :: It’s not rocket science, if you have less of something it’s better for the environment. Less house = less materials. Less space = less heating. And so forth. The bonus is that also means that its a bit easier on the hip-pocket too. Less mortgage, less maintenance cost, less bills, more money to spend on travel, or whatever.
So living in a small space means that you have less of a lot of some things, but much more of those important things, like time, money, and an environmentally cleaner conscience. Like the wise architect Mies van der Rohe said, less is more. More or less.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. See you on the flip-side with some before photos!
PS: We don’t live in that river house pictured above. But wouldn’t that be cool for a shack!?