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How a Family of 4 Happily Lives in 700 Sq. Ft. Home

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After I posted the guest post on Why I Like My Smaller House, Roni left a comment talking about how their family of 4 lives in a 650-square-foot home. I was intrigued and asked if she’d do a post on it sometime.

I loved the post she put together giving us a very thorough walk-through of their small home and how they make it work. It’s inspiring and if you are currently living in a small space or you are thinking of downsizing to a smaller space, be sure to read it here.

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71 Comments

  • Jenn says:

    The link isn’t working 🙁

  • april says:

    We are a family of 5(with two teens) plus 5 pets living in a 900 sq foot home. Its doable 🙂

  • Yvonne says:

    Our first home was a small 930 sq foot cape cod. We moved in with 2 small kids and moved out 6 years later, to a new state, with 5 kids. So there were 7 of us in it.

  • Laura says:

    I live in a 4300sq.ft. home.Our home will be going up for sale next year to downsize.The part of the house I really appreciate is our kitchen and family room both rooms are spacious. I enjoy my kitchen because I love to cook,size of my kitchen will be something I will truly miss!

  • Cayt says:

    We live in a 100 year old, 750 square foot house and we just had our second child and I LOVE IT! The key is to stay organized and be a minimalist when it comes to belongings.

  • Amy says:

    I love this – I was able to get on the link then it crashed. I have a family of 4 in a small 900 SQ Foot house. I know that I could make better use of the space and would like to see ideas from others.

  • MK says:

    I look forward to when this is back up: we’ve got five in 850 square feet and even though we’re pretty minimalistic, I’m starting to feel cramped…looking forward to a little inspiration!

  • Rebecca says:

    We have her beat by just a little we live in a 670 square ft. apartment. I like her ideas though on managing such a small space, It takes a lot of creativity and you don’t buy a lot of stuff. 🙂

  • Celia says:

    Wood chopping blocks and oven mitts stored directly over burners would feel like tempting fate. All one has to do is fall into the flame or something you are cooking for a fire or serious burn.

    We are five in 1200 sq ft.

  • Now what I’d like to see are pictures of the stockpile, crafting, gardens, and office with these homes.

    • If you were able to get the site to load (so sorry about the slowness; I think I’ve fixed some stuff so it’s better now!) , I do have pictures of my garden posted. Though you can’t see it, I seriously have a TON of crafting and sewing supplies. They are all hidden in boxes. 🙂 Unfortunately, I’m not able to build up too large of a food stockpile, though I’d like to. When I do bulk purchase, I just put things wherever I can, in cupboards, in the laundry room area, top of the fridge, wherever there’s a space.

      • Nichole says:

        Do you have a basement?
        I just want to say that I live in small house also (not really sure of size, but I think less than 800 sq feet and its do able). When we remodeled our bathroom we removed the closet and instead use the hollow space above the basement stairs to make a cubby. You just need to be creative and use the wall space. 🙂

  • jennifer says:

    We are a family of 4 with two puppies and our house is prob 750 Sq ft. My biggest challenge is I hate clutter so I am constantly purging… but then make the mistake of purging things I need.whoops! Luckily we have a big yard.. so our 8 year old and 1 year old have plenty of things to play on outside!

  • kariane says:

    I haven’t been able to see it, but I look forward to reading it when it’s available.

  • heather says:

    I am living in a 760 sq ft house were 160 sq ft is a basement that we don’t use because it is a caller type basement so it is more like 600 sq ft with a family of 5 and a dog as kids keep getting bigger house keeps getting smaller we just paid off a piece of property of 6.2 acres which we hope we will be soon building on

  • bethany says:

    My husband and i have 4 boys ranging from 10-3 and 2 small dogs in a 940sf apartment and i couldn’t be happier!

