When my husband and I decided to simplify we knew that small space living would be part of our simplifying journey. Over the last few years we’ve had the opportunity to live in various sizes of small spaces ranging from 650 square feet to just over 1,000 square feet.
One of the best opportunities we’ve had thus far is when we were able to rent a small 650 square foot home for our then family of three.
When we’d tell people that our family of three lived in 650 square feet they were always in shock. Usually they’d ask me questions to try and get a better understanding of what 650 square feet actually looks like. They’d have me point to an area of their house that was comparable to our whole house. (Usually half of the kitchen or a quarter of the living room area). That was usually followed by a whole slew of questions of how we manage to live in such a small space. What’s interesting is that the questions are rarely why questions. I think most people intuitively understand why we choose small space living. (Less stuff = more time). The questions were usually how questions. Most people are looking for similar ways to declutter, organize and simplify their life.
There are many wonderful things that we have learned from living in small spaces. Here are the top 5:
A Commitment to Minimalism
Restricting space means restricting stuff. It’s human tendency to completely fill the space we have (and usually try to fill it even a bit more). A small space naturally creates limits for material items. If the closet is small, then clothes are limited. The same principle applies to all areas of the house.
A Love of the Outdoors
When space is limited inside, it’s natural to get outside more. We get outside as a family as much as possible. I love that our small space encourages use to explore the wonderful outdoors more often.
A Lot of Time
When we are home, we are together. Period. There aren’t different sections of the house. I love the tight living quarters because it brings us together as a family, all of the time. If my husband is reading a book with our daughter while I’m fixing dinner, I can still watch, participate and enjoy. They’re not sectioned off in another location. We’re all enjoying the evening together.
A Constant Critical Review of Possessions
Fully utilizing the space you have is critical to small space living. Every cupboard and counter space needs to be functional and highly utilized. If an item that is rarely used is taking up prime real estate in one of my kitchen cupboards then out the door it goes. In a small space the item can’t be squirreled away in the basement or spare closet. There’s no where else for it to go. Small spaces helps us focus on the useful and practical items that we own and helps us to get rid of the rest.
A Digitally Organized Life
Something that’s been essential for our small space living is being digital. We don’t have room for books, magazines, cookbooks and movies. Because everything is digital, our whole office is a simple desk in the living room. There’s no need for bookshelves or filing cabinets. If you’re interested in going digital too, check out my course.
Small space living truly is one of the best things we’ve done to in our simplifying journey. Although small spaces come with their own unique set of challenges, we really like the minimalist lifestyle. We can clean our whole house in less than an hour and then have more time to travel and to do the things we love. We are currently living in another small space while we save to build our own “tiny home.” You can check out my Pinterest Board for some things I’ve saved for when we build our own small space.
Simplify with Less
If you’re interested in learning more about how to simplify with digital organization, then you may be interested in my free email course: Simplify with a Life Digitally Organized. Digital organization has made such a difference in our lives! It’s allowed us to get rid of boxes and boxes of stuff! A home that once had dozens of bookshelves, a wall of filing cabinets, hundreds of books, thousands of papers, stacks of DVD’s, receipts and more now has one simple file box for our remaining papers and that’s it! Join the course below and look forward to 7 emails for 7 days with actionable strategies for cutting the clutter and getting digitally organized.