Written by monthly contributor, Emily Pastor.
I grew up in a large home and assumed that’s what I wanted for my family when I got married. I often felt a twinge of jealousy when I heard of friends my age purchasing their first house while I had to “settle” with a tiny apartment and loud neighbors.
Looking back I am so thankful for living in small spaces and the experience of moving five times in less than 4 years. Each move left me holding on to my “stuff” with a looser grip and realizing that owning less can be a freeing blessing.
The Lord has used these moves and small apartments to teach me contentment. The type of contentment where I’m no longer “settling” for less, but when faced with the option, I’m choosing it. While these trinkets and “necessities” that fill our homes aren’t inherently wrong, they are temporary and fleeting and can easily become burdensome.
In our society we often think that having more than we need is a blessing. I argue that it can be tiresome and a burden. If you, like me, are living in a small space and struggle with contentment, here are some reminders of the blessings of less.
1. Less to Clean
Times of cleaning truly bring out my contentment and thankfulness for a small space. I often think of how much more of my time would be spent cleaning a larger home. I can vacuum my entire apartment in less than 10 minutes. I love scrubbing only one toilet! Dusting is a 10 minute breeze. With less space I’m able to keep a deeper-cleaned home instead of spending most of my energy keeping things “looking” clean.
2. Less Chasing
When we’ve stayed at my parent’s larger home, I’m always amazed at how exhausted I become from chasing little ones. I’m sure this isn’t a huge deal when children are older, but with new walkers and wobbly toddlers, chasing can become an all day affair. Small spaces allow young ones the freedom to move around the house without gates and still be within earshot and eyesight of Mama.
3. Less to Decorate
Small spaces are not only less intimidating to decorate, but they are much more friendly to the decorator on a budget. I love decorating a small room to be cozy and functional without the pressure to find pieces simply to fill empty spaces.
4. Less to Maintain
Whether large or small, all homes require maintenance. Appliances break down. Furniture wears out. Walls need new paint. Roofs leak. Lawns need mowing. Smaller spaces can reduce the time and money spent on keeping a home maintained and comfortable.
5. Less Space for Clutter
With limited closet and storage space I’m forced to weed out useless clutter due to the lack of clutter hiding spots. I wouldn’t deal with my clutter nearly as much if it didn’t invade my space so easily. This lack of space is a blessing! My space keeps me accountable to what we do and don’t need around the house.
“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Whether you are in a large or small home, may your hearts be filled with contentment, generosity, and thankfulness to the One who provides for our needs so faithfully.