I remember telling my mom when I was engaged that as long as I had Rob to be with, I didn’t mind living in a cardboard box with him.

When we got married, we lived in my parents’ basement with a bedroom, couch, and TV outside of the room attached to my parents’ laundry room.  For the two of us, that was enough, but I hated not being able to have a kitchen of my own.

We moved into a one-bedroom apartment that was really great other than the ground workers believing it was okay for them to enter our apartment whenever they needed a bathroom break.  It had a spacious kitchen with more than enough storage, 3 closets, a large enough bedroom for us, our firstborn and our dog to sleep in, and an open area where our dining room, living room, and computer desk could fit.

Nine years ago, we moved into our two-bedroom duplex when I was newly pregnant with our second child.  It measures 747 sq. feet.  It is too large in some areas and too small in others, but we rent it and would not want to change a place’s room size unless we owned it (though we do have permission to take down walls and make new ones if we really wanted to, according to our landlord).

When you live in a small home, it is far easier to clean than a larger home.  I can sweep, vacuum, and dust my whole home in 15-20 minutes.  I never clean the entire house all in the same day, but if I did, it would not take much time.  It helps that I don’t have so much clutter everywhere (or anywhere).  I really like the ease of cleaning my home (I’m a neat freak).

We have a really small kitchen, even compared to the apartment we had before, but we have survived using it happily.
I prefer the adventures of being outside myself, but I am a hermit in the winter.  When it comes to being a family of four in this space, we spend a lot of time around one another, and compared to life in a larger home, like I grew up in, I do like that.  We can hear each other across the end of the home, but we also have the ability for privacy too.

When it comes down to it, a smaller home is very cozy, relaxing, stress-free (other than when homeschooling at times), and fun.  When I see families with large homes I wonder how they keep it clean or have time for anything.  I feel like it would take time away from their family.

A few years back, someone had asked me how I had so many hobbies, was able to homeschool, and somehow fit in the cooking and cleaning with it all.  I remember my answer being, “It helps that I have such a small home.”  They had even been in my home, but I suppose didn’t think about that factor.  When going into their house, They had so many rooms including a bedroom for each of their children, a playroom for them, plus an area near their kitchen where they had loads of toys for their kids.  It would drive me batty to have to keep up with it all.

Our home has changed a load over the years with much less to clean than ever!

I know it might sound crazy to some people, but living in a small home is really fun, and that’s the truth.

smallfamilyhomes.jpgThis post was written for inclusion in the June collection of the Small Family Homes Blog Community. Read below for more writings on the truth about living small from our community of writers. Check back next month for a new topic and posts in the series and follow our community board on Pinterest for the latest small homes and family minimalism pins!

Minimalist Meg– “The Truth About Living SMALL” : What does living in a small space look like for a family of 4? Probably not a whole lot different from you.

Little Bungalow– “Less Space, More Happiness” : In a small home, less space doesn’t equal more happiness. Except, of course, when it does.

600 Square Feet and a Baby– “The Truth About Living in a Small Family Home” : Living small as a family of four is sometimes uncomfortable, a bit awkward and never boring. Sharing the awkward and imperfect of living small with 4 humans that you always wanted to know (or maybe you didn’t.)

Shelley Vanderbyl– “Five Things You Don’t Need in a Small Home” : Gatekeeping is about recognizing what things you don’t need or want, and trying to keep those objects from coming into your home.

The Streamlined Life– “The Truth About Living Small: Less Possessions, Greater Value“: Just because you’re a minimalist family doesn’t mean you aren’t sentimental.

The Justice Pirate– “What Small Home Living is Like” : No matter if I lived in a cardboard box or a small home, I just like being with my family, who are my home.

Our Nest in the City– “The Truth About Living in a Small Family Home” : My post gives three challenges to living in a small home with our family of five, and counters them with three ways we “cope” and thrive despite it all 🙂

Fourth and West– “You Can’t Have it All” : Small space living requires compromise and sacrifice.

RISING*SHINING– “The Truth About Living in a Small(ish) Family Home” : A smaller home is why we’re able to live such a full life.

Family At Sea– “The Meaning of Space: Thoughts from a Former Tiny Home Mom” : After moving onto a boat, I thought the hard work of decluttering and downsizing was done, but I didn’t realize that living in a tiny space was the beginning of the real work of the soul.

Real Food Simple Life– “The Realities of Living in a Small Home with a Big Family” : A look into the benefits and challenges that a family of 6 (going on 7) experiences living together in an 800 square foot home in Scotland.

Tiny Ass Camper– “I Didn’t Know Tiny Living Was For Me” : My thoughts on the give and take of living tiny.

Family Pedals– “Location Trumps Size” : The truth is, it has been our home’s location–not size–that has determined our happiness in a given space.

Birch and Pine– “It’s Not Always Easy” : Living tiny often means defending your own life and choices: daily.

Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. […] Justice Pirate– “What Small Home Living is Like” : No matter if I lived in a cardboard box or a small home, I just like being with my family, […]

  2. […] Justice Pirate– “What Small Home Living is Like” : No matter if I lived in a cardboard box or a small home, I just like being with my family, […]

  3. […] hop on over to: megan barnum, 600 square feet and a baby, shelley vanderbyl, the streamlined life, justice pirate, our nest in the city, fourth and west, RISING*SHINING, family at sea, real food simple life, tiny […]

  4. […] Justice Pirate– “What Small Home Living is Like” : No matter if I lived in a cardboard box or a small home, I just like being with my family, […]

  5. I agree with you that having a small home makes it easier to leave it regularly, to keep it clean, and just to enjoy it more! Sure, there are days where I wish I had a bigger house, but I am grateful for what living small does for our family. Thanks for writing this post, Victoria!

  6. Living in a small house myself, I couldn’t imagine having to keep a large house clean with all the little kids we have. I loved all of your insights! It’s great to find others who are living similarly.

  7. […] Justice Pirate– “What Small Home Living is Like” : No matter if I lived in a cardboard box or a small home, I just like being with my family, […]

  8. Yes! The more we simplify our house the more calm I feel in it – outer order, inner calm definitely applies to me.

  9. Love your thoughts! I agree that it’s nice having such a small space to maintain it’s not taking up too much time and leaves room for other things! Xo

  10. Couldn’t agree more with everything you say! For me, having our place neat and tidy makes a huge difference…if there are even 4 or 5 things lying around it feels like every surface is cluttered. Now that we’ve added a baby into the mix, that’s even more true.


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About Victoria / Justice Pirate

Victoria. Anabaptist, Wife of Rob, Mom of two boys, minimalist, quilt maker, Resources Adviser/Social Media Manager for anti-human trafficking awareness organization Justice Network (justice-network.org).


lifestyle, minimalism, minimalist, simple living


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