{Why I love the # 816}

Here we are at home again.

Isn’t it great?

Are you snuggled up with coffee on the couch?  Are you sunning on your front porch with some iced tea?  Are you at the kitchen table eating lunch?

Are you at home?

I’ll be at home most of the day.  Our weekly Tiny Hikers class (Hiking local trails with moms and babies 18 months and younger) is on for today, but then it’s back to our 816 square feet for the rest of the day.

Did you know?

Did you know our house is 816 square feet?

Does that seem small to you?  Big? Average?

Compared to the home I grew up in, it is miniscule.  Not that I grew up in a fancy house, but your standard-built-in-the 80’s- home was generally closer to 2,000 square feet.

Our 1950’s home is 816 square feet.

As in two bedrooms, one bathroom, a galley kitchen, a family room that the front door opens directly into, a hall closet, a coat closet, and a small added-on laundry room.

The end.


I’m sure that sounds crazy to some people.  I remember, while I was pregnant, watching House Hunters on T.V. and seeing the people from the midwest complain about gorgeous 4,000 square foot homes.  Forget morning sickness; that made me queasy!

Maybe living in shoebox rentals for the past 7 years has made me immune to small spaces.

Even as I sit here typing on the couch, I can see every room in our home.  No lie.

(I debated about showing pics because *gasp* my house isn’t perfectly clean, or finished being decorated, or remodeled.  But, it is lived in.  It is a real-life home after all).

Truly, I love our 816 square feet.

And, here is why.

1. It keeps life simple.

There isn’t much room to budge. So, we keep it simple. Less clutter.  Less stuff.  Lots of organizing (more on that this week).

2. It keeps us frugal.

In more ways than one.  First, clearly we are on a budget since we bought a home that is 816 square feet.  By the way, that is a home that is 816 square feet in California, in a town that Oprah labeled “The Happiest place in America.”  So, yah, you can imagine why watching those midwestern House Hunters episodes made me want to hurl.  Those people complaining about brass fixtures in brand new homes wouldn’t be able to afford a one-room shed here.  

It also keeps us frugal because we don’t buy unnecessary stuff.  I mean, seriously, where would it go?  I read these blogs where people are CONSTANTLY thrifting and I am like, “WHERE on earth do you put all that stuff?!”  Don’t get me wrong, I like a good thrift find, but I am usually buying something like THIS.

3. It keeps us close.

I can hear my baby in the other room if she is playing or crying.  I can hear my hubby washing dishes and can talk to him easily from pretty much any room in the house.  This comes in handy when a spider is threatening my life and “I need a hero”. (Cue the music, anyone?)

We pretty much hang out in one room . . . the family room.  We are blessed with big windows that let in the light and showcase the trees in the backyard.  It’s oh-so lovely.  I actually look forward to watching the rain from these windows.

4. It allows for me to be creative. (note the fully un-upholstered chair in the above pic . . . project in the works!)

With a small space, I need to be creative.  I need to rearrange and purge and organize.  I love it.  It’s a challenge, but one I am determined to meet.

5. It is ours.

We own it.  Well, technically the bank does and we are paying them.  It feels like ours.  We can paint, cut, nail . . . whatever.  We can make it ours.  We brought our baby home here.  We laugh here.  We play here.  We are doing life here.  We will always have memories of this home even if, someday, we move.  They will be happy, tight-knit memories. (Hopefully those memories will involve an update to this lovely 1970’s flooring and those blinds actually being hung in the window at some point).

I confess, 816 square feet can be difficult.  I confess that sometimes I long for more.  I confess that sometimes I envy people who can afford homes with space for craft rooms and they don’t have to pack all their sewing equipment away every day in order to eat dinner at the table.

I confess that I start to panic when I think of having two babies . . . or three . . . in one little room (no, I am not pregnant again, but someday).  

(YES, I took this picture with a napping baby in the crib and she totally startled when the shutter snapped.  Close one.)

Overall, I am grateful.

Grateful for a home to call my own.

Grateful that I enjoy being in my home.

Grateful that it is clean, that it had hardwood floors hiding under the carpet, and that it is mine to decorate as I please.

Grateful that I can use these 816 square feet to teach my daughter that possessions do not equal worth nor happiness.

Grateful that, for now, I get to live in this space each day, rather than leaving it empty while I work for hours on end. So, so, very grateful.

Did you see our very first home tour?

We have made some changes since then!  Click back to the BEFORE pics to see the difference.

We still have many plans for our wee little space, but so far we like it.  We like it a lot.


This post is part of a series.  Click HERE to see all of the posts.


5 thoughts on “{Why I love the # 816}

  1. I like your cute little 816 sq. ft. I have a little over 1100 so mine isn't big at all, but I actually dream of restoring a cute little farm house that's smaller than mine is now. You've done a great job with the space you have and I like that it is “lived in.” Off to check out the rest of your home tour pics. 🙂


  2. You do a lot with 816 sq ft. PLUS–you have 816 sq ft in San Luis Obispo WITH A BACK YARD. Not too many yards in California anymore. When we lived on the Central Coast we had a 1130 sq ft house on a zero lot line–in Santa Maria. I would have traded with you in a heartbeat. You are wise to count your blessings 🙂

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