Our House Is A Very Very Very Small House

It’s week two as a family of six and the questions have started. Where do you fit all your kids?

Our home is small. Personally, I think it’s the perfect size, but at under 1300 sq ft it’s a tight squeeze for even a family of four. We make it work. And we make it home.

The three boys share a room- Brady Bunch style. The baby rooms with us. Our third bedroom is the playroom. We finished off half of our basement and spend most of our chill time down there. We have a nice fenced-in backyard that I consider one of my favorite “rooms” of all.

I always know where everyone is and what they are up to pretty much at any given time. For a Mom, this is a great benefit of a small house. And at times it is the root of most migraines as you really can’t escape the noise. But, I happen to find comfort in the clangs and clatter as I’ve found too much quiet can be worse.

And having a small house, we are always together. Not too many places to get away. And having a small house, we have a small mortgage. And having a small house, there is less to clean. But for real- I have a hard enough time keeping this little shoebox tidy. Not sure how I’d do it with an extra 1000 sq ft.

And for real, no matter the size, under this roof is home. It’s our castle, safehaven, and most recently the birthplace of our first daughter.

As the kids keep growing, someday we will probably move to a bigger house with more bedrooms and (I hope I hope) a larger kitchen. But for now, this house is a home and meets all our needs.

It may be small, but our hearts are plenty big.

Stephanie Precourt is the managing editor of 5 Minutes For Parenting and also blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

45 Responses to Our House Is A Very Very Very Small House
  1. Gill
    September 26, 2008 | 2:27 am

    Just read about little Ivy…HUGE CONGRATS!! And i too live in a compact home!! I too one day hope for bigger but right now it’s great to know that i cannot enter a room without meeting at least one member of the family and getting a hug! 🙂 Small is beautiful!

  2. Krista
    September 26, 2008 | 7:48 am

    I too live in a small house – 1000 sq ft. We only have one child, a toddler, thus far and I have to admit the thought of living in this tiny box as a family of 4 with 3 dogs makes me claustrophobic.

    Really I like our little house with the exception of a few things – no laundry room and only one bathroom. We also have a nice fenced yard, with a roofed porch that gives us extra living space. On the downside the washer and dryer are in the kitchen, which eat up precious food prep space. I am thankful for our “little” mortgage though and that we were blessed enough to purchase our first home at just 21 years old – nearly 10 years ago now.

    I keep trying to remind myself that if we stay put in this house, I could cut back on working some, should our family grow.

  3. tracey
    September 26, 2008 | 7:49 am

    I miss our tiny first house… Ilove our average sized house, now. But our first one had special memories… I wrote their heights on the wall for Pete’s sake!

  4. Meagan Francis
    September 26, 2008 | 7:58 am

    There are a lot of things I prefer about living in a small space. I’ve found that larger spaces can be as hard to keep clean because you just wind up accumulating more stuff to fill in the empty space. Plus it can take forever to return things to the room they came from because it’s further away!

    I may blog about this very topic today, thanks for the inspiration!

  5. DAwn
    September 26, 2008 | 8:21 am

    Three cheers for the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song reference in the title! I absolutely LOVE that song.

    We have a small house and I love it. Easier to clean and keep up with everyone. We are renting but when we buy I don’t want anything much bigger. I always thought I wanted big, but since living here, I’ve changed my mind.

  6. Stephanie
    September 26, 2008 | 9:06 am

    We too have a small house and a growing family and while my husband thinks it’s too small, I love it for the same reasons you doo!! We have 200 sq feet more than you, but no basement.

  7. Kathryn
    September 26, 2008 | 9:21 am

    We are dealing with this right now. It is not so much the kitchen size or bedroom size that is the problem in our 1500 sq ft house. It is the lack of storage. We have NO ROOM for storage. I can’t even fit my minivan in our ultra-tiny garage. And our backyard is too small for us too. So we are in the process of moving.
    Still we’ve loved our house. Moving is always hard, especially from your first home.

    So glad you are making it work. 🙂

  8. Rhonda (Mimi)
    September 26, 2008 | 9:28 am

    You are so right. Size does not matter. Some day I do pray that you get your huge kitchen since you love to cook.

  9. melody is slurping life
    September 26, 2008 | 10:48 am

    First, I am now singing the post title.

    Second, your post is the perfect argument for down-sizing. Delightful.

  10. Ashlee - Mama's Nest
    September 26, 2008 | 11:05 am

    I absolutely love this. So well said, so true, and so misunderstood! I wish someone would tell every new mom or mom to be this! We fell into the trap that having a baby meant we needed more- a new house, a bigger house! So we bought a new house TWICE the size of our old. It’s great, it’s ours and I do love it but we didn’t NEED it like we thought we did. The funniest thing is that we still probably only use as much space as we did in our old place.

    I imagine after Ivy’s birth that place will be extra hard to leave behind!

