what I've learned from downsizing our home

Moving from a 2600 square ft house to a roughly 1200 square ft one has had its challenges, I'm not going to lie. I'm sure those of you who live in smaller homes, such as the 1000 ft one that I grew up in with a family of eight, will laugh. But those of you who have downsized, whether it was from 1000 ft to 600, or 2600 to 1200 can relate.
In between giving away and throwing out all the many things that we didn't have a use for, didn't feel had lasting value, or didn't fit in our new home, I also discovered that living in a smaller space also has its perks, and I try and focus on those.

Here are a few things that I've learned in the 2 months since we've been living in our cozy little cottage here in town:

1. We spend so much more time together. A smaller space means that we that while we are kinda on top of each other, we also see much more of each other. We spend lazy mornings all piled in the bed together, and since the "man cave" is on the same level the girls can go hang out with Adam while he's playing video games.

2. The girls love having one floor. I love having a two (or three!) story house. However, since moving, I've found that the girls love living on one level. They can bounce on the beds, and I don't have to rush them down the stairs after waking or getting dressed (for fear that Piper will tumble down the stairs).

3. It is so much easier to clean up. Yes, the house does get messier SO much faster, but it also cleans up really fast. I'm sitting, typing in the middle of disaster right now, but I know that when I hop up in 15 minutes that house will be clean, completely, in under an hour.

4. It's easier to supervise. I like to have the kiddos near me to be able to watch them and mediate between squabbles (ahem. "teaching moments" ;)).

5. My kiddos like a regular tub better than a claw foot one. While the claw foot was heaven for us adults, there are no sides to it. With a regular bathtub, they can perch things on the sides and play with them. They love the new tub.

6. We hate having one bathroom. I thought maybe we'd be fine with one bathroom, but nope, we miss having two.

7. We aren't as loud. With a smaller space, we don't have to shout to each other, and when Alexa is playing I can hear her easily through the house.

8. The last, and most important thing I've discovered is that stuff is just that, stuff. While we have things that are special and important to us, and some of it sentimental, the bulk of it is disposable. Also, it's incredible how much less space we can live in when it comes down to it.

Okay, some details: What did we actually get rid of? 

  • I got rid of all the baby clothes that don't have sentimental value (we aren't planning on having another, and even if we did there's a chance it would be a boy). 
  • I sorted through all our books and we got rid of many unused/unread or extra copies.
  • My clothes. I sorted through all my clothes and got rid of about half of them.
  • We get rid of all the broken kid's toys and a ton of stuffed animals.
  • In the kitchen, I got rid of a ton of dishes and items I've never used.
  • We also got rid of two bookshelves, the spare room (queen) bed, a coffee table, a big armchair, and a bunch of random end tables and table chairs.
And lastly, how do I stay organized?
  • If something comes in, something goes out. I try and find replacements, not new things to add to our home.
  • I always think twice. Do I want it? Do I need it? Do I have room for it? 
  • I also have an idea of what I need, so when we go out to the store I'm looking for it. Like right now I need some new side/end tables, Adri needs summer clothes, and I'm on the lookout for a dresser.
  • Every month or so we go through Adri's toys and get rid of a ton of them. She's used to it, so she's pretty good about it ;)

I'm not sure how long we'll be here, or if I'll be saying the same thing in a year, but, for now, we love our cozy cottage.

helpful resources for small living:

Small Space Living Pros and Cons with Shavonda Gardner (podcast).
Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life.


  1. I have usually lived in small houses. Ours now is 1500, which is about the same size we have had since we have been married. I do like having a bath and a half, would have preferred 2, but have lived with 1 too. I downsized like crazy before leaving Missouri, then had to buy a few things in Ohio, then downsized again before we left Ohio. We got rid of things like our piano, clothes and just sentimental items. After arriving here, I did a final go through of things while unpacking and had a couple of boxes to take to Goodwill. I agree, some things should be held onto, but I like living a more spare life.

  2. Our home is about 1400 square feet and is the biggest house I've ever lived in. I love a layered look in decor but not clutter and I don't buy a lot of decorative things. I use plates hung on the walls, plants, baskets, throw blankets and books as decor. Real things we use all the time!

    We are a family of four right now, but when Rachel is back from school this year, we'll be back to five. We enjoy our own bedrooms, but we really hang out in the living room/kitchen space.

    I do feel for you with one bathroom. I grew up with only one, but I'd have a time adjusting going back to just one!

  3. Really loved reading how you all are adjusting to a smaller home. Your cozy cottage sounds wonderful. You make family special and I love that.
    Hugs Rosie!!

  4. We kind of did the opposite with our last move: swapped a compact one-floor house to a rambling 3-floor one. We still had to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff because we have less storage space now. Which is all to the good! We really don't need so much stuff. I really miss having one floor. Everything is so much more effective and all I need is within easy reach. But one has to bloom where one is planted, amiright ?


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