Finding Big Happiness in a Small Space


How many rooms in your home do you spend time in?  If you had to, could you live with less space? Less isn’t always more. More space means more room for activities!  It also means more room for your stuff! With less space, it’s easier to keep your purchases to a minimum, because there just isn’t room! Less space also means less to clean, and that’s motivation enough for me! Our house is small, but we’ve learned to manage with less and are completely content where we live.  

Picture a 4-car garage, we live in less space than that. We also have an unfinished basement that we use for laundry and storage. About a year ago we were making plans to sell and find a bigger home. Plans changed, and we did some redecorating and updates to our home instead.  We’ve also made some new cleaning and organizing habits. We realized that we were happy with our home, and we decided to wait a few more years before upgrading. We love our home, and space isn’t an issue for us anymore.

One thing I love about having a small house is that I don’t need to spend much time to clean it.  I can vacuum my entire main floor (entryway, living room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, and bathroom) all with the vacuum plugged into the same outlet!  Less space means less room for clutter too. We don’t have much on our end tables, so it takes a minute or two to dust those, when I get around to it. No coffee table either, there’s no room for that when you have a busy toddler running around!  When it comes to decor and furniture, don’t over-do it! The less things you have, the less time you have to spend cleaning!

When my kitchen is clean at the end of the night, I’m happy. That means that when I wake up it’s still clean!  Our kitchen counters only have the coffee maker and microwave. I found cupboard space for the toaster and the in-drawer knife block I got from Amazon . The blender that I use daily is also stored in a cupboard. It takes less than 10 seconds to get it out and put it back each morning. We have one cupboard for our dishware, and one for other dishes like containers and mixing bowls.  We also installed shelving on the wall going to the basement, for a pantry. Since we have no dishwasher, we try to keep our dirty dishes to a minimum. We have an in-sink dish drainer, which really helps with counter space.  One habit I’ve had to get used to is doing the dishes…A LOT.  It can be hard to keep up with, but it really helps reduce the mess which, improves my mood. Less mess equals more happy. 

kitchen organization

In our home, everything has its place, including toys. You can find tons of cute and inexpensive bins at TJ Maxx, Target, or Marshall’s. Toys get put into a bin according to the category they fit into (animals, cars, big trucks, balls, etc.). This approach to organization makes it look cleaner than if everything is thrown into one toy box. Our limited space also keeps us from over-buying toys. We simply don’t have room. He gets new toys on his birthday and other holidays, but we don’t buy a lot throughout the year. I try to organize often and move less-used toys to the basement. We donate to Goodwill several times a year and I do a lot of my shopping there as well. 

toy storage

Our house was built in 1946 and has a lot of character, which is one of the things I love about it.  Since we decided to stay put longer, we had some updates to do. The main level has original wood flooring, and also had some really sweet laminate from decades ago.  We replaced the laminate with tile and I painted the walls to give it a fresh look. The updates made a huge difference, and the lighter colors I chose made it look more spacious and bright.  We have a large mirror hung in the living room which gives the illusion that the room is bigger. Making small, inexpensive changes have made a huge difference.

Living in a small house won’t work for everyone.  But, if you’re struggling with space and don’t have the option to upgrade homes, start by taking a look at how you can increase your happiness in your current home. Limit the junk, try to keep it tidy, and think of ways you can change your habits to make your space work for you. Your house shouldn’t define you, and how you live in it is entirely up to you!

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Blair is a wife to Rodney and mommy to Kyus (2016). She grew up in Red Wing and has lived in Rochester for 15 years. Blair works full-time at the Mayo Clinic as a Psychometrist (she tests people’s thinking). She finds mental health and psychology extremely interesting and loves learning about wellness. In her spare time Blair likes to do all things relaxing. This includes, but is not limited to: napping, going for walks, taking baths, and watching reality television. On the weekends you can find her thrift shopping, and attending fun events around town with her family of 3. Blair loves to make people laugh with her sarcastic and blunt personality, and she doesn’t take life too seriously.


  1. What a great article! You don’t have to tear everything down to make it work, just little changes here and there and it will all come together. Great tips, Blair!

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