Smaller is Better - TT # 21

We live in a house that is about 1400 sq feet. We are a family of six. I'm not going to lie, and tell you we are perfectly happy in our little home. The fact is we are crowded, and there simply are not enough places to put our things. The biggest problem with this house is not the living space, but the storage space. There is no basement. There is no attic.

Our previous home was about the same size, but it had a large basement, and a large attic. We really had plenty of room in that house. (Granted there were only five of us then.)

We do plan to build someday. When we talk about house plans there are always things thrown out like wouldn't it be nice to have a separate room for school, for Tim's music stuff, for canning, and a list of other things. Then reality sets in, and I wonder how big of house do we really need? Is bigger always better? I think in the case of homes the answer is no. Here are thirteen reasons why a small house may be better.

1. The Price Tag
All other things equal, whether building or buying, a larger home will come with a larger price tag

2. Utilities
The more square footage the more it will take to heat and cool the place. And the more rooms the kids will leave the lights on in.

3. Furniture
You will need something to put in all those rooms.

4. Decorating
More curtains, pictures, and other items to buy.

5. Cleaning
All that floor space will need swept, the furniture dusted, and those curtains washed occasionally. I can't keep up with what I have now!

6. Clutter
I find having a smaller home forces me to de-clutter more often. When we moved from the home that had lots of storage I was shocked at home much we accumulated because there were places to put it.

7. A bit tight now, but perfect for the future.
There are six of now, but there won't always be. I know this probably doesn't hold true for a lot of people, but when we build we plan to stay. we aren't looking for any North Carolina land for sale, or any other land for that matter. Thinking about when there will be just two of us is a consideration.

8. Redecorating
At some point new paint and carpet will be needed. This could be a big difference in time and money for the future.

9. Upkeep
Whether you are talking about the roof or the siding a bigger house will take more of it.

10. Life lessons
Sharing space may not always be fun for the kids (or the parents who have to hear the arguments,) but I think there are lessons to be learned in those conflicts.

11. Forces us to get outside
Being on top of each other makes getting outside in the open spaces more appealing.

12. Use of resources
We don't want the focus of our time and money to be a house. A larger house is a larger draw on those resources. A smaller house lets us put those resources to uses that are more important to us.

13. Encourages me to stay on top of things.
With a lot of people in a small space getting behind on laundry, dishes or picking up toys soon makes it hard to function in the house. I'm not saying that it never happens, but it is hard to just close a door and ignore the mess in a little home.
So, how large of a home do we need? I'm not sure about that. I do know though for our lifestyle and situation, bigger is not better. There are some things we certainly need more room for, and other things that might be nice. It comes down to prioritizing those wants, and deciding where to draw the line. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Thursday Thirteen

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Smaller is Better - TT # 21 + Thursday 13