Call me crazy, but I’ve always imagined how much fun it would be to live in a tiny flat. Small, although not in the sense of a prison cell, but by American standards. I got my desire when I relocated to New York City: a fantastic small studio apartment with an incredible downtown Manhattan location and exactly zero closets. It’s been awesome, if not always easy, and I’ve learned a lot. We shape our homes, but they also form us, and living in a confined area amplifies the effects. Here are a few hard-won lessons and other pleasant discoveries I’ve made along the journey.
It’s OK to get rid of things.
I am terrible at getting rid of things because I am the sentimental daughter of a mother who saved everything. Even getting rid of boxes is difficult for me. This is a significant difficulty when your entire flat is 250 square feet and has no closets. It’s been challenging at times, but I’ve had to learn to be picky with my possessions, and I’ve discovered that it’s not that bad. It’s oddly liberating. That book on your nightstand that you’ve been meaning to read for a long time but haven’t gotten around to it? When you drop it off at Goodwill, you might experience a tiny twinge of sadness. Still, your apartment and life will be grateful—and you’ll have more place for books you’ll finish.
Putting things away may be an enriching experience.
Going through the door, gradually shedding coat, bag, and shoes while walking into the living room was my coming-home routine when I lived in a much larger house. And it was OK because I had plenty of space on the floor and an extra couch that I mostly used to store my purse. But now, since my flat is so tiny, if I did this, I’d have stuff strewn to the bed and no floor space left. As a result, I’ve formed a regimen. I pause inside the door, like Mr Rogers, and remove my shoes, coat, and hat, carefully placing them in their respective positions. It may appear fussy, but it’s turned into a lovely little ritual that I treasure. Keeping things tidy can be a strange, tiny pleasure in and of itself.
The nicest gatherings are the cosy ones.
I never imagined I’d be able to have a dinner party in my tiny apartment. When I did, I was surprised when I invited ten people and only had seats for eight. But, guess what? Ten people in my tiny flat felt like a proper rollicking party—the kind with shoulder-rubbing exuberant pandemonium that would demand a lot more people in a lot more space.
You may require far less room than you believe.
I occasionally find myself slumped over my couch at the end of the day, surveying my (tiny) realm. Looking around, I’m satisfied, and I believe my home is the perfect fit for me. It’s not cramped at all; in fact, it’s the ideal size for me, a small personal-sized apartment. Do I ever wish I had more closets (or even any closets?)? Sure. Do I fantasise about having additional storage capacity from time to time? Absolutely. But, for the time being, this small flat is just what I require at this point in my life.
Mitchell, N. (2019, May 3). 4 things my tiny apartment taught me. Apartment Therapy. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/small-space-apartment-lessons-256626.