What could possibly be great about cramming all these people into one little living space? I’ll tell you. But first, a little back story.
In 2012, we sold over half of our stuff, packed the rest into a moving truck, and drove 2,000 miles from Tennessee to Los Angeles. Two kids, no guaranteed job, just a little money saved, and a whole lot of faith. It was an adventure with lots of unknowns. In L.A., finding a decent living space at a good rate is kind of like winning the lottery, or getting picked as the next contestant of The Price Is Right (like, “OMG, they picked US to live here?!?”). At the time, we also didn’t realize how rare it is to find a place with a small yard, washer and dryer, and one-car garage on the west side. We just counted our lucky stars to have found a 2-bedroom so quickly!
In 2014, I got pregnant with our third kid, and we decided we’d absolutely need more space. Because, really: who crams five people into a place this small, right? I mean, I know I’m Latina and all, but our family needs their space! Well, we sure ate our words, because here we are still, and in fact pregnant again (yes, we know how that happens…and yes, it was on purpose).
Listen–as a family of 5 (soon to be 6) in a 900-square-foot two bedroom with one bathroom…we know about the challenges of small-space living. One toilet, no space to really accommodate out-of-town visitors, nowhere to be alone (not even the bathroom!). However, we also know about the perks of such a living situation. We are confident that one day we will be able to spread out a bit more again, but for now, we gratefully remember the silver linings of raising a family in a small space.
1.Inspires resourcefulness and creativity
If you’re living in a small space, you’re most likely also living on a tighter budget. Either way, having a limited amount of space creates the perfect opportunity for Pinterest projects and IKEA-inspired nooks. Back when we had 2,400 square feet of living space in Tennessee, I was not anywhere near as resourceful or creative with our space. And to think, knowing what I know now…what I could’ve done with all that space!!
2. Forces you to get (and stay) organized
Unless you’re cool with living amongst a bunch of clutter, living in a small space forces you to quickly get organized, and cut down on the unnecessary crap (or at least, keep it all in one place;). Amazingly, when you have kids, it’s super easy to collect random stuff that no one really even needs. Every so often, we do a sweep and re-eval of what’s in our home, what needs to go, and what needs to be re-organized. This is especially true as the family continues to grow!
3. Encourages family members to do more together
I mean, seriously; you kind of don’t have a choice, so you may as well get along, work out your “ish,” and find things you enjoy doing together, right? While three people in the bathroom doing different things at the same time is not my favorite, there’s something truly priceless about the open conversations and endless giggles of sharing so many small moments together throughout any given day.
If you’re raising your family in a small space, what are some of your favorite things (and biggest challenges)?