We are a family of 5 living in a 1300sf home right now.
We moved here from a beautiful, new home that had 2100sf finished plus and unfinished basement (completely usable for storage and play) and an unfinished upstairs (we never used.)
Sometimes I miss the space. But I don't miss the constantly cleaning. Constant.
I'm still unpacking here but so far I can really see that this smaller space (we lived here before and just moved back...so I did know what I was getting into) takes about 60% less of my time.
So I can spend more time with my children and with cooking and with knitting.
We have a tiny 1 car garage that will be used for some storage but mostly for dh's home office. Then we have a storage shed for things that can be stored long-term that are not temperature-sensitive. And we have a huge, fenced yard. Without the yard we would be in trouble. The house feels too small for so much kid-energy but because we can open the door and let them FREE it takes care of that.
The thing with smaller spaces is: declutter viciously
Before we moved back home I spent a month decluttering. We got rid of about 30% of our furniture (donations, freecycle, friends) and about 60% of our non-furniture stuff. I cannot count how many trips we took to the thrift store to donate or had friends over to go through stuff and choose what they could use.
There are very few things that I am sentimental enough about to keep moving them cross state lines.
So I cleared out. Even if a thing was useful, it didn't mean that I needed to own it. I could give it to someone who really needed it...so I did.
Decluttering also made the move more sane. We were able to fit everything in to the moving truck with room to spare. We were able to load the truck and unload the truck without killing ourselves. And less stuff just makes me feel more at peace.
I believe that our children need more of US then they need the stuff we fill our houses with. So if I can spend less time picking up, cleaning, reorganizing...that's a very good thing.