I've always remembered a story a friend once told me about how his family grew apart when they moved into a bigger home. Although many people don't think about it, a cozy, smaller home can keep a family closer emotionally as well as physically. When my husband and I went house hunting in 2005, we weren't swayed by the new home salespeople who tried to talk us into the 3,000-square-foot houses. At that time, it was easy to get approved for more expensive mortgages. We settled on a smaller home that had 1,800 square feet, which is below the current average of 2,438 square feet. By 2015, builders predict the average home in the U.S. will be 2,152 square feet.
I can think of at least five things I love about living in our smaller home .
Cleaning is a snap. I love the fact that I can clean my home in less than 20 minutes. In that amount of time, I can vacuum the entire house and mop our hardwood floors. Since we don't have as much furniture as larger homes, I have fewer pieces to dust. It's nice to have less housework every day.
Staying put for life. Because our home is the right size, we won't have to downsize when we reach retirement age. I like the fact that my children and future grandchildren will be able to visit us in our family home. We will also save money in terms of moving and closing costs.
Saving on our utilities. I, of course, appreciate that my utility bills are $200 less than they were when I rented a larger home in the past. However, what's more important to me is the fact that I'm conserving energy. We don't use as much water outdoors since we also have a smaller yard .
Feeling connected with family. My friend said his family grew apart when they went from living in a small house to a new, spacious home. In contrast, I feel as though I've grown closer to my husband and two children by sharing a smaller space. When my husband is watching television in the great room, I can still talk to him from the adjoining kitchen. My son can practice the piano in the dining room that is off the great room and kitchen.
Having a sense of security. Even though it may not be based in facts, I have a greater sense of security living in a smaller home. I feel as though people are less likely to break into my house since they may assume the larger homes are better targets. With a small home, my dog can patrol the house and alert us to any intruders or guests.
Since I'm a bit of a minimalist who doesn't like a lot of knickknacks and stuff, it's easier for me to thrive in a smaller dwelling. I hope to be able to stay in my small home for life.
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