How to be happy in a small home.

I have to admit, I have not always loved living in a small house. There was a time when I had way too much stuff. When you have little ones in a small space, they can honestly trash the whole place, all of it in about 10 minutes!

How ever, though simplifying and de cluttering we have all come to love our little home and are quite content.

Of course, there are days when I wish we had an actual linen closet or pantry. I don’t think a day has gone by since my kids hit the teen years that I haven’t longed for a 2nd bathroom! But the truth is, I am so thankful for what we have, and I am so happy to have raised my family in this cozy, little house.

Here are some benefits I’ve discovered over the years that have allowed us to be happy even in this tiny small space.

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1 You’re selective with what you bring in.

Living in a small house necessitates being intentional with your choices. Less space means less places to store unnecessary items.

Knowing where you’re going to put something before deciding to bring it into your space ensures you’re being intentional and thinking through what you bring in.

Those things that initially seem like a good idea will make you pause when you realize you have no room left for that waffle maker, even if its 50% off. A small space makes you really evaluate every purchase! This results in truly loving what you own.

A small home allows you to be intentional in choosing to own only what is useful or lovely. And that’s a good thing. When you love what you own, you will naturally be happy in a small home.

2 forced de cluttering

When you live in a small space, it’s easy to see your biggest problems not having enough storage space. How ever, the problem isn’t a lack of sufficient storage, it’s that most of us have far more than we need or even want.

A small space means you just can’t have as much stuff, plain and simple.

When your house is small, there is limited surfaces for placing things on, so any thing not properly put away makes your space feel cluttered and messy.

But, here’s the thing, do you really need three sets of dishes and 35 coffee mugs? Or 15 towels? Or a closet full of clothes you don’t even wear? What about all of those toys your kids never really play with? Sell or donate what you don’t need and you’ll be amazed at all your new found storage.

Removing unneeded items allows you to create more space. Honestly, I can’t think of anything that I got rid of that I regretted. And with out a doubt the benefits I gained in contentment in my home far out weighed any value I was receiving from all that stuff.

Never keep something just in case. If the item is not useful or loved, donate or toss it. If your not sure what you should keep, here are some helpful hints.

3 It’s easier to clean.

A smaller home does mean there is less space to clean. How ever when my house was overrun with clutter, Saturday cleaning marathons were a regular part of life. Granted, I did spend fewer hours on that marathon than if we had a large home with multiple bathrooms. But today, I can honestly sweep, vacuum and dust the entire house in under 15-20 minutes.

The truth is I no longer clean the entire house all in one day, but if I did, it wouldn’t require marathon hours. I clean one room each day and take about 15 minutes each day on the up keep of the rest of the house.

What allowed me to do this was eliminating so much clutter. You can drastically cut down the time it takes to clean your home when you eliminate all the unnecessary clutter.

If everything is picked up (which takes a lot less time with less stuff) I can do a quick clean with out it taking my entire day. This saved time allows me to focus on what matters most, like spending time with my family.

Out home is so much more relaxing to live in a clean uncluttered space.

4 What you own serves multiple purposes.

When space is at a premium, you learn to invest in multi functional pieces, which also in the end makes life so much simpler.

I have foot stools which house all our extra blankets. They also provide extra seating. I invested in a capsule wardrobe basics that allow me to mix and match a few pieces to create many outfits.

I eliminated many single use appliances and countless kitchen gadgets. Be truthful, how often do you really use that egg slicer or garlic peeler? Other items you have will do the same job.

By eliminating all the unnecessary kitchen clutter, you will no longer have to dig out several appliances or stacks of bowels to find what you need, since so many of my items serve multiple functions.

Being able to easily get to what you need and having things you use often will help you be happy in a small home.

5 It creates close family relationships.

If you have friends or family that live in a much larger house, you know that the kids are often in their own rooms down the long hall or up the stairs.

On the other hand, when you have a small space you are literally close to your family all the time. There is just less space for everyone to spread out and hide.

With this kind of physical closeness, you have to learn to get along. Because my kids have always shared a bedroom, they learned how to work together and become friends.

There is no room for anyone to isolate themselves doing their own thing. We see alot of each other and while sometime the introvert in me longs for a little more space, more often than not, I love that we’re all together.

6 You save money.

Over all, utility costs are so much less. Thanks to our small home.

A smaller home also means a smaller monthly payment.

Another added benefit is that when you have a small space you can afford to spend a little more fixing it up. Home improvements will naturally cost more to upgrade a larger space. When it comes to furnishings and decor because you will buy less you can actually have higher quality items.

Finally, because you don’t have the space to fill you home with a bunch of needless items, you save a ton of money by avoiding shopping for things that you really don’t need.

All of this extra disposable income can now be used to pay down debt, save for cash purchases or even plan your dream vacation. You can be happy in a small home knowing it allows you to focus on what matters most.

7 A small home encourages simplicity.

A smaller home encourages you to live with simplicity and purpose. There is a limited amount of space, so you naturally put alot more thought into what you keep around and why you keep it.

This allows you to be intentional as you consider what matters most to you and your family. Because you are not a slave to caring for your home and its contents, you get to choose how you take care of you and your family.

This extra time also frees you up to know who you are and what’s important to you. Now you have the freedom to make choices that line up with your values, your goals, and your dreams. Whats not to love about that?

