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  1. #21
    vonfirmath is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Between a Rock and a Weird Place. TX


    I grew up in a family of 4 and a house that was 1200 sq ft and never felt there was too little space.

    My mother grew up in a family of 6 (3 adults, 3 children) and, at least by the time she was in high school, less space than that (about 900 sq ft). She shared a room with her 4 years younger sister and her grandmother.
    Married 3/04
    DS 8/07
    DD born 8/11

  2. #22
    maestramommy's Avatar
    maestramommy is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Southern N.H


    Our house is 4 BR and just under 2500 sq ft, but it sure wasn't $500K! I'm sure we could've gotten by with less, it's just that you get more for your money here, and we figured we could grow into it. At the moment it seems big, esp. when we try to clean it, but I think as the kids get older it'll feel more just right.
    Mommy to
    The Gift 10/01/05
    Elfgirl 5/25/07
    Sparky 6/27/09

    "Sunset to Twilight, Our Family's Journey with Alzheimer's."

  3. #23
    kboyle's Avatar
    kboyle is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Cleveland, OH.


    we are in about 2200 sqft an are all comfy. the two older boys share a room, which i'd have wanted 3 kids rooms, but we loved this house too much to pass up. it's a very OPEN house, so no one ever feels closed in, plus with the finished basement & heated garage in the winter we all have our own personal space when we want it.
    Kristine, Supermommy to
    Charlie (6/2003), Max (8/2005) & Ernie (5/2007)

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2008


    I admire my SIL/BIL who have three kids in about 1800 sf (ages 8, 5, 2). They were moving to another state when SIL was pregnant with #3 and temporarily not working, so they bought the 1800 sf house on 1 income in a great neighborhood with the best schools in that city. This actually downsized them from a 2000 sf house (not counting 1/2 finished basement) where they had just 2 kids at the time. They'd be the first to say that they wished they had more space, bigger kitchen, more closets, but they've made it work, and are now happy they made that choice. SIL went back to work not long after the move, but is now leaving that job b/c of poor fit. In looking for other work, she had the flexibility of looking for something that paid less, but also required fewer days on, because she knew they could comfortably afford their home on 1 salary. There's something to be said for compromising on space when the payoff is peace of mind in lower-income times.

    I've been a big proponent of the "Not so Big House" concept of well-designed space that maximizes useful space. Here's a link:
    The writer is an architect who originally focused on getting more design bang for your bucks by reducing the overall size of your custom-built house, but the general concept she espouses is maximizing useful space.

    Up until 2 years ago, DH and I had never lived in more than 1600 sf, but we only had 1 child then. I was the queen of organization, and efficient storage. We kept nothing that we didn't need/want. We've since doubled our sf, and kids, but nothing's organized the way it used to be--maybe b/c I now have 2 kids, but also b/c I can always shut the mess up behind some door to extra space we never used to have. Mixed blessing.

    DS 1 8/2007
    DS 2 1/2010

  5. #25
    KrisM is online now Clean Sweep forum moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    MI, USA.


    We have 2200 sq ft for the 5 of us and it's plenty of space. But, it's the layout that makes it work. We have 4 bedrooms, so each kid has their own. We have a dining room (where we eat), a formal living room (used as a playroom), and a family room. We have a kitchen and bathrooms, of course . But having a playroom on the main floor is wonderful and I expect it to be a homework room as they get older.

    We also have a basement that is about 900 sq ft and is mostly storage and partly play space in the winter when we are outside less often.

    Mom to:
    DS1 4/2004
    DD 6/2006
    DS2 7/2008

  6. #26
    fivi2 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    We are in right around 1000 sqft with 2 adults, 2 four year olds, and a dog. It is too small, but I think I'd be happy with around 1600-1800 sf. (I want a master suite and especially a second bathroom!) The main problem is this is an older house with no storage space, (no garage, tiny closets, small part of attic accessible). If I could have built the space and designed cabinets and closets and taken advantage of the usable space, I think it'd be doable. My neighbor raised his three kids in a similar size house.

