The most sims ever on one lot: 24. It was a 6x6 lot with tiny buildings and a dining hall, intended to simulate a very small village. Lotta fun but I had to split the village, move half of them to another 6x6 across the road. Then both lots grew back to 20+ each.
Once, I put the sim bin Capps back into the Capp mansion. 13 Capps but that house doesn't play very well to begin with, especially when the ghosts started coming out. Adding 9 more sims to all that was just a mess. And to cap it off, Miranda, Kent, and Goneril died from a fireplace that went out of control. Alarm went off, but the firefighter just couldn't get through the crush of panicked Capps.
These days, I mostly play 1 - 4 sims in a household, lot size 2x2 or smaller. Occasionally, I'll mix in a larger family for variety and a challenge, like two poor Family sims on a 1x1 lot who can only just afford to build a second floor and buy all those bunk beds.
Well I've never changed the Maxis limit, so 8 is still my limit for the number of controllable playable Sims living on a residential lot. I've occasionally had 11 or 12 controllable Sims when playing a Simlogical school. That was on my old netbook, and was probably getting close to its limit. I twice had to move the family out, clean up the school, and move the head teacher's family back in.
On the whole though I like to play a wide variety of household types and sizes. I play single Sims living alone, Sims living in communes, gay couples, polyamorous groups of Sims, friends sharing a house, Sims living with relatives, . . . and just occasionally a conventional "nuclear" family with mum, dad, and two kids.
I make liberal use of the Pause button, and of course I make more use of it when playing large households than small ones. I have no hang-ups though about playing single person households. Playing small households gives me more opportunity to get to know individual Sims better. And living alone doesn't necessarily mean that they're lonely. My Sims tend to have lots of friends, and they frequently invite them round. Living alone doesn't even mean sleeping alone; especially not if you're a Romance Sim (as many of my Sims are). One of my female Romance Sims, Veri Short, living in the Via Veronaville, currently has two male friends (also in the modelling line) staying the night with her. She put each of her male model friends in a separate double bedroom, and then swapped beds half way through the night!
[EDIT] Is her life boring? She doesn't think so, and neither do I!
All Sims are beautiful -- even the ugly ones. My Simblr ~~ My LJ
Sims' lives matter!
The Veronaville kids are alright.
I love how my household sizes can become more varied as my town grows and Pleasantview is likely starting with a few colonial coules at first since I'm starting with playing it from it's founding and watching it grow over the 420 years of it's history from it's time under the name of Pleasant Valley until the early 1930's when it was renamed Pleasantview after the first world war.I get more houseold sizes to work with over time as my towns grow into a real lively town from a single couple starting to settle in a location and staking a homestead claim as homesteader's or pioneer settlers like in Dodge.