This goes out to all the moms out there who live in a small home… and maybe wish it was larger: Hi. Do you need a hug? That might be weird. So here’s a cyber high-five.
Friend, I know how you feel. Living in a house or apartment that feels cramped for your family is hard. You’re not alone in longing for more space. Although tiny houses may be having a moment, the vast majority of American families still expand their space with added children.
But what if you can’t afford to move to a bigger home yet? What if living in a teeny gypsy-cart on wheels doesn’t interest you? Is there a happy medium for those of us in limited space? Is it possible to raise a flourishing family without a dedicated playroom or separate bedrooms for each person?
To you—to us—I say “yes.” It IS possible to not just get by, but to THRIVE as a larger family in a relatively small home. I know it’s possible because I’ve done it.
My husband and I started our family in a tiny apartment we called The Shoebox. When we moved out we were a family of five in 450 sq. ft. It was tight but it was sweet. Now we make our home in a little 1,000 sq. ft. rancher—six people in one darling little fixer-upper. And we love it.
Hey mama out there wishing you had more space: take heart.
Living small can be done well, and your family will be stronger because of it.
Here’s how to start appreciating your current abode, regardless of size:
Own It (figuratively)
Own it, girl! Yah, you live small. The benefits are super: there is less space to clean. A family closer together. More responsibility as children learn to respect the common area. Less space for clutter to hide. Sure, there are drawbacks. The key is to dwell on the good stuff; moms set the emotional tone of the home. Own your current journey of living small and start appreciating the good things about your lifestyle. It is likely that your children’s attitudes will soon mirror your sunnier outlook.
Luckily, little living areas are a cool thing right now. There is a lot of great information about making the most of small spaces. Get inspired to rock that smallish home with decor ideas from Ikea, Houzz, Apartment Therapy. Pay attention to colors, lighting, minimalistic tendencies, furniture placement. Even small upgrades like a rightly-placed shelf can make enormous changes in how easy a space is to live in.
Don’t be afraid to LIVE in your smaller-than-you’d-prefer home. This vulnerability is the key to thriving. Don’t put life on hold because you feel like you don’t have enough room. Instead, make room for life. Invite friends over. Get a dog. Host a yard sale and sell stuff. Meet the neighbors downstairs and apologize for all the early morning kid-noise with brownies and a winning smile.
“Don’t put life on hold because you feel like you don’t have enough room.
Instead, make room for life.”