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When we bought our first house, we wanted space. We thought we would be there long-term, so we purchased a house within our budget that needed some work and cosmetic updating but had lots of room! 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 2,128 square feet to be exact. It was nice when we had people visit… and we had people visit quite a bit because we lived about 3-4 hours from both of our families. But, it was definitely more space than we needed for our family.
No, You Probably Don’t Need a Bigger House…
When we found our current house, a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, not-quite 1,700 square foot home, we had some concerns about space. Especially since my husband and I both work from home and we had plans of converting one of the bedrooms into an upstairs bathroom–which would knock us down to two bedrooms.
But, we have lived here for almost three months and feel like we have more than enough room. We have had to limit the items that we own and get creative with storage solutions, but we have ideas for how to make this house comfortable and homey, even if we have multiple children in the future.
My Top Tips for Making Do with Limited Space
1. Only Fill Your Home with Items You Absolutely Love & Use
We have a few tiny closets in our house now, where we had several large walk-in closets at our previous home. If you don’t have a lot of storage space, spend some time carefully thinking about what resides in those closets. If you haven’t worn or used something in the last two years, you probably won’t use it anytime soon. I think an excellent rule of thumb is to donate or sell something every time you purchase something new. I haven’t strictly followed this rule, but I do think it is one way to thoughtfully consider purchases.
2. Everything Needs a Place
Since we don’t have any closets on our first floor, I use free-standing cabinets and baskets like these for storage. I love using baskets because they are both beautiful and functional! I use these braided baskets for storing toys, keys, and books.
3. Buy Furniture that has Multiple Uses
Because we are losing a bedroom when we add a bathroom, we are getting creative with space. We eventually want to finish out our shed to turn into an office so that we can convert our loft into a third bedroom. We are planning on getting a daybed like this for Lincoln that can pull out into a guest bed when needed. It also has storage because we won’t have room for a traditional dresser in this room. Here’s a similar bed to the one below.
4. Store Rarely-Used Items Out of Sight
Our kitchen is pretty tiny. We don’t have a pantry and our cabinet space is limited. We moved our microwave to the laundry room because we plan to limit our microwave usage, and put
where it had previously been. We store large and less-used kitchen items in our laundry room–keeping only what we use daily in the kitchen for easy access.
5. Focus on Making Multi-Purpose Rooms Both Functional and Beautiful
Our living room is also Lincoln’s playroom. Because of this, I tried to design a space that is appealing to him and restful despite being a place that has lots of children’s toys. I use a lot of Montessori principles which you can read about here which includes creating a calming atmosphere and limiting but carefully choosing toys.
Ok… Here’s a Bonus One!
You don’t have to have acreage to get out of the house if your space is limited and enjoy the outdoors! Find a park or trail close to your home. Go for walks. Start a garden. Invest in a membership at a botanical garden if you are able to. If your house feels crowded during the day, try to spend time other places and you’ll enjoy coming home to a cozy (and probably clean!) place at night.
What are your small-space storage solutions? I’m always looking for new ways to get creative and make the most of my space! Let me know in the comments below or share a picture on Instagram and tag me @themilleracres so I can see!