My cmnt: In Tokyo, Japan business men and office workers commute at the beginning of each work week into Tokyo to their places of employment. It is too expensive and time consuming to commute every day so they stay in the city for the entire work week (which can be six days and 12 hours a day) while their wives and kids live in another city or suburb outside of Tokyo. They live in what are called ‘rabbit hutches’ as they are really just a crawl space to sleep in. Updating the lingo they are now called ‘coffin’ apartments and are the permanent dwelling space of many young professionals who wish to live in the big city.
My cmnt: Katie, who owns Max, in the animated movie The Secret Lives of Pets is much like the girl in this article and also lives in lower Manhattan and apparently near Washington Square Park. But because cartoons make life nicer than it really is Katie lives in a very nice, big apartment with two dogs and the city is all shiny and pretty and colorful and it’s always early autuum with the leaves multi-colored and beautiful.
I live in a 72-square-foot apartment in New York City’s West Village for $1,345 a month.
My cmnt: The West Village is a neighborhood in the western section of the larger Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City. Wikipedia
My microstudio has no real kitchen or closet, and I sleep on a futon bed that serves as my couch.
I love being able to live on my own after college even though some basic tasks can be difficult.
I had dreamed of moving from my small town in Tennessee to New York City ever since I visited the Big Apple when I was 4 years old. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite grasp how expensive it is to live there until I was much older.
A lot of people live with roommates or move to boroughs other than Manhattan, like Brooklyn or Queens, to save money. But I wanted to be in the center of the action and live alone.
I found my solution on the internet: a micro-studio apartment. In NYC, these spaces are often between 50 and 100 square feet and make living alone somewhat affordable.
I found my 72-square-foot apartment in the West Village for $1,345 a month. It’s in my favorite part of the city, has a fire escape, and the perfect amount of space for a 21-year-old college graduate.
Here’s what a day of my life is like in this tiny space:
As soon as I wake up, I turn my bed back into my couch
I sleep on a futon bed, so when I wake up, I put my pillow and comforter under the frame and turn my bed back into a couch. This is annoying to do when I first wake up, but it certainly forces me to get out of bed.
I briefly considered putting a twin-size mattress in my lofted storage area instead, but I’m not positive it can support my weight and terrified to roll off in the night.
Then I work on using my space to make fresh coffee and breakfast
My tiny space does not mean I sacrifice my coffee.
I stand on top of my fridge to reach the coffee beans and get my electric water heater and bean grinder out from under my sink, since there’s no room for it on the counter.
My kitchen consists of a sink and my appliances. Via Hendrix for Insider
After I make my coffee, I put all the tools and ingredients away so I have room on the counter to make breakfast.
For breakfast, I usually cook eggs on my hot plate while I make toast in my toaster-oven-air-fryer combo.
After breakfast, I have to do all of my dishes immediately, or my sink won’t fit anything else.
Picking out my outfit can be challenging since my clothes are stored throughout the apartment
Picking out my outfit requires a few stops around my studio.
I keep my pajamas, underwear, bras, socks, bathing suits, and accessories in bins underneath my two-bar garment rack.
My clothes are color-coded, and all of my black and white clothes are on the rack facing the wall, so I have to dig a bit to see what’s back there.
I keep most of my clothes on a rack. Via Hendrix for Insider
Some of my shoes and purses are displayed on the wall, which gives me extra storage and turns them into decor.
When it comes to laundry, I pay to have it washed, dried, and folded, since I don’t have a washer or dryer.
My hamper is in the storage loft above my kitchen. When I need to put clothes in it, I either try throwing them in the hamper (and always miss) or climb on top of my counter so I can reach.
I keep my hamper in the storage loft above my kitchen area. Via Hendrix for Insider
Living in my studio is mostly me climbing onto surfaces that are probably not meant to be climbed on. Every small task is now a bit of a challenge to complete.
I do my skin-care routine in my bathroom, but I put on my makeup in the main area so I have more space
Like with everything else I do in this apartment, my skin-care routine takes longer than it would in a larger space. My bathroom sink is super small, and I have no counter space in there, so it can be a process to wash my face.
I do my makeup in my main living area and place my products on the kitchen counter while using the mirror by my front door.
I do my makeup routine in my main living area. Via Hendrix for Insider
I occasionally have to peek in my bathroom to see my look in better light, but for the most part, this works well.
During the day, I can easily walk to the park and enjoy the fresh air
After this, depending on what my schedule looks like, I am usually out and about for most of the day.
When the weather is nice, I love sitting in Washington Square Park, which is so close to my apartment that it feels like my backyard. I love living near so many amazing restaurants, too.
I love the views from my fire escape. Via Hendrix for Insider
My fire escape also has killer views of the West Village, so it’s nice to pop out there sometimes.
It’s challenging to make dinner and have guests over, but I make it work with a microwave and floor pillows
Preparing too many elements that have to be cooked in the same appliance can turn making dinner into a challenging and lengthy process.
On some nights, I have my two friends who live downstairs over, but we mostly go to their space, which is bigger. When I do host guests, about three people can comfortably fit on my couch, and I keep two floor pillows under the futon for people to sit on the floor.
If it starts to feel crowded in my apartment, we hit the park or the streets of NYC.
Otherwise, I will usually have a virtual movie night with my best friend from back home. I don’t have a TV, so I will play a movie on my computer and prop it up on the table beside my couch.
Taking a shower can be frustrating because the floor always gets wet
My entire bathroom is the shower, which is sometimes nice and sometimes the worst.
I usually end the day with a shower so my floor has time to dry overnight. If I shower in the morning, my bathroom floor is wet until midafternoon.
My shower is basically my entire bathroom. Via Hendrix for Insider
A perk, though, is that I can easily brush my teeth and do my skin-care routine in the shower at night. I can also use my mirror while brushing my hair in the shower.
When I play music in there, the entire room becomes an echo-y speaker, making for great shower concerts. I also have a little mat outside the bathroom so that no water gets in my apartment.
I expected to hate the shower-bathroom combo, but now I kind of love it.
The noise of the city can be annoying when I’m trying to go to sleep, so I play music or use earplugs
When it gets close to bedtime, I always plug in my air conditioner, as it is a great buffer for all the street noise. I also play some music. If the noise gets really bad, I use earplugs.
I finish my evening by taking melatonin to help me sleep, putting rain sounds on my speaker, and pulling my futon back into a bed.
Overall, I like my microstudio, and it’s come with a few perks
At the end of the day, this is by no means the perfect apartment. Someday, I would love to have a living room for parties, a full fridge, a closet, more counter space, and so much more.
But the small space has its perks. I’ve learned what items I value enough to be a part of my space and how crucial decor can be in making an apartment feel like a home.
Plus, this apartment has allowed me to live in the center of NYC, which was a priority for me. The city is always experienced outside anyway, so I don’t mind having my small and cozy place to return to.