Our house is not large by any stretch of the imagination. As we prepare for another addition to our family, we've been quicker to throw out or donate things that aren't being used to make space. I remember with a laugh thinking our home was cramped when we added ONE child to our family.
Our "office" is in the kitchen, our "library" is in the living room. Our playroom... um, what's that... the entire house is a play "room." :) My uber-organized husband has utilized every nook and cranny to make the things we need and want to keep fit.
It's easy for my husband and I to throw around phrases like, "There's no way we're going to be able to fit another human being in here" or "We need a bigger house," or my husband's frightening threats that he's going to have to throw out a lot of our craft supplies to make space in the boys' closet for other necessities. (Gasp! There's empty toilet paper tubes I've been saving for years in there! You never know when a craft might call for one! ;)
Anyway, the bottom line is, we're not moving. We're going to make this space work and the reality is we LOVE our neighborhood, house and location. So, I thought it would be fun to dig into the contentment bucket and make a list of why it's great to live in a small house, even with a house full of kids. I thought I'd share it because I thought maybe some of you would be able to relate. :)
1. I hate cleaning. Less house, less to clean. I can vacuum every crevice of this place, bedrooms included, while only utilizing 2 outlets! That's fabulous!
2. The boys either play in their room or the living room because there are not a lot of other options. While they play in the living room, I can easily keep an eye on them from the kitchen while I cook, clean or do laundry. If I had a basement or a lot more space, I would have a lot farther to travel when I heard a fight break out or someone got hurt.
3. Smaller house = smaller house payment. At times this has been a blessing because it helped us pay our bills when money became unexpectedly tight without wondering where the funds would come from. Now we're at a point in life where there's more breathing room and this allows us to be more generous when we're presented with an opportunity to give to someone in need or even do something fun as a family.
4. Speaking of others in need... It kind of puts things in perspective when I think about the fact that people live in what I would consider one room shacks (if they have shelter at all) all over the world and that even in America, there are people who would do almost anything to have a little 3 bedroom house like mine.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:6-8)5. Smaller house= smaller maintenance all around. Not just less to clean, not just less of a house payment, but cheaper utilities, less area to decorate, less things to go wrong. It also means less stuff can collect if we don't want our house to be a cluttered mess, so we have less belongings to buy/maintain.
6. Keeps my priorities in check. When I think about moving, honoring God with a move and more space isn't my motivation. Keeping my 'stuff' is. I want. I need. More. When I truly think about it, this is the best way we can teach our boys to be content with less than what the world might say is best or even, in some cases, needed. There really are all kinds of wonderful reasons to move to a bigger home, but I'd be lying if I said that is my main motivation now.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
7. Shared rooms. My boys are going to start sharing a room and, frankly, the transition is not something I'm looking forward to. My biggest fear is the loss of naptime (translation: blog-time) because the two of them often talk to themselves for a long time before falling asleep... I can only imagine what might happen when I try to put them in the same room to try to pull this off. Lol. BUT, I think sharing a room can offer valuable life lessons about learning to get along with others, sharing space and in the long run can provide an opportunity for them to be even closer as they giggle into the night and wake up with their best friend beside them every morning. I have no studies to back this up, but I personally think that sharing a room with my sisters' growing up and then roommates in college helped prepare me for married life and how to be courteous living in cramped quarters with another human being.
So there's seven reasons I could think of to be just fine with our non-huge home as we expand our family. Are there any you would add to the list?
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