  • mary says:

    I live in a 1200 sq ft home, we only use 1 bedroom really, the other shower is the ony one we use, the tub when my hubs of 41 years soaks in it..I put the laundry out all the time, this year the hottest since we came out in 1978 it is the pacific northwest..I don’t use the dryer much at all, wash in cold water and recyle and give away tons of stuff, garbage is only every other week, our lot is large so we planted native plants..we are happy..Never wanted a huge home, we had one in another state a tri-level I fell one time with my brand new baby down the stairs and was happy we sold and moved out here on one level..It is fine with us we are grateful for a home period paid off and not too big at all, gratitude and thankfulness should be big in ones life and appreciatiation not a home!

  • Sarah says:

    Wow!! I love this! I’m fascinated by the whole “tiny house” movement but I don’t know if I could do it with kids. When my husband and I retire, we plan on downsizing and possibly full-time rv-ing for a few years!

  • Victoria says:

    Will be back to view when her site gets back up. I find small house living fascinating.

  • Oh my gosh, I woke up to this post; how exciting, but yes, ahh, all the sudden traffic just crashed my site! Which is awesome because I’ve never had so many people come visit me at once, but sad because what a bummer.

    I just added some more memory usage so hopefully the site will be working again soon.

    But thank you so much everyone and please try back again to stop by and I hope you get some good tips (whenever you are able to view the site).

    • Lana says:

      It took like 90 minutes but it finally loaded all of the pictures for me. I really like the crib rail reuse idea and since we have one in our attic that we need to get rid of I am thinking about how I can reuse it. Thanks!

  • Leah says:

    We have 6 in 1000 sq ft. Our 3 boys share a room and our daughter has her own tiny room that we added on. I like seeing what other people do with their smaller spaces. I have been very grateful for our small space. It has allowed us to eliminate debt and get to a comfortable place financially a lot sooner than if we had bought a bigger house. That said, our income has increased significantly over the last several years and I’m getting tired of living in a tiny, cramped space. Our current plan is to find a nice, spacious rental, sell our house and save cash for our next house, whether that means buying or building.

  • Terri says:

    Some great ideas here. Living internationally we have had to be more creative in living spaces as we went from a 3,000 sq ft house in the US to about 1200 sq ft. Ikea makes it much easier to do so. Being organized and living minimalistically makes a big difference, no matter where you live!!

    • Aubrey says:

      Yes! I agree that living internationally makes you rethink small living spaces! I had ever only lived in the Midwest (with lots of space!) before moving to Asia. My first apartment there I shared with a fellow teacher and it was maybe all of 400 square feet. We were both new college grads who moved overseas so didn’t have much of anything – it worked great for us for 3 years until we both moved on to other countries.
      Now I’m not sure I could live in a space quite that small with my husband and kids, but at times I do miss the simplicity of small apartment living.

  • Jen says:

    There are some great ideas on organizing.
    It looks sort of like when I lived in college in a small place. It makes me grateful for more space!
    I know some people love the tiny houses. I couldn’t do it! I love the environmental friendliness of it though.

  • Amie says:

    Wow, that is a very creative way to use space. I do need a better solution for my small, closetless, entry way and I may borrow some storage ideas. Small living spaces like that are not for me though. I think my split-level house is 2200 square feet. At this point, we mostly just live in the upstairs. I have a nice open floor plan. My downstairs has an extra bedroom, an office space that we use as the dogs’ room, a good sized full bathroom, and a large extra family room that is our playroom. Although I could live comfortably without these rooms, I am happy that my 3 boys will be able to grow into the house we have.

  • Sarah says:

    Adequate housing is defined by the government (if that means anything to anyone) as 150 – 200 square feet per person. This is what I tell my mother when *she* complains about *my* 400 square foot apartment.

  • Amanda Castañeda says:

    Our family of 4 lived in 700 sq. Ft. For 2 years. It worked ok, but it was hard to have guests ovee. Even 4 more people would feel overwhelming. We moved to 1028 sq. ft. And it seemed huge at first. Now it feels perfect for us, and I can’t imagine needing more. Having a mortgage payment that is less than half of most of me friends helps too!

