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#1 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How small of a house / apartment / boat/ etc... could you live in with kids? I am working towards the 100 item minimalist challenge and selling our large house to downsize to a much smaller space. I want to live simply and to have a much smaller impact on the earth. We need a space that is built with natural / healthy materials as one of my children has multiple chemical sensitivities as well. How small do you think you could go?

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#2 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 04:09 PM
 
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depends on how old are your children? what type of activites do you enjoy in the home? do you work out of your home? do you see a parent moving in in the next couple of yrs? do you see more kids in the future?

for me i'd say 1000sq ft. 14, 11, 8 yr olds me, dh and two doggies.
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#3 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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How small of a house / apartment / boat/ etc... could you live in with kids? I am working towards the 100 item minimalist challenge and selling our large house to downsize to a much smaller space. I want to live simply and to have a much smaller impact on the earth. We need a space that is built with natural / healthy materials as one of my children has multiple chemical sensitivities as well. How small do you think you could go?

Cheers,

MoonMama

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we are in a 700sq ft appt right now and honestly I think it's too big. (Me, dh and dd 5mo).

But it really depends on what you need. For example, I feel that our living room is wasted space. Our bedroom is so big, we do all our entertaining, school and living in there. I would rather have a bigger kitchen and take out the living room. The way your space is set up is going to dictate how much overall you need.

Currently, we're looking for a house in the 800-1200sq ft range, but one of my sisters wants to rent a room.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#4 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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I would say-depends on climate, geography of what you are located near, and lifestyle.

If I lived near the ocean or that type of climate, we would need half of the space we have now in the midwest and none of the yard because the beach etc would be my backyard. We would also spend much more of our time outside like we do now during the summer time months. We eat outside during the summer etc while the colder time of year, our basment play are gets much more traffic than in the summer when the kids live in our backyard.

We live very close to everything and walking distance to school, town etc. If we lived rurally, we would need much more space for storage of food supples etc.

We have very very cold months and very warm months so we need space for different types of clothing- winter boots, coats etc plus winter playing things like sleds. We also have kiddie pools etc in the back yard area and bikes etc that are not used in Jan with a foot of snow and 20 below temps.

We are not people who save things- we pass them along so someone else can use them and we still were amazed by the amount of "stuff" we had when we moved 2 years ago.

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#5 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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My kids are still very young. I think about 1000sq ft would be my smallest. I have a ton of crafty hobbies and having one room for crafts and storage is really nice. That room can double as guest bedroom. Then one bedroom for us all ATM, later a bedroom for us and one for the kids, then a bedroom each for the kids (boy/girl). A big open living/kitchen/eating room and two bathrooms. If I were designing a house that would be a 4 bed with no extra silly rooms like formal dining rooms. Since I'm not designing it I think a three bed with kitchen/dining/living and formal dining will do for us for the next 10+ years. I'd have crafty stuff in a bedroom and toys/computers in the formal dining and one bedroom closed off until the kids took one room each, then move toys to their rooms and craft/computers to the formal dining room.

But right now I'm despairing of finding a house smaller than 2000 sq feet that's not full of mold and collapsing.

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Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post
we are in a 700sq ft appt right now and honestly I think it's too big. (Me, dh and dd 5mo).

But it really depends on what you need. For example, I feel that our living room is wasted space. Our bedroom is so big, we do all our entertaining, school and living in there. I would rather have a bigger kitchen and take out the living room. The way your space is set up is going to dictate how much overall you need.

Currently, we're looking for a house in the 800-1200sq ft range, but one of my sisters wants to rent a room.
What do you do when the baby's asleep and you have visitors? Or you want to watch TV after the baby's asleep?
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#6 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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We currently live in 1100 sq ft - it's myself, H, DS (3), and two dogs. I don't think we could go any smaller. We're looking to go bigger, but not by much. Just need an extra bedroom or two and an extra bathroom.
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#7 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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If I moved some place that doesn't have 6 months of winter, about 750-1000 sq ft would be nice.

Emily, cooking allergen free, knitting, reading, gardening Mom to 1 beautiful girl, born in the water on July 1, 2006 Wife to 1 handsome man since September 10, 2005
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#8 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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We lived in a 30 ft trailer for a year with 3 kids. It was doable. In the winter it got hard when the kids were stuck inside. Right now it's Myself, dh and 4 kids in 1400 sq ft and we are very comfortable.
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#9 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 06:59 PM
 
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We lived in under 300 sq ft (probably more like 200 sq ft actual living space) with a toddler when we lived on a boat. It wasn't that bad, really.

