How Big of a House Do You Really Need?
For my entire life, I have never lived in a place bigger than 1400 square feet. The smallest dwelling I had was a studio less than 400 square feet which I shared with my parents. Because of my experience of living in small homes I think of anything over 2000 square feet as excessive for two to three residents. Today I want to highlight some of the reasons why I prefer smaller abodes.
A small house or apartment has several advantages over giant McMansions. First, it takes a lot less time to clean and maintain so you could have more time to do other things. Second, it uses a lot less energy to heat or cool so you could save money on utility bills and leave less of a carbon footprint. Third, it encourages you to declutter and get rid of your junk because you do not have enough space for it. Finally, the cost of a smaller home is usually less than a large McMansion so you will save money on taxes and insurance. The bottom line is that a smaller home saves you quite a bit of money over an extremely large living space and also wastes less energy.
The challenge of living in a small house is that you really need to simplify your lifestyle. You probably do not have room for a giant sectional, but you could make do with a beanbag. A sprawling gourmet kitchen probably would not fit, but a basic set of stove and oven should suffice for everyday cooking. Having a small abode encourages people to use space efficiently, and thus live more effectively. Myscha wrote a great article about how to do this on Wise Bread.
So how small of a house would you be comfortable with? Personally I feel that I have way more than enough space in a condo of a little over 1000 square feet which I share with my husband. Sometimes I feel that it is too big because there is space that we barely use. I am not sure if I would be fine with living in a 75 square feet house manufactured by a company in California called the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, but I think I would do fine in a place half the size of our current place.
I am curious, do you have too much space in your house? Could you unclutter and downgrade into a smaller living space?