Years ago, when my husband and I were deciding where we wanted to raise our family, we looked at a lot of homes. We looked at colonial style homes, homes with odd shaped additions, homes with crawl spaces, and even a home with a clawfoot bathtub at the top of the stairs (seriously!).
Just when we had given up hope on finding a home we could imagine living in for the rest of our lives, we finally found it. A 1920s era craftsman bungalow. We loved this house for a lot of reasons – the beautiful arched doorways, the beautiful dark wood doors and molding, the enclosed porch with nearly 20 windows to let in tons of light, and it’s proximity to family. But, the biggest reason that we loved this house so much is because it was small. And that’s exactly what we were looking for.
One of the major benefits of having a small house is that it simply costs less. Not only is our mortgage payment less than half of what our friends pay, but we also pay less real estate taxes and have less maintenance costs. Also, our utilities cost less. In the winter, we use less heat and in the summer we use less air conditioning.
When The Goose was younger he was a bit of a handful, and having a smaller house meant I could keep an eye on him no matter where he was. If I was in the kitchen cooking dinner, all I needed to do was take three steps and I could see him playing in his playroom. I didn’t need to worry about what he was doing because I could hear everything. And if I didn’t hear anything, I knew he was up to no good!
There is less to clean! We have two bedrooms, one bathroom, a small kitchen, dining room, living room and playroom. That’s it! This makes setting a cleaning schedule super easy – on Mondays I clean the bathroom, Tuesdays I clean the living room and dining room, Wednesdays I clean the playroom and pick up in the basement, on Thursdays I clean the kitchen, and on Fridays I clean the bedrooms and take care of anything else that I didn’t finish during the week.
When you have a small house, you simply can’t have a lot of clutter, because there is nowhere to put it. Simple as that. With one small coat closet, and a built in shelving unit in the dining room for my lesser-used kitchen appliances, I have little room to keep extra things around. That means that The Goose only has toys that he actually plays with. I only keep kitchen appliances that I actually use. And my husband can’t keep his piles and piles of books upstairs. (He actually has a small workroom in the basement that is all his own – he can keep whatever he’d like down there!)
Of course, having a small house does have a few cons. For instance, family holidays can get cramped, especially if you have a large extended family. We’ve hosted Easter and Thanksgiving here in the past, and it has worked out fine, but our favorite holiday to host is The Fourth of July – that way everyone can enjoy being outside on our patio, and we don’t have to worry about fitting everyone in the house at once.
Having very limited closet space can be a bummer – especially if you like buying lots of clothes. But, having small closets isn’t as bad as it seems. For one thing, it keeps me on my toes when it comes to getting rid of clothes that The Goose has grown out of, and it helps to ensure that my husband and I only keep clothing that we really love and wear often. Plus, we also have a larger closet in the basement where I store special occasion and off-season clothing.
Remember before when I said I could hear everything that goes on in this house? While that’s fine for now, I know that when The Goose gets older he’s going to need a place to hang out with his friends without his super-awesome mom crowding them. That is why we have plans to completely finish our basement. Not only will it add additional living space, but it will also serve as a guest bedroom and a playroom/hang out space for The Goose.
All in all, I really do love having a small house. This may change in the future as our family grows and our needs change, but for now I really think our house is just the right size. While having a small home may not work for everyone, it is perfect for us and I wouldn’t want it any other way.