WHEN most people picture their dream home it’s hard to go past the six bedroom McMansion with seven bathrooms, home cinema and an acre of bench space in the kitchen.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of wanting that bigger place, with the spare bedroom, bigger yard, study or airy dining area, an increasing number of people are waking up to the fact that instead of enjoying the extra space, having more room often means you just buy more stuff to fill it up.

And this clutter is not making people happier.

Founder of LifeEdited, Graham Hill explored this idea during a 2011 TED talk called Less stuff, more happiness.

Hill had a tiny 39sqm apartment in New York. To give you an idea of its size, the floorspace just exceeded the size of two disabled parking spots.

In Australia, his apartment is so small it would not meet the minimum 50sqm size requirement for a one bedroom flat in Sydney.

But in a video tour Hill demonstrates how his apartment had enough room to host 10 people at a sit down dinner, to use as a home office and could even be converted to sleep an extra two people in a separate “room”.

While not everyone has the resources to convert an apartment to this level of sophistication, many people have been inspired to try living in a smaller space. Not only that, they are choosing this lifestyle over living in a bigger house.
Sydney business owner Sarah O’Neill lives in an even smaller flat than Hill’s, her studio apartment is just 29sqm.

She made the decision to downsize about five years ago, prompted by the clearing of the family home and wanting to buy her first property.
Like many ‘downsizers’, she wanted to live a more sustainable and less stressful life.
“There is a very definite and growing trend toward living in smaller spaces,” O’Neill told, adding that this could be seen in the number of blogs, books and even a film, Tiny, that have emerged in recent years.

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