5 Big Benefits of Living in a Small House


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This is a guest post  from Rosemarie Groner of The Busy Budgeter

I’ve moved 11 times as an adult. I’ve lived in 300 square foot basement apartments, 900 square foot townhomes, 3,000 square foot large homes and pretty much everything in between. In all those moves, one thing has been constant. The large homes may be impressive to look at, but the smaller homes are always my favorite to live in.

If you feel stuck in your small house, I want you to think about the benefits that the smaller house brings to your family. There are so many benefits to small house living that are hard to appreciate until you’ve moved out. These are my top 5 benefits of living in a small house.

In the right hands and with the right mentality, a small house can feel just as welcoming as a large one.

A smaller house saves you money

Because a smaller home typically costs less, this frees up money every month to spend on things that you really want. It’s not just the lower mortgage payment that will save you money, though. There’s about a $200/month difference for our electric bill from our 900 square foot home to our 3000 square foot home. That adds up to major savings over the years that you’ll spend in your home.

Just as important as having extra money to spend every month, is knowing that you’re living below your means. Living below your means gives you peace of mind if you have a major financial setback like being unable to work, losing a job, or having a serious medical problem.

Get out your mop and bucket? A smaller house is easier to keep sparkling clean.

A smaller house is easy to clean

Cleaning 900 square feet is obviously less work than 3000 square feet. Let me tell you, “cleaning the house” in my 300 square foot basement apartment took about 7 minutes. Cleaning the house in my 900 square foot townhouse took about 2 hours. Cleaning the house in my 3000 square foot home took about 5 hours.


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When you’re cleaning your house every week, that’s a pretty significant time savings. Have you ever carried a large vacuum up and down 3 flights of stairs? It’s not fun. Your only other choice is to buy a vacuum for every level of your house… or never vacuum.

A large house encourages you to have more “stuff” in it, which is more “stuff” that needs to be cleaned and cared for. We filled the 3000 square foot home to the brim with stuff we thought we needed. When we lived in the smaller houses, we thought about where we would put things before we bought them and walked away from a purchase if we didn’t know.

Living in a smaller home gives you more time to bond with your family, like enjoying Jenga on game night. It's a matter of finding the right balance.

A smaller house can help build relationships.

There are plenty of families that grew up in mansions that are extremely close, but I truly believe that my upbringing in a small house (1000 square feet) brought my family closer together. When you live in a small space together, you learn to work around each other and diffuse problems before they happen.

We jokingly say “There’s nowhere to run to” in our house and it’s a true statement. It’s really hard to avoid people in a small home. You learn to work around your differences and mediate problems as they come up.

In the 3,000 square foot house, it was common for my husband to play Xbox downstairs and me to watch movies or fold laundry upstairs. In the small house… Everyone spends time in the living room, because that’s the only option. It makes us closer to each other since we spend more time together. We choose activities that would involve everyone like game nights and popcorn parties instead of individual activities (like Fallout and Reality TV).

When you live in a smaller house, you'll simplify. You may find you only need a few pots and pans.

A smaller house encourages you to live more simply

Because you have less space, you’ll choose wisely what deserves a spot in it. I promise you that you don’t really need everything we buy to fill up that 3000 square foot home. And you’ll likely be happier without it. Think about the things that you use every single day. Now add in a few hobbies that you do frequently. Those are the things you need to have space for in your home.

Our great-great-grandmothers had a pot and a pan. We have 13 different types of pots, pans, steamers, fryers, griddles, slow cookers, rice cookers, woks, fondue pots, you name it. And yet, they made every single meal from scratch while I still struggle with avoiding the drive-thru. I find more and more that the less things I have, the happier I am.

Love modern, clean lines like this blue living room? A small house looks great with fun modern furniture.

A smaller house is easier to customize

When you live in a 3,000 square foot home with vaulted ceilings, two living rooms, and four bedrooms it can be really expensive to furnish. It can be even more expensive to decorate! Without a large amount of expendable income, it’s hard to create the warm and inviting home you dream of.

When you live in a smaller house though, having your space set up and decorated exactly how you want it is pretty easy! You can paint yourself, and start small grabbing quality items that are made to last and upgrading things slowly over time. After some time, you’ll have a magazine worthy house that you’ll be proud of at the fraction of the cost of a larger home.

