Choosing to Live Small {Guest Post by Rachel Boreing}

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Hi everyone! I’m super excited to welcome Rachel Boreing to Smallish to share a glimpse of her family’s story. Rachel blogs about intentionally living small with her family over at Intentionally Simple. Be sure to pop over to her site and say hello after enjoying the post below. 🙂


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When we bought our modest 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath brick ranch, we were a family of 3.

We paid thousands less than the initial house budget we had set and tens of thousands less than the mortgage amount we qualified for. 1,300 square feet was more than enough space for our family and we loved the large fenced in back yard.

Around the same time we purchased this home, we also started living minimally. We purged our already simplified home of excess, changed our shopping habits and minimized our wardrobes. We started realizing the benefits of living in a smaller space and living with less.

Choosing to Live Small 2_watermark

Keeping our small home tidy was easy, the heating and cooling bills were low and our mortgage left us with room to breathe each month.

In the four years we’ve lived here, we’ve added 2 more children. Now we’re a family of 5 living in this small home.

When we were expecting our third baby, we frequently were asked if we were going to move into a larger home. With each baby added, we’ve realized how little babies really need. We’ve also learned that kids really don’t need to own a lot of toys – in fact, the fewer toys that are accessible, the better they seem to play. And, having a large back yard means our children rarely are inside playing with their toys during the warmer months.

Intentionally living small means our finances are not super tight.

Having a low monthly mortgage allows us to pay extra towards our principal each month with the hopes of knocking years off of our mortgage payment. We choose to ‘live simply so we can give generously’ and living simply in a smaller home really does allow us to give generously. We also are able to spend more on healthy food, eating out and experiences.

We choose to ‘live simply so we can give generously’ and living simply in a smaller home really does allow us to give generously.

We have to continually be intentional about our possessions as a family of 5 living in a small home. We evaluate purchases not only based on whether we can afford the item but also based on if we have space for it and if it is a necessity. We choose to live minimally, but our home also forces us to live minimally since we don’t want to be overrun with stuff.

We’re content choosing to live small. But, we really think we’re living large.


Rachel is a wife and mama of three. She is passionate about minimal, intentional and unhurried living. You can find her writing about her simple life at Intentionally Simple. 

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  Does your story parallel Rachel’s at all? Comment below and tell us how!  🙂 Then pop over to Intentionally Simple and have some fun browsing.

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  • beverly liston
    July 2, 2015

    Nice, well written and convincing, overview.

    • Evelyn
      July 5, 2015

      🙂 Rachel is a great writer, isn’t she, Grandma? Thanks for commenting!

  • Cheryl Smith
    July 2, 2015

    YES! The closer we are drawn to Jesus, the more we are being led to a more minimalistic, simple life. He was SO focused on the eternal…His sole purpose in being here was to fulfill His Father’s will each and every day. This is what we are feeling called to, also. I loved reading your post, Rachel, and am coming over to visit your blog now. 🙂 God bless you and your family! And, God bless you and your family, too, Evelyn! Thanks for hosting this post. 🙂

  • Rachel @ Intentionally Simple
    July 2, 2015

    Thank you for your sweet comment! And, we also feel living simply is a big part of following Christ.

  • Laura
    July 3, 2015

    Very well written article. I’m on the other end of life with my children living away from home. My house was packed with kids and critters and stuff for so many years. Now I have empty rooms and tons of memories. I love reading the ‘living with less’ articles. It is a lifestyle that I’m working towards every day. Love the ideas and enthusiasm presented in your blog. Take care and ENJOY those little blessings!!


    • Evelyn
      July 3, 2015

      Hi Laura, Thank you so much for your kind words. It sure is hard to imagine a quiet house in this little-years stage of life! 😉

  • Kariane
    July 3, 2015

    Thanks for posting this. I found your post inspiring and encouraging. It’s nice to read about other people who are on a similar journey, to live more by having less. We also live in a small house, and are working on simplifying to make staying in this house work for us (and for so many other reasons!). I’ve been writing about our adventures every week here:

  • Linda Sand
    July 3, 2015

    I think the 3-bedroom, 1 !/2-bath rambler is the perfect house. Friends raised six kids in theirs and are now empty-nesters in that same house. Her sewing has taken over one bedroom and his model railroad has taken over much of the basement and they still have a guest room for visiting grandkids. I wish we’d been smart enough to buy one of those and stay in it. They adapt so well to any size family. My aunt & uncle gave their three girls two of the bedrooms and built a bunk room in the basement for their three boys plus one who lived with them awhile.

  • Denise
    July 18, 2015

    I am starting on the minimalist and intentional living path. What I am struggling to do is to leave my 2000sq foot house (I live alone) and to take the plunge to live smaller. I am de cluttering and making more intentional choices with my life (I found it easier to take a demotion, a 50% cut in salary and get to work four happy days than five hateful ones than to face the living small choice — yet I am drawn to it and know it’s the right thing.). How have other people made this choice and acted upon it? I don’t have any religious faith so, while I find it uplifting that other’s who do find their strength and purpose in that faith, it isn’t a driving force for me. Everyone’s views, if you’re willing to share, would be greatly valued.


    • Evelyn
      July 18, 2015

      Hi Denise,
      Thank you for commenting and what a great question!! I think I’ll pose it as a forum question a little later so we can get everyone to weigh in… I think that you’re not alone in feeling like it’s a difficult decision to downsize and live smaller. It’s a big jump! We were funneled into it a bit and simply realized the freedom we felt. Besides that, although we do have religious beliefs that encourage the lifestyle, it just fits us. It’s easier financially, better for our family and we feel like better stewards of what we own. Hope to see you around in the comments–we can walk this path together. 🙂

  • Relyn
    July 18, 2015

    Oh, yes. My story is much like Rachel’s. We live in a small house and have been asked often if we plan to “trade up”. We only have the three of us, but we find that this house is more than big enough. We, too, are working hard to pay off our home and should have that accomplished within two years. After that, we have to attack the school loans – UGH. ;^)

    • Evelyn
      July 18, 2015

      Hey Relyn, thanks so much for sharing. 🙂 You sound like your priorities are in the right place!

  • Nate M.
    July 20, 2015

    Great post. Money and possessions are not everything. The little stuff goes a long way in our world too. I enjoy living below my means so my family and I are more comfortable. I don’t want to penny pinch all the time.

  • Pearson Ferrier
    October 27, 2015

    Great post!
    So many people live in houses which are too big for them, whether they like it or not. Down-sizing has a lot more benefits than most people think.
    I love small houses, they just seem so cosy!

    • Evelyn
      October 28, 2015

      Thanks, Pearson! We agree. 🙂

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