    • It is true that having guests is difficult, but we do what we can. Our couch is pretty comfy though and if you take the back cushions off you can put a twin sized sheet on there and it makes a pretty decent bed. We also have an air mattress we can blow up and put on the floor if desired. We’re always willing to have people stay with us though, as long as their willing to put up with us. 🙂

  • Julie says:

    We are 9 people and 1 dog in just under 1200 sq. ft. with 1 bathroom. It feels cramped at times, but we make it work. 4 boys in one bedroom and 2 girls and a baby boy in the other kids’ bedroom. Baby #8 due in August…could get interesting! 😉

    • I think we need a house tour… I want to see how you make this work! So inspiring!

    • Wow, I agree – I want to see pictures of your house now too!

      • Julie says:

        🙂 We have big rooms for such a small house so I guess that helps with it not feeling small sometimes. My husband’s big thing is the 1 bathroom. 🙂 He runs our lawn care business out of the mudroom/office and we also homeschool out of our dining room hutch. 🙂 I don’t have a blog, so I don’t know how I’d give you a house tour. If you really want to see I guess I could email a picture tour?

    • Jennifer says:

      This is awesome! We are a family of 9 also, and although we do have a slightly larger home I would be so interested in seeing how you make this work! We have 3 girls in one room, 3 boys in another, and a baby who currently rooms in with us. Not sure how we are going to make it work once he gets older, but I know we’ll figure it out!

  • Sara says:

    At 1000sqft I am appreciative that we have a few places to ‘hide’ any clutter. The piles, however organized, really get to me. My husband and I are in a very urban location so without a garage or yard we enjoy the little extra sq footage for bikes, his hockey equipment, softball bags, etc., not necessarily for daily necessities.

  • jess says:

    no matter how many times i ask my husband, i can’t ever remember how many square feet our home is. 😉 I think it’s 1500, so not TINY, but not large by any means. We’re a family of 5 (kids are 6,8,10) living in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath (small main bath) ranch with a garage. No basement, no shed…and while some days i feel SO CRAMPED and SO CLUTTERED (i do my best to keep it clutter free…but, well…), I am SO THANKFUL for the lessons I have learned from living here. Eventually, we’ll upsize. BUt in the mean time, I’m thankful for the opportunity that I have had to MAKE it work. I would have been clueless about creative use of space if I didn’t have our small, cozy home. 🙂 People tell me all the time that I’ll just get more stuff when we get a bigger house. I say NO WAY. Currently, some things HAVE to be left out because there’s no other place for them to go. But, when we upsize, my MAIN focus will be clear surfaces and have closed storage for all of those things….aaaaahh…breath of fresh air!

    I didn’t look at the pics yet in the post…can’t wait to check them out and get some new ideas! i love seeing others’ perspectives on small space livin’.

  • Lori says:

    We are a family of 6 with a dog and our house is about 900sq ft. We moved in and we were a family of 4. 4 years later we are now 6 with a dog. Lots of organizing and twice yearly purging of unwanted/needed items. I dream of a large house but then think of all the extra cleaning i will be doing.

  • Melissa says:

    Great ideas! We live in a very tiny home as well… only 575 sq. ft, with three kids and two adults. Plus a pug mix 🙂 This post has motivated me to get more organized! Thank you 🙂

  • It’s crazy just how little we can actually get by with to live. I’m so intrigued by the tiny house dwellers. We lived in 900 square feet until my youngest was two. I thought that was small;0)

  • i love reading how people live in small homes. My family of 8 is set to start living in a 31 foot RV in the next couple of weeks. Even though our current rental is under 1200 square feet. Purging and organizing the RV will be a definite challenge!

    • Kimberly Trautman says:

      We are a family of 10 traveling for the past 3 months. Ours travel trailer is 32 feet. Tip- command hooks are awesome. We have them everywhere.

