Welcome to Curbed’s first-ever Micro Week, five days’ worth of stories, photos, and minuscule floorplans that celebrate the grand tradition of small-space living. We’ll tour small homes, explore the city’s smallest neighborhood, and so much more!
Photos by Wonho Frank Lee
All Micro Week we’ve been showing you small homes of all varieties. Have you been inspired to downsize yet? We’ve been asking all of our gracious hosts and some other residents of tiny homes about the HOW of micro-living, and it all comes down to one thing: Simplify, simplify, simplify…
In order to downsize, everyone told us some version of, “If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it.” If you never have dinner guests, do you really need eight sets of dinnerware? How about all of those pairs of jeans? Do you ever watch those DVDs anymore? (Does anyone watch DVDs anymore?)
Dawn, who has a 380-square-foot apartment in South Park, gave us a really unique answer: Try having a Packing Party. (In fact, it might be worth doing even if you’re not planning to move.) Basically, box up everything you own—dishes, clothes, books, everything—and mark the boxes clearly so you can find whatever you’re looking for. Over the next three weeks, take out of the boxes only what you need. You may be surprised how much stuff is still boxed up after three weeks.
When it comes to decorating your new place, Tom and Emily, who have a tiny cabin up in Deer Lodge Park, say you have more space than you realize, just think about it in a different way: hooks, bags, magnetic surfaces, stacking, etc.
Michael and Kate, who have a bungalow in Larchmont Village, echoes the same idea: There’s lots of stuff out there designed to make your space more efficient: everything from pull-out couches to pocket doors to closet organizers to under-bed storage containers. (Multiple people said to check out the Container Store.)
If you like to entertain guests, Dominic, who has a 750-square-foot Bungalow near Pico and Sierra Bonita, says hosting hasn’t changed at all for him. He’s got a great courtyard and friendly neighbors, so he still hosts dinner parties and barbecues. Plus, it’s got a firepit, which is great for making s’mores.
Everyone we talked to said they wouldn’t go back to regular-sized living. Natasia appreciated that the move forced her to define her priorities. She found herself asking concrete questions like, “Would I prefer more room to move around easily, or a large comfy bed to sleep in at night? Do I value working from home or having a dedicated space to eat? Will I be willing to live with a bathroom sink full of dirty dishes if it meant having a hot meal every day?”
Moving into a smaller space made everyone less stressed and meant they wouldn’t spend money on extra stuff they didn’t need. (Not to mention there rent is generally lower.)
And then there’s the one final perk Dawn mentioned: “Sometimes I walk in the door and think, ‘Well, when I get hit by that bus … there’s gonna be very little clean-up.’” —Leonard Hyman
· Micro Week 2015 [Curbed LA]
· Touring a 272-Square-Foot, Cleverly DIYed Apartment in Palms [Curbed LA]
· Tour a 930-Square-Foot Dream Bungalow in Larchmont Village [Curbed LA]
· How to Move From Hollywood to a 360-Square-Foot Cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains [Curbed LA]