The Benefits Of Living Small

I am trying to embrace a simple living lifestyle in every way. To be healthier, less stressed.

I look back to when I was growing up. We had a huge garden. It provided us with our vegetables and fruit. There was canning to be done in the summer, so that there would be nutritious food in the cellar for the winter months.    

And it didn't taste like anything you buy in a can.         

We did not have a plethora of electronic devices. Some of us had TVs and radios. But the rest of the time, we were "unhooked" and just lived our lives. We were more aware of our surroundings and less focused inwardly on ourselves.

Today you rarely see anyone out and about who doesn't have a cell phone, and they are either talking or texting. 

I am on the computer a lot at home. But I don't have a smart phone and I don't want one. 

Why? Well, first I can't afford it. But the main reason is that when I go out, I want to experience the sights and sounds around me. 

Why go out at all if you're going to be focused on something other than your surroundings?

How are you going to see that bird carrying straw to build its nest if your eyes are on that small screen? Just think what some of you are missing!

What can you do that will enrich your life rather than focusing on electronic media all your waking hours?

1. Take a walk. Absorb what you see and take in your surroundings. This clears your mind, relaxes you and makes you physically & mentally healthier.

2. Read a book. Let yourself get involved with the characters. This takes you outside yourself and away from your own problems.

3. Sit outside and watch nature. It is a miraculous and beautiful thing. 

Here are the reasons I love to live small:

1. Utility bills are less

2. I don't have as much to clean

3. It's forced me to purge things I don't need, so less to worry about

4. Forces me to live with what I truly love most instead of just a lot of possessions.

5. I know I am taking up a smaller carbon footprint

For someone with a permanent injury that inhibits walking, I don't have to walk as far to get to my five rooms: living room, dining area, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom. 

Living simply is not just a lifestyle, it is good for your mental health as well. 

Simple living is the absence of excess. 

Less square footage = less possessions = less bills = less worry overall.

Think of it like this:

  • Eliminating excess possessions leads to a less cluttered home.
  • Eliminating outside obligations leads to a calmer schedule.
  • Eliminating poor eating habits leads to healthier living.
  • Eliminating mindless spending leads to escaping debt.
When you ask yourself why something is important to you, you’ll become more aware of why you make certain choices. That greater sense of awareness will give you a guide to measure all of your future decisions.

Soon this will become second nature. Simple living will lead to a life that is slower, more intentional, and thus more healthy.

So rather than think of it as things you are giving up, think of it as things you are gaining instead. 

In case you hadn't had a chance to notice, it is springtime. Get outside and enjoy it.


  1. I love this, Brenda - thanks for the reminder to stop and smell the roses - or in my case, the herbs!

  2. I am in the process of simplifying life here...every step feels so good. Lovely post, Brenda!

  3. Hi Brenda. Love this post! Enjoying your blog.

  4. Great post, Brenda! I do live somewhat small (small home, small wardrobe, etc.) though I do love my phone! I am not one of those people who are talking on it out in public though or am walking around staring at my screen. My phone is put away in my purse when I am shopping or out with others. I do love having a phone on me (even if it were just a flip phone) for emergency reasons though. I'm out and about a lot and you never know what can happen. I also like the peace of mind it gives me if my husband, son, mother, elderly FIL or ill SIL (she has breast cancer) need to reach me, even if I'm out. Thus said, so far it's been rare that I've gotten a phone call from any of the above (they all know I don't like to talk on the phone), but again, it's the peace of mind if anyone had an emergency.

  5. All so true! I think maturity has something to do with our personal realization that less is more. I sure am mature. Ha!

  6. We bought a small house almost 40 years ago because it was all we could afford. And the more kids we had, the less we could afford to move! Now that it is just us, our house is still perfect. I thought it was easier to raise a pack of kids in a small house (we had 5 in 7 years). There are no secrets and they have to learn to share.

