Minimalists Require Smaller Living Spaces

Eco_village,_Ashwell_fsThe one interesting thing about being a minimalist is that I believe we all come to the question of the size of our homes. Through the process of continually reducing the amount of stuff in our homes we learn that we are living in more space than we actually need. We currently live in a house that is 1760 square feet that has 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. We actively us 2 bathrooms and just one bedroom. When we opted for the extra two bedroom and bathroom we were thinking about guests, but the reality is that we seldom get quests. So there is about 500 square feet of our home that is pretty much going to waste. It is space that we have to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Is it worth it? Would it be more affordable to help our guests out with the cost of a hotel room when they do stay? This principle can also be applied to our large kitchen. We have cabinets and drawers that are completely empty.

When you get rid of things that you don’t need or absolutely love at one point you will find yourself in this situation. As we plan our move to Florida we will be very mindful of this and understand that we can live very comfortably in a smaller space. Of course another advantage of this is overall cost. As most people, including myself we have to take out a mortgage to purchase a home. In most cases and depending on where you decide to buy a home 1000 square feet is much cheaper than 1800 square feet. This means there is the opportunity for a smaller mortgage payment or even a loan for less years. A 15 year mortgage vs a 30 year mortgage is a huge difference in overall cost savings. And in most cases the 15 year mortgage has a lower interest rate.

On a larger scale the energy required to maintain a smaller home is so much less which reduces your carbon foot print. With a growing population there is no way the world could possible keep up with the demand and eventually prices will rise even higher on things like oil, electricity and natural gas. When you think about it this way the trend will be towards smaller living spaces. Why not jump on ship now?

In the past 20 years or so the trend has been towards larger homes, which means that if you are in a position to purchase a home your choices are limited to between 1800 square feet and 2400 square feet on average. In fact many people who are opting to own a smaller home are purchasing older homes that were built back in the 1930’s and electing to renovate those homes, but there are only so many available and they are usually in older neighborhoods that are quite expensive. I believe that this may be one of the reasons towards the “Tiny House” trend where people are choosing to live in a house built on a trailer or even living in an RV. In many cities we are starting to see “Eco Friendly” condo’s complexes being built as people are demanding to live in city’s closer to work in a limited space.

In the next 10 years I predict that there will be whole communities built in the eco friendly sense with houses that are no more than 1000 square feet and will be equipped with solar technology and space efficiency. Or maybe even a community windmill that is shared by those homes in the community. Things are changing and I do welcome all of these idea’s with open arms. I am sure others currently practicing minimalism have also thought about things like these. It is us who will be the trend setters, but in most cases we are not the one’s who will be in the position to actually make this type of change. Most of us are simply not in the position to build our own homes or starting a whole community of eco friendly homes and I think this is another reason for the tiny homes and rv’s. It will have to be a group of investor’s and developers who see the potential to make money with an idea like this. But as long as there are still people who demand larger homes the developers will always opt for building this way as the profits are much higher. It will take a small group of young developers, architects and investors to realize the opportunity that is available and are satisfied with a lower profit margin to get things rolling. Or maybe just one person who has been lucky enough to earn a great deal of money to make the decision to purchase some acreage of land and start the process himself. This would fall right in line with idea of community gardening and even retirement living.

It would be a dream for me it I could actually do this myself, but the reality is that one of the reasons we live a minimalist lifestyle is to allow us to work less and have more free time to do those things we love. So most of us our income is limited. Has anyone else thought about these things? If so I would love if you shared your idea’s.


My wife had a rough day at work yesterday and popped a Trader Joe’s Lasagna in the over for dinner. Once again I had the opportunity to throw together a salad but instead gave in to the Pasta meal. End result: High Blood Sugar. End of Story. I am taking a break from the bowflex today and will settle for just the treadmill as I feel a little discomfort in my shoulders. I am making the choice to heal.

Blood Sugar- 106, Weight- 170.6

Treadmill- 20 Minutes

Meals
Breakfast- Cottage Cheese
Lunch- Salad
Dinner- Steak, Salad

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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29 Responses to Minimalists Require Smaller Living Spaces

  1. pobept says:

    I have down sized 4 times in the past 12 years from a 2400 sq footer to my now tiny house of just under 300 sq feet. And after the adjustment I find that this is more space than an old guy and 3 old dogs really need. Taxes are small, as well as my heating and cooling bills. I really like living small.
    Happy tiny gardening

  2. merlinjr01 says:

    Life is an exercise in trade-offs: house–more vs. less space–there are so many aspects to home owning. But food is especially challenging: quick vs. preparation; giving in to temptation vs. a disciplined, healthy (and tasty) diet; second helping…or NOT!, etc. And the food “trades” are a daily event.

