Living In a Small Space

Downsizing or moving into a small space when it wasn’t intended can be a shock. You are forced to work out what you really need and what you really love, and that is quite the process. What about when you start living in a small space intentionally?

The ‘tiny house’ movement is a social movement with exactly that in mind. It’s an intentional choice to live in a small space or tiny house and it’s done, usually, with freedom in mind. Freedom from the financial burden of the average property to freedom from the practical burdens of owning a large property and the demands on time it brings with it. One of the biggest clinchers for those who choose a tiny house though is how it lowers their environmental impact.

I’ve spent the past 6 months living in a 3×3 room and have learned that there are a few tricks to the living-in-a-small-space trade. The headline?  You need to get savvy.

1. Get rid of what you don’t love or doesn’t serve a purpose

That’s a paraphrase of William Morris and echoes the advice given by Marie Kondo in the best seller: The life changing magic of tidying up. I mean, if you don’t love it or it doesn’t serve a purpose, what reason do you have to keep it?

2. Get creative with what you do have

How can you re-purpose what you do want to keep or make it perform more functions in your smaller space? We put our chest of drawers on top of our wardrobe and accessed it by climbing a beautiful wooden ladder. Think outside the box.

3. Keep it clean

This is a living-in-a-small-space non negotiable if you don’t want to be crawling the walls. You have have to make the space as inviting and livable as possible because you can’t hide from the mess in another room. There is a bright side though – the cleaning won’t take long!

4. Keep it light

White reflects light and light is good! It makes a space feel more open and less claustrophobic so whether it’s through using mirrors or painting everything white keep it light.

5. Live outside your space

The great thing about living in a small space is that it forces you to reconsider what’s important. Usually that results in more time in the outdoors and more time with the people you love. Making time for this when you live in a small space will probably happen naturally but if it doesn’t and you are getting frustrated, force yourself outdoors. It’s good for you.

Living in a small space already or tempted to give it a go? What tips do you have?



  1. Floraa 27th February 2017

    It’s incredible to hear you’ve been living in such a small space for such a long time! :) I’d like to hear more about that and what challenges you’ve faced but also what you’ve found really good about it too. :)

    I like your tips – I genuinely have never thought of putting furniture atop other pieces before as you suggested in tip #2 – thanks for pointing out the options! (Sometimes I find it so hard to see new uses for things when I’ve been using them in a particular way for so long).


    • Rachel 28th February 2017

      Oh I hear you! We are very habitual creatures aren’t we?

      I think the biggest challenge I found living in a small space is fighting the desire to meet the pace of what you see in shop windows and in advertising. Sometimes I’m like ‘awwww mannnnnnn – that would be awesome’ but it’s not realistic in my space. But thennnnnn I remind myself the freedom that comes from having few things. I really want to keep as light as possible. It’s a balance and a journey though!

      I’m off to check out your blog now…

  2. Celia 27th February 2017

    Go you, friend! I live in a small space too, though not nearly as small as yours. I concur with all of these, especially number 3! I’d love to hear how you decided what to bring with you when you moved to South Africa and what happened to the things you weren’t able to bring. Hope you are settling well in your new space. Love to you!

    • Rachel 28th February 2017

      Oh great question!That is a blog I will definitely table for when I have time because I really did choose some silly things that I definitely didn’t need and some things that seem silly but that are SO special and lovely to me. Thanks lovely head. Love to you too x

  3. Jessica Large 28th February 2017

    Great tips that I’ve also found the be true from my own experience of living in a small space, though not so small as yours. I’m especially find of #5 — I love any reason to get outdoors!

    • Rachel 28th February 2017

      Thanks Jessica. Keeps us healthy doesn’t it? I still don’t think I manage it enough though. This life balance thing is tough!


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