When people ask us about living in New York, they often want to know about our apartment. The reality of our moving to New York from Texas is that our income was not changing (actually decreased), but our expenses had to stay the same or decrease. With that, we lived small. Really small! We went from a 2,600 square foot home in Texas with a yard and 2 car garage to a 750 square foot 4th floor walk up apartment with 2 kids! And we loved it!
Honestly, we had to sell pretty much everything other than our clothes (and we had to get rid of most our clothes too). We found an incredible Brownstone apartment in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope. The apartment choice was all about location as we were less than 50 yards in one direction to Prospect Park and 50 yards the other direction on our street to the F Train taking us right into Manhattan. Prospect Park is also one of the most family friendly neighborhoods in New York known as “Stroller City” with great schools.
So, we downsized… a lot. All rooms became what we call “slash” rooms. The girls had their own bedrooms and a game room in Texas which became one room that they shared and functioned as the game room. So, it’s now Emery’s room/Shelby’s room/game room. Our bedroom also doubled as my office, so it’s the bedroom/office. In case you’re curious, my end table is my desk (and it’s quite a setup I have with multiple monitors). We also went from a large kitchen with an island, dining room, living room and laundry room to a multipurpose living/dining/kitchen/laundry room. We are actually one of the lucky ones in the city to actually have a washer and dryer in our unit. The biggest challenge of all though, was moving from 3 bathrooms to 1.
When we moved in we honestly didn’t realize how small this really was. The whole apartment has 1 drawer and that’s in the kitchen. Unfortunately, it was too small to hold our existing utensil tray, so we had to replace that as well. We basically bought out everything at IKEA and got creative. Our beds all have drawers under them, our couch converts to a guest bed, we have shelves and storage containers everywhere and we make it work.
This move simplified our lives in ways we can’t describe. It forced us to physically be closer and also pushed us out into the city to adventure out together. We also found that the kids can destroy the apartment and in about 15 minutes we can clean up the whole place.
We learned that we really don’t need all the stuff or the space. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s definitely not a necessity. While I will value having an additional bathroom when we move back to Texas, the idea of smaller and simplified living will be a value that we will cling to for the rest of our lives. We’re grateful for our season in this small apartment and already look forward to downsizing again after the kids are out of the house.
Small living is for us!