These Are Some of the Benefits of Living in a Smaller Space That We’ve Noticed!
Whether you’re thinking about living small – or you are already living in a small space – there are definitely some benefits to it. Between two flats/apartments, we’ve been living in smaller spaces for a number of years now and we love it. We’ve enjoyed living in a small space so much that it greatly shaped our view on the size of house we would like to own in the future.
Of course, some might say that living in a smaller space has disadvantages such as being restrictive – but this thought is almost entirely subjective. We’ve been in a studio apartment and a one-bedroom apartment (in different countries, for that matter) and any issues we’ve had weren’t related to the space or size.
Now, we are also only two people. If you are a family living in a smaller space, it can absolutely work well – but there might be a potential need for slightly more space. In this case, it’s important to assess the needs of your family and avoid getting a space that is too large. This article is about the benefits of living in a smaller space that works for you as opposed to a space that is too large and negates the benefits we’re going to talk about below!
One of the things that we have found to be true for living in our smaller spaces is the fact we just have less stuff. This makes sense: When you have less physical space, you have less space to put things. This has led to a dramatic reduction in overall clutter we have around our place – which we know positively affects our mental health.
Having said that, it’s not like our apartment is bare. Don’t get me wrong – we have things. The thing about our belongings is that everything here (almost everything) serves a purpose in our lives. It’s all useful and/or very important to us. This is an idea from minimalism the minimalism movement – and while we don’t consider ourselves “minimalists” we definitely share a number of related tenancies for how we live our life.
When we do find that we require something we don’t already have or need to replace something that has broken, we make sure to get rid of things, too. If you keep double of different items, it’s so easy to have a cluttered home. We’re all too familiar with the hypothetical “but I might need this someday” mentality – but if it doesn’t serve its purpose, there’s not much room for it in a small space!
Easier to Clean
You’ll find that many of these ideas are deeply interconnected – and this one is no exception. Since we generally have fewer things in our place and our place is quite small, it is very easy to clean.
We can clean the bathroom, bedroom, the living/kitchen/dining room in under an hour total. Cleaning, tidying, and vacuuming – all done in no time at all. This allows us to keep the house clean and have loads of free time to work on projects, relax, read, etc, and not have to dedicate large chunks of time to cleaning a huge space.
Lower Associated Costs
Another big benefit to living in smaller spaces is that the associated costs are lower. These costs can be broken down into a number of different ways- but we think of them in these categories:
- Financially, our rent is quite low. We’ve lived in a housing market where a small place still came with a higher price tag but it was still relatively cheaper than other, bigger places in that market. The point is, whether you are renting or buying, there is usually a lower financial risk if your rent or mortgage is more affordable. If you live within your financial means – as opposed to getting a massive house that you are a slave to for decades – then you can be in a better financial position and maybe even think about financial freedom.
- Smaller spaces generally have lower utility costs such as heating in winter and cooling in summer. It is much easier to keep a smaller space warm or cool! Another potentially lower cost of a smaller home is related to renter’s insurance – if that’s something you need to consider.
- Lastly, if you have less space, you require less furniture. There are just fewer rooms to fill up. On that thought, smaller furniture often costs less than larger furniture. A huge sectional is usually going to be more expensive than a simple love seat or a cozy corner chair.
Read Next: Great Benefits Of Living Frugally
Can Feel Cozier
One of the things that we have noticed with our small living space is that it feels much cozier to live in. Of course, this is definitely dependent on your style and how you furnish it but you get the idea.
Lisa is a big fan of brighter colors, plush blankets, and soft-sided chairs – and that’s exactly what we have in our place right now. Of course, it’s subjective what “cozy” means for you, but our smaller space is certainly cozy to us. This is especially true at night when we can turn on fairy lights. We have a deep love for fairy lights.
Reduction in Stress
It’s no secret that smaller, bright spaces with less clutter can reduce the stress levels you feel. Now, putting that research into practice doesn’t have to be complicated. There is so much inspiration online about not only living in a smaller space but also about learning how to furnish it with creative ideas that are functional and look great.
A highlight of having less overall stress – at least from our perspective – is that we are easily able to focus on other aspects of our lives – whether that be our mental or physical health. It’s also easier to bond with others when there is less stress in the air (we will get to this below).
