Minimalist couple’s 88 square foot micro-studio saves time and money
Here on Treehugger, we’ve covered small spaces of all kinds over the years, as well as some of the reasons people might choose – or be forced to – live in smaller homes. For some, it may be a way of coping with housing affordability crisis happening in major cities around the world. Others may live in small living spaces temporarily to save money to buy a house later, while for others it is a deliberate and conscious choice to live more simply and with a footprint. smaller, both physically and ecologically.
For many, it’s a mix of all of these factors. For Jacinia and Dimitri, a young couple living in an 8-square-meter (88-square-foot) micro-studio in New Jersey, living in such a small space fits their minimalist lifestyle, while helping them save toward the high for a down payment for a bigger house later. In total, they pay about $300 a month, which includes utilities, internet access, laundry, a parking spot, access to a common yard, and bathrooms.
We get an empowering tour of their one-room residence via Explore alternatives:
As the couple explains, they’ve been living the minimalist lifestyle for nearly a decade now. At first, they say minimalism was a way of surviving when they became young adults and left their childhood home.
But little by little, they got used to the simplicity and frugality that are now part of their daily lives and their thinking. As Dmitrimarketing and communications director, author, poet and content creator, explains that it is also a kind of creative outlet:
“I think as we grew up, our definition of minimalism changed. When we first moved, minimalism was our lifeline. And I think it was around last year that we started saying that it was necessary to have fun.”
The couple’s living space is a basement room out of six other rentals in the same building. It measures approximately 8 feet by 11 feet (2.4 meters by 3.3 meters) and includes built-in furniture along one wall that the couple made from wood and recycled materials. It is the main piece of furniture in the couple’s home, and it serves as a place to work, cook, play, and store books, kitchen appliances, and dry goods.
The top shelf is where the couple store their collection of books. The shelf below is where dried goods and spices are neatly displayed and within easy reach.
The lower part of the built-in unit is divided into two parts. On the right we have the couple’s kitchenette, which has a place for their small appliances like an Instant Pot, a water filter and a single burner electric cooker. Jacinia, which is a cookbook author and runs his own Youtube channel about minimalism and veganism, says they often cook meals in one pot to make prep and cleanup easier, since they don’t have a sink in their room. (They do the dishes in the bathroom, located nearby in the hallway.)
Under the kitchen counter there is a designated space for their toaster oven, pans and rolling pin. There is also a mini fridge here too, which allows them to store around a week’s worth of food.
The other side is occupied by their office, neatly organized to save space. Even the two green velvet chairs here were thoughtfully chosen, as they’re both small enough to slip under the desk, plus two storage ottomans.
The couple’s cat has its own platform, allowing it to exercise and move around the house.
For sleeping, the couple uses a Japanese-style futon, which can be rolled up during the day to help save space. It can also be folded to create a floor sofa.
The other wall of their home features a large mirror and removable wallpaper, which helps brighten up the small space.
The bedroom also has a closet, where the couple store their bedding and other pantry items and less-used amenities.
The couple also have an extra closet for their clothes and shoes in the common room.
This isn’t the couple’s first small apartment, as over the years they’ve consciously chosen smaller living spaces to save money and allow them to live more streamlined lifestyles. While the couple say there are definite benefits to living in such a minimalist way, they are openly honest about some of the challenges they face, including the tiny bathroom and shower, and the lack of privacy. , because they share the walls, the ceilings and the bathroom with the other tenants. But they are nonetheless optimistic about the present and the future, saying living tiny has been great for their relationship. It’s also about saving money and having peace of mind, as Jacinia clarifies:
“This [apartment] is by far the most affordable place we have ever lived. It’s amazing – we’ve been able to save a lot of money to compete in this very competitive housing market. I was able to give up working to focus on my mental health, [because] I had homebound agoraphobia, so [previously] I never left the house. I had a lot of anxiety. [Now]I am no longer confined to the house.”
At first glance, Jacinia and Dimitri’s accommodations may seem cramped in the extreme. Living in such a small space is not for the faint of heart, and such stories may make some wonder about the livability of such tiny spaces, or perhaps wonder what kinds of long-term solutions might actually solve the problem. the root causes of the phenomenon of unaffordable housing. But the couple’s positivity and creativity are inspiring, and we can’t help but hope that the couple will one day find their perfect, just-right-sized minimalist home.