Tag Archives: living small

8 Big Reasons to Live in a Small Home

8 BIG Reasons to Live in a Small Home

Most Americans live in houses that are too big. In 2014, the average size of a home built was 2,600 square feet. That’s too big. Period. We don’t need so much stuff and we don’t need a bigger place to house it all. There is magic in small spaces. Small spaces open you up to more opportunities and give you a place to breathe. Check out my favorite BIG reasons to live in a small home below.  Continue reading

Lessons I’ve Learned From Living Tiny

Lessons I've learned from living tiny For over 2 years my husband, my dog and I have lived tiny. We went from living in a beautiful (and big-to-me) 1,200 square foot loft to a 188 square foot Airstream Sovereign. I’ve learned so many lessons during that time. Some of those lessons were expected and some of those lessons were totally unforeseen. Some of the lessons have been easy and some of them have been hard. But more than anything I’m thankful that I’ve learned them. Living tiny has made me a better person. So today I’m going to share just a few of the lessons I’ve learned by living tiny. I’m sure there are so many more lessons in store. Continue reading

Link Love: 48

Link Love Anyone else just having one of those weeks that you can’t get motivated? I feel like I’ve done nothing but watch Call the Midwife this week. I’m all about productivity, but I think I just need a break, knowwhatI’msaying? Speaking of nice little breaks, it’s time for Link Love! So, sit back, grab a cuppa and relax with the best of the Internet!

Finding bundance in downsizing. A 1600 square foot house is still huge to me, but they did reduce their living space by 70% so I gotta give it to them.

Tiny houses skirt cities’ zoning rules. This is a big problem with the tiny house movement that no one likes talking about. Most tiny house dwellings are illegal in municipalities. To have lasting impact, that needs to change.

Is income inequality actually about housing? A really interesting theory that could be solved with you guessed it, smaller houses!

Waste less food by shopping often. This is the exact opposite of the strategy that I’ve been using. I’m not convinced I’m wrong though. Thoughts?

Is it possible to raise happy kids in affluence? An interesting read.

This 30 year old travels the world on $30,000 a year. He doesn’t have an IRA or retirement plans which is too risky for me, but I admire his chutzpah.

This teen paid for college by selling on Etsy. I worked three jobs in college and still couldn’t pay for school and my rent. This girl kills it. All the clapping emoji.

Minimalism is more about living intentionally than owning few things. I couldn’t agree more.

And similarly, Do less and live more.

Email curfews? Yes, please!

How do hotels feel about guests taking their stuff? I’ve always wanted to know.

That’s it, folks!

Happy almost weekend!

What does “living small” mean?

What does living small mean?

I often talk about living small, but I don’t think I’ve ever defined it. I know many people talk about tiny living and the tiny house movement, but I don’t think that phrase is all-encompassing. It also seems that no one can agree on what constitutes “tiny.” I’ve seen measurements as small as 90 square feet up to 1,000 square feet. Living small, to me, is much less about the measurements and more about the lifestyle. Here’s what living small means to me:

Living below your means
Living small is first and foremost about living below your means. It’s looking at your budget and consciously renting or buying less than you can afford. It’s knowing that by sacrificing some physical room you open up other financial possibilities for yourself. It’s about more freedom.

Living with less stuff
Logistically, by living in a smaller house, you’ll have to live with less stuff. It’s physics or something! But it’s also about being aware of the things that you own. It’s knowing that things are just that… things. It’s knowing that the important things in life aren’t really things. The important things are people, experiences and happiness.

Make do and mend
Living small is also about making do with what you have. People who live small aren’t tempted by the biggest, shiniest new toy. They see potential in their old toys. They have a D.I.Y. attitude, and an entrepreneurial spirit. They know that they can put in the hard work and it will pay off.

Prioritizing your life
Living small is making intentional choices about what is important in your life. People who live small know that if they don’t prioritize their life, someone will prioritize it for them. By making a big, flashy house a priority, you intentionally or unintentionally give up some of your other priorities.

Living more life
People who live small know that by sacrificing space and things, they make more room in their life for life. With less mortgage payments, they can take that vacation they’ve always dreamed of. With less house maintenance, they can spend more time on beloved hobbies. And with more money they can work less and spend more time with family and friends.

Do you agree with my definition of “living small?” Do you live a small life? Would you like to share your house and story? Shoot me an email to be featured in a future blog post!


A Small Life Book Club

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

I’m starting a new feature on ye olde blog and I hope that you’ll enjoy it too! One of my goals this year is to read more and I need a bit of motivation. That’s why I’m starting a book club. Each month I’ll announce the book that we are going to read. (I’ll also take suggestions!) And then I’ll read it (I hope you will too) and we’ll discuss it. Easy enough?

Since this is “A Small Life” Book Club I’m thinking the books will center around minimalism, living small and life-changing adventures! The first book we’ll be reading is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing* by Marie Kondo. You can check it out from your local library or purchase it on Amazon using the link above.

I’ve heard great things about this book. In fact, people are starting to use the author’s last name as a verb to mean tidying up. Too bad my last name is hard to pronounce or I’d totally try to make that into a thing meaning “small living.” We’ll discuss this book on April 1st. I hope you’ll join me!


*Affiliate link.

The Small Life: The Peterson Family

livinlightly-on-the-road I am so pumped about this post! I love to see how families make living small work for them. Today we’ve got Nick Peterson from Livin’ Lightly. Nick, his wife, and two young children live, travel and work from an Airstream! Take it away, Nick…

livinlightly-morning-cuddles Hello! We are the Peterson family! My wife and two kids (daughter 3 years and son 5 months) live, travel and work in our 1966 Airstream Overlander. We’ve been living small full-time for the past two years.

For us tiny living was never about the space. (At least not entirely.) We chose to live small so that we can live large in other areas of our life. Life’s all about trade-offs.

livinlightly-exploring-map Pre-Airstream the daily grind consisted of work, paying bills then we tried to squeeze in some family, friends and fun. After the birth of our daughter we began to rethink our existence and intentionally plan our life.

livinlightly-stoy-time For us this meant trading a steady income + benefits, larger living space for portability, time with family and pursing work we love.

In preparation for this transition we buckled down and cut all unnecessary spending, got on a strict budget, paid off our debt and saved. We purged and sold all our stuff, bought a vintage Airstream and a big truck to pull it. We worked to build versatile and largely passive income streams to pay the bills.

livinlightly-parked-in-woods Now we have the time, and ironically space to share life as a family, the freedom to travel and explore and pursue what matters to us most.

Here’s to living the small space large life dream!

Aren’t they just the cutest?! You can read more about Nick and his family on their blog, Livin’ Lightly or on IG: livinlightlyAnd remember, If you want to submit your own Small Life, email me asmalllifemelanie @ gmail dot com.




Do you live the small life? I want to hear from you!

door to Airstream copy Do you live in a small house, in an Airstream or in a bus? Have you recently downsized your life? Do you live “unconventionally?” Do people often question your sanity? Just kidding about that last one, but I want to hear from you!

I am currently taking submissions for a new column that will feature people from around the world who embody the meaning of “living small.”

A Small Life is read by thousands of readers each day and could be a great opportunity to get your business/house/bus/life/Instagram/etc. seen!

Please send submissions to asmalllifemelanie at gmail.com. Submissions should include at least 4 photos (jpg or jpeg) that are at least 540 pixels wide. Also, please include why you embody living small. If chosen, I will contact you with further instructions.

I can’t wait to hear from you!