Tips & Tricks for Small House Living

Check out these Tips & Tricks for Small Home Living! Great ideas for homes of all sizes!I’m super excited to be joining the Small House Blog Hop organized by Stacy from Not Just A Housewife! Of course, the term “small house” is completely subjective and what is one person’s small house could be practically a mansion for another. We (me, my husband, 2 boys, and three dogs) live on an acre of land in a 1600 sq. ft. house with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. Sure, there are other larger families living in smaller houses but, nonetheless, here are my tips and tricks for small home living!

Tips & Tricks for Small Home Living - HomeHome Sweet Little Home

Did you know that the average size of a U.S. home is 2,600 sq. ft., which ranks us second behind Australia for largest homes in the world? (source) Here in Texas, where we often live up to the “bigger is better” stereotype, I’d dare argue we are well above the average! So, in my house, we’re about 1,000 sq. ft. behind the average home which sometimes makes me wonder just why we decided to buy this house.

Eight years ago, my husband and I wanted to move from one side of town to another, closer to his job to cut back on commute times. We fell in love with an area that fit all our qualifications (walking distance to work, good schools, strong personality) but the houses were all made in the 1930’s so they were significantly smaller than the house we were moving from. We probably should have thought about what we were going to do when we had kids (which came only a year later!) but the old-fashion charm of the house and the gorgeous (if massive!) yard called to us!

Where the Wild Things Are Costumes from Tried & TrueThe Rest Is History

So, that’s how I came to be living in our “casita” where the kitchen is pretty much a row of appliances and the bathroom is constantly occupied. We recently converted a 150 sq. ft. in-laws quarters into a craft room for me so now we get our pantry back which is a good thing. (Read more about that here!) Over all, we’re quite happy with our little house and while we may add on a master suite at some point (what mother wants to share a bathroom with two teenage boys?!!!), we’ve figured out how to make it work for us.

Here are a few tips & tricks we’ve learned:

Tip 1. Utilize Every. Space. Possible!

I realize that’s pretty much a given when living in a small space but I highly suggest thinking even more outside of the box when it comes to getting the most out of your space.

Tips & Tricks for Small Home Living - Diversify 3

With two kids sharing a small bedroom (turns out people in the 30’s loved small houses, small bedrooms, and small closets!), there was little room for a stand alone bookcase so we installed these forward facing bookshelves in that awkward space behind the door. We have an entire wall of books in another part of the house so we just switch these out every so often to keep the kids interested.

Small-Home-Living-Hints-Tricks-11 When I began blogging seriously and working with companies to create tutorials for their products, I needed a dedicated space to work from. The only unused space available was above a bench in the pantry and it totally did the job for 3 good years! (Check out my Teeny Tiny Craft Room)

My next project? I need a meditation nook somewhere in this crowded house where unused corners are hard to come by. I have some ideas but would love to hear any suggestions!

Tip 2. Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Don’t get me wrong, there are some days when it feels like the walls are sliding in and the house gets so small that we’re constantly stepping on and over each other. Having two little monkeys boys running around like crazy can make any house feel small so we do what most parents do…go outside!

Tips & Tricks for Small Home Living - Great Outdoors 2One of the things we gained when we sacrificed square footage in our house was an amazing outdoor space that is perfectly suited for kids wanting to explore the world around them. My boys are finally old enough that I can trust them being outside on their own (which is AH-mazing) but most of the time we go out with them to clear our heads and renew our hearts.

Tips & Tricks for Small Home Living - Great Outdoors

So, don’t forget to consider any outdoor space you have in your small home! We’ve started adding small details like stereos and an Outdoor Folding Bar Shelf to our backyard to make it even more of a living space. Definitely need some comfy outdoor sofas now (and someone to bring me a cold beer!)

Small-Home-Living-Hints-Tricks-08 Tip 3. Add Whimsy

I know I said in the first tip to use all space wisely but let’s not forget that this is a home where my kids will create memories to last a lifetime. Standard thought tells us not to cover an entire wall in a small home because it’ll make the room feel smaller but you know what? Our Television Gallery Wall brings us endless amounts of joy as we often talk about how little (and chubby) the boys were in their hanging pictures. And who couldn’t smile at an entire wall of colorful Pez, right? I’ll sacrifice any amount of wall space if it makes us that happy!

Tips & Tricks for Small Home Living - Buck RulesTips & Tricks for Small Home Living - Whimsy 2One of the pros to living in small old houses is that you’ve got all these interesting (if somewhat wasteful) details. We turned an unused heater grate into a miniature Gnome Home that changes out with the seasons. I guess we could have utilized that space some how or just close it up to prevent a draft but we absolutely LOVE our house guests!

Small-Home-Living-Hints-Tricks-04Love the One You’re With

So, that’s where we live! We’re still figuring out how to make this space work for us but, regardless of house size, isn’t that what everyone does? I’d love to hear about your houses and what you consider to be “Small House Living!”

Tips & Tricks for Small Home Living - TourWant more awesome inspiration for your small home?
Visit these great bloggers:

February 25th
Stacy Risenmay – Not Just A Housewife
Jessica – Mom 4 Real
Jennie – Craft-O-Maniac
Janel – Nellie Bellie
Vanessa –Tried & True
February 26th
Lindsay – My Creative Days
Jennifer Rizzo – Jennifer Rizzo
Shannon – AKA Design 
Jessica – Decor Adventures
Doreen – Hymns and Verses
Kristi – Chatfield Court
Megan – Balancing Home
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Comments

  1. There are so many things I love about your home. The backyard is so great for your kids! The Pez wall is EVERYTHING and what you did in that vent at Christmas made me smile. SO fun to be on this tour with you this week.

  2. I love how you have everything set up in there. It looks like a wonderful home to raise those boys in!
    I went back to my childhood home a few years ago (it was for sale and I explained my situation to the realtor). When I was a little girl it always seemed so big. As an adult I realize that 1300 +/- square feet was not quite as big. The funny thing was that I could still remember where everything had been and would live in that house again in a heartbeat!

    Just out of curiosity – what did you use to create the hanging wall art under the Pez dispensers? It looks like something my kiddo needs in his room.

    One more question – exactly how many Pez dispensers do you have up there? They are a fun pop of color and whimsy!

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