My 700 square foot apartment was gorgeous and I was so proud to have friends over for dinner. My 900 square foot townhouse was beautifully decorated and personalized. It felt like a home as soon as you walked in. My 3,000 square foot house felt really impersonal. There was a lot of white walls and it had a “bare bones” feel to it. It felt like a large house, and not a cozy home.
While I certainly think that having a large cozy home is possible, I want you to realize that there are so many blessings in your small home that you might overlook while you’re wishing that you had a larger home. Because I’m over here, wishing that I had your smaller home.

At the end of the day, it’s not the size of your house, but what you fill it with. You can be happy in an apartment or you can be happy in a mansion. The house won’t create your happiness, it supports it.

Rosemarie Groner is a formerly stressed, overworked and exhausted momBlogger Rosemarie Groener from the Busy Budgeter who loves blogging almost as much as she loves brownies. She writes at The Busy Budgeter about how she used the free Ultimate Money Saving Workbook to reduce their spending enough to be able to quit her job, stay home with her kids and then found way to make up her salary at home. She’s still working on the cure for exhaustion.


  1. Joyce
    January 15 at 08:39AM

    What a great article!

  2. Sarah
    January 15 at 09:01AM

    All of your points are spot on! We just made the move from 3000 sq. ft. to 1300……and we are in love (both with the house, and each other :))!

  3. January 15 at 11:21AM

    I do agree with all of the points. However, I would add one benefit of being in a larger house–being able to wake up before your children! We have three kids and live in a very small house. They seem to hear me the moment I am out of bed. 🙂

    • January 17 at 09:41AM

      Sarah, I absolutely agree with you! I love our small home, but I have a hard time getting things done while my son is sleeping because he hears everything. 🙂

  4. January 15 at 12:39PM

    I second this post 100x’s over!!!

    We are a family of 7 almost 8 (any day now!) and we went from a huge 3,000 sqft home to a single wide mobile home!
    Talk about downsizing!

    We have experienced all of the wonderful things and the not so wonderful things mentioned in this post.

    It’s still easy to get the “I wish our house was a little bigger” bug, especially when you have a growing family.

    At the end of the day I do love our home (notice I said home and NOT house) and she’s absolutely right about being able to make a smaller house a cozy home!

    Great post!!!
    Great reminder and encouragement too!

    • Anjanette Shaw
      January 18 at 10:17AM

      Thank you for posting this. We are a large family of 8 and are looking into purchasing our second home. We are currently renting a 3100 sf house and have been afraid to look at anything smaller but don’t want to try and buy something bigger and stretch our budget thin.

      • Anonymous
        January 18 at 10:28AM

        Smaller house living as a big family can be intimidating for sure!

        Especially when you start the purge process because you know there’s no way everything will fit into the “cracker box”.

        We’ve learned a lot about what we NEED vs what we CHOOSE TO KEEP.

        I do think anyone can do it, even a large family! It’s just all about attitude, perspective and being willing to embrace the change!

        Hope you guys are able to figure it out

        • Anjanette Shaw
          January 18 at 10:38AM

          Thank you for the encouragement! It really gives me hope that it can be done.

    • Kim
      April 18 at 03:01AM

      I have been thinking about this a lot with a move planned in a few months. We are a family of 7 and live in a 3 bedroom 1700 sq ft (plus the basement). I have been wondering how small we could go realistically with 5 kids aged 1-10. The house we live in now has lots of living space, but the bedrooms are small. I have no issues with them sharing rooms, but we can’t seem to fit more kids in these 9×10 rooms. Ideally we would have 3 girls in one room and 2 boys in the other if we stuck to 3 bedrooms. We currently have 2 kids per room and the baby is still with us in our not so huge room. How do you deal with sleeping arrangements? How many bedrooms do you have? The thought of cleaning a smaller house like our first home (family of 5 with 2 bedrooms and one bathroom in a 800-1000 sq ft house) is pretty appealing.

      • April 18 at 12:53PM

        We have done a variety of things with sleeping arrangements. We have purchased bunks, separate twin beds etc. We have constantly found the happiest the children are is when they are all together in the same bed. My girls have a full size bed and often times I will find them in the morning all huddled together. It’s really quite cute! We DO NOT make them, they choose too.

        My two sons just started sharing a bed because the toddler began climbing out of the crib. They have a blast because they wrestle themselves to sleep!

        The baby is in our room. He will move in with the boys once he’s sleeping through the night. He will be in a crib by himself.

