I also find this interesting as I went from a 3600 sq ft house to a 1200 sq ft condo and am always interested in how people live in small spaces as their ability to organize fascinates me. The greatest benefit to downsizing is life is just so much more simple in every way! I'm loving it!
I now live in a 900 sf home with attached garage and shed. Two years ago I rented a 550 sf condo for three months in FL and had plenty of room since I had no yard to take care of nor did I have to store the equip. and supplies for upkeep on the place. That's where most of my extra space is allotted to -- upkeep tools, supplies and equipment. I would love to live in a 500 sf cabin in the middle of a pine grove with nothing but pine needles for a yard!
I like the 'place for everything' mentality! And you are so right MLV, we store what we need to take care of the larger house!
DH takes up a lot of space with his raised bed materials, but when that is done (his projects of putting them where he wants them all) then we will have LESS stuff around us.
I find collecting parts for projects like the raised beds, our kitchen remodel, fabric, dishes, etc. all for events, holidays, and changing out a look... that ALL needs room to store!!!
Sunny, That camp is nice, since I live in Florida now I am way too aware of BUGS and snakes so I would not be comfortable that close to woods and water with only netting to protect me. I am recovering (with strong antibiotics) from some Red Ant bites that didn't go well. So, I am more of a realist when it comes to the 'great outdoors'!