I think that now, with two kids, I suspect we could manage comfortably in 500 *well designed* square feet or less. Effective design makes a big difference.

DS born 6/03, DD1 born 9/06, DD2 born 10/10, DD3 born 4/14.
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#10 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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Our family of 3 could live in a 500 sq foot place easily if we got rid of a few things. Probably 400 sq feet. Our place right now is 800 sq feet.

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#11 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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What do you do when the baby's asleep and you have visitors? Or you want to watch TV after the baby's asleep?
Well, I do still have a living room. But I figure it would still work as I also have a nice dining room that I could convert b/c the kitchen is an eat in kitchen.

We always watch tv when she's asleep. We're currently on a CSI marathon through the netflix instant stream. I personally prefer to watch it when she's asleep as then DH and I can cuddle...and I'd hate for a 5mo to watch CSI episodes! Talk about an early dose of violence!

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#12 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are thinking a 400-500 well designed tiny house for five people. We spend a lot of time out of the house for activities, school, work and the kids are with their dad one night on the weekend. Our present house is 2600 sq ft and we really only use 400 sq ft of it, and we are almost always together when we are home.
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#13 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 08:48 PM
 
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It's just me and DD. We have just over 800 sq feet but the layout's not ideal. We could do probably 600 with a perfect layout. I'd like to settle on around 1000-1200 someday. That's what I grew up with and it seems cozy enough while allowing everyone to have some personal space and breathing room.

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#14 of 42 Old 04-09-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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we live aboard a boat -- not sure what the square footage is but I would guess about 500 square feet. It's a 44 foot sailing catamara -- big boat. small house.

we knew a family with 3 teenagers living on the same boat we have. It's just DH, DS, and I used to have a dog too, now we have a guinea pig) We're very comfortable and enjoy the closeness!

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#15 of 42 Old 04-10-2009, 01:25 AM
 
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Well, the kids could share a bedroom now that the youngest is older... So we could drop two of the four bedrooms (assuming my brother would move out). One bathroom would be fine with me. I do like having a playroom due to winter/rain, etc. and such. Living room could be 1/2 the size it is and be plenty big. Our kitchen is small. Our study is just a corner at the end of the hallway.... Our rooms are not large.. Right now we have 1200 sq feet plus a finished basement (probably adds another 1000 or so). We could go to 1200 well designed sq feet I think w/o much problem.

I had a friend in an 800 sq foot house and it was pretty tight, even with a basement (unfinished) for the washer/dryer and utilities.
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#16 of 42 Old 04-10-2009, 04:35 AM
 
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To be comfortable, 1100 sq.ft.

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#17 of 42 Old 04-10-2009, 04:51 AM
 
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I'm in 900 sf for me, DH, DS1 (3.5) and DS2 (2 mo). I don't think I really need more room I just need better organization for the room that I have. I need containers and shelves and cubbies and whatnot to organize my stuff into the small space. Right now it's so cluttered it feels small, even though I really don't have that much stuff (I purged big time a year and a half ago).
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#18 of 42 Old 04-10-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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Honestly nothing less than 1500sqft for this family. We wouldn't feel comfortable in that though. My eldest son is the same as me. I need to get away from everyone or I get really stressed. Then I have two children that never stop. Then I have a husband who needs a quiet place to work from home. We also enjoy entertaining.

I am currently looking for the perfect house for us which would be about 2500sqft on 2 to 5 partially cleared acres.

I do admire all of you who live or want to live in under 900sqft.
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#19 of 42 Old 04-10-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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We're in a 700 square foot place and about to move on our boat, which has the same footprint. Our condo had begun to feel tight - but once we emptied it back out again for selling it felt ok again.
It's more about possessions than space, I think. If you can keep your belongings in check - you can fit in some tiny places. But once the stuff piles up it is hard to clean a small area - you end up stacking stuff in shelves an cupboards and dust builds up.
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#20 of 42 Old 04-10-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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We just moved into 860sqft. I could never go smaller. I am having a terrible time tripping over everything, having to move one thing to get to another, etc... Plus its been COLD and we have all been stuck inside. Ugh...
I am still downsizing even though we have probably gotten rid of half of our stuff already. And we didn't have a ton to begin with.

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#21 of 42 Old 04-10-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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It definitely depends on climate. If it's more mild then your kids can play outside some.

