Before we got married, Doug and I decided to move into one of our favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan. Situated on West 16th Street, on the border of West Village & Chelsea, we rented a tiny 350 sq ft apartment on the 3rd floor of a walkup. Prior to this, I had been living with my parents in Brooklyn and Doug had been living in Jersey City for 5 years. We were both ready for a change, and excited to be within walking distance to great restaurants and bars. That apartment, while a memorable first as a married couple, didn’t last us even a year. Tired of a dark, cramped space, we looked uptown, and settled on our current apartment in Columbus Circle.
At the time, we always joked that we never went north of Herald Square, and now we were moving closer to the Upper West Side! A 650 sq ft apartment was still not large, but it was so spacious compared to our original tiny home. We moved in May 2013 (eek, this month marks 5 years here!) and didn’t think we would stay there for too long…maybe a year or so at the most. Then in August 2013, we adopted a shepherd mix named Bailey and loved the proximity to Central Park. Our first daughter, Riley, came along in November 2015, and our second daughter, Casey, followed shortly in October 2017. 5 years later, we have more than maxed out our once “spacious” apartment. But we still stuck around…
Why did we choose to live in our tiny 1 bedroom apartment as a family of 2 adults, 2 babies, and a 50 pound dog? Well, most of you know that living in NYC is expensive and we loved the location of our apartment. We didn’t want to compromise the commute for Doug’s job especially with two kids at home, and a true 2-bedroom in Manhattan was roughly 66% more than what we were paying for our 1-bedroom! But…we know this is short lived. We’ve known we wanted to get out of NYC and we’ve known that we wanted to go travel. So we figured we’d just make our apartment work as best as we can for about a year. It’s gone through many different configurations, but we’ve made it possible for the kids to have their own room and for us to live semi-comfortably together.
Timeline of apartment configurations…
– May 2013: all furniture is where it should belong in a home…living/dining items outside, bedroom items inside.
– Nov 2015: preparing for our new baby, we added a new dresser for her (in our living room), and a crib in our bedroom next to our bed
– Jun 2017: Halfway through our second pregnancy, we decided to move our bed outside, create a bookshelf divider, and give Riley the bedroom, moving all baby-related items inside.
– Jun 2018: We rearranged the bedroom so the girls could move in together, and also reconfigured our outside area by moving the divider to make more space.
Still not perfect (excuse the mess as well), and most days we long for at least 2 bedrooms, but this is temporary…6 months to go in NYC!