  7. I am with you 100% on this, Brenda! By aiming to live small, I am finally living a life I love and loving the life I live. :-)

  8. Happy Spring to you Brenda.
    I love living simply. Life is too fast paced, [our kids/grandkids are in a run all the time.. They never have a minute to spare.. and I hate that they are missing the small things].
    I don't have a smart phone either [and don't won't one]. I hate going into the grocery store.... and seeing all the people trying to buy groceries /push the cart, and hold the smart phone in one hand and steadily use it.ha
    Enjoyed this post.

  9. Hello Brenda,
    I love reading your blog, you always have some fresh idea for your friends and readers.
    Thank You.

  10. Agree! 100%. Sometimes I just make a point to watch people ,just to see how many are attached to their phones. It's sad; these people miss out on a friendly 'hello' from passersby, because they would rather be in their virtual worlds. :(

  11. Brenda,
    This was a great post!! Over the past 15 months, I have been purging a lot of things that i have in the house. Now even though I still do have a lot of stuff. I have gotten rid of a lot! I also do not have a smart phone. I have a Senior Citizen's flip phone from Consumer Cellular and all I have it programed to do is Ring and take Pictures if I am without my camera but I usually carry one in my purse!! I do not text either and we still have a land line so only very few people have my cell phone number because I do NOT want to be avialable 24/7 to everyone!!

    Great post!!


  12. Thanks Brenda ~ this was a wonderful note from you today.

  13. Yesterday was such a good day for me and guess what I slept well. I was with nature all morning, then went swimming. Got home made myself a salad and for dinner homemade spaghetti sauce (canned tomatoes from my garden). I read "If you spend a day with Thoreau at Walden Pond" and "The Last Midwife" by Sandra Dallas.

    My comfort lately is hand sewing and listening to the radio, how lucky am I?

  14. Living more simply is definitely on my mind these days, Brenda! A great, thought-provoking post! Happy Thursday, Pam @ Everyday Living

  15. I think you posted this just for me, lol. I am downsizing from 3000 sq ft. to 1000 sq ft and it can be traumatizing a times, what to keep, what to get rid of. I relinquished some fine china and crystal yesterday because I have no place to put it and no, I definitely don't need it, but it was still very hard to let it go. So right at this point I have lost my focus, but you have really put things back into perspective for me and for that I thank you!

  16. Well said, Brenda. Living small is one of the many things I've learned from you.

  17. I agree with you Brenda. I love to sit outside & read or do embroidery quilting and listen to the sounds of summer. Our little street has several younger children on it too & listen to the wonderful sound of their laughter is to wonderful. I do not have a smart phone either & don't miss it.

  18. I totally agree with you Brenda. When I am outside, I love to hear the sounds of summer. I love to sit on our little deck to read or work on my embroidery that I do for quilting. Our little street has several younger children on it too & to listen to them laugh as they play...makes your heart feel good! I don't have a smart phone either, just my computer for in the house & that is just fine for me.

  19. Beautiful photos as always, thanks. You are so right. Living simply has many advantages including mental health.

  20. I love it when you blog about living simpler life. This is what I want very much. And yet being the only child responsible to clean out my parents home, and my own moves etc. you have had to move often yourself so your ideas of how to live smaller are very helpful.

  21. Wonderful reminders, Brenda! When we downsized, we noticed how much less our utility bills were and you're right, it takes less time to clean. Our condo isn't anywhere near as small as your apartment, but we still gave up lots of square footage when we moved and it makes us stop and think before buying anything new.

  22. Enjoyed this post...I, too, love that I got rid of a lot of things when we moved 3 yrs ago..I had waaay too many dishes..and with me loving pretty paper plates, I wondered why I had so many real dishes..I now have 2 sets for when I want to use feels good.
    Happy Thinking of Home Thurs.

  23. You have so many great tips for living in small places and keeping your life simple. My problem is clutter, some of it just things that need to be tucked away but I'm lazy, other items are what I want to be surrounded by all the time. Too much for some people but it's me and my home!!!

