The Advantages of Living in Smaller Spaces

Not too long ago, I talked to a man who lives the tiny house lifestyle. My conversation with him got me thinking about living in smaller spaces, and the advantages of avoiding a big home.

Almost seven years ago, when my husband and I were shopping for a house, we looked at a number of homes in our price range. Many of them were what we, here in America, call “McMansions.” However, our family is relatively small, with only three people. It seemed silly — not to mention unnecessarily expensive — to buy “as much house as we could afford.”

smaller house

While a bigger house comes with greater status in our society, and can be a manifestation of success and wealth, the reality is that we wanted something more modest. While we’re not ready to live in a tiny house, our home is still considered “small” by many standards. Here are some of the advantages we’ve enjoyed due to our choice to live in something smaller than we “have” to:

Smaller Environmental Impact

First of all, we are able to make a smaller environmental impact. We have a smaller footprint because our smaller house means less energy consumption, less waste, and less everything. Because we can’t cram everything in our home, we have to be choosy about what we buy, which means less packaging. We use less water for our yard, and there are a host of other ways that the smaller house means a smaller impact on the environment. If living more sustainably is one of your priorities, a smaller space can help.

More Money (and Time) to Do What We Want

Not only does a smaller home mean a smaller environmental impact, it also means bigger savings. A larger home is more expensive in almost every way. Utilities, maintenance, mortgage and interest, and property taxes are all more expensive when you have a bigger home. I know plenty of people who have big houses that they can afford — and they can’t afford much beyond paying for the house and necessities.

Since we live in a smaller house, we have more disposable income to do what we like. This means that we don’t have to pinch pennies when we want to go out to eat, or travel. I don’t have to wonder if I have enough to take my son to the movies, and my husband doesn’t have to wonder if he can afford the latest Madden video game. It’s freedom that others at my income level, who have chosen larger houses, don’t have.

We also “save” in terms of time. The smaller house means we don’t spend as much time cleaning, or on upkeep. Yard work, maintenance, cleaning, and other activities around the house take less time, freeing us up to do other things. If you subscribe to the idea that time is money, this is another valuable point. Plus, when we move, the fact that we have less stuff means that we have less to pack up — and that will save money as well.

In the end, financial freedom and more time are more important to us than having a big house. So we live in a smaller house, and enjoy what we like.

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at MirandaMarquit.com. Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.