Living In A Small Space

I live in what many of my friends consider to be a fairly small home – 1,000 square feet.

Unlike my friend’s large houses, my small 2-story townhouse limits the amount of items that I can buy and store. I like this restriction – it keeps me from buying and owning too much. After living here for a few years, I find my home to be just the right size, and that I have room for everything I need, plus a little extra.

I was very interested in an article I saw featured on the Internet yesterday, about a woman who is living in a 90-sq foot apartment in New York City!

The apartment is cleverly furnished despite its tiny, closet-like floor plan. There is a raised loft bed and vertical storage. Check out the short video included with the article, to get a tour of this fascinating apartment.

However, I couldn’t help thinking that it looked very cluttered. I know this is a little unfair considering the amount of space she has to work with, but it looked like she had a normal amount of clothing stacked in bins and on shelves all over the place.

As a minimalist, I found myself evaluating the space and deciding how much could be removed. In addition to the clothing, she also had a TV AND a computer – I would probably just get a laptop computer instead and download TV shows on Hulu to save space. She also had a lot of books – I think I would visit the library more, keep maybe 10 special books and then  stick with a Kindle. Maybe also an iPad that just stayed up in the loft bed area as a combo book/computer too (there were shelves up there).  Maybe also a tiny futon instead of the desk -not sure if that was built in.

I was also thinking that “decorating” the room would make a big difference.  There isn’t much room for decor, but maybe a fresh paint color on the walls and some subtle stencils painted along the top of the walls.   Or at least using fabric covered boxes, or some sort of cover to hide the storage space.  The clutter just makes it look like the storage closet it probably actually was before it became an apartment! Check out this article about a super cute tiny Victorian house, as an example of what decor can do for a small space (125 sq feet).  Here’s another  great examples of minimalist decor in a small space at MissMinimalist.com.  And another great example at her site.

I am slightly claustrophobic, but I think with less things cluttering the space, I could actually live in this NYC apartment! Not for a long time – but she said that her rent is only about $700/month. In NYC, that’s an amazing deal! Especially since she was near Central Park, the subway, museums, etc.   For that kind of great location and to avoid a horrible daily commute, I think I could handle such a small space and just live with a lot less possessions. I wonder if apartments like this are at all common in New York, since the city is so expensive and apartments are scarce? If I ever end up there, I will definitely check out this option!

So what do you think?  Could you ever downsize to this degree?

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8 Responses to Living In A Small Space

  1. Heather says:

    Just found your blog. Lovely!!! My DS and I live in a 655 square foot apartment and I love it. I agree with you…the women in the 90 sf. needs to declutter or something. But if she is happy!!!! I have enjoyed the whole journey to becoming a minimalist and now, finally just living. I don’t have to think about cleaning, maitenance, organizing for organizational sake and the what nots. Everything is in it’s place with space around it. When I was apartment hunting, I found the way the space to be laid out the most important and also, type of storage for your needs. Can’t wait to read the rest of your blog. I am a preppy minimalist too!!!! : )

  2. Ellen W. says:

    I had about the same thoughts as you when I saw the video. It´s a really cute apartment, and with a few little changes like decoration (a mirror, maybe, oversized painting on the wall?), and different storage solutions I could definitely live like that. (If I didn´t have any children, that is…)
    I´m at 400 ft atm, about to downsize even further, you´re welcome to stop by and have a look (but be warned; I blog in Norwegian…^^).

    Btw, I also just read your post on the preppy minimalist wardrobe, and realised that you´re right – the preppy look never really goes out of style. Done right, it look very classy, and is doable on a tight budget too.

    Keep up the good work!
    Ellen, fellow minimalist blogger from Norway

  3. Very absorbing blog. You constantly write a entertaining blog. Thanks!

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