Having a small home makes things much easier. You see I’ve realized what is truly important to me about a home. It’s the space that home has for creating memories.

Small doesn’t have to mean cramped and cluttered. Even a small home can reflect who you are and what it is that matters most to you! When you focus on these benefits you too will be happy in a small home.

Getting the skinny on germs and the difference between cleaning and disinfecting your home.

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Creeping and crawling through every crevis of your home, lying in wait ti attack at any moment. No, it’s not the opening scene to a horror movie- it’s the reality of germs.

What is a germ? Not all germs are bad. Germs are microbes that come in four main types: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Germs live both inside and outside the human body. While some thrive in places like your gut and help with healthy digestion, others exist on your skin or other surfaces and are passed around constantly. There are many good germs that help our bodies stay in balance and actually work to build our immune systems. How ever, the bad germs tend to be very bad and are the cause for illnesses like the flu.

That’s why it’s important to know how to get rid of bad germs in order to help keep your family protected. Often, people mistake cleaning their homes with disinfecting their homes. How ever, there is a VERY big difference.

Cleaning verses disinfecting

Cleaning- This removes dirt and grime from surfaces of objects. Cleaning entails using warm water and soap to remove the top layer of germs that may be living on surfaces. While cleaning makes your home look nice, it doesn’t necessarily get the job done. Cleaning lowers your risk of spreading infection, but it still leaves some germs behind.

Disinfecting- This kills germs on the surface of objects. By using certain products you can kill up to 99% of bacteria and viruses living on the surface and dramatically lower the risk for spreading infection.

But the real battle isn’t cleaning verses disinfecting. The best way to reduce your risk of spreading germs is to first clean your surface, removing any stuck on dirt and grime, and then disinfect.

Now that you can answer “what is a germ”? You’re on your way to fighting them off.

Are you making these cleaning mistakes?

If you are spending the time cleaning, make sure you’re making the best use of your time and energy by avoiding these cleaning mistakes. (No judgement here, just trying to help you figure out the best and most efficient way to clean your home).

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Vacuuming more than necessary.

Save you energy and vacuum weekly and do a thorough job. Spot clean during the week as needed. Then on the day that you do vacuum, vacuum horizontally in each room, and then vertically in each room. Yes, you are going over your carpet twice, but this technique ensures that the carpet is lifted and the dirt that may be embedded is removed. This is especially helpful if you have pets to remove pet hair and dander vacuum from the furthest corner away from the door and vacuum your way out of the room. This will give you those beloved vacuum lines that say “I just vacuumed” For suggestions on how to take care of your vacuum cleaner.

Cross contamination.

When you wipe down surfaces, are you wiping the mess back over you’re just cleaned surface? Make sure you are wiping left to right and top to bottom in a soft z pattern. This will effectively clean your surfaces and keep you from wiping dirt and bacteria back over your clean surface. Make sure that you are also changing microfiber cloths or cleaning rages frequently to keep the bacteria away.

Not leaving cleaners on long enough.

If your cleaning bathrooms or your kitchen counters and spraying and wiping right away, your wasting time and cleaners. It’s important to thoroughly saturate your surface with your favorite cleaner and let set for 10 minutes. This will let the cleaner do its job, making your cleaning a little bit easier.

Using fabric softener on towels.

Did you know that traditional fabric softeners actually coat the fibers of towels making them less absorbent? Instead add between 1/4 – 1/2 cup of traditional white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser. Vinegar serves to actually soften the fibers as well as add a little cleaning power to your laundry routine. No need to worry about any residual scent from the vinegar either as you wont be able to detect it on your clean laundry at this dilution rate.

Using dirty sponges.

There’s no need to use dirty sponges when all you need to do is toss it in your dishwasher nightly. Did you know that sponges are one of the dirtiest things in your house? Get in the habit of tossing your sponge in your dishwasher or sanitizing it in the microwave. You will eliminate the risk of spreading germs all over your kitchen.

Using vinegar on stone surfaces.

I love using vinegar to clean with but it’ important to know what it works on and what it doesn’t. If your using vinegar on your marble or granite counter tops, the acid in the vinegar will eventually etch away the surfaces.

Emptying your vacuum canister or bag and cleaning your vacuum.

Make sure you’re emptying your vacuum canister after each use. If you have a canister vacuum and if you have a vacuum cleaner bag, change it when necessary. Make sure you are cleaning your vacuum cleaner frequently as well, this will ensure that your vacuum cleaner lasts for a long time and you aren’t dragging dirt around the house as you vacuum.

Not cleaning those most touched areas.

It’s no wonder that germs can live on surfaces for up to 72 hrs. If your looking for ways t cut down that spread and transfer in your home (especially when someone is sick, or during flu season). Reach for a cotton pad and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Saturate the cotton pad and carefully wipe over those most touched areas in your home: light switches, remotes, and electronics. The rubbing alcohol effectively kills germs, dries quickly, and is safe to use in your home.

Cleaning garbage cans.

Yes, garbage cans hold garbage, but keeping them clean will help keep odors down and keep germs from congregating. Bring the garbage cans outside, spray with your favorite all purpose cleaner, let it set 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly with your garden hose. Let them sit in the sun to dry and naturally kill germs before returning them in side. Use garbage bags in large and small garbage cans to line them and keep them cleaner for longer.

Which cleaning mistakes have you been making? Have one to add? Share it i the comments.