Recently, I’ve been reading and hearing some buzz about how small houses are a better choice, for many reasons, as opposed to large, box-style homes. I personally adore small homes and feel that I could be more creative with a small house, than I could a large home. Small homes also are a better financial choice for smaller families, obviously if you have 6 kids, it would be a little tight in a 2- or even a 3-bedroom house. Though, it doesn’t mean families can’t make it work.

First, let me define my version of a “small” home so that I’m clear. To me, a small home is 1,200 square feet or smaller. I currently live in a 1,100 square foot rental home and my husband and I don’t even utilize all of the rooms. My sister-in-law lives in a large, newer, cookie-cutter home with a sprawling 2,500 square feet. Their family of 5 practically lives in the family room, barely venturing into the living/dining room. This seems like a bit of wasted space, as does their loft that they don’t know what to do with.

There are so many benefits to a small home that I don’t even know where to start, so I’ll begin with something everyone can relate to: the cost of utilities. The smaller the square feet, logically, the less space there is to heat and cool. Now, of course with inefficient, drafty houses, this basic rule may not apply. Energy efficiency wins out over old, inefficient homes and corroded air ducts. However, if all is equal in energy efficient appliances and heating and cooling systems, the small house wins: the utilities will be less expensive.

Small houses are easier to clean. Again, the less square footage means the less mopping, vacuuming, and sweeping of the floors area wise. I’d prefer to vacuum 1,200 sq. ft. versus 2,500 or more square feet. Wouldn’t you? If I choose to re-carpet or re-floor your home, the cost is again less because the area is smaller. I may even decide to invest in higher quality materials since I won’t need to purchase as much as I would for a large house.

This Tiny House small cottage
This Tiny House small cottage

When looking at homes in my neighborhood, I can see many of them are in need of maintenance, such as painting and landscaping. The smaller the house, the less I have to roll my paint brush over the exterior walls and the less paint I will have to buy. I save money while saving my shoulder and elbows from bursitis. My creativity can be used towards making sure the trim and the window dressings are painted and decorated to match which ever style I decide best suites the house. On a larger house, with more windows, I might be cash-strapped and have to stick to more simplistic decor.

The fewer the interior rooms, the more time I can spend carefully choosing how best to decorate each one. Or, pick a theme that runs throughout the house. Frequently, smaller homes are less expensive than larger ones. The money I save on the difference in a mortgage, can go towards purchasing furniture that matches my theme or style. I won’t have to worry about a huge house sparsely furnished. If I can’t buy furniture for my small house right away, at least it won’t be as obvious!

One great addition to a small house, and some may disagree given their personal family situation, I don’t have to worry about uninvited relatives crashing at our house with their 3 kids and 2 dogs. A small house would only allow us to have a guest room with a single or double bed. One or two people max is my motto. Luckily, my husband and I don’t currently have family members who show up with their RV and park it out front, at least not yet.

On a final note, small houses are more eco-friendly, using and consuming less resources. My husband has recently mentioned that he’d like to add solar panels to the home that we purchase. A small house would need fewer panels and take less energy, again saving money in the long run.

In case you’re not convinced, OR you’d like to read some articles on other sites, here are a few links:


  1. Your points about a smaller house are right on! I really miss the smaller house we lived in while our current, larger house was being remodeled (it’s 70 yrs old, just about 2500 sq ft). I miss having just one bathroom to clean, and I hate that with our bigger house, it just means the clutter is spread to more areas for me to sadly sigh about. I am a less-is-more, enough is enough kind of gal! We do have 3 kids, so room to roam is nice, but you’d be surprised at the fights they still have over wanting space to be alone and favorite bathroom usage…is our house creating a sense of entitlement and non-cooperation?

    • Thanks for the post Sandy,
      I like your question about non-cooperation vs. entitlement, it gives me something to ponder.

      -Little House

  2. Thanks for the post Sherry. I agree, smaller is easier to make feel comfortable and homey.

    Little House

  3. I agree with you about smaller houses, although I have my limits as to how “small”. Our current home is 1100 square feet and we are fairly cramped. The three bedrooms are all occupied… I really, really need a home office so we are planning to build another room on one way. The last place we lived in was a 12×50 mobile home – way, way, way too small. My mother-in-law’s home is nearly 7000 square feet according to! Seeing her home and how big it is has always been motivation for me to stay in a smaller home. I have a hard enough time keeping this little one clean.

  4. Rainydaysaver Reply

    Oh, I’d definitely be unhappy if I had to vacuum that much space, considering it’s my most-despised chore. Honestly, our new home actually has a bit too much space. It will be interesting to see how that factors into our winter utility bills, since we only have single-zoned heat.

    • Rainydaysaver,
      I despise vacuuming, I only like the results! Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a nice 1,200 sq. ft. house somewhere in our area.

      thanks for the comment-
      Little House

  5. I have designed a bunch of houses made out of shipping containers and built my smallest design, the Cargo Cottage, out of a 20′ container complete with queen sized bed, kitchen bath living and dining area. But at 160 sq.ft. people that are interested in having me build one for them are having a tough time finding any sort of conventional financing for houses under 400 sq. ft. (FHA min. size limit). So how does one get financing for a tiny house without having to pay RV or Boat rates? ~Kai@Shelterkraft in Seattle

    • @Kai – That’s a good question. It sounds very similar to the problem with financing mobile homes or some manufactured homes. I know that there are a few lenders out there that finance mobile homes, perhaps they’d also finance the homes you are building?

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