  11. Hillary - The Queen I Am Not
    September 26, 2008 | 11:07 am

    Our house is little bit bigger at 1550 sq ft, but we have no basement. We are cozy as a family of 4, and will be even cozier when baby #3 makes his appearance in 8 weeks. My husband is longing for a bigger house, but we both love our house too much. I always know where they are, I can release them into a secure yard, and the girls have learned to share everything with each other. Right now, it’s perfect.

  12. hyperactivelu
    September 26, 2008 | 11:16 am

    Couldn’t agree more. Now that we have moved, we have a little more space to spread out-1400 from 1100, but it is easier to lose the kids (baby) and very hard to baby proof the house, because of its lay out. Although, I came from a gally style kitchen- TINY- could fit maybe 2 ppl in it… now I have the same style kitchen, but it can fit 2 comfortably. I am definitely lovin’ a larger kitchen.

  13. Amy
    September 26, 2008 | 11:17 am

    My 3 girls love sharing a room, almost too much! Our house is not much bigger than yours, but without the usable yard 🙁 I agree though, I always know where they are and getting it clean doesn’t take all day. At least the first time! 🙂 For now our little man has his own room – he sleeps so well in his own crib, but he may be sharing with a big sister soon, the girls keep each other up at night.

  14. Crafty Mama
    September 26, 2008 | 11:18 am

    We’re a family of six in a small house, too. I wish our backyard was fenced in, but we make do. Fortunately, we’re hardly all home together during the school year so we don’t have too much squeeze time.

  15. Heather
    September 26, 2008 | 11:31 am

    Our small house was just right until our third child arrived in May. Now, she sleeps in a basinette in our bedroom but she’s really outgrowing that. Then we’ll have to find a way to cram the crib in our bedroom. Beyond that I’m not sure what we’ll do!

  16. flipflopmamma
    September 26, 2008 | 11:34 am

    I have 200 sq feet LESS than you, and only a baby short. I love it. I like the smallness. I like being as minimal as possible. I do think though that if we ever did have a forth, we would need a little more space, and possibly when Popeye is up and running with theBeast we might be in some trouble! ha. I would like to own a 3 bedroom condo someday. Not too big, but a little more than we have. I think I contradicted myself about 10 times in this comment!

  17. Stacey
    September 26, 2008 | 11:36 am

    Our house is 1120 square feet, and while it sounds small, I’m very happy with it. Honestly, I would gladly have a family of 6 in this house! It would definitely be cozy!

  18. Tiffanie
    September 26, 2008 | 12:06 pm

    Humm… sounds rather familiar. We have a very small house too, but it’s home. We have gotten pretty creative with the space and even utilize the not so finished portions of the basement (a can of paint and a few throw rugs do wonders). The noise is definitely the greatest downfall, and our kitchen is also tiny… but we too have a fenced yard and it’s also my favorite “room”, especially with three boys and a two week old… we’ve been sending the boys to that room often lately! 🙂

  19. Herb of Grace
    September 26, 2008 | 12:52 pm

    Didn’t catch the song reference in the title, but how’s this for another quote;

    “I have always lived in small houses, I like them.”

    (Laura Ingalls Wilder to Almanzo Wilder)

    We’ve got two munchkins in our two br, one bth, 900sq ft cottage 🙂 It’s coooozy 🙂

  20. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls
    September 26, 2008 | 12:54 pm

    Our house is small too – only about 1000 sq. ft. on the main floor. Plus a basement that’s supposed to house our bedroom, a playroom and laundry room – but which is currently mostly unusable. With 3 kids, it’s a tight squeeze, but it’s all we can afford for now, and we absolutely love our neighborhood. 🙂

  21. Jenny
    September 26, 2008 | 1:32 pm

    I don’t think people have houses that are too small–I think they have too much clutter! Have you seen these things?


    It’s about streamlining your life, not buying more space to fill up. We used to rent a huge house–way more rooms than we needed, and the rooms were big. We were miserable. There was so much junk it was impossible to organize! It was NOT efficient heating and cooling-wise either. We paid at least $100/month year-round for heat (levelized) and STILL had to sleep with space heaters on either side of the bed. We have been SO happy ever since we bought our 1100 or so sq ft house. We got rid of half of what we owned in the move and I don’t miss a single thing! Our house is maybe a bit cramped sometimes, but I just take that as a sign that I need to continue my decluttering efforts. (Have you ever tried FlyLady’s 27 fling boogie?) Last thing we need right now is a bigger mortgage!

    Also, I would think that sentimentally once I gave birth in a house it would be mine for keeps. We plan to eventually add a garage and a craft/playroom and maybe an extra bedroom. That way we won’t be faced with a move, which is a pain! We’ve become very attached to our first little house.

  22. Barbie
    September 26, 2008 | 2:18 pm

    I too think small homes are cozy;). Our home is slightly smaller than yours about 1200 sq ft.and we too are a family of 6. I also have an in home day care. But for all the same reasons you listed above I love it. And feel very blessed it’s ours:)

  23. To Think Is To Create
    September 26, 2008 | 2:38 pm

    I always thought it would be cool to live in those tumbleweed houses, but not with kids of course!

