Ten years ago, our family moved into a smaller home.
We made the decision because we recognized the benefits of owning a smaller house: less expense, less stress, more freedom, more family interaction, and more opportunity to spend our lives on greater things than square footage.
One of the most attractive advantages we have experienced in a smaller home is the extra time that has been returned to our lives. All homes require maintenance and cleaning, regardless of size. But smaller homes are easier to clean than larger ones. Consider these practical examples.
11 Household Chores Made Easier in a Smaller Home
1. Tidying-Up. In every home, items get moved and things get used. But in our smaller home, tidying up and refreshing the home for a clutter-free morning takes much less time and effort.
2. Dusting. Fewer rooms, fewer walls, fewer shelves, fewer decorations and fewer knick-knacks. Dusting has never been easier.
3. Taking Out the Trash. Because there are fewer rooms and each of them are closer together, taking out the trash/recycling each week is never difficult.
4. Doing Laundry. A smaller home does not mean less laundry—we still wear clothes everyday. But gathering the laundry from different areas in the home and returning the clean clothes is much less burdensome than completing the task in a larger home.
5. Cleaning Floors. Floors need to be vacuumed and/or swept on a routine basis. They also need to be mopped and scrubbed to be kept clean. Less flooring in our home makes this chore easier to accomplish—and easier to find the motivation to even start.
6. Washing Windows. Fewer windows means less time to clean them, both inside and outside. Of course, our single-story home also makes this chore significantly easier.
7. Putting up Holiday/Seasonal Decorating. We still decorate our home for the Fall and Holiday season. But changing the environment of our home takes less time today than before—and it takes fewer decorations to accomplish that cozy feeling.
8. Scrubbing bathrooms. Because who wants to clean more showers and toilets than they have to?
9. Cleaning the furniture. Because we’re not furnishing unnecessary rooms in our home anymore, cleaning furnishings is less burdensome (also cleaning behind/under the furniture). This is a job that gets neglected in many homes—but not ours.
10. Deep Cleaning Baseboard, Cabinets, Corners. In our previous home, the thought of cleaning baseboards and cabinets (especially in lesser-used rooms) was enough to keep us from ever tackling the chore. In our new home, we complete it on a regular basis.
11. Professional services. Stuff breaks and things wear out. And some home repairs are definitely outside my expertise. Each time we have needed a professional service in our new home (new carpets, exterior paint, spraying for insects), our expense has been far less than a comparable service in our previous home.
Because of the numerous practical benefits, I’ve never regretted the decision we made five years ago. We are far happier today living in a smaller home than if we’d purchased a larger one just because we could.
And I continue to recommend the idea to anyone who is listening.
Michele Ball says
One week ago, my husband and I sold our 8800 sq ft home and moved to a 1923 sq ft home. We have sold, donated, given away and trashed thousands of items. The amount of stuff we accumulated to fill that large house is sickening. We are still clearing out items we brought with us but don’t need and don’t want to “store.” I already feel freer and less burdened. The practice of minimalism is a much needed change in my life.
We just down sized in aug 2019 to a 700sq home my husband one 7 year old and myself. My older 2 boys had moved in with their dad before we decided to down size.
I know where every thing is in our home .and everything has a home.
I have less to clean .
We have a yard now but it’s small so we have a push mower and 2 rakes.
I can reach the window to clean them .best part our heating bill is reduced to maybe $20 a month
We are not going back..
Hashimo my mum was a great believer in a poem called ‘Dust if you must’ its insightful and although not minimalist as in belongings definitely minimalist in life values . Hope this helps .x
Kathryn McClatchy says
Almost four years ago, we downsized from a 3/2/2, 1717 Sq ft home to a 2/1, 876 Sq ft apartment. Haven’t regretted it for a minute. Best part is our complex has a community room with pool tables, pools, dog park, media room, fitness center, etc., and when repairs need to be made it’s on them. We get to enjoy a great space without the responsibility and maintenance. Although our monthly rent is more than our old house payment, the maintenance and utilities are so much cheaper that we come out ahead in money and time without factoring in the amenities. Hubby and I can clean the entire apt in an hour by double-teaming it.
I am also in the process of downsizing our posessions over the last 2 years. Just thinking about all the STUFF and how much time it has taken to sift through it all makes me cringe. I have a feeling of freedom and lightness that has come from the purge!
We live in 1200 sq ft ( just 2 adults) with unfinished but usable basement and it is plenty big enough for me. When I went through chronic illness for 3 years just taking care of the space we have was overwhelming. Perhaps would welcome even less space as we get older.
Right now we love our time outdoors in the shop and me in My large garden. Gardens take maintenance but for those of us with the passion for gardening it is not work.
I’m so happy I stumbled on this blog and others like it. I’m excited about the journey in minimalism!
I have found that “going smaller” has freed me to live larger. I have space and time to discover what is essential instead of being constantly driven by keeping up with a busy to do list. I am completely content with my little one bedroom apartment. Here I am finding the me I was meant to be.
I live in my 400 sq ft Studio Apartment, kitchen/livingroom and bedroom. So easy to clean, and especially music, so easy to listen – I put it in kitchen – and can hear it everywhere in my Apartment! I’ve been enjoying to live here in first floor (on the ground) with less than 222 items incl. furniture and my so called possessions. It is also affordable and easy to enjoy living here. Renting. No stress about loans and everything gets fixed by company. I try to use one item for multiple things also, for example laptop is for me also TV, and my phone is something more: music player, book screen, TV, camera, USB stick, Internet 4G modem… TV I don’t have, don’t have much of furniture. I’ve never been happier. Definitely recommend to downsize in home, digital life and clutter in general. I hate shopping, but I love shopping for music service, to listen Hardstyle! In my Studio.
DaLLas M. says
Hi. I’m new to this website/blog but I have been ‘practicing’ minimalist behavior most of my 52 yrs of life. It was not something that my entire family did, it was just the ‘way I was’.
As a kid, I always liked having 3 or 4 really nice toys over having 10 or 20 pieces of junk toys. As a young teen when shopping with my parents for school clothes I would choose items that were more expensive but much fewer of them because I knew, with care, they had the potential to last the entire school year and then after I would be able to donate them to charity at the end of the year.
I always took extremely good care of my toys and my clothes because of this attitude.
That attitude was just one of greatest life choices that I’ve made. The best so far, in being a minimalist, was the choice to not have any children.
I have been married to my one (and only) husband for 24 years. We made this choice, together, before we married. Not because we physically couldn’t but because we didn’t want to. None of our friends or family ever questioned or challenged our decision/choice. No peer pressure to conform, no whiny parents questioning us about when they were going to be grandparents, etc.,etc.
Being a minimalist and practicing minimalism is about SO MUCH more than just the size of house you have and the amount of possessions you put inside of it. The pure freedom of minimal obligations and minimal worry this choice created for us is completely priceless!
You don’t HAVE to do, just because other’s are.
Think about that and
thanks for reading this.
This is a really nicest part about being minimalist with a family- especially with young children. Less time spent cleaning and organizing, and more time for each other! Thanks so much for your articles and encouragement!