When we left Atlanta, we were living in a 3 bedroom house. In comparison to other people’s homes in the South, it wasn’t large by any means, but now that we’ve been moving every year, we realize that we don’t need all that space.
With the higher cost of living in NYC, we knew something had to give. I didn’t realize that would mean giving up the idea of a one bedroom apartment altogether. I had never imagined living in a studio. Even after downsizing year after year and living in the Airstream for 3 months, living in a 375 square ft studio has its own share of challenges.
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Last Updated: June 29, 2020
Location was most important, but after we narrowed down the area, it came down to more space or amazing views. We picked the views and were up for a new challenge. Time for some furniture tetris! We’re still working through the kinks, but we’re excited to figure out how to live large in this small space.
9 Reasons to Try Living in a Studio Apartment
1. You don’t need as much furniture
Let’s face it, you don’t get a 4 bedroom house to only furnish half of it. You need to fill it with appropriately sized furniture, meaning the bigger the house, the bigger the furniture. When we moved into our home in Atlanta, it took us a while to completely furnish our house piece by piece. Now that we’re in a much smaller space, it’s easier to buy a few impactful pieces, and the same budget with fewer pieces means you can focus on quality.
More: First Look at Our New Studio Apartment in NYC
2. You’re less likely to accumulate junk
There’s this weird phenomenon that happens when you have space. You want to fill it… ALL of it! Empty space doesn’t tend to stay empty very long. When you live in a small space, you’re forced to be more intentional about what you keep around. Also, moving every year puts us face to face with what we own. Nothing we own gets to hide in a closet only to collect dust.
3. It’s easy to clean
I’ll admit that when we lived in our house, it didn’t get cleaned very often. Even in our 1 or 2 bedroom apartments, we would clean once a month at most. Now that we live in a small space, I find myself cleaning all the time. It’s so easy to do a quick sweep every day and feel like the entire place is so fresh and so clean clean.
We can also keep a very minimal cleaning kit. We use our Swiffer SweepVac for the floors (dry pads daily and wet pads weekly to mop), we use Swiffer Dry Pads to dust (although we may add a duster), and have one bottle of multi-purpose cleaner for counters, bathroom, and toilets. That’s all, folks!
More: Why We Always Pack a Swiffer When We Travel
4. Utilities cost less
A smaller home means less space to heat in the winter and cool in the summer, which saves you money in the long run.
5. You’ll be more environmentally friendly
I think our time in Portland has started to rub off on us, but being in a smaller space means you are making less of an impact. Fewer materials go into building your space, you consume less energy, and usually save on water too. After seeing how much trash is on the streets in NYC, we want to challenge ourselves to eventually be a zero-waste household. We are far from it, but we want to take some baby steps.
6. Less dept & easier to resell
For those of you buying a home, a smaller space will cost less and open you up to a larger market when you’re ready to resell. I know that when we’re ready to settle down again, we plan on getting a small space to live in.
7. It encourages you to get out
At the same time, small spaces are limited to…. space. Sometimes you just need to get out and hopefully, that encourages you more to go on some local adventures and explore your own city.
More: The Ultimate NYC Bucket List
8. More quality time
When you live in a large space, you tend to go to your own corner of your home to do your own thing. We already spend so much time on our computers and phones, we don’t need another barrier to spend quality time with each other. Small spaces helped encourage us to spend more time together.
9. More time and money to do what you love
Less maintenance, less cleaning, and fewer costs mean you have more time and money to pursue your passions. For us, that means more time to go on adventures and blog about them.
Some of Our Favorite Less-is-More Books
Have you ever considered moving into a smaller space?
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Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.
This Post Has 8 Comments
I live in a 288 square foot studio. It is tiny, but honestly, I really enjoy how easy cleaning is. This post highlights many of the benefits. I relate a lot to this post. People often think studios are an insane idea, but in my case, in my larger home, I didn’t really use any of the rooms that often. It may not be right for some, but it has been a blessing for me. Thank you for this post! Cheers to living in an affordable home close to many things!
So glad you can relate, Sam. That feeling that your entire place is spotless! I can never get that in a bigger place :) Cheers!!
It’s interesting that the smaller a living space is, the less likely it is that it will get cluttered. I’ve been wanting to move out of my house, but I haven’t been sure if I want to live in a condo or apartment. It’s sounds like an apartment may be better, so I’ll definitely keep it in mind.
Hey, Taylor! Yes, we love the studio life.
Your apartment may be small but it is *gorgeous* – I love all of the natural light. Almost enough to make me wanna downshift a little ;)
I do have one little bone to pick in that I feel like the point about cleaning with the Swiffer contradicts you saying that you also want to be environmentally-friendly. Doesn’t using a Swiffer just generate needless waste in the form of the wipes?
Thanks, Cynthia! The windows definitely make it worth it for us.
Sorry if the post was confusing. This was more about how downsizing to a smaller space has these benefits and not vice versa, that we claim to downsize for the sole purpose of being environmentally friendly. It just happens to be a perk of downsizing. Does that make sense? But you brought up a good question, and I’d love to find out too.
[ UPDATE: While a Swiffer pad is disposable, it is replacing a traditional mop, water, cleaning agent and bucket for mopping. Because of this, using a Swiffer wet pad or WetJet on floors actually saves 70 gallons of water each year, which definitely aligns with lessening our impact on the environment. Here’s the link to where brand efforts are listed for P&G and sustainability if you’re curious: https://us.pg.com/sustainability/environmental-sustainability/brand-efforts ]
For me, I know I can’t claim or commit to being a 100% zero waste household. I know it’s not a perfect system, BUT I do try to make changes little changes here and there to be more environmentally friendly.
If you’ve found a much better solution for your place that produces much less waste, I’m all ears!
Thanks for your answer – it is interesting to consider (re: saving water) and it’s nice to see that the brand has considered these things and is doing their best to be more environmental. I’m a fan of the ol’ bucket and mop situation… I don’t think I could switch to wipes again after striving to go as close to zero waste as I can manage. Someone recommended to me (which I think is kind of a genius water-saving tip) to put a bucket under the tap in the shower when you first turn the water on and you’re waiting for it to get warm – use for anything like cleaning, watering plants, etc.
Yeah, I’ve heard of that too! That’s such a great idea. :) We definitely conserved water way more when we were in an airstream because we knew how big our water tanks were and could see the exact amount of water we were using. I need to pick that back up here as well.