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How to Live in Small Apartments

What Living in a 90-Square-Foot Apartment in New York Is Like

In a YouTube video that has gone viral, professional organizer Felice Cohen displays plenty of savvy when she shows viewers how she makes a 90-square-foot apartment fit her lifestyle. For one, it already fits her budget as she's paying $700 to live alone in an apartment in New York, a city with one of the highest real estate prices in the country. Another appealing aspect of the small space is that the location is prime — Felice resides a block away from Central Park and two blocks from the subway (If the allure of the apartment's prime locale makes you want to pack up and move ASAP to a smaller home, be sure to check out these savvy moving tips!).

Although Felice initially rented the apartment with the aim of only staying for a year, she's been living there for "three years and counting." In the video she admits that some compromises had to be made, but ultimately it works out. She doesn't have to stress about rent, and when she travels, she doesn't feel like she's leaving behind a huge space that needs to be taken care of. A big influence on her frugal living is having a bankruptcy lawyer as a father. She says she "learned early on that you don't acquire what you can't afford." Watch the video below to see how she manages to make a small space work for her.

To learn some tips from Felice, read on.

  • Mini Kitchen: Although she doesn't have a kitchen, she has a few key appliances that do the job — a tiny fridge, a toaster oven that she stores food in, and a hot pot that boils items like eggs. The drawback to having a small fridge is that she has to shop for groceries more often because it can't hold that much food. However, that also means she's more conscious about buying necessities and there is less chance of grocery items going to waste.
  • Sliding Doors: She replaced the sliding door to her closet with curtains, which makes it easier to open. This is a pretty nifty trick if you want easier access to your closet.
  • Shrinking Your Closet: Felice always goes through her closet to see what clothes to get rid of, since people "don't even wear half of what we own." It's good to make this a part of your routine so your clothes aren't adding clutter to your space.
  • Organizing Storage Space: With small spaces, Felice says you "have to go up." This means that you'll have to make use of the height of your room and store items in tall storage spaces. If you look at the video, the organizers she has in her room, like wire cabinets, almost touch the ceiling. It's a good idea to measure your space thoroughly and pick a cupboard or cabinet that will maximize that space.
  • Rent a Work Space: If you're feeling confined by your desk and need a larger space to work in, you can choose to rent desks or cubicle office spaces. If you're renting a space that specializes in serving people in the same profession, it's a great opportunity to mingle and network with your industry peers. For example, Felice rents a desk space at Paragraph, a writer's studio in New York, which suits her perfectly as she also works as a writer.

Felice seems to be living large in a small space, and if you're inspired by her example, be sure check out these ideas to update your life on the cheap. Do you think you'd be able to live like her?

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emacanista emacanista 6 years
I have a 374 sf 1BR/1BA in downtown Denver, having downsized from a 1250 sf townhome almost 3 years ago. I bike to and from work, have great views of the skyline and every amenity is within blocks of my front door. I think her apartment looks great, though I wouldn't want to do without a real kitchen.
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