3 Lessons I Learned from Living in a Little Apartment (That You Can Apply to Your Big Home, Too)

3 Lessons I Learned from Living in a Little Apartment (That You Can Apply to Your Big Home, Too)

Nancy Mitchell
Jul 25, 2016

For a long time it was my dream to live in a really little apartment. I know this sounds bizarre, but keep in mind that I work for a website that celebrates small space living. Living in a tiny place, and dealing with the attendant challenges, seemed really exciting to me. I'm pleased to report that my dream has come true: my new apartment is all of 250 square feet (give or take a little), and I love it just as much as I thought I would. I'm also learning a lot. Moving into a small apartment hasn't just changed where I live: it's changed the way I think about the place where I live.

I've realized I can get by with far less than I think I need.

Moving from an almost 1,000 square foot, two-bedroom house to a 250 square foot studio apartment meant getting rid of a whole lot of stuff. And at the time, it was really, really hard to get rid of. But you know what? I don't miss any of it. There were a lot of things I thought I needed — supplies for projects I was never going to finish, books I was never going to read, 12 champagne flutes from that one party I had that one time that I felt sure I was going to use again — that I didn't actually need at all.

I'm more responsible to my stuff.

Because of the aforementioned purge, I have a lot less stuff than I used to. But having less stuff (and being able to see almost all my stuff from any point in my apartment) means I take much better care of the stuff I do have. Everything I own is that much more precious to me — which means I'm that much less likely to forget to clean it or leave it lying around.

The city is my living room.

As much as I love my apartment, it is still only one room. (Unless you count the bathroom, and even if you love taking baths as much as I do, you can only spend so much time in the bathroom.) If you're looking for a change of pace, there aren't really a lot of choices. So I find myself spending more time out and about, enjoying the city, which makes me feel less like someone who lives in a tiny box and more like part of a wonderful, intricate organism composed of millions of fascinating little bits. Not matter the size of your house, you may find that getting out and enjoying your city makes you love your home all that much more when you return.

Re-edited from a post originally published 8.5.15-nt

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