In my 20s, I decided to pursue one of my dreams of living in the Big Apple. At 26, I packed up my bags and moved from Los Angeles to New York. Growing up, I had visited Manhattan several times and had wholeheartedly fallen in love with the energy, colors, style, and vibe. I always imagined that I would live there one day. What I didn't exactly imagine were the extreme micro-dwelling scenarios.
While I hadn't been living large in Los Angeles, I quickly discovered during my New York apartment search that being able to touch both sides of the apartment at the same time was something I would have to get used to. With my fresh small-space attitude in place, I found a gem of a tiny rental studio in the exciting SoHo neighborhood. With an exposed brick wall, a mirrored closet, and two windows facing a courtyard and another building, my second-floor, 300-square-foot pad was just the right size at the time. Years later, I now live in a two-story home with a side yard. While still not super big, it's definitely not micro. I have to admit, I sometimes miss living small. Here's why:
1. Having to Be Thoughtful About Editing
Purely by space limitations, you have to be thoughtful and mindful about what furniture and decor you have in your small space. Want a new chair but only have room for one? Then out goes the current chair to be replaced with the new style. This also helps to potentially stop those impulse buys we all know (and sometimes regret) so well. I sometimes miss that focus I had to have when decorating my home and choosing items that truly represent my style — both in form and function.
2. Taking Your Time
You can literally take your time and do what ever you want with it because you aren't home cleaning up all the spaces in your space. Micro-apartments are quick and easy to clean and manage because of the small footprint. So instead of staying home on your Saturday to vacuum four rooms and wash down two full-bathrooms, you are out and about and enjoying your day with friends and family.
3. Creativity to the Max
Due to the small footprint of my studio, I had to actively be creative when it came to entertaining, exercising, hosting guests, or even space planning. Could I host a dinner party of six people with no actual table to eat at? With a flea-market boho blanket acting as a faux table and extra throw pillows I had on my bed for seating, sure! Although I have an actual dining room now, I still use a lot of the fun ideas and small space planning skills that I had picked up then to create fun moments in my home.
When I think back about my small-space experience, it's always with fondness and love. It does take a special amount of energy and attention to live small, be present in the functionality of your small home, and to just be comfortable day-to-day. Although I don't miss having to move my one accent chair over to access my mirrored closet, I do miss all the sweet times in my supersmall space that I had solo or with friends.