Inside: Wondering if small space living is possible for big families? Check out how a family of five lives in an 800-square-foot apartment!
By Natalie Busch of Messy Mom
In the modern days of bigger is better, having a large family in a small home may sound like it’s not only impractical, but unwise.
I haven’t always lived in a small home and I don’t plan to stay in one forever, but my family of five have bonded and learned so much in our current season that I wouldn’t trade it. Currently we live in an apartment with less than 800 square feet.
I am not a minimalist and I don’t think there is anything wrong with owning a nice size home with lots of rooms. But I want to encourage others looking to simplify or downsize that it IS is possible to live with less. A lot less!
I am not suggesting everyone move into a tiny house, but if you ever want to or need to, my family is proof that it can be done! It’s surprising just how much of what we think are necessities we would do just fine living without.
Here is how our family of 5 lives in less than 800 square feet:
1. We share rooms.
The five of us share one bathroom and all three of my children share a bedroom. They have an Ikea bunk bed with three mattresses. They also have a swing and a small indoor trampoline. If you think that’s a lot of children in one room, check out this pyramid bed my friend’s dad made:
All five sisters grew up sharing a room together. They are adults now and they look back on their time of sharing a room together with fond memories.
2. We hide our tables.
Tables and beds take up the most floor space so anything you can do to make them fold up, roll under, stack up, or hideaway is ideal. Our dining table can fold up several different ways. All of the chairs can collapse and fit inside it when not it’s not in use. When it’s expanded all the way it can accommodate 6 people. Our coffee table fits underneath the TV console so that’s a big space saver too.
3. We only have one couch.
All five of us can fit on the couch. I know that doesn’t work for everyone, because our children are still very small. However, when we have company and–believe it or not–we do, we use our chairs from the table. Even our coffee table doubles as a bench. We’ve hosted some really fun birthday parties and had overnight guests from out of town on multiple occasions. Having a small space does not have to limit your social life, you just need to think outside of the box!
4. We hang things.
Tiny house living means you have to think vertically to keep your floor space open. We have lots of shelves and hooks! I took a count and we’ve installed 10 shelves and 12 hooks in our little apartment.
5. We live with less.
We don’t have a washer or dryer at home. I wish we did, but the coin laundry in the apartment basement works for now. We don’t have a microwave and have come to love making popcorn on the stove. We use scooters instead of bikes and have a BLAST!
Living in a small space takes a different mindset, but one that we have become really comfortable with. In fact, some of it I like even more than when we had a big house with all of the STUFF!
If you’re faced with small space living, how do you maximize space in your home?
Natalie Busch is a Jesus lover, a wife, and a mother. You can find her at messymom.com where she shares some practical tips along with humorous and heartfelt stories about her family of 5 (and one on the way) living in a small space with a small budget. You can join in on the mess via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.