    I read somewhere (maybe from a poster here) that most people's ideal is "just a little bigger" than whatever they have now. I think that seems true.

    I also think layout is WAY more important than square footage. My sister's last house was huge, but honestly I felt it was laid out so poorly that it felt small.

    I think I need to be more ruthless about decluttering and getting rid of stuff. Then I need to give up some of my sentimental furniture and get some more functional furniture. If you have a plan, I think smaller spaces can work!

  7. #27
    salsah is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    May 2007


    we are a family of 4 living in 1000 sq ft. it is doable but feels cramped some times. especially since the layout isn't great so there is a lot of "wasted" sq ft. ideally, i would like 2000 sq ft (specifically: 4 br, 2.5 bath, eat in kitchen, formal living dining and living, family room, 2 car garage, nice yard). that would be comfortable without being too big.

    more important than sq ft, is the floor plan and your lifestyle, and staying w/in your budget. we have friends that are a family of 5 (and often have family visit and stay with them), and are happy in their 1200 sq ft home because it has a large yard. they spend a lot of time in their yard (it is furnished complete with an outdoor heater) and although they don't love the home, they are staying for the yard.
    before sq footage, figure out what is most important to you as far as floor plan, and look for that first.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by bubbaray View Post
    Sounds like you want to stay where you are. Can you renovate?

    We are a family of 4. Our house is 4,000 sq ft, including the finished basement (which we don't use). So, we use about 3,000 sq feet (plus heated garage, which has a lot of storage in it). I can't imagine less, though most families I know are definitely living in a LOT less space than us.
    Holy Moses, that sounds positively palatial to me!

    We are a family of 5 living in about 1350 sq ft. I would love to double our square footage, but I think even 2000 sq ft would feel adequate to me.
    Green Tea, mom to three

  9. #29
    AnnieW625's Avatar
    AnnieW625 is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    I grew up in a 3 bed., 2 bath 1400 sq. ft. house with three kids. Granted us kids weren't all 18 mos. apart so that could've had something to do with it. I am 3 yrs. older than my brother, and then I am 10 yrs. older than my sister. My sister and I shared a room for 9 yrs. and while it was tough it made college roommate living soo much easier. We didn't have a playroom either and survived. Most people we knew our age (with 2 or 3 kids) in our area had homes in the 1400 to 2200 (max, and that was rare) sq. ft. range. All of the retirees in our area had the giant >2000 sq. ft. homes.

    If I had to make a choice now and had three kids I'd most likely say that the best sq. footage would be right around 2000 sq. ft (basically adding another bedroom or office space, a separate dining room, and second bathroom). and we'd still like to have a bit of a yard. Things are just way different in California. We live in an 1100 sq. ft. home and most likely in the 50s when it was built there were 2 or 3 kids raised in the home with only bathroom so I know it can be done. If we decide to stay in the area I want to add on an additional living area and bathroom, which would make the house a tad more livable, but when we bought it was either this sq. footage or more toward 1400 to 1500 sq. ft. for a condo, but a small patio and no real yard. We wanted the yard.
    Last edited by AnnieW625; 05-28-2010 at 02:04 PM.
    WOHM to two wonderful little girls born in April
    DD E, 11
    (passes the 5 step test in 06 Honda Pilot in 2nd & 3rd row, and 2017 Subaru Outback)
    DD L, 7
    (Frontier 90, & Peg Perego Viaggio HBB 120)
    baby 2, 4-2009 (our Tri-18 baby)

  10. #30
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    This thread reminds me of why I don't mind that I "only" have a 1900 sq ft house...I have to be more thoughtful about purchases because I only have some storage. It's been good as I am on a less is more kick. If I had a bigger house I would likely just fill it with more stuff (and probably stuff I don't really need anyway). I am officially out of space for holiday decorations and that is a good thing, for example.

    Our old 2 bedroom apartment was 1200 sq ft and man, oh man, the layout was fabulous that it felt so much bigger. Though, I admit that we had a storage locker in the basement.


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