Two of the posts that get the most traffic on our site are: Big Family, Little House and How to Begin Living a Minimalist Lifestyle.
Writing the first post was a big leap of faith: I was nervous about being judged and criticized, but I knew that we were not the only ones living with a large family in a small home.
Given the search terms and the number of visitors that go to those posts, I know that other people are looking for answers, solutions and help with the idea of downsizing, or living with less.
But I’m sure there are also many who are curious about it, but question if there really are any benefits to it.
And the answer is yes, there are many benefits to living in a small home.
(sidenote – you might also want to read my post The Reluctant Minimalist for tips on breaking through the struggle that holds people back from letting go of things)
Sure, like most things, there are aspects about it that aren’t always ideal. The same can certainly be said about a large home as well. But since this is a choice we’ve made for our lifestyle, I’m also choosing to look at the bright side.
(“Always look on the bright side of life“… *whistle*)
(… I digress …)
Nine Benefits to Living in a Small Home
Easier to Clean: Less space requires less cleaning, less sweeping, less vacuuming. It can feel untidy quickly, but it takes no time to pick things up.
Less Maintenance: Fewer bathrooms = fewer pipes that could leak. Fewer windows = less cost to replace them… The time/money/energy savings quickly adds up.
Encourages you to keep clutter down: A small home can quickly feel filled up, so we keep the clutter down and at a minimum.
More time spent outside: The outdoors are an extension of our home. The back porch is an outside eating area, the yard is an outside playroom. Our kids spend a lot of time outside. Sometimes it’s just to get away from each other, and find some quiet, but often, they are all outside together, taking in fresh air and stretching their legs.
Easy to find things: It’s hard to lose things in our home, because there aren’t many places that things could be. And because a small home doesn’t allow for much hoarding, there’s not a lot that could get lost, anyway.
Family Bonding: We all tend to gather in the same room, no matter what’s going on, but even if we aren’t, we aren’t that far from each other. Someone is nearby if a question needs answering, someone needs help, or just wants company. The truth is, we like each other, and enjoy being together.
Lower Energy Costs: Less rooms to heat and cool means less energy used (*bonus benefit points for having a lower environmental footprint all around).
Lower Property Taxes: Something often overlooked, when determining affordability, is property taxes. Taxes can add a lot, and if you are already living above your means, you can quickly end up in a tight spot when they come due. But even if it is within your means, remember: just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to.
Stretches your creativity: Finding ways to organize and decorate a small home aren’t always easy. It can take a lot of creativity and ingenuity. But we somehow manage to find something that works for us each time.
Living in a small home is not something people should ever feel sorry for us for. It is not a life without joy and, as you can see, there are many benefits to it. We love the life we live within it.
Do you live in a small home? Are you wanting to downsize? Share your thoughts in comments!