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Small Space Living

25 April, 2008

In the mid-1950s the average size of new houses was around 115 square metres, half the size of today’s new house. The expanding size of houses has been occurring at a time when the average number of people in each household is shrinking. In 1970 there was an average of 3.3 people to each household. By 2000 it had fallen to only 2.6, a 21 per cent decline over the three decades from 1970. Expressed another way, in 1970 an average new house had 40 square metres of floor space for each occupant; today each person has 85 square metres.

From Online Opinion.


We live in a small space. 90 square metres that includes our balcony (approx 12 square metres). We have a garage (not included in that total) but it’s not particularly secure and not weather proof. We have three children – two preschoolers and a baby. There are also two adults here. We currently have 18 square metres of floor space per person (15.6 of those are inside).

Having a small space saves us a fortune. I can’t be tempted to buy copious amounts of toys for my three kids because we don’t have the space for them. I basically don’t buy any clothes for them (except socks and undies) because we are given second hand clothes from friends with older children and we have no space to keep any more. Every time I consider a new kitchen appliance I have to think “Now, where will I fit it?”.

Having a small space means I can keep it relatively clean. Being a small space, it looks untidy quite quickly, but it also means the mess is quick to clean up.

Having a small space eliminates the need for some items. I have never owned a baby monitor because there is no where in my “house” I can go that I could not hear my baby’s cries. We have no need of a lawnmower, edger, hose, gardening paraphernalia – we don’t have a yard. We have no swings, slide, trampoline or sandpit either.

I don’t have fancy baby swings, jumpers, cradles, playpens as we don’t have the space. We don’t even have a change table. We’ve never needed one.

We don’t even have a linen cupboard.

What would you stop buying if you didn’t have the space?

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