Finding Abundance in 1500 Square Feet

If I were to describe our home, I would say we are on the smaller end of average. At fifteen hundred square feet, it is certainly no McManison, but it also a long ways from tiny. Many would describe it as a “starter home”–good for now, but with an expectation that we’ll move on to bigger and better in the future.

When we were looking for a house, we were hoping to find one around 1000 sqft. Our past houses had shown us that 1000 sqft was plenty and once you went past that point, it was no longer worth the money, time, and stress it took to maintain.

The first time we saw our current home, we said it would be perfect without the addition and walked away, hoping to find something smaller that fit our needs. A month later when we hadn’t found anything else and were nearing the end of our lease, we revisited it. Ultimately, it was the location that sold us. We were willing to make a lot of compromises on the house itself if was in the right place. Looking back, I still feel like we made a good decision given our time constraints and what was available at the time.

In our culture it would be easy for us to view our house as a stepping stone to something bigger, something nicer. For us, the next step we’d like to take is to something smaller, something simpler.

I was hesitant to participate in this round of the link up. I didn’t have a story as to how we ended up living in a small family home, because right now we are not living in a small family home. But life doesn’t always take us on a straight path to our destination. In Austin, we went from 1300 sqft to 1000 sqft, then finally to a temporary 500 sqft apartment. Now, we may be back to living in more space, but it doesn’t mean we are back on the treadmill wanting more and more.

This is not our forever home, but it is our “fits our life right now” home. We have great neighbors, are adjacent to a beautiful park, and can walk and bike everywhere we need to go. I credit the time we spent living in smaller spaces with allowing me to see abundance when our culture continually tries to insist that we don’t have enough.

This post was written for inclusion in the July collection of the Small Family Homes Blog Community. Read below for more writings on living small from our community of writers. Check back next month for a new topic and posts in the series and follow our community board on Pinterest for the latest small homes and family minimalism pins!


Minimalist Meg– “Our Story Behind Small and Simple Living” : Sometimes living simply and living small doesn’t happen because of a grand event. Sometimes it just happens and it’s not until after that you decide to keep it that way.

Little Bungalow– “Accidental then Intentional” : A visual tour of all the small homes we didn’t buy before we bought our most recent smallish home in beautiful Victoria, BC.

Fourth and West– “The Home That Chose Us” : Realizing the home we had was actually perfect all along.

Tiny Ass Camper– “Casita Life” : How and why we chose a 17′ Casita Spirit Standard as our home on wheels.

600 Sq Ft and a Baby– “How We Ended Up Living Small” : Looking back on why living small stuck for us.

Fancy Pigeon– “Why We Live Small” : A vlog on why and how our family has consistently downsized over the years.

The Streamlined Life– “Why I Fell in Love with Small House Living” : Sometimes our earliest memories have the strongest impact.

This Lovely Day– “Tiny Transitions” : Follow along with Kate Shaw, a retiring Air Force pilot, as she transitions her family of five from living in a 3200 ft.² century home to a 900 ft.² downtown high rise condo in the city.

The Justice Pirate– “Minimalism: My First Tiny House” : Once upon a time, a little girl dreamed of having her own tiny house and her dream came true…temporarily.


  1. Jenn | 12th Jul 17

    I am so glad you participated! Even though your house might not be considered tiny or small by some – i bet it would still be considered small by many people in American society -especially with kids. And everyone’s story is unique and can provide encouragement and insight to others in their own way. That’s why it it is so awesome to be part of this community. I hope you keep writing with us!

    • Sarah Kopper | 12th Jul 17

      Thanks so much, Jenn! I so love this community and the mindset behind it. And I am dreaming of ways to get back to Montana soon. I love seeing the pictures of your adventure!

  2. Victoria the Justice Pirate | 12th Jul 17

    Excellent. I love learning more and more as I read your posts! It is hard to find the right house for you. I am searching for small homes now to get an idea so we can finally own a house! There aren’t a lot here in NJ!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah Kopper | 12th Jul 17

      Good luck in your search! It is such a challenge to find a house that checks all the right boxes.

  3. Kaylan | 12th Jul 17

    “…allowing me to see abundance when our culture continually tries to insist that we don’t have enough.” Love this! And it’s so true. The fast that we have a home, any home, makes us some of the richest people in the world. Realizing the abundance we do have is so important.

    • Sarah Kopper | 12th Jul 17

      Yes! We have so, so much and it is crucial not to lose that perspective in the midst of all the noise from our consumerist culture.

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