    Our house is small, but it’s way bigger than any of the postage stamp places we used to live in when we were in L.A. Add to that the fact that it’s the first house we’ve ever owned, and our third child was born here, it would take a lot for us to move. We love our home!

  24. Shelly
    September 26, 2008 | 3:53 pm

    We’re about to move into our first house that is a small house as well, and we couldn’t be happier.

    I agree with everything you wrote.

  25. kendra
    September 26, 2008 | 4:18 pm

    We have just two boys but live in a 1100 sq ft house. I too like the fact that we are always living together instead of spaced out in different areas and that I can hear what the boys are up to anywhere in the house. It does sometimes get tight, like when all four of us are in our small galley kitchen or when we have company over, but overall I love living in a small house.

  26. pickel
    September 26, 2008 | 4:50 pm

    Ours is only 1400 Sq. feet…

  27. Kari
    September 26, 2008 | 6:25 pm

    We’re in the “Small House Club” as well, at a little less than 1,000 sq ft. There are 4 of us (not including our large dog) and I agree with so many of your points to the advantages of smaller homes. These days, I’m most thankful for a smaller mortgage! Thankfully, we have an unfinished basement that we use for storage and also a garage. Honestly, I don’t know what we’d do without those extra spaces!

  28. Jen
    September 26, 2008 | 6:44 pm

    Yea… we have small houses too. We just actually sold our house last year that was 790 sq. feet which housed all five of us. Now, we are just renting since we are back in NC trying to find the perfect house for us.

  29. Heather
    September 26, 2008 | 6:47 pm

    Our home is 700 sq. feet. It’s me and my DH and my DD (6 months). We’re definitely considering having another one in our living space. We have a studio, so it feels more open, so it’s very livable. But I struggle constantly with clutter and having too much for our space. I <3 Freecycle!

  30. […] A wonderful look at why even a small house is still a home, over at 5 Minutes For Parenting. […]

  31. Amber
    September 27, 2008 | 8:08 pm

    I wish we had a smaller house, but DH wants an even bigger one…I’m like you and see togetherness, less cleaning and a smaller mortgage, too!

  32. Tirzah
    September 28, 2008 | 5:08 pm

    I love my small house. It is just shy of 1400 sq ft and it is great. It will be better when we finish the basement, but while our kids are little (6, 3, and newborn) they can share a room just fine!

  33. Rachel (SpaceofGrace)
    September 28, 2008 | 10:22 pm

    I’m also the head of a 6 person ship… with myself, 4 little men, and one big kid to take care of ;-). We just moved to a bigger house and I’m loving it… but also admiring you for all that you are doing. Isn’t parenting great? I agree with you on all the benefits of a small home… and love how you call the backyard your favourite room of all.
    Congrats on the new baby!

  34. Karen
    October 1, 2008 | 8:51 am

    We are a family of 6 (including a teenage daughter and son entering teenhood this fall), plus 2 dogs (one of whom is a Great Dane). We live in military family housing in one side of a duplex… 4 BRs, but less than 1400 sq. ft. and no basement. It’s tight, and I wouldn’t do it if housing in CA weren’t insanely expensive. My girls have bedrooms that are less than 10 ft. sq. Not much room to do anything. The boys share a room.

    You’re right when you say there is no place to escape. 2 more years of this and we get to move. I won’t miss small.

  35. Shannon
    October 1, 2008 | 9:10 am

    Our house is small, too. Although I often believe I am dreaming of a big, lavish home with lots of room for my children and I . . . I think the truth is that I’m secretly thrilled in my tiny abode, for all the exact reasons you mentioned 🙂 And I agree, in economic times like these, a small mortgage is a huge relief for us.

  36. Michele
    October 1, 2008 | 10:10 am

    Reading some of the other comments our house isn’t as small as I thought that it was (it’s 1500 sq ft). We’ve managed to fill it up in the two years that we lived in it…storage is an issue for us too.

    This was such a sweet post!

  37. Stacey
    October 1, 2008 | 10:27 am

    I always thought I would live in a “bigger/nicer” house by this point in my life. But really, we have come to love our house. We have put some much work into it, it’s starting to be exactly what we want. We have the 3 kids and one on the way. At first we fretted about kids having to share a room, until we realized the kids love it. In fact, I don’t know why we even bothered to buy bunkbeds. The 2 boys will only sleep with each other in one of the bunks. Our little girl has her own room right now, which is not huge by any means but I know that adding another child in the mix won’t be a problem with space. It’s nothing a little closet purging and a trundle bed can’t fix!

  38. casual friday everyday
    October 1, 2008 | 11:44 pm

    Sounds “cozy” like our house too. 😉 I tell you one thing. When the boys are teens I want another house because I refuse to share (or have the main bath) with boys! lol

  39. Erica
    September 21, 2009 | 3:41 pm

    We are a family of 7….my husband and I..3 girls and 2 boys…we live in about a 1300sq ft 3 bed 1ba home…its not bad other than the one bathroom thing..lol…can be rather interesting when everyone has to go at the same time. 🙂

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