        So we live in three bedrooms apprx. 10×10 size. I don’t have anything other than their beds in their rooms. We don’t do dressers, they each have a plastic drawer in the foot of their closet. There are a few animals and books for when they’re in bed.

        All the toys are organized in the living room inside 12×12 cubbies. It’s really all about how you layout a small house with a large family. Furniture placement and organizational tools are essential!

        You just have to find what works for you and your family! i hope that helps a little 🙂

  5. Celeste Reising
    January 15 at 04:57PM

    I loved having a small home. It forced us together as a family & we are super close as a result. We ate meals together , had tv time together, etc….
    Now that my children are adults & on their own I am so thankful for that together time. They still come over & we all hang out in the living room like old times!!!

  6. January 15 at 05:35PM

    Rosemarie, I completely relate to what you’ve said here! I really enjoy the togetherness of living in a smaller space– it certainly encourages interaction and openness. The only thing I long for is a larger space for hosting: we want to be able to fit more people in our living room and around our dinner table.

  7. January 16 at 01:29PM

    I love this article. It shows once again that it is the closeness of your relationships with your family that truly matter in any size home.

  8. Carla
    January 17 at 04:24PM

    Timely article! My husband and I have just decided today to put our house up for sale and move 2 hours away to the country farmhouse that I grew up in, which we began renovating for a weekend retreat last year. We will be going from 1400 sq. ft to 900 sq. ft. but getting rid of financial stress and moving to a slower paced lifestyle is so worth it! I bought this house as a single mom, but haven’t been able to afford to “make it cozy” with enough furnishings and decor so truth there in that a smaller house is cheaper to decorate.
    Also, my adult daughters’ favorite memories are of times spent in our small starter home of their early childhood. They would rather forget the few years later when we moved to the 2300 sq. ft., 2-story home where we became stressed, drifted apart as a family, and divorce broke up our family.
    So I really did not need to read this article to convince me that we are making the right decision in light of our current circumstances, but it sure was a nice confirmation! Thanks! 🙂

  9. karen b
    January 17 at 05:26PM

    I can agree w/ this article, but we went from a smaller home to a larger home & I actually don’t regret it at all besides the cleaning part 🙂 We have been able to host our youth group many times here instead of renting a place, been able to host a large family Christmas a couple times, I could list other things but I think you get the picture 🙂 To clarify we have a large open area in our basement which has made it easier to do these things. If we didnt have the basement our home would be really small. Just commenting mainly because larger homes can be a blessing also depending on how you look at it. I also wanted to say we only have 1 living room & our teenage sons share a room & we all spend our time in the living room. Its all in a persons perspective I think. would I go back to a smaller home probably not.

  10. January 17 at 05:27PM

    Amen!! We sold our house and currently live in a 188 square foot Airstream travel trailer with our 3 kids. We’ve never been happier. Less stuff. Less stress. And we collect memories not things.

  11. January 18 at 10:21AM

    This is an ongoing discussion for my husband and I…downsize to something we can pay cash for (a couple hundred sq ft) or keep renting a very convenient monstrosity (3900 sq ft)… Money, relationships, entertaining, community and the future are all things to consider. Thanks for giving us more food for thought!

  12. January 20 at 09:53AM

    This was a great read! Over the last 2 years we have gone from a 3000 sq ft house, to a 1700 sq ft house, to a 1500 sq ft house…all by choice and with 2 kids and a dog. It has been the most freeing, eye-opening experience yet. We sold so much of our stuff and I never realized how emotionally exhausting it was to just have so much stuff. Now our home is only filled with things that are useful or we truly love. We also have lost our focus on things and rather shifted it to experiences, and it has done amazing things for our family!

  13. January 20 at 09:59AM

    Although Small homes have fewer benefits as you mentioned above in your article, but a small house can’t fulfill the requirements of a big family. It’s not possible for families that have 7 family members to live in a 300 Sq feet house.
    Yes large homes require more time and money to maintain them, but they also provide extra space and comfort in living. So, it all depends on the size of the family to choose a big or small house for living.

    I appreciate your thoughts on home sizes and their advantages & disadvantages linked to them.

