Wednesday, 18 January 2017

10 reason why I love living in a small house

It's all relative, I know, I realise that the mere fact of having a roof over my head makes me richer than 75% of the people I share this planet with, but here's the thing, comparison is the thief of joy and when your friends and neighbours aren't the 75% it can be easy to feel resentful and bitter about living in a small house when almost all your friends and family live in much larger more comfortable houses.  So in light of this burgeoning sense of dissatisfaction with my lot, I decided to compile a list  of 10 reasons why living in a small house really is awesome, and to show my gratitude for the wonderful blessing of a happy home, no matter the size and appreciating how lucky I am:

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1. Less cleaning - if you have less physical space to live in then there is less to keep clean, simples.  I struggle now! I dread to think what it would be like if we had even more space to spread out our mess! So happy that I only have one bathroom to keep clean.

2. The more you have, the more you have to lose - larger houses are more expensive to maintain which means someone has to keep working harder and harder to maintain it.  My husband already works 5 days a week commuting, and out of the house for 12 hours every day, I couldn't accept him working and harder or longer. Having less also means having less to worry about, less to break, less to get damaged less to fear losing.

3. It keeps us close - when you live in a small house you are often near your family, there is no hiding away on your i pads in our house, we have one TV, when we watch it, we watch together, we all sit round the same table and eat together, we sleep together or are no more than one wall apart.  This is an unpopular position to be in in our society, it seems the government have an attitude of "divide and conquer" we're supposed to separate ourselves from our children as soon as possible, and I am sure the government would love to see us all sitting in separate rooms watching separate screens.  For us being close and together builds strong, trusting relationships.

4. Less stuff - Being is a small house means I have to be very careful about what stuff we keep in it, we can't have too much because it makes the house messy, cluttered and difficult to live in, so there is a constant process of getting rid of things, editing, refining our posessions to keep the quantities down.  This is good because having more stuff has not been shown to make you more happy and in fact in many cases having less makes you happier.  Also having less stuff means having less to lose, if, God forbid anyone ever broke in to our house we have very little of interest worth taking.  Another benefit is that we focus less on stuff because we don't have a massive void of space to fill.

5. Cheaper - We admittedly spend an exorbitant amount of money every month on our mortgage, this is due in part to the location we live in (desirable, commuter distance, expensive) and also the time we bought, which meant our house was expensive and our interest rates weren't great, anyhow, we are still paying much less every month than if we were in a larger house.  We also have to pay less to maintain it, because, well, it's smaller, there is less of it, so less to maintain.

6. We'll be debt free in 16 years - When we first got our mortgage the end seemed a million years away, now it actually feels achievable (I think having children helps put time into perspective).  Imagine not having to pay rent or a mortgage!  Only having to work to cover bills, food and luxuries, this would be massive for a family like ours  who spend a huge amount of our monthly income on our mortgage. This is only achievable because our house is small and therefore costs less.

7. No obligation to host - Not that I don't enjoy hosting but it is nice knowing it simply isn't possible to host our families or large numbers of friends, no worrying about clean up, stress of making meals for everyone, having enough bedding, I never have to feel guilty about not offering to host. It also means I can enjoy the hospitality of others enabling them to take the enjoyment and credit of being the host (aren't I kind!).

8. It's better for the environment - A smaller house uses less raw materials to build, less energy to heat, has fewer electrical items in it to run and releases less pollution into the environment and .  Win!!

9. It means we get to stay together - some people opt to move to a cheaper area where they get more house for their money but the main wage earner continues to live in or near the city during the week to maintain their income. I couldn't sacrifice any more time away from my husband even if it meant we were living in a mansion.  He's my best friend, I like him better than a big house, it's not a sacrifice I am willing to make.  So I get to see my lovely hubby every day, we sleep in the same bed every night, we eat dinner together every evening and I intend on keeping it that way.

10. We spend more time outdoors - Because our house is small, we can find ourselves getting cabin fever, or feeling on top of each other sometimes, this means we spend a lot of time outside the house, which is BRILLIANT!  We visit friends, walk in the woods, go to groups, see family, play in the playground, go to the library.....we get fresh air, exercise, socialisation and so much more.  If our house was larger we might find ourselves missing out on these things because we would opt to stay in the house more.

So there we have it folks, life in a small house is wonderful and I intend on appreciating it each and everyday.

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