Small-space living isn’t just a phenomenon popping up on Pinterest and home improvement television networks; it’s alive and prospering in Central Austin where “city dwelling” can mean sacrificing space for conveniences like walking or biking to your favorite watering hole. This is particularly the case for first-time homebuyers, when affordable homes often translate to less square footage.

While grand staircases and media rooms, formal dining rooms and bonus rooms that make up larger homes are indeed grand, a modest house brings its own brand of magic to the table. It can turn you into the stylish, organized person of your dreams. Here are seven hidden benefits of living small:

1. Less space = less stuff and less stuff = mental freedom. You know the old adage, “You don’t own things; things own you?” The more “things” you have, the more you have to worry about. When you resign yourself to living in a small space, you take away the temptation to shop and fill your space because your space…well, there’s not a lot of it. Therefore, you free yourself mentally and can move seamlessly into the next perk of settling down small:

2. Your home is cleaner. Not only is it physically easier to clean a small space, a small space naturally lends itself to staying neat and tidy: there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place (yes, another old adage you may have heard before). And, bonus, this “neat and tidy” benefit leads right into number three:

3. A small space fosters organization. Living in tight quarters will keep your de-cluttering efforts on a continual loop. You will also learn to streamline everyday objects like CDs (does anyone still own those?) and DVDs.

With the ease and convenience of our modern, digital world there’s no viable excuse to take up valuable real estate with a bevy of plastic cases. Does all this streamlining lead to the next unforeseen benefit of inhabiting a tiny world? Of course it does:

4. Things don’t get lost. When you don’t have 1,000 CDs to keep track of, and you don’t have a closet to store them anyway, things naturally (or magically) stay where they should. You can always find your umbrella or a screwdriver or bottle opener because there is only one place to keep these necessities. Like a trusty sidekick, those articles will be there when you need them.

5. You are more creative and connected to your home. Small-space living ignites imagination when areas, and object themselves, serve double-duty. For example, a daybed in the living room is extra seating during an informal gathering and a place for your old college roommate to crash when visiting from out of town. As an extension of being closely linked with your home, this resourcefulness of living also encourages family bonding.

6. You focus on quality rather than quantity. Living small is the perfect companion to investing in statement pieces. When your living and dining areas blend seamlessly into one another; you can afford to splurge on a dynamic light fixture or piece of furniture.


7. Less indoor square footage inspires outdoor living. Not only will you expand your living space to your own backyard, but you are also more likely to take advantage of Austin’s parks, trails and myriad of outdoor entertainment.

All things considered, small-space living makes a happier, healthier, more organized and thoughtful you: it is magic!