  • Mary says:

    Roni thank you so much for taking us for a tour of your lovely home. Our home is 1400sq ft. It is considered a “starter home” in our town. We raised two children in this home and now are empty nesters. Looks like it will be “a retired couple’s home”. Living in Texas we may put in a screened in porch to create another living area as we enjoy the outdoors. My husband has discussed moving and building a larger home, I’m not crazy about that. I have trouble keeping up with this one. Thanks again!

  • Delorise says:

    Loved this post and all the creative ideas. Less is best!

  • amber says:

    I love seeing the pictures. For a few years me and my family lived in what we called ”The Little House.” We lived there when I was 6 to 9 years old. I’m not sure the square feet but, being little it felt little. So I can not think of how little it would feel to me as a grown up. Right before we moved my parents bedroom was in the living room. It was the first thing someone saw when they walked in. Plus my little sister’s crib was in there. There was two bedrooms one for me and the other for my brother. There was one tiny bathroom and a eat in kitchen. The house was so small there was only one air vent and it was in the hall.

    But, the house came with a beautiful yard. There were mature trees and my dad hung a tire swing from a tree outback.

  • Denise says:

    Our family of 9 lives in an 1100 sq. ft. house, and it does take much organization! Our biggest challenge is only having one bathroom with so many little ones in the house. Little houses can be a blessing in teaching contentment and the importance of everyone keeping up with their own chores.

  • Jasmin says:

    It’s nice to see that there is someone else in the same situation as me! My husband and I have lived in the same apt for almost 10 years with 2 kids added in over the years 🙂 we live in 650 sq ft one bedroom and we have adjusted twice in the last 2 years. We decided to give the kids the bedroom and put out bed in the living room. It’s a squeeze but I love that the kids have a play room now. You do what you can with what the Lord has given you! Thanks for some new ideas!

  • Katie L says:

    This is so encouraging! We’re a family of 6 in 1000 sq ft, planning to buy for the first time, around 1600 square feet. When I search for small house solutions, I find tons of extremely tiny houses for 1 or maybe two people. Roni’s house is such a great example of regular living, with children, in a small space. (And we have many of the same pieces of furniture, even the filled-to-the-brim Billy bookcases from IKEA). Thanks for sharing!

  • Lauren says:

    Our family of 6 is rock in’ an 811 square foot house:-) we are making it work and having a blast while it lasts!

  • Manum says:

    she is example of perfect wife ..:-) 🙂 🙂

  • Kadee says:

    Our family of 5 lives in a 1250 sq ft or so ranch house. It doesn’t feel or look crowded or cluttered. However after reading this article and the comments, I realized we have tons more room than I realized because we have a full basement. It isn’t finished, but if I had to put all the stuff we have stored down there and our washer/dryer on the main level, I may not be able to take it! I always prided myself on living comfortably in a smallish home (for our area), but in reality, we actually have 2500 sq ft of usuable space, not including our 2 car garage. I’m feeling humbly blessed right now.

  • Kirbee N. says:

    For those curious about the square footage of your house — you don’t have to do it yourself! This information is actually public record, and you can contact your county’s assessor’s office. Many (most??) counties now have this information available online as well. Some people are frightened by that, but it’s the public records necessary for accurate tax information. (If you can’t tell my husband was a real estate appraiser for our county’s assessor’s office for several years).

  • Kimberly Trautman says:

    We are currently 3 months into a 6 month traveling adventure. We travel in a 308 square foot travel trailer. There are 10 of us. My husband and myself and 8 children ranging in ages from our oldest who is 16 to our youngest who is 3. Quite an adventure for is so far.

  • Bethany McL. says:

    I know there are a lot of areas of the country where you can find small houses, save a bundle of money, and enjoy the simple life. In the larger metropolis areas though, such as where we live, these kind of houses are only found in unsafe neighborhoods. Glad it works for you, but it’s just too bad it’s not a one-size-fits-all philosophy.

