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How much house is enough?

The 'Tarleton' from Tumbleweed Tiny House Co.

As you know, my family is moving from Oregon to Ohio soon. Since I 'married into' my current home, this is the first time I've gone through a home-buying (and selling) experience. It's pretty exciting, and I feel like this is a great opportunity to do things differently. Small(er), maybe. Could we really live in a smaller house? I think so.

Check out these average house sizes (in square feet):

  • Great Britain: 818 (the smallest in Europe)
  • France: 1216
  • Japan: 1313
  • Canada: 1800
  • Australia: 2303
  • United States: 2411

USA! USA! We win! A dubious honor, methinks. That said -- sheepishly -- my current house is around 2700 square feet. It was built that way in 1958 -- we haven't added on -- and it's always felt like just the right amount of space. We use every room, every day, and I certainly wouldn't want a larger house. But I keep seeing all of these adorable Cape Cod homes online that are around 2000 square feet plus a basement. I haven't toured these houses yet, but as I wander virtually through the online photos, I can't help but get excited about the idea of downsizing. I like my space, and I like for the kids (and face it, my husband) to get away to their own space, too. But how much does a family really need? Need. I have visions of taking control of clutter, spending less time cleaning, using less energy on heat, getting rid of stuff

I love reading about people who live in small houses, though I'm not quite ready for a tiny house at this stage in my life. (Great video at that link.) But I think I'd like to try smaller. Maybe we'll rent first and test the waters. What about you? How small could you go?


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