Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Small Home Advantage

Ok, so I think by now you know I live in a small home.  I mean it's the main reason I started this blog in the first place.  I think you probably realize by  now that I prefer a small home. 

I started this blog because I recognize there are challenges to living in a small home and I wanted to share those challenges and solutions with others that might be experiencing the same thing. 

But I also really wanted to celebrate living in a small home with others as well!

Image Courtesy of Small House Style

Sure, we don't have a single walk in closet in the house.  And ok, we only have one bathroom which can definitely be a challenge.  And yes, there is nowhere to 'get away' to. 

BUT, there are ALOT of advantages to living in a small home.

For me the biggest advantage is TIME!!

I don't have alot of time as it is.  I'm a single mom, I work full time, now I blog...between those things, the grocery shopping, getting the oil changed, tires rotated, mowing the yard, running errands, school functions, Girl Scout outings...and a huge house to clean?  When would I be able to do anything I actually enjoy?

I would MUCH rather spend my precious time with the Doodle, with my cats, a good book, my blog...well pretty much anything other than cleaning!  I can clean my house in about an hour and that includes cleaning the bathroom!

Last year I read a book called Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominquez while I was trying get my finances under control .  I highly recommend this book if you are sick of working and never getting around to what is important to you and what you really want to be doing instead of working your life away.

What I took away from Your Money or Your Life is that I wanted to start making a life, instead of just a living (or making a dying as they call it in the book)!

And how many of us wish we weren't stuck in the rat race every day?  Do you wish you had more time for your family?  To volunteer?  To garden?  Whatever it is that is important to you.

Well, that's what my small home is for me - freedom.  Yes, for now I still need to work full time, but having a small home allows me more time and more money in my pocket so that I can enjoy the things that are actually important to me!

The Dollar Stretcher has a nice little story called "Small House, Happy Home".  The author, Fiona Lippey says "One day, I discovered that a smaller home with a smaller mortgage would mean we could have a happier lifestyle, with less debt and stress and more time and money."  I couldn't agree with Fiona More! 

The Digeratilife discusses the pros and cons of a small house here.

Small Living Journal discusses the financial advantages of a small home here.

And Unconventional Ideas, author John O. Anderson, has a really nice article about his experience and feelings about small homes.  While its an older article, it still applies today.

Image courtesy of Trendir

I've found the biggest advantages to living in a small home are:

* Household bills are less.  It just costs less to heat and cool a smaller area.

* Usually it means a smaller mortgage.

* Require less natural resources.  Less wood, drywall, paint, flooring,
   windows, etc - or even better if you can buy an already existing house
   instead of building new!

* Decorating is alot less expensive because you need alot less furniture.

* When you DO buy furniture you can afford better quality because there are
   so fewer pieces needed.

* Maintenance to a small home is easier and less expensive.  I just replaced
   my entire house of windows (a whopping five windows from single pane to
   double pane) for less than $3,000.  My coworker was just quoted $30,000 to
   replace his windows on his huge house with twenty-something windows!  
   Think flooring next people!  950 sq ft vs. 3000 sq ft?  Yeah, I'd prefer to pay
   for the new floors in my house! ;)

* It's forces you to pare down your belongings and not bring excessive
   amounts back into the home!  This saves money and gets us off the
   consumerism roller coaster...which saves us time as well.

* Less stuff means less time shopping for, cleaning and maintaining all
   that stuff!

* Forces more time together as a family!  Like it or not, there is nowhere to
   go!  And there can't be too many secrets when I can hear you
   BREATHING from the next room! LOL (Slight exaggertion here) And I
   personally prefer this. :)

Don't be ashamed of your small home!!  Live in it with pride!  Sure you may not have that status symbol of a huge house or 3 bathrooms, but you probably don't have the hefty mortgage and time consuming upkeep either! :)  I know I don't!  And I have more time to do the things that are important to me too.

So there you have it...the small home advantage!

Until next time....


  1. Great article, Erin! You've sold me on living in a small house, especially on the cleaning front!!! Thanks for the book recommendations, too. I want to check out Your Money or Your Life.

    I find Dave Ramsey super helpful for leaving within your means ideas. He's a little abrasive when you first start listening to his radio show or looking at his books, but his message is great.

  2. I love Dave Ramsey too!! He's what finally got me saving money!! :)

    And thanks for visiting my site!!

  3. i live in a small house and you are right about all of these aspects to living in a small house. I love that it does cost less. I also love that there is less to clean and the close proximity of all the rooms forces my family and I to hang out even when we aren't. It is a great thing. Great article.

  4. i love my small home, and i'm glad you love yours. my little cape is the perfect size for 2 people. we are lucky in that we have 2 full baths, and we're finishing the basement b/c it's full size which will help it be more spacious. those home pictures you chose are super cute, too!

    so glad you stopped by the cape on the corner, and that you're a "fall" girl, too! can't wait, it's just around the corner.

  5. Great article Erin. Even when building a home .... it doesn't have to be huge or more than we need.

    Pat Keller

  6. Thank you for your comment. I really love this article =)

  7. Thanks for the cute post Erin. I really love all these homes!

  8. Just found your blog tonight and I *love* it! I'm a small-house lover, too--1075 sq ft for our family of four. We've owned bigger homes in the past, but our small house means we can do the things that really matter to us--hubby can stay home w/ our kids and I can work a job that is rewarding and fulfilling and fun but doesn't pay all that great. I would NEVER trade that for more square footage or walk-in closets! :)

  9. "Your Money or Your Life" was a life-changing read for me. It helped me SO much. Great post!! I'm enjoying your blog so much!! :)

  10. Amen sister! Amen!

    Many Blessings,

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