Better for the Environment
Another great benefit of living in a smaller space is that it is (usually) better for the environment. Overall, we know that we consume fewer products/goods to fill our space and require less energy to heat, cool, and clean the place. So, we have a reduced carbon footprint by living in a smaller space compared to a big house.
This is something we didn’t necessarily aim for in the beginning but over time we have definitely become more aware of the impact we (and individuals, in general) can have on reducing consumption and carbon emissions. We don’t need to wait for big level policy changes to create green change – we can all do something now. And living in a smaller space is something that works for us.
Read Next: Tips for reducing your plastic waste at home
More Bonding Time
One of the other benefits of living in a smaller space has been that we often have more bonding time. This is because there is just less space to lose people to – you are kind of forced to live together and be together (in a nice way).
We are only two people but we can imagine this being a bigger deal for families with kids. You might even come up with creative uses for the space you have to play games, spend time together and/or just hang out more, in general.
Get To Be Creative
When we say “you get to be more creative” when you live in a smaller space, we mean this in a variety of capacities:
- the design of the space
- the functionality of the space (and the items in it).
Of course, the design of the space is always yours even if you live in a larger space but designing and decorating a smaller space can be less stressful, more fun, and your materials (like paint) also go much further.
When it comes to functionality, we think smaller spaces are prime for innovation. It’s kind of a fun challenge to come up with creative multi-use solutions that look good and work for you.
Have you ever watched “Tiny House Nation” on Netflix? Zack Giffin (one of the co-hosts) is a master at making furniture with multiple uses. He’s really skilled and a passionate advocate for living in smaller spaces so definitely check out that show if this topic interests you!
You Get to Form and Display Your Identity
Another insight into the benefits of living in smaller spaces is that you not only get to form your identity – but that it is almost always on display. This fact of “visibility” means that we will end up focusing on having things that not only represent us but also work well and have function.
We tend to then focus on the “quality over quantity” items in our home. Items can’t just be there to take up space. There is no room for useless items or excess – just useful items that also look good if they are sitting out in the open.
A good example of this is our french press. We use it every single day – sometimes twice a day – and it’s a good looking kitchen piece to have sitting on the counter. It doesn’t have to be stored away. We also don’t have much cabinet space so everything we have is there for a reason! See? Aspects of tiny living are very interconnected.
Less Likely to Get Lost/Lose Things
Eric first wrote this one kind of as a joke because there’s a backstory – and it turns out there is actually some truth to this claim. So once, when Eric was younger, he was helping his dad with work (doing work on the house of one of his dad’s friends). The house owner is a fantastic guy – just very wealthy… and so the house they were visiting was absolutely massive.
Long story short, after coming up from the basement, Eric legitimately got lost trying to find the front door again. After about the third foyer area, he ended up in a kitchen where the guy’s wife said “oh, what are you doing here?” in a laughing kind of tone. Anyways, she sent him in the right direction and he eventually got reunited with everyone waiting for him (and already laughing at him).
So, if you have a smaller space this is far less likely to happen to you! Joked aside, if you live in a smaller space, you will also have a harder time losing smaller items. Think about how often you misplace your keys, remote, wallet, phone, charging cord, etc. If these items all have a designated spot – and not that many spots they can even be in the first place – then they are much easier to locate again in a hurry.
Moving Will Be Easier
A final positive about living in a smaller space is that it should be much easier to move to another place since you have accumulated fewer belongings. Imagine only having to do a few loads with a car and a trailer – not having the need for a massive moving truck (or even a small U-Haul) can be a big time and cost saver.
Furthermore, when you are looking for a new place, you will likely have a better eye for which kind of layout and space works well for you. After living in a small home for a while, you’ll probably also have a better understanding of how much space you actually need. For example, we know exactly what kind of place we would be looking for when we move (which will probably happen in the next few months – not because we don’t like our current place but because we are changing continents). So any houses that are too big for what we need, will not even be taken into further consideration.
And there you have it – a few of the benefits that we’ve experienced living in a smaller space. Of course, there are a few more – some more tangible or measurable than others. There’s no doubt that living smaller is a movement that is picking up steam so we’ll see where it leads us all in the years (or generations) to come.
As always, Keep It Simple,
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