  • Angela Jones says:

    Thanks for the post, it’s fun to see how other people make it work!
    Last summer we sold our large home on 1.5 acres, sold our business and sold off much of our belongings. We packed up our four children and said goodbye to our favorite places and most importantly our favorite people. We landed in Los Angeles where my husband is now attending seminary. We traded our cozy life for much harder but necessary times. We now are blessed with a 2 bed, 1,000sq ft condo (no yard or common area for play). We pack allot of life into this place. Hospitality, school, and just busy living. Above all we have learned to live with less, be greatful for all that we have, and to love one another more than our things. We also must communicate better and are much quicker to forgive when you live in such tight spaces. Your not escaping anyone here!

  • Kamila says:

    Hi. I’m from Europe and most of the people from my country would consider a 700 sq ft apartment a norm. You did a great job fitting everything important in it. I remember a family raising 3 kids sharing one small room. It’s not anything unusual even in places like NYC. Nice blog entry.

  • Kamila says:

    I just now remembered that I knew a family that raised 4 daughters in one room (2 room [not bedroom] apartment) by building suspended bedrooms in both of the two rooms. One was used by the 4 girls, the other was for the parents. The bottom of the other room was used for living room. One tiny kitchen and one tiny bathroom. They used to have many guests over regularly, I was one of them. Pull out sofa in the living room. It was tight but they grew up into resourceful young adults that could make do with just about everything.

  • Kamila says:

    I just now remembered that I knew a family that raised 4 daughters in one bedroom. They lived in a (2 room [not bedroom] apartment) in an old apartment building. They made it work by building suspended bedrooms in both of the two rooms (google it). One was used by the 4 girls, the other was for the parents. The bottom of the other room was used for living room. One tiny kitchen and one tiny bathroom. They used to have many guests over regularly, I was one of them. Pull out sofa in the living room. It was tight but they grew up into resourceful young adults that could make do with just about everything.

  • Shae says:

    We are a family of 4 living in 286sf for over a year and a half. I don’t like it. I have 2 ft of counter space, my kitchen, toilet, shower, laundry and water heater are all in one 7×13 area, the rest is one room we live and sleep in. I think it is miserable. The kids are 1 & 5 (in April)which means we had the baby here. (Home birth. ..now that was crowded! ) now he’s old enough to get into everything and I can’t put things out of his reach. .. we are getting a double wide within a month and I will be so glad to have real rooms again and a real kitchen and a real bathroom. ..you get the idea! I think of I had a tiny house with more sf, it would have maybe been more tolerable. .. we had to move out of our real house due to uncontrollable mold. The house was demolished. We planned to build but it hasn’t worked out so we are getting the mobile in may. I am thrilled! I’m glad so many people love the tiny house idea but I definitely don’t enjoy it!

  • We live small and loved it–but now with two young adults (19 and 20) with social lives, going to college but living at home, we are feeling the pinch and may opt to move to a bigger space for the next four or five years.

  • Maria says:

    Hi! I love reading your posts and saving tips but I get a bit discouraged when I read these posts as I do live in a 4800Sqft home and use every bit of it. I strongly feel that my husband is claustrophobic. If it was only me I would love living in a smaller space as I am not a fan of cleaning all this space. Plus my husband does work from home and I’m also looking at the possibility of starting something working from home too. We did consider downsizing but with the price of the smaller homes in our area are very close to what we paid for our current home. Financially speaking it’s a bit of a stretch but we are working on possibilities to get us in a better position.

  • For anyone who might be interested, I’m the author of the above-mentioned blog post and this is MY house. 🙂 I just completely re-did my living room and worked to cut back on clutter. I’m pretty proud of my changes and hope you’ll like them too: http://www.screenwriterswife.com/family-of-four-700-sq-ft-and-a-small-house-living-room-re-do.html

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