When our house was built, in the early 1950’s, it was average-sized. In fact, in 1950, the average size house was 983 square feet. Over the next 50 years, the size of the average American house grew by 140% to over 2300 square feet.
Families got smaller. Houses got bigger. Why?
We love our 1950’s house. Sure, it’s smaller than average, but we have fantastic neighbors and a nice-sized backyard. We have an unfinished basement for storage, laundry, and the ever-important tornado shelter.
Still, the upstairs of our house is small. Three small bedrooms. We’re going to add 2 kids’ toys, bikes, stuffed animals, and blankies. We’re going to double the number of people in the same-sized house. But my biggest concern is that we have only one bathroom. And we’re about to add 2 more little people to the bathroom schedule. I know it must be possible.
After all, that’s what life was like in the 1950’s . . . I think.
So, did you ever live in a small house? What suggestions do you have for a growing family in a small house?
7 thoughts on “Growing House Help?”
My sister lives in a 1200 sq ft house with 8 people in the house (6 kids ages 14 down to 5)!! Not saying I would want to go to that extreme, but it is possible for a growing family to live in a smaller house. They are thankful to have 2 bathrooms!
My mom grew up as one of 4 sisters and only one bathroom. My grandpa said he just planned on never being in the bathroom until they all left the house (sorry Ken!).
That is a tight squeeze!
Simplicity. A few good toys. Lots of grace. The bathroom situation is hard especially when potty training (you might not have to do that). Before we moved to Indiana we were in a smallish 3 bedroom with one bath – 4 kids newborn to seven. Then we lived with Kevin’s sister for a couple months in her two bedroom one bath house. The kids still recall “party in the bathroom” when there were multiple people washing hands and combing/curling hair. I must say I really appreciate the 2 1/2 baths we have now.
Wow Sarah! That’s close quarters! You mentioned “a few good toys.” What kinds of toys get the best mileage for space and maintaining interest?
The toy that kept my boys entertained for hours were Legos!
The house I grew up in, ironically, is the exact floorplan of the one we live in now. A larger living room and a basement were the only differences. I had one other sibling and a dog. Three women, the dad and one bathroom. And we made it work. The basement, besides laundry & tornado shelter was a big play area for us until we were at the age where being outside was much more fun. Play kitchen, Bert & Ernie puppets (& homemade stage), things to play “house” were all the items we used the most. Lincoln logs, legos, anything that could be built…….the things that can be spread waaaaay out and then collected and put back in their container in no time.
We squeezed around a small table for dinner. That was my least favorite. I always wished we’d had a bit more elbow room at dinner (and never put them on the table). 😉
Sometimes I wonder how we did do it and I can tell you, you already have the key. The basement!! Soooooo much can be stored there to keep upstairs uncluttered (to an extent). Closet organizers!
My mom moved out in 1964 when she got married. She had spent her entire life in a three bedroom farmhouse with two parents, four kids, and NO BATHROOM!! This is why I never got any sympathy having to share a bedroom and bathroom!
In Fredericton we lived in a three + one bedroom bungalow, but our finished basement was our salvation. Here, no finished basement yet, and we are missing it like crazy! Keeping toys to a minimum is the answer though. Legos are miracle toys, and if your arts and crafts cupboard is stocked, you’re always in great shape. You will know which toys become your kids’ favourites. Others can be disposed of or given to other good homes when you realize they are really just taking up space. There are a million space saving ideas on the internet if you start to look. You just have to be creative (which you are) and know what to keep and what to chuck and when. Don’t worry! You’ll be fine!