small is how it is.

Lately I have been really appreciating the freedom that comes with living in a small space.
We moved in here in January this year. We liked the section, there was a log burner and it was the only one around in our price range. The Real Estate Agent suggested that we just bowl the house and start again. He couldn't imagine a family of four living in such a small space and the state of the building is dodgey too. We added a sleepout for us all to sleep in. This meant that we had room for a creative space; a space I knew was essential for how we want to live together.
The house is now our home. The roof kept us dry all winter, the fire kept us warm and we haven't worried an inch during all these aftershocks (btw, there have now been around 1,300!). We laugh when people ask us whether our house is ok with all the quakes:we wouldn't know which cracks were pre and which were post the quake.
With every shake we are reminded that when you live with less, there is less to worry about.
We live in our home a lot and because it is small, there is just no room to accumulate "stuff." No room for kitchen gadgets. No dishwasher. No storage for finds that could be used in the future. No extra boxes of toys under the bed.
I like this. I find it freeing in so many ways.
With our girls being such avid players, things quickly get covered and unmanageable. This gives immediate feedback to the girls that unless they clear some of the mess away, no one in the family can easily move around or sit down. There is simply nowhere else to go and because of this they are fairly good at clearing away.
Our creative space is our little sanctuary where work can be left out and worked on over days.
There is the little time it takes to clean the place.10 minutes to vacuum. Done. Great. On to something we would rather be doing.
And then of course, there is the lower power and heating bills.
A smaller house = a smaller footprint.
But I think the benefit I appreciate the most is that our family gets to actually really live together. We have to share the same spaces. We think that the concept of "privacy" has become overvalued and deep lonliness and alienation, even from your own family, seems to be the accepted outcome. We like living together. It teaches tolerance and respect.
There are downsides too and things will change. The girls will get older and take up more space, it's tricky to share dinner with a bunch of people in the colder months and each day is an opportunity for me to learn patience when I go to start dinner and there is simply not an empty square inch on our tiny kitchen bench.
But our small humble home is worth appreciating.
When the Spring arrives with such warm weather and it is possible for the doors to be open and the girls to run outside, it feels like a small victory to have got through the cold, wet winter sharing this wee home.


  1. Well done, I agree smaller space is a much smaller footprint and better for a family. We almost choose to live in a large yurt. With 2 teenage girls used to suburban living, opted out. Maybe one day when they go off to University:)

  2. Our house is small too by "normal" standards and I love it. I love having to share and to get along with one another. I love living in common areas and I love being close. It's nice to have less to clean, too, like you said. Hooray for small houses!

  3. I agree about the benefits (and sometimes drawbacks - kitchen bench) of having a small house. We have a small house but big block of land. I think your house might be smaller than mine though.