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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

How small of a place would you voluntary live in square foot wise?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21555 points ) May 9th, 2014

Reading a Woman’s Home Journal magazine from March 2014 there was an article about families that made drastic moves to leave their McMansions and spacious homes for houses smaller than the garages of the homes they shed. What is the smallest space you would live in by choice, if you have kids, or if you don’t and are not going to have kids?

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33 Answers

hominid's avatar

My wife, my 3 kids, and I share 1100 sq feet and one bathroom. I am sure I could go a little smaller, but another half bath is necessary.

ragingloli's avatar

Depends on the size of the foot

talljasperman's avatar

Bachelor suite. No kids.

johnpowell's avatar

I lived in a RV in my friends backyard for a few years. It was similar to this but 20 years older. That was around 19’X8’. So 152 SQ feet. It didn’t bug me at all.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I can do 750 sq ft. on land with no problem. I’d like to put something that size at the end of a pier and call it home. Something like the little pierhouse Richard Widmark had in Pickup on South Street.

I got rid of a lot of stuff years ago and can now live on a 42’ sailboat—38’ at the waterline—with a 14’ beam, tapered on both ends of course, so I really don’t know how many sq ft this tub has. It is more than adequate for my purposes. Makes my old 1650 sq ft craftsman cottage feel like a mansion. A sailboat is comparable to an RV.

The little farm cottage I’m staying at now is about 1800 sq ft with harvest kitchen and pantry with rensning porch, basement, and foyer (for boots and tack). There is also a small attic room from which I can survey the barnyard, the village down the hill, and see my boat at the dock (a mile by crow, 6 by road). This is a freaking Lord’s manor compared to the boat.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I am never so happy as those times when I have extended stays in the camper van.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@talljasperman Bachelor suite. No kids.
How small of a bachelor suite? Some would think a small studio apt. a bachelor suite. If it were 15’ x 19’ would that be too big or too small?

ucme's avatar

I would not wish to reside in a place where the locals have square feet, wise or not.
Dem sound like beasty freakoids.

Unbroken's avatar

Right now I am mostly living out of my car, Subaru outback with the alternative of a tent, which I mostly don’t put up. As a temporary thing I really don’t have a problem with it. It is sort of an adventure. Having just left a seasonal 20×20 domicile. I do have a friend letting me use a small portion of their garage to store my stuff. I have in the past I have lived out of an old school camper with a cat for the summer and I once lived in 12×14 with half a loft, I temporarily shared it with a what is now an ex boyfriend and that was cramped when shared with another adult. No kids, minimal life style, it isn’t bad the great outdoors is my playground. I don’t mind bigger places I rented a two bedroom for almost two years with a cat as company. And that was fun to spread out a bit and have room to do projects but the only reason I rented it was it was the only thing in my price range in town that allowed pets. I also had a small one bedroom I shared with a boyfriend and a friend, who occasionally had his ex wife and child stay over, or his girlfriend. And I had a three bedroom right out of highschool that I shared with at some points and time with 6 people and the odd couch surfers from time to time it had one bathroom but a lot of storage space and spacious living/kitchen area as well… Although there were points and time it was just me or one other tenant.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I lived in a small room in someone’s house that was 9×12 feet. Luckily I also got the use of the kitchen and a large backyard.

I was in college at the time, so only used it for sleeping and the rest of the time i was out and about, studying at libraries or female students’ homes (not much studying went on in the latter)

jerv's avatar

My wife and I lived in a 20×20 cabin for years.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Unbroken @Dan_Lyons @jerv Those places you noted, where they necessity, as [.. I rented it was it was the only thing in my price range in town that allowed pets., or was it something you actively chose even though there was the option to live in a larger space?

GloPro's avatar

If I were alone and woke up to this view, I could live here

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ WOW! With a house like that you could be a modern day gypsy, you can travel the nation and rent a meadow from people for a week then move somewhere else. That is small, but about the size that one of the persons in the Lady’s Home Journal article lives in.

GloPro's avatar

Isn’t it fabulous?!?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Ooo….they have improved them, the couple in the magazine did not have a shower in their’s, they had to shower at the health club.

ibstubro's avatar

Indoor privy? I think I could design 700 SF I could live in/with. 900, for sure,

Cruiser's avatar

I live in a Mc Mansion and would not have any problem moving back to my very first home that was 1,110 s.f. 3 br one bath slab on grade ranch. I loved that house.

