Small Space Living: Doing More with Less

Small space living
Entries from’s “Small Cool 2012” contest.
The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less. – Socrates

Do you suppose Socrates was predicting the trend of tiny living spaces taking urban cities by storm? From extremely small spaces to what could simply be considered modest, people all over seem to be taking to the idea of doing more with less. If you haven’t heard of this trend, a simple internet search will likely uncover hundreds of great and extremely basic examples of people “living big” in small spaces; spaces typically smaller than 500 square feet.

The benefits of living in less space include saving money on rent, and reducing your carbon footprint. Some even claim that living in small quarters brings them organization they didn’t have in a larger space, even if it’s because they simply don’t have a choice. The downturn of the economy, the public attention to greenhouse gas emissions, and the ongoing quest for solitude all make this way of living seem very appealing.

Over the years, the typical sized living space in America has gotten larger and larger. In 1973, the average house was 1,525 square feet and had 3 people per household. In 2006, it was 2,248 square feet and had only 2.6 people per household. This statistic shows us that it is possible to scale back our abodes; all we need is a little motivation and a lot of careful planning.

small space living

With limited space, the owners of these tiny homes and apartments are forced to be very resourceful when it comes to design and storage. Some of the most important tips I’ve uncovered are to:

  • Maximize all space; specifically empty wall space. Put a shelf on it.
  • Learn to live with less. De-clutter before you downsize getting rid of anything you don’t “need”.
  • Each time you bring in something new, take something old out to keep clutter from culminating.
  • Be creative (we’ve said this before) if you can piece furniture together strategically (or even have it custom-made) you can gain a lot of usable space. My favorite example was this guy who stores his bed in a compartment under the balcony and pulls it out at bedtime!
  • Keep seasonal and less frequently used items in self storage. This will make your tiny space feel much bigger!

If you’d like some more storage tips, check out our other blog post Creative Storage Tips for Small Spaces.

What do you think about small space living? Do the benefits of this lifestyle outweigh the potential inconveniences and hassles? Let us know your thought in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Small Apartment Storage

Creative Storage Tips for Small Spaces

Top 10 Home Storage Tips