Most Americans think living in a 2600 square feet home is sufficient for a family of two people. However, a closer look at how much space we need to live will show that this is a lot of space.
How much space do you need to live?
Psychologically, we are programmed to prefer abundance over moderation. This is by no means gluttony; it is just that we want to have a surplus of things rather than just enough. Having more than enough gives us a sense of security. After all, you’d rather be spoilt for choice rather than having exactly what you need, right?
This sort of bias is especially prevalent when we are selecting homes and places to live in. bigger spaces are more appealing because they seem like they can hold more, which they can. However, in the long run, you clearly understand that a small cozy place, with you, your loved ones, and a couple of things is all that you need.
We are, of course, all wired differently, and each of us has preferences about where and how we want to live. However, a ubiquitous characteristic in human beings is that we need to feel comfortable and cozy in our rooms and homes. So how much space does one person really need?
Essentially, between one hundred and four hundred square feet is sufficient for one person to live in. even though most people exceed this number, studies have shown that annually, the average size of a home reduces by a couple of hundred feet. Of course, this can be attributed to a plethora of factors.
One of the major factors is that people slowly realize that they only need the essentials around them and that everything else is surplus.
Why should I live in a small space?
Well, the most obvious answer to this is that you will be saving a lot. The larger the house is, the higher the rent, and the higher the amount of money you will be paying for utility bills. For example, the average amount paid on utility bills for an 1800 square feet house is 140 dollars per month.
On the other hand, the same utilities, and the same use of them, for a 450 square foot space will cost about 18 dollars a month.
The discrepancy is as obvious as day. The large the place you live in, the more electric bulbs you will need, and the higher the electric bill will be. The same with water and other utilities.
As you’d expect, the higher coverage of the space, the higher the amount of rent you will pay. So why not save on all these bills by getting a place that will make more economic sense? This is the question most Americans ask themselves.
How do I live in a small space?
The answer to this is not as complicated as it may sound. You do not have to cut back on everything and do not have to donate everything you own to start living like a monk. All it takes for you to feel cozy and comfortable in a small space is ingenuity.
Maximizing space is one of the fundamental elements of living in a small apartment or place. You have to make sure that you milk every single square foot of space for what it is worth. So how exactly do you do this?
How do I maximize space in my living room?
1. Mount your TV
The entertainment center can prove to be a waste of a lot of space since you have to account for the space that the TV will occupy and all the space the entire entertainment center will take up. Thus, it is much more affordable, space-wise, to mount your TV on a wall, over the fireplace, or anywhere you feel it is best suited.
You will have killed two birds with one stone; saved on space while also giving your home a more modern, less-clustered look.
2. Get exposed leg furniture
Exposed leg furniture gives the room more visual space, so you will not feel cramped in a congested space. Get chairs and tables with exposed legs. Moreover, you can get chairs that do not have any arms, with smaller armrests.
3. Ge some multifunctional furniture
Get yourself a sofa that can turn into a Murphy bed or a couch with some storage compartments under the seating cushions. Multifunctional furniture pieces are fundamental for living in small spaces, as they make sure that you do not have to acquiesce but rather adapt.
4. Storage strategy
It is advisable to avoid, at all costs, bulky storage pieces when you are moving into a small space. Instead, you should use floating shelves and build bookcases to ensure that you maintain your organization even when the amount of space about you has decreased.
Again, multipurpose furniture plays a big part in storage. Make sure that the furniture you use is optimized in terms of saving space and increasing storage.
5. Art and paint
You also have to pay some mint with the art and paint you use for small spaces. An oversized art piece will make the room appear much larger than it actually is. A rule of thumb is that the frame should take up at least two-thirds of the wall.
When it comes to the colors you use on the wall, go for neutrals, light, or pastel shades. To brighten up the room, you can add some mirrors. This is especially effective if space lacks sources of natural light.
How do you maximize space use in the kitchen?
1. Use magnetic strips
You can save a lot of space in the kitchen by hanging knives and stainless steel utensils from magnetic strips. These magnetic strips are stuck underneath the upper kitchen cabinet or in any other place you see fit.
2. Use the open wall space
Install some floating shelves in the kitchen for storing your pots and pans and other appliances. You can also use racks with hooks, or pegboards, to hang all your coffee mugs.
3. Choose your color scheme appropriately
Like the living room, you have to ensure that you chose the right color for your kitchen walls. Bright colors will reflect a lot of light and will make your kitchen seem a lot larger than it is. You should keep your wall colors light, but you can add a bit of pop in the kitchen using the countertops.
How do you maximize space in the bathroom?
1. Use over the toilet space and free up some floor space
Install a shelving unit that can fit above the toilet. You may also decide to add some floating shelves in the room to increase storage space. A floating vanity or a pedestal sink will add to the floor space and make the bathroom feel a lot bigger.
Are there any other ways to maximize space in a house?
Yes, there are, and one of the most efficient is by having dual-purpose rooms. In many cases, you are already having rooms serving a myriad of functions. It is just that you haven’t noticed it yet. Now, all you have to do is a bit of organizing, and you will be good to go.
1. Kitchen and dining room
Having your dining room and kitchen in the same area saves you a lot of space. It even makes hosting a lot easier. To this effect, you should get a kitchen table with a leaf, which is a board whose size can be adjusted when need be. This way, whenever you have guests around, you can create some more seating spaces for them.
2. Office and guest bedroom
If you do have a guest bedroom, you can also use it as an office, or any other way, whenever you do not have guests. You can install a sofa bed on one side of the wall, and a desk on the other. You can even use the guest bedroom as a playroom for your kids.
3. Laundry and mudroom
Here, you will be able to have a place to keep your coats, shoes, and other accessories organized while also be close to laundry in the event of a muddy emergency.
What are the benefits of living in a small space?
Of course, saving on cost is the main benefit of living in a small space, but what are the other benefits?
One of the benefits of living small is that it helps you declutter your surroundings and your mind. By living with the absolute essentials, you learn to appreciate the small things in life and live in the most fundamental way, which is quite liberating.
Living in a small space is also very cozy. If you live with your loved ones, it strengthens the bond between all of you. At the end of the day, coming home from a long day’s work to a cozy house is heaven-like.