- I live in a 72 square foot apartment in New York’s West Village for $1,345 a month.
- My microstudio has no real kitchen or closet, and I sleep on a futon bed that serves as my couch.
- I like 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 since I visited the Big Apple when I was 4 years old. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite realize how expensive it was to live there until I was much older.
Many people live with roommates or move to neighborhoods outside of 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. In New York, these spaces are often between 50 and 100 square feet and make living alone quite affordable.
I found my 72 square foot apartment in the West Village for $1,345 a month. It’s in my favorite part of town, has a fire escape, and the perfect space for a 21-year-old college grad.
This is what a day in my life looks like in this small space:
As soon as I wake up, I turn my bed back into a couch
I sleep on a futon bed so when I wake up I put my pillow and duvet under the frame and turn my bed into a couch. It’s annoying to do when I first wake up, but it definitely requires me to get out of bed.
I briefly considered putting a double mattress in my loft storage space instead, but I’m not sure it can support my weight and I’m afraid of falling over in the night.
Then I work on using my space to make fresh coffee and breakfast
My small space doesn’t mean I sacrifice my coffee.
I stand on top of my fridge to reach for coffee beans and pull out my electric water heater and bean grinder from under my sink because there’s no room for it on the counter.
After I make my coffee, I put away all the tools and ingredients to have room on the counter to prepare breakfast.
For breakfast, I usually cook eggs on my griddle while I make toast in my toaster-oven-air-fryer combo.
After breakfast, I have to do all my dishes immediately, otherwise my sink won’t fit.
Choosing my outfit can be difficult because my clothes are stored all over the apartment
Choosing my outfit requires a few stops around my studio.
I store my pajamas, underwear, bras, socks, swimsuits, and accessories in bins under my two-bar clothes 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 little to see what’s behind it.
Some of my shoes and handbags are displayed on the wall, which gives me extra storage space and turns them into decor.
As for the laundry, I pay to wash it, dry it and fold it, because I don’t have a washer or dryer.
My basket is in the storage attic above my kitchen. When I need to put clothes in there, I either try to throw them in the basket (and I always miss) or climb up on my counter to get to them.
Living in my studio is mostly me climbing surfaces that are probably not meant to be climbed. Every little task is now a challenge.
I do my skincare routine in my bathroom, but I do my makeup in the main area to have more space
As with everything I do in this apartment, my skincare routine takes longer than in a larger space. My bathroom sink is super small and I don’t have any counter space inside it so it can be a process to wash my face.
I do my makeup in my main living space and place my products on the kitchen counter while using the mirror by my front door.
I sometimes have to peek into my bathroom to see my look in a better light, but for the most part it works well.
During the day, I can easily walk to the park and enjoy the fresh air
After that, depending on my schedule, I’m usually on the go for most of the day.
When the weather is nice, I love sitting in Washington Square Park, which is so close to my apartment it feels like I’m in my backyard. I also love living close to so many amazing restaurants.
My fire escape also has a great view of the West Village, so it’s nice to step out there sometimes.
It’s hard to cook dinner and have guests, but I make it work with a microwave and floor pillows
Preparing too many items that need to be cooked in the same appliance can turn dinner prep into a time-consuming and difficult process.
I usually air fry a vegetable and make pasta or protein with my griddle. Sometimes I microwave a Trader Joe’s meal, make a salad, or eat a light snack like fruit or cheese and crackers.
Some nights I have my two friends who live downstairs, but we mostly go to their space, which is bigger. When I host guests, about three people can fit comfortably on my sofa, 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 go to the park or the streets of New York.
Otherwise, I’ll usually have a virtual movie night with my best friend back home. I don’t have a TV, so I’m going to play a movie on my computer and put it on the table next to my sofa.
Taking a shower can be frustrating as the floor is always 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 mid-afternoon.
An advantage, however, is that I can easily brush my teeth and do my skincare routine in the shower at night. I can also use my mirror to brush my hair in the shower.
When I play music in there, the whole room becomes an echoing speaker, making for great shower gigs. I also have a small mat outside the bathroom so that water does not enter my apartment.
I expected to hate the shower-bathroom combo, but now I kinda like it.
City noise can be bothersome when I try to fall asleep, so I put on some music or use earplugs
When it’s near bedtime, I always turn on my air conditioner, as it’s a great buffer for all the noise from the street. I also play music. If the noise gets really bad, I use earplugs.
I end my night by taking melatonin to help me sleep, putting rain sounds on my speaker, and putting my futon back in a bed.
Overall, I love my microstudio, and it comes with a few perks
Ultimately, this is by no means the perfect apartment. One day I wish I had a party lounge, a full fridge, a closet, more counter space, and so much more.
But the small space has its advantages. I learned which elements I value enough to be part of my space and how crucial decorating can be in making an apartment feel like home.
In addition, this apartment allowed me to live in the center of New York, which was a priority for me. The city is still lived outdoors anyway, so I don’t mind having my cozy little place to go back to.
Editor’s note: This was originally published in June 2021.