Home, In 400 Square Feet or Less

Imagine living in a single car garage. As crazy as that might sound at first, more and more young American professionals are now living in apartments that are about that size.

Microapartments are popping up all over cities that are filled with Millennials, or young adults under the age of 30. These small units, — which, at an average of 300 square feet, are less than half the size of a typical one-bedroom unit — are a result of a combination of the minimalism, eco-friendly and urbanization movements. They’re also so popular among young professionals that developers barely even need to advertise them in order to lease them out.

What’s spurring the massive popularity of these microunits in cities such as New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver and even Austin? Well, the rents are more manageable in “aPodments,” and they’re generally located in desirable neighborhoods full of entertainment options. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s dig deeper.

Microapartment

Wired Magazine gives us a look at how a microapartment is laid out. (Image courtesy: Wired Magazine)

Microapartments Reflect the Millennial Era

Take a look at the world today. We can buy running shoes on the internet, send money to someone’s else’s bank account from our cell phones and read the New York Times or the Bible on our tablets. The world has gone digital, and we don’t need printed material in our homes anymore.

Books, magazines, receipts and other paper materials have traditionally taken up a lot of space in homes, but many Millennials will keep those items on their phones, tablets or computers. This practice is both environmentally friendly and space-conscious; not coincidentally, many Millennials are big proponents of both of those general principles.

But the digital conversion is only part of the story. More and more young professionals are living alone these days (USA Today reports that 27% of all U.S. households were occupied by a single person in 2010). More and more Millennials are choosing to treat their homes simply as a place to sleep, get dressed, shower, watch TV and occasionally cook. Dual-purpose furniture — such as TVs that fold down into countertops and work desks that turn into beds — reflect a Millennial perception that home is more of a functional item than a prized possession.

Millennials in microapartments aren’t afraid to rent anything they might only need occasionally (such as a car or a tuxedo). This allows them to only keep only bare essentials in their microapartment units. These young adults will socialize at a restaurant or bar down the street instead of in their homes. They’ll likely take a shorter commute to work than their suburban counterparts, and they might not even own a car. The microapartment lifestyle is a reflection of Millennial values taken to the extreme.

Phone Booth

It isn’t exactly living in a phone booth, but if you’re in a microapartment, you don’t have much room to roam (Image courtesy: Anna Hesser/flickr)

Is There Value in Living in a Microapartment?

While microapartments clearly have traction among recent college graduates and other young, single adults, the units aren’t designed to be demographic-specific. In fact, some young couples have even reported living in some of these units.

So what would drive a decision to live in a microapartment? Here’s some benefits and issues with this apartment model.

Benefits:

  • -Each unit is very efficient. There’s no wasted space, and most appliances and furniture have multiple uses (i.e. beds become desks).
  • -Clutter is minimized, simply because there’s no room for it to add up.
  • -Residents have fewer mementos and items to worry about.
  • -Locations are very ideal for social urban living.
  • -The cost of living is generally extremely low for the neighborhoods the units are in.

Issues:

  • -There’s very little space to store anything, including clothes.
  • -Tighter living quarters can make residents feel claustrophobic.
  • -There’s very little space for entertaining guests.
  • -There’s very little room for personalizing your living quarters with items such as artwork for the walls or other mementos.
  • -Parking — or the lack thereof — can be an issue in certain neighborhoods.

 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine whether the benefits of this type of living outweigh the costs or vice versa. If the idea of extreme downsizing and prime living locations appeal to you, it might be worth it to take the plunge. But if space and possessions are more important to you, microapartments might not be worth it.

Regardless of where you’re looking to move, Garrett’s Moving and Storage is here to help. We’ve moved thousands of customers across the Dallas-Fort Worth area and across the country since 1992. We’ll make sure your possessions get from your old home to your new home securely. To get a free moving quote, click here or call  972-487-5843.

 

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