I feel like small adult bedrooms and big bedrooms for kids are the way to go. I'd rather have a small living room and a big kitchen with an eat in space.

We are getting ready to move into an 1100 sq ft home with double garage and a big yard. It will be just about right for us though I wish the kitchen were larger and the kids' room could be a big larger as well.

As adults all we do in our bedroom is store our clothes and sleep. It just needs to be barely big enough for that. During the winter my kids spend a lot of time in their room. If our new home had a "master suite" we'd give that to to them but all the rooms are the same size.

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#22 of 42 Old 04-10-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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We are in 986 glorious square feet which includes a 1 car garage. It's me, dh, and three kids 15, 13 and 10. and a big dog and a medium one.
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#23 of 42 Old 04-11-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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I feel like small adult bedrooms and big bedrooms for kids are the way to go. I'd rather have a small living room and a big kitchen with an eat in space.
My ideal (which probably wouldn't fit well in my "smallest comfortable" house!) would be to have very small bedrooms (basically just a bed and clothing storage) for everyone, possibly shared for kids up to 9 or 10, and then larger shared rooms for a play area, craft room, quiet room/library/study, and so forth.

I like the idea of bedrooms being for sleeping, and encouraging the use of common areas, while still providing enough space that people can find privacy or quiet space if they need it.

(And yes, I want my very own bedroom not shared with DH. He snores!)

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#24 of 42 Old 04-12-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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DH, DD (age 8), and I live in 1421 square feet of space. We could live in less, if the space was designed better. We've been looking and this is the best we can get in our price range without giving up what DOES work well for us.

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#25 of 42 Old 04-12-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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100 items including what? I'm very curious. like clothes too?

Christian SAHM & birth doula.
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#26 of 42 Old 04-13-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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We live in a home just under 2000 square feet...three girls, hubby, and I. Plus many dogs. We are very comfortable. That being said...I think the smallest we could comfortably go would be about 1500 square feet. We are on an acre as well so spend lots of time outside with our pack of dogs LOL! :
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#27 of 42 Old 04-13-2009, 12:09 PM
 
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We live in an 860 sf house, and it is me, my dh, dd (almost 10mo) and our dog. We find the square footage to be perfect, if sometimes too big, but the layout is problematic, and not easily changed. The house was built in the 1950s out of concrete, and any changes to the floor plan would cost more than we'd like.

So we will probably move in the not-too-distant future, but will not go much larger. Perhaps 1000sf? The biggest thing for us is a large yard and maybe a covered porch. We plan on having more children, and so would also like a third bedroom and maybe another bath or half-bath.
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#28 of 42 Old 04-13-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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Pretty much the space I'm in is about as small as I'm willing to go. We're 6 in approx. 1700sf and it's tight at times. I'm by no means a minimalist nor do I desire to be one so that could be part of the reason I wouldn't want to go smaller.

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#29 of 42 Old 04-13-2009, 06:59 PM
 
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We've lived in about 700sf when it was 2 adults and 3 small children and it was pretty miserable. Then we moved to a little more than 1,000 and I was so much happier, but still cramped and we spent $100 per month renting a storage unit. Both were apartments, so I'm sure if we were talking small houses, it would have made a world of difference.

Now that we live in a 3000sf house and have 6 people, I can't see going back to much smaller than 1800sf. As it is now, we really only use less than half our home on a daily basis-- except for sleeping. But we do have stuff in all areas of the house, stuff that we could technically get rid of. Oh, and a 3 car garage makes it much less cluttered inside our home; in the past we had very little for storage or closets, and never had a garage... so I can see a smaller home with a basement or garage being comfortable for our family size.

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#30 of 42 Old 04-13-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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Our first house was 1000sf, and it was me, dh, 2 100lb dogs, 2 cats and DD (newborn till age 2) It was tight. We didn't have tons of "stuff", but all the rooms were pretty full. Now, it's me, dh, almost 9yoDD, 6yo DD, almost 4yo DS, 175lb dog, 10lb dog, 2 cats and a baby on the way- our house is 2800sf. I can't really imagine going much smaller- but I would like a better floor plan. We have a huge master bedroom, and it's wasted. I'd love a larger living room instead. I like wide open spaces, being cramped in my space doesn't make me feel cozy like it does for some people, it makes me anxious and depressed.

Half-marathon running Mommy to 3 spunky girls and 1 sweet boy. Spending my days and nights where my kids need me most- at home with them!!

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