How Small Space Living Can Increase Productivity

I can't imagine going back in time and living in a large house again. I look back and wonder how on earth I got it all done. Well, I had a housekeeper come in twice a month, that's how it got done. 

But that was years ago.

I watch the videos on YouTube of small space dwellers in NYC living in 200-300 square feet, and they seem quite content. Of course they are typically single with perhaps a pet.  

But when you think about it, small space living means less maintenance because there's simply...less of everything. Therefore there's less to do! Doesn't take much sense to figure that out.

Definition of productivity:
the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring 
forth goods and services.
So, in essence the less you have to deal with, the more you can possibly get done. Less space equals less to do which frees your time up to do more of what you'd rather be doing.

Great Small Space Furniture...find article here

Small Space Living Means Less Of Everything...

More room does not mean more happiness. Maybe to some it does, and I understand that. If you can afford it, no problem.

But I don't think true happiness hinges on square footage. I have found in the past that the more room I had, the more stuff I then acquired.

Stuff never brought me happiness.

Cost of living, less...

Lower utility bills. Lower maintenance bills. Lower taxes. And the list just goes on and on. 

Small space living not only increases productivity, it increases your bank account. Because you can direct less money toward your home.

I've always found, for instance, that the more "bells and whistles" I had on, let's say, an appliance, the more things went wrong.

You Can Simply Get More Done...

Just think of all you could get done if you didn't have so much to clean, to take care of, to pay for. Less stuff to deal with. To move from place to place. 

More money for travel or whatever floats your boat that does not mean bringing more senseless stuff into your home.

More Creativity...

Think of the creativity that you'd cultivate from merely learning how to store things in a smaller space. Create hospitable surroundings in less square footage. And finally, to decorate with intention. 

For example, when I moved into this apartment, I had them take out my oven so that I could put a portable washer in it's place. There wasn't any other way to do it and still hook it up to water. So something had to be eliminated.

I have never regretted that decision. And I've never missed the oven. My Smart Breville does the same thing an oven would do, and it doesn't heat up the whole apartment. Win-win.

If I need to saute something, I use my electric skillet. You just have to look at things outside of the box and make different choices.

Decorate With Intention...

To decorate with intention, that means that it comes down to brass tacks. You can no longer have 30 collections of things strewn about your home. Or 10 sets of plates, china, etc. 

You have to choose what you love the most, and part with the rest. 

Some people have a hard time parting with stuff. I don't seem to have that particular problem.

But the sad fact is, if you don't part with some of that stuff, then your children will be forced to do it when you die. And we all know there are two sure things in life: death and taxes.

Multi-Purpose Furniture Is In, folks!

Here are some items that make small space living easier...

Rolling Carts

Rolling Carts are quite versatile for small space dwellers because they can be rolled from room to room and used in many ways. For beverages while entertaining. As a bedside table. As a kitchen cart. In the bathroom.

You simply can't go wrong with this purchase!

Lucite Furniture

Lucite (clear plastic) furniture is visually appealing because it appears to not take up space. 

Above are nesting tables, so you can tuck the extras in when not in service, or bring them out when you need them.

Open shelves in the kitchen helps you find what you need quickly. 

It is also a help when you are entertaining and a guest needs something. They can readily see it without having to look through cabinets or dig through drawers.

Time. You're simply saving time. And that's more important than money.

Beds With Built-In Storage

This could possibly eliminate the need for a dresser or armoire for clothing.

Poufs can be a small space dweller's best friend.

Poofs can be used for sitting, for putting your feet up, or as tables for holding a plate of food. Maybe you want to use one for decor by putting a tray of candles on it.  

In Summation...

The less you have to deal with the more time you have to do the things you love. To create, to take a nature walk, to read. Anything your heart desires. 

I really like this concept because life is short. And I don't want to spend it having to take care of a large home. And dealing with stuff.

So naturally having less stuff because you choose to live in a small space actually gives you more time to create. 

Take a few steps out of your daily routine and you have just given yourself more time to do other things. 

Time is a gift. Don't squander it. 


And finally here's a 500 square foot apartment that has been beautifully designed to make the best use of its small footprint. The resident was very clever with this small space.

