Survival Survey: Could you be happy living in 400 square feet?

photo by joisyshowaa

photo by joisyshowaa

I’ve lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment, and I’ve lived in a 3,000 square foot home.  I’ve been happy and content in both.  Would I feel the same living in a 400 square foot cabin?  I’m honestly not sure. 

Check out the photos of this tiny cabin, Simple Solar Homesteading, and tell me if you think you and your family could live in it happily.  Be sure to check out all the photos, both inside and outside the cabin.

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

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  1. says

    I would want a little more room then that because I would want more supplies.

    I lived for 18 years in apartments and didn't have any trouble. Most of them were only 700 square feet or so.

    • says

      With two growing kids, it wouldn't be easy. With our home renovation over the summer, we actually DID live in about that much room. On one hand, it was nice not having a big house to clean, but on the other, space is a good thing. LOL I noticed two motorcycles parked in front of this little cabin, so apparently two adults are living there. When the weather is nice and lots of time can be spent outside, the inner dimensions might not seem tight, but during the winter…. well, I'd like to ask that couple how they get through days and weeks cooped up inside.


  2. Melonie K says

    I've lived in a fairly wide range of homes as well and I don't think my husband and I would have too many issues in that cabin (I actually bought LaMar's ebook with the plans – it's quite handy).

    Since I have an 8 year old and a 2 year old, I think doubling the cabin (as suggested in his plans for it) would probably be handy, especially with the thought of winter rolling in for areas that don't have mild weather like we have here in southern Japan. And as Bob S. noted, for storage.

    But when I really think about it, my kids and I spend most of our days homeschooling, playing, etc in our downstairs area – living/dining room and then the kitchen behind it. Throw some beds in here and we'd probably be fine. It's decorated in "early childhood learning" anyway plus has most of the preps I store up as well.

  3. says

    Currently I am living in a 10'x60' trailer with 3 adults and 4 kids (16, 13, 11, 6). I am about to go out of my mind! It's that extra person. Been doing this for 7 months.

    Before that for a year I lived in a one bedroom apartment, 722 sq. feet, 2 adults, same 4 kids, a dog and a cat. The only thing that saved us was the fact that it was actually a 1444 sq. feet building so we had some space to store extras (not heated though). Because this building sat on a lot only 2047 sq. feet surrounded by roads — kids inside ALL the time!

    And we also lived in a 20'x22' house about 4 years ago. It had a nice big basement and yard – makes a big difference!

    When you live in such a small space things seem to go better when everyone is doing things together. Personally I would RATHER have a smaller house – although there are merits for a large house!

  4. says

    I think I could do it… but only because it's just me and a relatively small dog. I don't think I could do it with a family. It would take some serious organization to live in a place that small and keep it tidy. But I'd love to try!

    • says

      Hi Sneaux! I know for sure that 400 square wouldn't work with the four of us. I actually wrote an article back in June or July about living in a bunker because, at the time, we were remodeling our home and the kids and I were stuck in about 500 square feet for weeks. It wasn't so bad. There was very little housekeeping to be done. That was a big plus!


  5. says

    No. Not gonna happen. No way. No shape. No how. Never. Nope. Not even a slim chance.

    Why so certain? We spent years in a sub-1200 sf house, two of them with three adults (us plus mother in law), two indoor only cats, and a preschooler. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a half bath that house the cat box and was unused. If you discount the space MIL used, we had the three of us in 800 sf or so. We've done our time in tiny. We're now enjoying HUGELY having enough space to actually have a collection of books, keep all our dvds, and let the boys have out Lego AND Hot Wheels at the same time!!!! And they don't even need to have the Lego be a track for the cars to have them out simultaneously. (Sometimes, they even get THREE toys at once, just because there's enough space, although I usually regret that choice when it's time for clean up.)

    And in the small space, the kids couldn't help with a lot of clean up because everything had to go back exactly, precisely, where it belonged. If the stacking toy and the blocks were switched, it wouldn't all fit back in. Now, they can do all the clean up in their playroom themselves. They can even switch toys with ones "in storage" because the storage is in our basement, not a storage facility in the next town over.

    • says

      I feel for ya, Liz! Last year when we were renovating our house, the kids and I would be stuck for weeks at a time in just the kitchen and family room, and for a while, just the master bedroom! It was crazy. We spent a lot of time at the library, like every day! LOL There's a lot to be said for a house big enough for some get-away-from-everyone space when you need it.

  6. rev long says

    have done it 2 times in a hotel room each time 3 months each..granted we had the house amentities in a couple storage sheds but we did have 2 small dogs 3 cats 1 mother in law 1 wife 1 toddler with was done with a microwave and a small coffee son and i did alot of walking just to get out of the room for a while*G*

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