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1200 sq. ft house = simplified life or nightmare? - Page 3

post #41 of 89
We (me, dh, dd#1 and three large dogs) live in 1100 sq ft and it is too big.
post #42 of 89
OP, I think you will be fine. We are a family of 4 in a 800 sq ft house. At one point years ago, there were 6 adults and one baby living here (me, dh, dd, my parents, my brother, and SIL) so we feel like we have tons of room now! Yes, the bedrooms are small. But it really helps you to choose what you want in your home.

There is less house to clean and organize. It is easier to keep track of where the kids are without literally following them around. We do have 1/5 of an acre yard, where the kids can play.
post #43 of 89
I'd be tempted to knock down some walls because 1200 square feet in four rooms feels bigger than 1200 square feet in six rooms.

In fact, we have a big house because it was the only way we could get big rooms in this area. It's like the builders think every home must have nine rooms and they just scale each room with the square footage.
post #44 of 89
We're in a 1000 sq ft house and have two adults and three children. We are JUST FINE! I think this is pretty much the perfect size for us.

That said, our kitchen is on the small side and it irks me. I'd love more cabinets, but alas, we are lacking. Thankfully we have a garage, so we have a pantry out there for our canned stuff and such. I also store our bigger cooking stuff out there (large roasting pan, slow cooker, etc.).
post #45 of 89
so, op, what's the verdict?
post #46 of 89
Were a family of 5 in 1100 sq feet and it is perfect!!!! Enjoy the decluttered life.. once you see how happy you are in our new home that's all that will matter.
post #47 of 89
That is the amount of space we have but we only have half a basement. I would be totally cool with this much space if I had a work/play area in the basement. We have a bunch of hobbies and it would be nice to keep their supplies out of sight. Right now my sewing stuff is on the dining room table because the basement isn't safe for a 13 month old and there just isn't a way to divide up the space.

ETA: We have two grown ups, 2 young kids, 2 cats and a few books.
post #48 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masel View Post
That is the amount of space we have but we only have half a basement. I would be totally cool with this much space if I had a work/play area in the basement. We have a bunch of hobbies and it would be nice to keep their supplies out of sight. Right now my sewing stuff is on the dining room table because the basement isn't safe for a 13 month old and there just isn't a way to divide up the space.
I would be more content if we had basement storage as well. I'm noticing a lot of those who are happy with their small spaces have a basement or more than one floor. Ours is 3 teeny bedrooms, a skinny bathroom, and an open kitchen-living room area. It's like there's no place to go! The open living room/kitchen has the kitchen table crammed in it, the back door, a few cabinets, a wall for the tv and piano, and a wall for the couch. Ugh.
post #49 of 89
We also have no pantry, no closet to store broom/mop/vacuum cleaner, and no place to set the kitchen trash. It all just sort of floats around driving me insane!
post #50 of 89
Oh my goodness, that sounds fabulously huge to me! We are a family of three plus my mother and sometimes my father (so sometimes four adults and one baby) plus two cats in an 850-sq-foot two-bedroom apartment with no basement storage.

I fantasize about 1,000 sq. feet sometimes, but we are just fine in 850.
post #51 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

Granted, two things made it work:
1. We live an uncluttered life. I could go for downright spartan, but I do want to make things homey and comfy.
we have discovered that we like spartan quite a lot. the less we have, the less comfortable it is for others, the more comfortable we are. it's rather ironic. (i think we live in 500 sq ft btw, one bedroom apt, and it's just the three of us. DS is 2).

Quote:
2. We spent a lot of time outdoors.
this helps. for our next place, we are looking at a yard. i'm looking at houses that are about 700-900 sq ft, but with yard space. ds needs to be outside. it doesn't have to be a big yard, just a safe spot.

also, we find that if the house has nice views/outlook, it feels a lot bigger than it is. lots of light helps!

for the kitchen, small is fine, you just have to make it workable. first, simply your kitchen as much as humanly possible. there is a thread around here about simplified kitchen, and some of those off-grid moms have it down to a science or an art, or a scientific art or artful science. in any case, they have some *great* ideas.

we have a large kitchen by NZ standards, but it's very small by US standards. we do quite well, and find we eat a lot from scratch and fresh this way. we also find that we do well with very few kitchen items and gadgets, in fact, the only "gadget" we have for the kitchen is the stove/oven. seriously. i think i'll have my mother send my kitchen boxes, because, i could use my food mill and mandoline! LOL

anyway, keep it simple.

you should be fine.
post #52 of 89
We have ~950 sq ft plus a two car garage. The layout is not optimal but it basically works. I feel like we have an awful lot of crap yet my house is not real full. We entertain all the time. We have fun parties with up to about 20 people. My husband used to have crowded crazy parties with up to a hundred people. It's all about perspective. Regularly our play group meets here. Four moms and (now) five kids. Four are toddlers and it doesn't feel real crowded. When the dads are also around it feels a bit more crowded but still not overwhelming.