GloPro's avatar

@Cruiser A one car garage?!? Bullshit.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Yes, my tiny home was all I could afford. It was one step up from living on the streets of a major metropolitan area. I actually did live out on the streets of L.A. for about a year. No job, no income, and yet it was one of the best years ever!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@GloPro A one car garage?!? Bullshit.
There are quite a few older homes around here built around WWII or the Korean war, they only have one car garages. I guess back then most families were one-car-families.

Unbroken's avatar

The subaru i dont have an option i am ready to give in to yet. The first n second crowded places were friends i didnt feel compelled to say no to. It was fun at the time. The 12 x. 14 cabin was a place my ex fell in love with we could easily have afforded more but we got to paint it and it was cozy. The camper was an opportunity that opened and me loving the summer and being outdoors thought it was quite lovely for those months. The last i loved it was cozy and had a rustic charm i wanted to minimize but i also loved that it was among the most cost effective too. I was saving up for a crunch i knew i was going to experience in order to achieve longer term goals. And now the crunch has begun the place was seasonal so i had to leave.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s only my husband and I and we could easily live in 1200 sq.ft. and feel it is ample. It’s not really the smallest we could do though. We could live in a smaller space if we had to. I would say anything less than 800 sq.ft. would begin to drive us crazy over time. If it was just me, myself, and I, I could go smaller of course.

Part of the need for space is the amount of stuff we have. I would need to get rid of a lot just to be in the 1200 sq. ft. space.

GloPro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I’m not doubting one car garages exist. I’m doubting @Cruiser would be happy with one.

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Well, it was a nice little cabin on 5 acres out in the woods ~15 miles from town (and a mile from any pavement), but it’s rent was about the same as the 3-bedroom apartment (probably 1500 sq.ft.; it had a huge living room) we had 2 blocks from downtown, so it wasn’t necessity.

I think our current 2-bedroom place clocks in around 1100 sq.ft., and it’s a hair too much space for us. But living in a low-crime neighborhood with off-street parking is nice. No drug dealers on the doorstep, and my car has always been there and intact every night, so it’s worth putting up with a little more space than we need. Also, the rent is a hair below average for the area.

Cruiser's avatar

@GloPro Good observation but I can and do park my ‘extra’ vehocles at my place of work now and except for the one hour commute each way that house would suit me fine! ;)

wildpotato's avatar

My current house is 888 sqft and I could see nixing the office/second bedroom. I don’t think I’ll ever need more in the way of living quarters than this, though I wouldn’t want to be without my 10 acres of woods to run around in. I guess I do also use my shed space for storage, and that’s about another 500 sqft – but that doesn’t count as living space, right? In any event, the plan for the next place, when we buy some land, is a yurt, and the largest model has about 700 sqft.

In my experience it’s more about the layout than the bare amount of space. The previous two places I lived were each about 1100 sqft but felt more cramped than the smallest space I’ve ever lived in – a studio house in college that was about 450 sqft – because they were both railroad style.

@Cruiser What a lovely house.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ What happens to that thing in a 75mph wind? What if a fire breaks out, tinder box, where do you put the <ahem> toilet?

majorrich's avatar

My Wife and I have been looking at Tiny Houses for several months now. When I was in College, I lived in a camp trailer for a while. A Tiny House shouldn’t be a whole lot different. Perhaps the size of a half Conex Shipper.

Cruiser's avatar

@wildpotato Thank you. It took 8 yrs and a LOT of hard work to get it to that condition and why I miss it so…

Yetanotheruser's avatar

For several years I lived in a 10’ X 15’ one room “guest” cabin on a horse ranch in Texas. I was single, and a musician. I didn’t have or need a lot of “things”.

Now I live in a 4 bedroom, 2100 sq ft tri-level in suburbia. The 300 sq ft basement is my workshop and studio.

ibstubro's avatar

Now why did that give me a mental of Charlie Manson, @Yetanotheruser?

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Well, Manson did not have a 600 sq ft garden in his backyard.

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