500 Square Foot Studio Apartment

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


  1. I love this post, Brenda. It really inspires me to get rid of more "stuff" and lead a simpler life. You have done a fabulous job with your small space and making it work for you.

    1. Well thank you! I love your home, JoAnne. It's just so darned cozy!

  2. These are all valid points. Sometimes I look at cluttered homes filled with useless stuff and wonder 'why'? There's usually an underlying psychological issue that goes beyond the desire to collect things, but different strokes for different folks I guess.

    1. Yes, definitely different strokes. Some just can't stand the thought of a small space. But I personally love it.

  3. Such a good post. As you know we cut our living space in half. We really didn't use it all as we once did with four children. Our bills are cut in half. Taxes and utilities more than half. We had our home for sale off and on for a few years. We got rid of so much stuff, mostly furniture. I still have too many craft supplies and my collections. Now I have actually turned those two things into a business. I have a retail space the size of a tiny closet in a consignment mall. I just opened up an etsy shop. I had already donated, a truck full seriously, of pre school toys. In my shops I sell bears and dolls. I add more to those collections by going to doll auctions. My motto is that I have to try to sell them first before they stay here. And I have to sell what I spend before I keep anything. I also sneak other items in my retail space that I want to leave the house. Small spaces are fun. Make your living areas cozy. Repurpose and reuse.

    1. Great idea! I remember when you were so frustrated trying to sell the house. But now all of that is behind you!

  4. I love this topic. Next week we will be moving into an 850-square foot house. One of the first things I want to get up the gumption to do is follow your example and get rid of the big old oven in the kitchen and use only smaller appliances. I love that idea. Currently, we use a small rice cooker and a wok on top of the stove to make most of our meals. We only use the oven about twice a month to bake a frozen pizza. So it would be great to get rid of the big old oven and use that space for some sort of storage set-up.

    Thanks for these ideas.

    1. My Smart Breville heats up pizza better than any oven I've owned. It comes with a pizza pan and heats up SO fast, and it is nice and crunchy.

  5. I love small, cozy places - for me, a large home doesn't feel quite right to me...probably because I grew up in NYC apartments, with 5 of us in a 2 bedroom apartment with a minuscule kitchen! I guess small spaces just feel like home to me! My home now has the extra space I need for the girls and for future grandkids in the lower level, but upstairs where I spend most of my time it feels like a small cottage, which I adore. Love your inspiration photos, Brenda!

    1. Your home is comfy and cozy and perfect for entertaining.

  6. I grew up in a one-bedroom house with my mother and sister. And for a time my mother's co-worker lived with us.

    So when my husband and I bought our two-bedroom house that is under 1000 sq. ft. 32 years ago, I was in heaven. And still am. We have one daughter who is grown and has her own house now.

    We never wanted to be slaves to a house, whether for the cleaning and upkeep or working to afford it so we never upgraded to a bigger place even though we could afford it.

    I love that bed that lifts up for storage. They have that sort of bed in motor homes. I didn't know they had them for homes, too.

    1. That's so true. Many people are just slaves to their homes. I can't imagine taking out a 30 year loan. You'd be paying interest for so long before you ever got to the actual mortgage!

  7. I love living in a small house. We downsized last year to make retirement affordable. We now spend a fourth of what we were spending on our much bigger previous home. I have everything that I need here, and only the things I truly love. We got rid of all the excess and are enjoying the freedom of smaller living. We enjoy the coziness of our little cottage, the ease of keeping it clean, and much smaller utility and tax bills! We also enjoy having a much smaller yard to maintain. I have plenty of room to still have both a flower and veggie garden, just on a much smaller scale and I'm good with that. Frees up time for more reading and relaxing! And enjoying the grandkids and our three little dogs! :-)

  8. I agree 100%...I could not imagine living in a large home. My house hugs me and I like it that way!! I also like the fact that I can clean it in an hour and move on to better (more fun) things!!

  9. I love living in a smaller home, too. Less to clean and cozy. The only two things I wish is that we had a separate dining room (instead of just an eat-in kitchen) for entertaining and a bigger yard.

  10. I like my little home too Brenda...You are right that the more room we have the more stuff we acquire!

    1. I forgot..That bed is just awesome..look at how much stuff it holds!

  11. One of my best memories is a 500 sf apt i had .....tiny and cozy :)


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