  3. Do remember that smaller houses/townhouse/condos come with more neighbours, a lot more neighbours. We all love our neighbours, but we love them more from a distance

  4. We are about to start the process of getting rid of “stuff” so that we can downsize as well. I could use some tips on where to draw the line so I’ll be following the comments here.

  5. jncthedc says:

    Sounds like you had a “human” day. Today is a new day and one that looks directly into the weekend. Pick yourself up, dust off and start enjoying a wonderful Friday!

  6. Florida Minimalist says:

    I’ve found that while in the past I wished for a larger home (our home is the same size as yours) as a minimalist now I am learning that our home is the perfect size for us. We have two kids and a dog. We had originally planned to move into my mother-in-laws 3200 sq ft home when the kids have grown. Now we are seriously considering a condo on the water. Neither of us have a desire to keep up with the maintenance of a house that large! We’d rather be spending our time doing things we actually like doing!

    • I think if we still had kids at home the 1760 would be perfect for us too, although I have done it in a 1250 home when I was younger and it worked out fine. I really think about just the space we are currently occupying and actually using each day and downsizing makes perfect sense. I know that there will be plenty of opportunity to find the answer in Florida next year.

  7. Béar says:

    When are you moving to the sunshine state, bro? I downsized after my wife died out of necessity. Laurie was the major wage earner in the family.

    Peace ~ Bear

  8. Brittany Bergman says:

    Great post! My husband and I asked ourselves a lot of these same questions as we were shopping for a home. If we barely fill up our 800 square foot apartment, why on earth would we need a 2,000 square foot house? We ended up with a 3 bed/1.5 bath place. One room for us, one room for Dan’s office, and one for a future child. At first we wondered if we should try to find a house that had space for guests, but then we remembered we have guests maybe once or twice a year. I love the idea of helping them financially with accommodations — much cheaper in the long run!

    • Yea, I read about helping with the cost of a hotel room myself on another blog and thought it was a wonderful option. With planning on a family it certainly is a little more comfortable with the extra room.

  9. lethally says:

    I’m downsizing from a four bedroom, 3 bathroom home in Spring (6 months’ time), and will be looking for a three bedroom, one bathroom home closer to the city.

    I’ve realised, after living in this big home, that we just don’t need the space. And I’m the one to clean it! I want something smaller and easier to maintain. I ache for a simpler, easier life.

  10. We purchased a 1300 sq ft house about 25 years ago when the kids were toddlers. They have moved on and 1300 is just right for the 2 of us. 2 small bedrooms are basically unused but for now that’s ok. Even our 10,000 sq ft lot is perfect now. Far enough away from neighbors. Most in our neighborhood are in the same situation as us so it is sort of like a retirement community!

  11. brueneteyes says:

    We have a 1400 sq ft home and 2 children. For the last few years we struggled “needing” a bigger home. Now it it just the right size since we have downsized our things. Our intention was it will be our first home until we can get something bigger. Now it is just our first home and that’s it. As our kids get older we know we will not need this house. A majority of it is for there things and space. The problem we have found is that any house in our area smaller than ours is a lot older or needs a lot of work done. In the past 20 years every house was build bigger. I also think their are going to be smaller home communities popping up over the next several years.

    • You are certainly on the right track. When the kids are out and on their own there may be some really attractive eco friendly type homes on the market. I do see it going in this direction.

  12. Tessa says:

    I would love one of those tiny houses or a mobile home. I am used to living in one room and small bath. Easy transition.

  13. I am micro-living on wheels! We are in a 26ft travel trailer and having been enjoying this life since December 2014, when we fled the mid-atlantic cold for Florida. It doesn’t even have the pullouts. My “more” space is outdoors now. Even though my “stuff” (that I took when I divorced) is in storage I really do love having only what I need and actually USE. lol It minimizes hassle, organization and work. More time to enjoy life! To the privacy issue, I lived in a SFH on 7 acres in a rural area. I could run around outside in my jammies all day if I wanted to. But I’ve found that most RVers, while very friendly, tend to keep to themselves. I really haven’t felt stifled yet due to crowding. And we do stay in national and state parks more than RV parks because there is more room, privacy and well…nature 🙂 Personally, I’m happy to see less McMansions and more of life outside the box 🙂

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