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Big things and tiny apartments

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Ikea. Maybe some people get tired after a few hours of walking around the giant store, but I don’t know anyone who hates going there. The last time I went, my favorite part of the store was the individual living spaces they had on display. You could literally walk through a 270-square-foot home and see how it was set up and how a family could actually live in it. There were three of these spaces, and they ranged from 270 to around 500 square feet. There were also little stories in each “house” telling how a family could live in the space and giving some background into the family. I found this really interesting.

I do not especially want to live in a space that small, but if I had to I think I could. In certain circumstances, living a minimalistic life is warranted. Sometimes it is even beneficial to the person. In our world of excess, you won’t find many people who would willingly live in a 300-square-foot home. Most people would not be able to eat in the same spot they watch TV and do laundry and entertain. And don’t even get them started on sleeping next to their shower.

New York City planners are coming up with new ideas for apartments to accommodate a continually growing population. In a city that is already filled to the brim with people, housing quarters are cramped to say the least. So some city planners are challenging architects to design dwellings from 350 square feet to as small as 250 square feet, according to an article. Some New York City residents already live in cramped spaces. 67-year-old school finance director Jack Sproule and his wife Linda live in a 290-square-foot apartment, and Sam Neuman, a 31-year-old publicist, lives in a studio apartment of only 280 square feet.

Both of these examples are extreme for us. But to city dwellers like Neuman and Sproule, it is one way to get by in the Big Apple. For them, it also comes with its benefits. The Sproule’s may have a Murphy bed that folds into the wall when it is not being used, a small kitchenette and “an adequately appointed bathroom,” but the focal point and best part of their apartment is the picture window at the far end of the space. The couple has a sprawling view of Central Park, and as Sproule said, the small space helps them focus on one another.

Isn’t that what we need? Perhaps we should all live in tiny apartments. Then we could spend more time with each other and focus on the relationships in our lives instead of the things. I would love to live in New York City and I would gladly move into one of these small-scale apartments. It could be fun. On the plus side, a smaller apartment means less to clean.

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