I fantasize regularly about remodeling and adding about 300 sq ft and moving some walls. I don't know that it will ever happen so this is ok.
post #53 of 89
I think it totally depends on the layout, how much stuff you have/hobbies you all participate in & how often you entertain. We're in about 1400sq ft & it's ok but we have very little storage (no closets)& so stuff is just spilling out everywhere which drives me bonkers. I keep trying to declutter but quite frankly we have a lot of hobbies & hobbies come with stuff.

We don't entertain often, not nearly as much as I'd like 'cause it's just too stressful - it's hard to get the house to be presentable & when we do have people here it feels very crowded because the rooms are small.

I should add that we also have 4 pets which adds to the clutter.
post #54 of 89
OK, clearly the square footage of my house is one of these things everyone's supposed to know and I don't, like my shoe size. (Seriously, I hate buying shoes so I can never remember - by the time I get the next pair the size label has worn off the previous one. Shoe store owners all over the city think I'm a complete moron.)

Our house is small but open-plan - people always comment on how "big" it is when they come in, because it looks way bigger on the inside. Like the Tardis. I didn't mind moving into a significantly smaller house from our previous one, but I will say this:

-I NEVER want to live in a house with a tiny kitchen or insufficient bench space. In a good kitchen, I adore cooking. In a small, nasty one, I never want to set foot in the place. For those who don't like cooking to begin with, I imagine a smal kitchen would be even more offputting. We rejected SO many houses that had pathetic little one-bench kitchens, most of which bench was taken up by the sink. Hate, hate, hate them.

-I sew, which is a fairly space-consuming hobby. As hobbies go I'd hardly call it anti- the simple life, but it does take up space, particularly my fabric stash. I suppose some people would find it simpler to lose the stash, but I find it makes my life easier to have fabric to work with when I need it (and bought when we can afford it, hah!). I find good, really cheap lengths of fabric at the op shop occasionally, I'm not gonna leave them there. So, if you do any kind of hobby that uses a lot of stuff - scrapbooking, woodwork, spinning, whatever - that'll necessitate storage and possibly work space. I don't think I could fit in a really tiny home because my hobbies include reading, cake decorating, sewing and cooking (ie a fair bit more kitchen equipment and random ingredients than the average person has). I don't think it makes you a bad, materialistic person to have hobbies, and it'll drive you nuts if you have nowhere to put your supplies.

-Built-in storage really helps. Our last house had a built-in bookshelf, set into the wall of the hallway. Ugly as sin, but SO useful. When we moved we bought a new bookshelf, but I still have some books packed away in boxes because they won't fit. (And yes, I do miss them and don't wanna declutter them!) This house, fortunately, has window seats with storage underneath, which I use for storing things like sleeping bags and bags of DD's old clothes for a future baby.
post #55 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
So, if you do any kind of hobby that uses a lot of stuff - scrapbooking, woodwork, spinning, whatever - that'll necessitate storage and possibly work space. I don't think I could fit in a really tiny home because my hobbies include reading, cake decorating, sewing and cooking (ie a fair bit more kitchen equipment and random ingredients than the average person has). I don't think it makes you a bad, materialistic person to have hobbies, and it'll drive you nuts if you have nowhere to put your supplies.
Agree! This is me too.
post #56 of 89
We have a family of 7 in 900 sq ft. But we have basement nd attic storage, and are slowly converting the basement to livable space.
I hate a lot o about our house..the rooms are TINY, there is ZERO counter space in my 8 by 8 ft tiny kitchen, thr bsthroom is miniscule, the bedrooms are barely big enough to put a king size bed in, like literally wall-to wall bed, etc.
BUT...it's ours. I'd live in a 100 sq ft closet-hovel apartment before I'd live with a MIL. It's all about priorities
post #57 of 89
Thread Starter 
OP here. BobandJess99 -- you summed it up perfectly! It is about priorities, and I can't go on living with my MIL. I tried and failed! This house is small, but it's all we can afford. Plus, it is super close to my husband's two jobs, so he can come home for lunch at times. He works very hard so I can stay home (at least for now, but that's a different subject).

Anyway, we are under contract. YAY! Thank you all so much for posting -- so many great ideas. Now I need to get serious about decluttering before we move in on December 20th. Now you know I'm crazy! Not sure how I'll pull that off and still have the house ready for Christmas.
post #58 of 89


very cool, i hope it all works out!

when i was 12, we moved during the week leading up to christmas. i don't even remember if we had a christmas tree or not. i'm sure the house was not "ready" for christmas by adult standards . . . but it didn't matter. it was our first christmas in our house! this was a house my mom and step-dad built when they got married - so we had gone from mom's house, to his house, to rentals, to finally being "home" during the long drawn-out building process. moving into your new house will make it an awesome christmas, even if you hang white gym socks for stockings and eat frozen pizza for christmas dinner.
post #59 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
moving into your new house will make it an awesome christmas, even if you hang white gym socks for stockings and eat frozen pizza for christmas dinner.
I completely agree!
post #60 of 89
I wouldn't do it by choice. I like my space.
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