I didn't always embrace my small space. I had seen my little house as a stepping stone to something bigger, and so even though I loved it, I didn't fully commit to making it work for the long haul. Instead, I tucked, hid, stowed or stored away stuff with the thought that "we might want this in our next house!".That said, we ended up staying in our "starter house" for years... and so I grew very skilled in small space living. I made it pretty, I made it work, and our family of five lived well in our small space (most would say we thrived!). I even bought the SmallSpacePlace domain name way-back-when, believing I had garnered enough small space wisdom to parse on to others. However, I couldn't bring myself to publish the website, mostly because part of me was still holding out for a bigger house. I felt that touting the benefits of living with less while I was still seeking more would be a little inauthentic and disingenuous. So I kept my thoughts to myself and this website collected cyber dust in my attic of untapped ideas.
And then... we did it! We finally bought a bigger house!!! It was all I had ever dreamed of.... it had character, multiple living spaces, 5 bedrooms, a master bath (wahoo!!!), french doors galore, an attached garage, and a stunning screened porch overlooking established gardens! It even had a gorgeous pool AND an Amish built barn!!! It was something right out of Currier and Ives and I felt like I had died and gone to house heaven!!! Well... it seemed I SHOULD have felt that way, but I didn't. Truth be told... after moving out of my little cottage that we had called home for so long, part of me DID feel like I had died... Our sprawling new home with multiple everything, quickly felt less like heaven, and more like a burden. Uh oh!
I found myself waking up every day thinking back to my little house. Instead of focusing on my new space, I was constantly daydreaming about our little cottage. I wondered what I might have done differently. I had made it beautiful, designed everything thoughtfully, filled it with light, and had practically perfected so much about small space living through the years. But as time progressed, I realized there was one thing I had never fully done. Since I had always believed a larger home was on the horizon, I had ignored the absolute number one key to small space success, CHOOSING to be happy.
Living in harmony in any sized home is about choices. We choose our lifestyle, our belongings, our values, and our attitude. There is no gadget that you must own, no rules about how much is enough, no minimum square footage for love to thrive. We get to decide.
Fortunately, we still owned our little cottage (we had converted it to a rental with the intention of using it to help pay for college). And when life presented a few unexpected twists and turns, we determined it made the most sense for us to sell the bigger house and move back to the cottage. The absolute honest fact was, I wasn't sad... I was THRILLED!!! I ran as fast as I could back HOME... a LITTLE wiser and a LOT happier!
And so, I am ready to tell the world, genuinely and authentically, that I LOVE small space living and that bigger is not better! I have climbed up in my attic of untapped ideas, and am polishing the cyber dust off SmallSpacePlace.com. I hope it sparkles!!! :-)
You can read more about my views on Mindset and Small Space Living here.
Sarah is a real estate agent and small space dweller raising 3 fantabulous kids in Connecticut.