    I totally see how some people can live without an iPhone. And we all have to learn to 'be in the moment'. The other day I started having a problem getting an Internet connection on my phone outside of my house. This is how it affected me:

    I couldn't check the weather forecast and temp
    Couldn't check the balance in my bank account before going to the store
    Couldn't access my grocery list on the phone in the store
    Couldn't access Pinterest to get ingredients for a recipe
    Couldn't access an App I have with coupons
    Couldn't check to see if my daughter was home so I could drop by
    Had nothing to read in my doctors office expect cheesy gossip magazines

    I really consider my phone a portable little computer I can carry around with me. You can use it wisely or you can have it glued to your eyes and ears like a teenager! And I really get annoyed at people babbling away to someone on their phone in public places. Who needs to hear their conversations? Go outside!


  24. I agree with Blondie's Journal. I love my smart phone and use it like a computer when I grocery shop and see a product that I might like l, see a new book that looks interesting, get lost trying to find anyplace new, am forced to wait at the doctors, the pharmacy, etc.
    Only 6 entities have my cell phone number. Three of them are medically related. I know when my cell rings it's not just for a chat.
    I think the days of friendly hello's are over. More often then not, when you offer a friendly hello to someone you get a blank or suspicious stare in return. Very sad.

  25. Wise words my friend. I read somewhere that we are a society with so much information and yet we are becoming less intelligent.
    I love nature, reading, baking, communicating, oh the list goes on and on.
    Thank you so much for dropping by and sharing this insightful look at life.
    The ladies from TOHOT~

  26. Isn't it strange how we so often seem to spend the first half of our life acquiring things and the second half of our life getting rid of them! I have boxes in the storage room in my basement in this house I moved into 2 years ago this July; they have not been touched since I moved in. That tells me exactly how much I need what is in them - NOT AT ALL. They will be donated. I still have two sets of dishes in the kitchen. Why? I have a beautiful set of porcelain gold-rimmed china, half of which is still boxed. Why? But for now, I'm keeping those :) I think I will clean out a lot of stuff from a small display cabinet in the dinette area and donate all of those items, and unbox the beautiful china and display it so I can at least enjoy looking at it even if I never host a fancy dinner party again. Mhy siblings and I are in the process of getting my mom's house ready for sale. It appears that she never threw anything away. When we finally got through plling everthing out from all of her hidey-holes, cabinets, closets, attic and full basement, and then separating obvious items for the trash and setting all the rest into boxes, there was no place to stand in the house and I felt like I couldn't breathe when I was inside! Nine car-loads and van-loads later this past Monday, there is at room to walk in the house now. All that from a one bath 3 bedroom Cape Cod well under 1000 square feet. And there is yet more to clear out and donate. I am now very glad that I began purging my house in 2009, and I have been purging my closet (which seems to breed clothes when I'm not looking) and dresser drawers continuously for at least 26 years. And they're STILL not empty, LOL! I need to, WANT to, get rid of yet more stuff. I don't want to be defined by my possessions, except those that have a story, serve a purpose or function, and those I truly love. It seems more people are coming to this awareness. Is it just part of the aging process as the baby boomer generation grows older en mass? Are we in general just now acquiring wisdom in realizing that our value lies within ourselves and not in our things? I don't know. I am just happy to see that so many younger folks are also jumping onboard this train, hence the popularity of such shows as Tiny House Nation.

  27. You are so right Brenda-
    As I declutter and think about moving some day, I realize I am over having so much stuff.
    Thank you for visiting TOHOT.

  28. Truer words were never spoken. Recently while at a restaurant I noticed 3 people at the table next to us, parents and their son I presume. All 3 were looking at their phones constantly.

    It's just too much.

  29. Brenda what an absolute delight this post is!!! Thank you so very much for joining the gathering at Thoughts of Home on Thursday.

  30. I recently attended an event, and even the children were clicking away on iPhones. Hugs to you and the Yorkies. xxoo


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