Photo Courtesy of Rathmullan CottagesMy best friend and her husband just built their dream house. I am honestly, to the very tips of my toes, ecstatic for her. But as I toured her new home with its cathedral ceilings and huge chandeliers and massive amounts of closet space, I got jealous. Sigh. Sometimes I want a big house too!!!
Photo Courtesy of Busy BooIts so funny that in America we put a lot of stock in the term "Bigger is Better". We all know that this is not necessarily true in every situation, but in years past it seemed that houses just got larger and larger. In 1950, the average size of a new single-family American residencewas 983 square feet. Today, it is nearly 2500 square feet. As home sizes ballooned over that time, family size shrank. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 1950, an average American family consisted of 3.8 people; today’s average family contains 2.6 people.
We are using more space for less people!
Photo Courtesy of Blue Johanna CottagesBut as the economy struggles and our desire to be more eco-friendly and families are working toward "living green", Americans appear to be scaling back! Making a conscious decision to scale down the nest is hard for some, but garners many rewards in the long run.
Photo Courtesy of Enchanted CottagesSome special advantages to living in a small home:
- Our small house makes us closer. We are forced to cooperate, and spend lots of time playing together.
- Staying in our small home saves us money on our mortgage, enabling me to not work full time and spend more time with my children.
- We can clean our house well, if we all work together, in about an hour! Can't beat that!!
- We don't "need" as many things. This provides protection from impulse buys. Sometimes when I'm shopping, I see the most gorgeous things. I would love to buy them on impulse but I can't, because where would I put them in our small home?
- It is cheaper and easier to heat and cool a small house.
- The children play outside more and get lots of exercise.
- It is easy to know what the kids are up to. We can easily monitor their computer and TV habits and who they are spending time with in regards to friends. There is no need to buy baby monitors for your infant-you can hear them wherever they are. And it's much safer, too.
- Items in our house go through a process of natural selection; only the most used and loved items stay. This means everything we use and play with is high quality.
- There is less maintenance involved in a small home.
- When living in a small home all of the space is utilized. Power isn’t wasted heating and cooling unused rooms.
Photo Courtesy of A Snail Pace
Oh sure, irritation overcomes me sometimes when I start feeling bad about keeping up with my friends and their McMansions, but it always passes when I go home and walk in the front door my tiny space and think of how much love, fun and memories have been created in my little Jewel Box®.