The 7 Stages of Realising You Live in the World’s Smallest Apartment

When you are a child you dream of moving to the big city one day and having a fabulous apartment in a sky scraper with floor to ceiling windows. Or maybe you imagine yourself in a giant loft with high ceilings and no walls. After all, Annie and Oliver never talked about busting out of the orphanage just to go live in some hovel (those orphanages were huge and all your meals were regularly scheduled). And even the unemployed, boho chic people in RENT had giant apartments that looked awesome with candles.

What you don’t imagine is living in an apartment the size of a shoe that is as big as the closet in your childhood home, but alas for those of that aren’t millionaires, but want to live in all those fabulous cities and in those hot neighbourhoods there is a good chance, at some point, that you too will live in a box.

As someone who lives in one of those really tiny apartments in the to die for neighbourhood (250 square feet to be exact), I can tell you that it is an emotional experience. Some days you love your little hovel and think ‘man I’m like a young, hot Mother Hubbarb’. Then there are other days where you use a friends’ bathroom and think ‘this is bigger than my apartment’ and then you cry and stay in there for an hour. This is totally normal.

Here are a few more emotional stages of realising you live in the world’s tiniest apartment:

1. Excitement

Hey, at the end of the day an apartment is an apartment and if you are living on your own for the first time it feels pretty darn good… for the first month. And if you have found an apartment in a city like New York or London then you have literally just handed over your soul, your life savings, the bar code on your first modem, a lock of your paternal’s grandmothers’ hair and most of your sanity, so you literally don’t care if the place has a poltergeist as long as it has four walls and a door.

2. Fantasy

It’s fine! You are going to be one of those people they write about in a magazine because you will decorate your apartment so well. Just only the cutest things and you will use what little storage space you will have so well. Etsy here we come!

3. Defiance

You know, there would be a lot more space if I didn’t have a couch. Or does one really need a bed? And, I mean, they didn’t invent walls for leaning on for nothing. Tables are so 2007. Plus, if you get rid of all your furniture you can finally become a hot yogi (a life goal).. Small apartment, you’ll show them! Plus, you are going to get rid of all your clothes. You will just live like a Buddhist monk and dress like a chic French person who owns like 4 different items and just wears them differently. Take that Melanie Oudin.

 4. Bewilderment

Seriously, how am I doing this? Babies have more space that me and they are so small. Is my body starting to get smaller too? Does my dog look bigger? Were humans meant to live this way? Can I turn off the stove from my couch?

5. Denial

I don’t care. I am going to get a larger TV. I will buy more shoes. They can double as a foot rest. I may even get an intercom. Studio schumdio. I will have a party here Friday night. I don’t care if six people have to sit on my bed. It’ll be like the 70s again.

6. Paranoia

Seriously, is it getting smaller or am I getting bigger? Did the walls just move closer?

7. Acceptance

This is my life. It’s me, that woman who lived in a shoe and the members of the Lollipop Guild now.

Meredith Lepore

Meredith is the former editor in chief of the women's career site, The Grindstone. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire @ Work, The Jane Dough, DailyWorth,, Business Insider and Learnvest. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys reading, jogging, SoulCycle and playing with her small dog, Otis.