For as long as residential housing has been around, real estate agents have used words such as airy, spacious and LARGE to convince potential clients that their apartments are the best available. Many people nowadays however move into small spaces.
Micro-apartments are very popular in bigger cities across the country. Lots of cynics don’t understand why people want to live in such a small space, but there are some good psychological reasons to do so.
Jake Johnson, an environmental psychologist explains: “At the moment, two types of people go for living in miniscule homes. People who can’t afford to live in another place and would be forced to share with others, and people who have the dough, but love the small homes.”
As Seattle apartments skyrocketed in price, and a smaller space means a lower rent, the reasons of the first group is obvious.
Imagine what it would be like not to share your living space with anyone!
Johnson, explains that people who have the money to go BIGGER still have reasons why they choose to live in a small space.
“Some people want to live alone, without any distractions, and have the freedom to focus on their careers/education” he says. “Others love puzzles and when they live in a tiny home, it represents a fun puzzle when cooking really complex and time consuming meals. Yet another group are really worried about their environmental responsibility. These smaller homes provide a way for each group to satisfy their particular needs.”
If you like puzzles, living in a micro-apartment will surely peak your creativity.
The puzzle aspect definitely appeals to Helen Clarkson. When she bought a 220-square-foot apartment, she liked the low rent and the neighborhood, but was also eager to accept the fun challenge of turning the tiny spot into a cozy new home.
“Once the lease was signed, I would visit the apartment every day from work to try and find out what to do,” says Clarkson. “I just knew that I would be able make it work. The worst scenario would be that I would live outside my comfort zone for a year.”
The daily brainstorming sessions led her to creative solutions like hanging her bulky seasonal coats on the loops often provided (everyday clothes go in the closet provided) and attaching foldable chairs to the wall.
If you live in a small space, it’s faster and way easier to keep your place clean.
Peter Stander, is also hooked on small cozy dwellings, and not only because he loves a challenge. Stander, has lived in various types of small homes, but his favorite was a 400-square-foot micro-apartment.
By using transforming furniture, Stander managed to pack the functions of 8 rooms into the 400-square-foot micro-apartment. Stander’s sofa also doubles as a bed that is pulled down from the wall.
Using a design done by two architecture students from Romania, Stander transformed two minute adjacent apartments into a single space with space for a dinner party for 12. The apartment also features cool moving walls for extra space.
Wouldn’t it be great to spend a lot less on furniture, utilities/housing expenses, and have a lower environmental footprint?
“Although bigger houses are nice, they have plenty of hidden expenses,” says Jon Hill. “There is more space that needs to be cleaned, heated, and furnished. Bigger homes are also normally further away from city centers, which means more time being stuck in traffic. This skyrockets your carbon footprint and removes a chunk from your wallet. While smaller living spaces might lack fancy features, they create freedom from your material stuff and allow one to live a life that is environmentally and financially responsible.”
If you’re into experiences rather than material stuff, utilities/housing expenses for a small space will cost you a fraction of what your friends pay. Think of how many more fun trips and food you can purchase with the extra money!
Clarkson remembers having snags with material possessions when she moved into the micro-dwelling. She had to let go of her big cozy armchair/couch. She does however believe that at the end of the day, it was all worth it.
“You learn cool new things about yourself when living in a stimulating environment like that,” Clarkson says. “Everything you want to buy becomes a question whether it is necessary or not. You quickly learn how flexible you are and that life is about having balance.”
If you get a micro-apartment, you’ll save even more money, because you’re less likely to over-shop at the store.
This might sound intimidating, but making a small space work gets easier with time. As Johnson points out, new technology digitizes more of our stuff (think of the photos on your phone and eBooks), so people bring less physical baggage to their dwellings. At the end of the day, having any type of apartment (if it’s quiet and no one is disturbing you) will do wonders for your state of mind and inner peace.
It’s way easier to keep things straight and neatly organized in a small pad and you’re not likely to lose the car keys or the remote in your new place.
Have you ever considered living in a micro-apartment? If so, Novo Seattle apartment community might be the right place for you.
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