Lessons Learned From Living in a Small Space


Last year, our family decided the home we had was just too small. Our three little ones were getting older and bigger, there wasn’t much storage space, and all of a sudden, I found myself working my full-time office job at home in our living room. So, we did what anyone would do in that situation.

We moved into an even SMALLER space.


Yup, smaller!

Well, this smaller space is temporary. We sold our house, moved into an apartment and are currently waiting for our new home to be ready for us. The new home will be much bigger and exactly what our family needs. But to get to that point, we had to temporarily relocate to a less than 1,000 square foot townhouse where our family of 5 and our beagle is currently residing.

It’s SO small here, though. The refrigerator door hits the oven door every time I open it. When using the half bath in the hallway, you can wash your hands WHILE sitting on the toilet. I try to remain positive, though, and  I am so very grateful for a safe place to be and a roof over our heads.

I’ve also learned a few things about life and ourselves along the way.

People who CHOOSE to live with big families in small spaces are CRAZY. 

Seriously. I cannot imagine anyone would willingly choose this! Those people with blog posts and TikTok videos showing how blissfully happy they are living with a large family in a 785 square foot home… nope, it’s all lies. There’s no other explanation. (ORRRRR, I guess it could be they are a very active, hardly-ever-home families and maybe that’s the explanation. But I doubt it).

Our kids can’t stand each other. 

Which I know is what everyone says about their kids. But our kids have always gotten along. Now, the amount of yelling and hitting and just pure aggravation you can see and hear has gone through the roof. But when any three humans spend all of their home time smushed together in a very small space, they are bound to get on each other’s nerves! I mean, they are getting older and hormones are starting to show up, but it’s definitely the close quarters that are causing it!

Our kids love each other. 

Yeah, I know, the complete opposite. For every fight, I’ve seen them have, I’ve also seen huge displays of care and compassion. I’ve seen the oldest and youngest team up and do dance parties. I’ve seen the oldest and middle get into a rhythm of walking the dog and sharing their school days with each other. I’ve seen them make forts in their tiny room or create hideaways in the closet and even help each other get better at their favorite games or apps. I’d say this one is mostly due to the GREAT parenting they receive, but also, all the togetherness does bring them closer.

Storage is key. 

When there is so little space you can totally maximize it by using shelves and cubbies and bins, etc. If we were staying here longer, I would have done a better job with this but as it is, I use every available space and surface I have to make the most of it. Like storing the bread box on top of the microwave because there is so little counter space I don’t have a choice. See, it’s all about finding ways to make it work.

So while I’m counting down the days until we move, I’m still appreciating the small space we have and learning lessons from it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to turn sideways to slide down the hallway, go up the steep staircase, turn right to not hit the laundry basket in the hallway, but not too far or I’ll hit the basket shelf of the bathroom stuff stored outside the bathroom, and slip into the bathroom that I haven’t seen the countertop of since we’ve moved in to get ready for bed. All before I do the same dodge dance through the hallway space into our bedroom where I have to walk sideways around the bed so I don’t trip on it in the dark.