My family of four lives in 1000 square feet, and we love it! I’m really not kidding you, we totally love it! Even our boys love it, and they have to share a room! I bet that’s hard to imagine for many people. It would have been hard for me to imagine not long ago.
We moved from a much larger house, almost three times the size! And the property the other house was on would have held about ten of the lots our house sits on now. The change is really dramatic. But, again, we love it!
I was thinking about why we love it so much. I’ll tell you!
In no particular order…
- Togetherness – Living in close quarters forces close contact. We’re together whether we like it or not. Which builds….
- Relationships – The fact that we’re always together is like the full immersion method of learning a foreign language; we’ll build relationships like it or not, good thing we like it!
- Parenting – Not only can we see the kids all the time, but we can hear them too. Even if they wisper a cross word at one another, I know it. Sometimes it’s the quiet itself that gives them away!
- Homeschooling – We love homeschooling and being so close makes it even better than before! It’s just so much easier to mix in an impromptu lesson on whatever into the day when you’re only ten feet away. And it’s easier for the kids to ask a question when they can just look up from the book and ask.
- Helpfulness – I feel good about the fact that I know right away if anyone in the house is struggling with something. Maybe a light-bulb is hard to reach, or the groceries are coming in, or the dog puked on the floor! I’m lucky enough to be able to help with that!
- Outdoor Living – The deck at our house is bigger than the house! Having a tiny house causes us to live outside much more, even though our other house was in a park-like waterfront setting. We know the instant the weather is good and we’re there! Love this.
- Less Stuff! – We were forced to reduce, cut back, thin, and thin some more and we still have more to get rid of (in storage). When you live in a small house, you only hold on to those things that truly warm your heart, make you smile, or are totally useful.
- Easy to Clean! – We can clean this house in a fraction of the time the larger house took. Since we use every area every day, most of it stays pretty clean, so when it’s time for a “spring cleaning” it’s only a few hours work (if we all pitch in).
- Easy to makeover! – Everything is smaller so when it’s time to remodel, which will happen frequently once we’re totally settled, the jobs are more bite-sized. This is good if you’re both a chronic remodeler and always in a hurry to finish the job!
- No Less Wasted Space!- I wasn’t really aware of how much waste our life included in the bigger house. We don’t do that now. There isn’t anywhere near as much wasted space here, though amazingly there still is some!
- Lower Expenses! – This is huge! Our electric bill is less than 1/3 what the other house bill was. Taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance…it’s all lower. Given the current state of things, this is a huge blessing!
- Ultimate Green Home – I didn’t build this house so I don’t know what insulation is in the walls. I can tell you that it isn’t well insulated. There are no special features on the water heater or the air-conditioner. But this house has much less impact on the environment than a tricked out green house twice the size. Go figure.
- It Inspires Creativitiy – Take my home office for example. It stinks right now. Lame-O beyond belief! When I deal with this, which will be pretty soon, I’m going to have to be very inventive. That’s a really good thing for me. Make your brain work, and it will!
- Keeps the pride in check – I know from experience that living in a fancy house and all the trappings of a fancy life can create a false sense of pride. When you’re as amazing as I am, that can be dangerous. The tiny house helps with that… a little. 🙂
- It’s Cheaper to Remodel – My house is smaller than many of the room additions I’ve added to other homes! There is less of everything from flooring, to windows and doors, to light fixtures. It really adds up!
- It’s just comfortable! – If you’ve ever had a dog, you know that they love little cave like houses to go in. They like the close surrounds. It’s cozy, comfortable, safe, and reassuring. Same thing with people.
- You get more organized – just out of necessity you start to do a better job of having a place for everything and everything in it’s place. As much as I dislike the idea of being organized, I know that it works wonders and makes life better.
- Costs less to furnish – Much like the cost to remodel, and the cost to heat and cool, the cost to furnish a little house is simply less. You can only fit so much stuff in here! If you can afford it, this also means that you can furnish with nicer furnishings because you need fewer pieces.
- It’s just simpler – In general, life is simpler in a smaller house. This is just an overall feel, a way of living. It’s a really good thing.
- Less Stress – All of the above add-up to less stress. Life is more enjoyable with less to worry about, lower expenses, and better relationships. While it may not be a cure-all, I say that a small house is a huge step in the right direction if you want less stress!
Maybe this explains why I love remodeling so much! I just love the idea of finding the good in something that other people look at and say is bad. People for years have said that a big house was good. I made my living making them bigger still!
The obvious thought is that if a big house is good, that a small house is bad. I disagree! I think a small house is great.
But what I really love is the idea of taking whatever you have, large or small, and making the most of it! And that’s what remodeling means to me. It’s the work and creativity we put forth to make the most of what we already have! I love that!