  14. January 22 at 04:12PM

    we are a family of 4 living in a home that is under a 1.000 square feet. Some days I think it’s a curse…but most days I think it’s a blessing! “Love grows best in small houses” 🙂

  15. February 5 at 02:20PM

    I love it when I read posts about small houses – I am a bit of a small house design nut. One benefit I really enjoy about small houses is the cute factor. Nothing can beat a super cute small house –

  16. April 17 at 01:34PM

    Love this! We are a family of 6 sometimes 7 with my stepson and we are currently downsizing from a big townhouse to a small ranch and I cannot wait! I cant’t wait to be able to customize and clean it like you said. I also can’t wait to get rid of all the unnecessary stuff we have accumulated to fill this place. Thanks for this!

  17. April 19 at 01:08AM

    Agree with all points. We’ve downsized to 860sq/ft from around 1300sq/ft and so far all is going well. It means nearly $1000 in savings for us when looking at reduced mortgage and utility bills, plus higher rent on the larger home. Plus we can really make it ours – as you have mentioned Rosemarie. It’s much cheaper to renovate a small home. And I can vacuum 80% of my house from one socket – winning!

  18. Stephanie
    May 5 at 05:15AM

    Bang for your buck also makes a difference–sometimes a small house comes attached to a bigger yard! We moved from our 1,100 sq ft condo to a 900 sq ft house with a large yard, so our 3-year-old could run around and play. It’s been absolutely wonderful watching him run through the sprinkler, play in the hose, and help me in the flower garden. There are 3 of us right now, and a 4th due in November. 🙂 Sometimes it feels small, but most of the time I just really enjoy how close we are. It really depends on what you value in a living space, too. For us, choosing a smaller home with a yard, out in the country where mortgages are way cheaper, was a great decision. Although I have to say, we have a 400 sq ft garage that comes in verrrry handy, haha. If I didn’t have that storage space (and the option to turn it into another bedroom someday), it’d be tough for me to be in a house this small I think. As it is though, we love our little house, and have made great memories already! At the end of the day, your kids remember how happy you were as a parent, how much time you spent with them, and the simple joys you experienced together.

  19. Kristy
    June 14 at 11:20PM

    I loved hearing of all the benefits of a small home. My family of 5 is moving from a very large home to a small modest one. We are just starting the purging process and I am feeling overwhelmed by all of our stuff!!!
    I know this will be a drastic change but am hopeful we will just love our new space and the time we will have to just be together.

  20. October 9 at 06:30AM

    With small house, you can make a lot of it out of recycled, re-purposed, and salvaged materials. In addition to making the house look cool and unique. Thinking about to get small house with eco friendly concept and cost efficient, is best choice. They are a trusted developer have proven with their exceptional quality.

  21. November 3 at 03:59PM

    Being able to quickly create and attain a magazine worthy makes buying a small home really appealing. My husband and I can’t decide what size we want. For the most part, it depends on if we think we’ll move again after this. We’d want a bigger home if we want to settle down and start a family.

  22. Anonymous
    January 13 at 08:27AM

    Great article. You addressed all of the benefits of owning a smaller home. We just bought a smaller house and purged most of our stuff in the process. After spending the day in daughters beautiful 3,500+ home on the golf course and returning to our Little House on the Meadow, I realized how much I love this little place. Less is best.

  23. February 10 at 08:30AM

    We also love our small home. I am so glad we didn’t push for something bigger.

  24. Dan
    March 5 at 03:55PM

    About seventeen years ago we moved into my deceased grandparents’ home built in 1980. It’s considered a small home…880 sqft with a basement the same size.
    I’ve worked as a corrections officer and deputy sheriff for the past 20 years and so my wages are solid middle-class. Living in a very affordable, smaller home has made it possible on my wages only for my wife to stay at home to raise my children instead of dumping them in daycare just so we can live a more expensive lifestyle with two incomes.
    Over the years we’ve remodeled, finished half the basement, added two more rooms and a large deck, installed AC, and made necessary repairs, but my house payment stays the same!
    I’m now about ready to retire from my career…..guess what? My monthly pension deposit will not only cover my mortgage payment, but will also take care of my bills too! It feels so good to not be financially strapped to a McMansion or too big of a home like so many of my coworkers get into. They have to rely on two incomes just to make ends meet because they are house poor. I guess stroking the ego is more important than being financially secure and sound.
    Also, I grew up in a 4 bed, 1.5 bath home with 9 siblings. We shared rooms and spent a lot of time together and outside. Your rarely see that these days…..very sad.

  25. March 15 at 03:54AM

    Big houses are obviously better, but I like the idea of living in a pretty tiny house that could be allocated anywhere. Tiny houses on wheels are really amazing. I can ditch modern living to live in one.

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