The AT Small Cool contest is a wrap. I cannot believe how well I did. I ended up in fourth place (out of 24 entries in my division) with 533 votes. I have a strong feeling that had a lot to do with you. And I am so grateful. Really, REALLY grateful. (For context, I received 300ish votes last year and ended in 11th place.)
I participate in this contest to connect with people like me. People who love to live small. People who don’t bat an eyelash at a single room acting as an office/bedroom/closet/kids room/craft room/storage room.
Will I always live small? I’m not sure. Do I think I could live in my 900 square foot home for quite a long time, despite how my family might grow? Absolutely. For one thing, my mortgage is $816/month. That’s it – and that includes escrow for insurance, property taxes, etc. It’s crazy cheap. And it’s hard to walk away from hella cheap, especially if it belongs to a space you are so connected with. When I have kids, I’ve got some cozy corners in my house with their name on them. Not whole rooms. Kids are tiny, they don’t need big rooms! Maybe a big drawer. KIDDING! (No, I’m not anywhere near having kids, but I do get the, “Will you look for something bigger if you have kids?” question a lot.)
Here’s something else – a small house forces me to avoid clutter. Clutter in a large house looks like an episode of Hoarders in a small house. It’s just too much. So I shop with intention (sometimes) and buy only the stuff I really, really love (sometimes). But seriously, on a good day, there is no clutter.
My basement on the other hand is a home decor nightmare. Chairs, poufs, lamps, rugs, oh my. I am planning to sell a lot of it via Craigslist. I’ll let you know via a post if I do.
They (and by “they” I mean the mysterious source behind all those inspiration quotes) say you should strive to collect moments not things. And you know what? I’m really, really bad at that. I like things. Things can be purchased instantly while moments take planning. I’ve been known to pick a handbag over a trip. But I did manage to get the moments vs. things right when it comes to my house. My small house and its small payment allows me to go on big-to-me road trips (even if it’s just Florida!), save a chunk of change and DIY my little heart out. It’s a size I can actually handle in a smart way. So, out of all the times I’ve passed up a moment to buy whatever something I was craving that week, I somehow got it right when it came to my house. I didn’t go big.
Ooo, one last thing. Less cleaning. This is a big one for me as I am a clean freak. As in, freak out if dust is showing on my baseboards freak. I just get overwhelmed. I cannot imagine having anything bigger to keep up with, especially due to the hours I work. And then of course there are things like smaller heating bills, smaller lawns, blah blah blah. Those matter, too!
I guess I’m just trying to explain why I choose to live the way I do. And it’s not like my house is THAT small, especially compared to the 300 square foot homes in the contest. It’s just that it’s not the norm, and when anything is a little weird, you tend to get a lot of questions and confused looks.
And of course, there are huge downsides to living small. Hosting family events and bigger gatherings is almost impossible. Guests often sleep on the sofa or an air mattress. Spending some quiet time in another room to get some work done just isn’t possible in close quarters. And I’m sure there is more.
What about you? Do you live small? Have you downsized or upsized recently? Why and what to?
Did I mention I love you guys? Like whoa.