How A Large Family Lives In A Small House


We have lived in this 1000sqft rental home since May 2011 and we expect to be here for a few more years. We are now a family of 9.

Our home is in nice condition for having been built in 2000 and having had multiple tenants since then. We have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

We have a nice, fenced backyard. We feel very blessed with our housing situation and live here very comfortably. I am sharing a few tidbits about how we make our small home work for our large family because I know some of you are curious!

First of all, it is important to keep stuff to a minimum when living in a small home with a large family. As long as I can stay on top of the clutter and continuously work on organizing every square inch, our house feels very comfortable. It is almost a never ending job, though.

Thankfully, I really enjoy organizing and decluttering! I love reading blogs that include tips on organization for large families, simplifying (life in general, as well as the home), and decluttering.

How A Large Family Lives In A Small House

House Plan:
Our living area is quite large. We spend most of our time in the living room, which has my desk for paying bills, our piano, our furniture set, our computer armoire, a bookshelf, and a storage chest used as an end table. Most of our homeschool stuff is kept in our master bedroom, which is the next largest room in the house.

large family living area and work at home mom station

The rest of the house is quite small. We jokingly call our kitchen a “two-butt” kitchen, because it is difficult to fit more than two people in it at a time.

Our kitchen and dining are connected as one. They are both long and narrow. Combined, they are about 160sqft (8 x 20).

Our kitchen table is meant to comfortably seat 4, but we have 7 gathered around it for meals. A cheap bench from Amazon placed between the table and wall can fit 2-3 kids, leaving 4 chairs plus a highchair. We make it work.

A look at a small kitchen & dining area for a large family
Sleeping Conditions:
We have young children; 4 boys and 3 girls. We have bunk beds in each of the kids’ rooms; single over double. The boys’ room also has the crib in it.
Our youngest boy (1-year-old) still sleeps in our bed, and our 2-year-old sleeps in the crib in the boys’ room, our 5-year-old boy gets the entire bottom double bed to himself for now, and our 10-year-old boy sleeps on the top bunk.
Our disabled daughter has a special medical bed, that is thankfully portable. We store it on the top bunk of the girls’ bed during the day and put it in the living room for her to sleep on at night so that we can easily assist her.
Our other two girls (3 & 6) sleep on the bottom double bed.
In addition to the closets in each bedroom, there is a nice-sized linen closet in the main bathroom that is used to store extra toiletries, board games, and light bulbs/batteries; a coat closet near the front door stores our vacuum; and an attached 2-car garage has our storage bins for clothing not currently in use, my husband’s tools, and also acts as our laundry room and storage room.

We also own several cabinets which we use for a pantry in the kitchen/dining, school supplies in the master bedroom, Abigail’s medical supplies in the garage, and extra blankets in the girls’ room.

We desire a simplified life without a lot of “stuff”. Living in this small house has helped us stay grounded and remember what is important: the people who live here.

9 thoughts on “How A Large Family Lives In A Small House

  1. I noticed that your kitchen is small but the space has a lot of storage. We have 3/sometimes 4 in our girls room 2 yrs. to 17 yrs. I have found that having teens makes it a lot harder to fit in a small space(although it is do-able). We feel cramped here! I always seem to be getting run over by a teen. We are in 1250 sq. feet plus a full unfinished basement, a garage and shop. My teens just seem to take up space, LOL. They get big… big feet, big words, big dreams, big things etc…:-D

    1. I agree on the teens making it harder to fit. I can’t wait until our house is done, tho not huge, I think we will fit nicely!

  2. LOVE this! My husband swears that we have no more room for anymore kids, I say let's go for it! People do this ALL the time, and I love when they share how they make it work:)

  3. Having just moved into a smaller house,(not that much smaller but it doesn't have a garage or hardly any storage at all) I shake my head at our much "stuff" we have! But I would agree with Missy, we have teens(and Marissa who is 22) and they take up so much room! When we had 4 little ones we rented a 800 sq ft house and did just fine. There was a tiny storage shed there but no garage and it didn't seem to be as full as this place. I always dream of down sizing even more and getting rid of more "stuff". I think this move has been one step closer 😉 I enjoyed this 🙂 🙂

  4. I enjoyed this. Our house is smallish (bigger than what you are posting about) and it is neat to see how you are making it work. I giggled a little at the first comment about teens and big feet. SO TRUE. I have especially noticed the size difference with our older kids when we are all wanting to use the kitchen at once. Sometimes I get a giggle when I'm in the bathroom getting ready for church or something and there are 4 other bodies in there as big as me. We make it work,

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