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Who knew 90 square feet would stretch across the globe?

April 4, 2011

The video of my apartment (see below) has been seen by over 3,000,000 people. The feedback and emails are terrific, many saying they admire my small living space, amazed at how organized it is, and asking questions on how to organize their own space – whether small or large. I would be happy to answer them if I can.Β  If you like, please add a comment or question below.

Thanks!

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From → Video

54 Comments
  1. Daman permalink

    Awesome place! I’m 20 and want to go out and travel and this is seriously an inspiration to just do it. I’m reading a book called “living the 80/20 way” and it is all about simplifying your life and making the best use of your time rather than work work work – this reminded me of that.

    Cheers to you for an awesome place and an uncluttered life!

  2. matthew vassallo permalink

    i’m really impressed. this is really neat! excellent for someone who loves to go out and do stuff and enjoy life, rather than stay home and stay in. thank you!

  3. Ben permalink

    What would it take to have you space-organize an apartment 10 times larger in Queens for my wife and I? After seeing this video, it inspired me to take action on our ever-decreasing living space! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Ben,
      While I would love to come over and space-organize your apartment, I’m a bit swamped, but my good friend and fellow organizer Sonya Weishappel has a business http://seriatim.net/ and tell her I sent you. She’s great. In the meantime, what do you think is your biggest challenge with your space? Lots of stuff? Do you think by decluttering a little it could help? What’s your biggest obstacle? books? electronics? furniture? piles of magazines? Let me know and i’d be happy to offer some tips for some quick relief.
      Felice

  4. Jacob permalink

    I love what you did with the place, nice. I lived in a Hell’s Kitchen studio a few feet larger than that for years and loved it. Granted – it has limitations, but having them is not all bad, as you know. Anyway – just wanted to leave you a “pat on the back”. Judging by the comments on youtube, there are a lot of people out there who have no clue about living in Manhattan. (There are also many who seem to have no clue at all.) I’ll be looking out for your book, too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. larry permalink

    Love your apt Felice. Never being on the east coast/NY. $700+ for 90 sq. ft?? :O Yikes. I was paying about $265 for a abit less then you have but still. Do you have or even need AC for the hot summers? Your apt does look very cozy. Nothing like a cozy home.
    Sweet find Felicia …

    • Hi Larry,
      Thanks for your message. Sounds like you’re getting a much better deal where you are. Is your place organized well too? And to answer your question, yes, I need AC in the summer and sometimes in the winter too! And since heat rises, I need to put a small fan in front tilted up to cool off the loft bed, which works pretty fast!
      Best,
      Felice

  6. crissyk permalink

    Amazing place!

  7. Felice, you and your mini-abode are wonderful, especially in this day of excesses!
    Talk about a small footprint! I bet that a/c has an easy job.
    Many years ago when I got my first place, a loft in Soho, I had to hide my kitchen, so I built it in a locker cabinet that was about 3 feet wide, and my bed was on top of used file cabinets.
    Anyhow, I really enjoyed your place and the little tour you gave.
    Thanks,
    Paul

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your message and sharing about your old apartment. Great idea with the locker cabinet! And stacking your bed on file cabinets sounds like a great use of space. Is where you’re living now a little roomier? Are you still putting your good ideas to the test?
      Best,
      Felice

    • Hide a kitchenette behind louver doors.

  8. Ms. Cohen: amazing story!!! means that human beings are very able to adjust even under panic attack!!! Ms. Cohen, as I understand that you are going to publish something who has to do with the holocaust. Could you tell me more or less what is the story? Please visit my book website you may be interested in the story. Also at the end of the book there is a family tree who took me 1 year to construct. Best Regards, Mr. Charles J. Kane from San Juan, Puerto Rico Please visit the following website: http://www.asesinatoenlacasadelosdiamantes.com

    • Hi Charles,
      Thanks for your message, I really appreciate it.

      My book has come out. It is called “What Papa Told Me” and is available on Amazon. It is a memoir about my grandfather’s life before, during and after the Holocaust and it is told from his voice, tho with the perspective of a granddaughter. I checked out your site and it looks incredible, but since I don’t speak Spanish, I will ask a friend to interpret it for me. It looks like you have put a lot of time and effort into the project. Well done!
      Best,
      Felice

  9. *OnlyYolie* permalink

    i saw your video and was amazed, probably because i can’t organize anything… your apartment actually looked cute and cozy and not cramped and claustrophobic… great job!!!

    • Hi!
      Thanks for your message, I really appreciate it. You mentioned you can’t organize anything…Can you name one thing you would love to have organized? If you want, let me know what it is and I would be happy to try to offer some advice.
      felice

  10. robbie312 permalink

    i love the setup. you have inspired me this spring. i have one suggestion, your bed looks awful thick and perhaps unnecessarily so. maybe you could try out some memory foam pads, something like two 3 inch ones or something. you could pick up like six inches in head room maybe? and what about the tv, why not get an lcd?

    • Hi Robbie,
      Great idea on the mattress. I had thought of that when i moved in, but since I had the mattress, thought i’d give it a try. And in fact, it’s really a lot more space than I thought. But whenever I do move out, I will certainly pass along that idea. As for the TV, yes, it is pretty old and tiny and an LCD on the wall would be great, but the only thing I watch on TV is the morning news and it’s usually more to hear than look at. I also watch tv shows and movies on my iMac. Hulu is the best!
      Thanks for your ideas. Do you live in a small space too?
      Felice

  11. I love the video! Picked it up from a norwegian newssite. It’s actually very inspirational for a completely untide person like myself…

  12. Galina permalink

    Wow! This video was so inspiring to me the first time I saw it about a week ago and randomly, tonight, I was reminded of it while looking at this other blog you might appreciate. http://tinyhouseblog.com

    I’m turning 23 this year and haven’t really found a profession for myself yet. I’m working on that whole “do what you love to make money” thing and trying to figure that out. I really don’t want to sell out for a high paying job doing something I’m not truly passionate about…. but how to survive in this world of rampant material consumption and excessive living?… Well, I wasn’t sure before but now, I’m getting an idea by reading about inspiring people such as yourself.

    To live simply with only what you need is such a beautiful and peaceful concept to me. Truly inspiring, really. As it is, my life is incredibly cluttered with things that sap my energy and drive. I don’t know what to do with it all. Now! Since I’ve rambled on about my circumstances long enough, you mentioned that you’d answer questions about organizing. To put it simply, if you wrote a book on the subject, I might read it. Haha.

    But really, I’m at the point where I have way too much stuff that I’ve convinced myself that I need but I never use it. What to do? How to start getting rid of it all?

    Anyway… you’re awesome!

    • Hi Galina,

      Thanks for your email and kind words, I do appreciate it. I am working on a book about organizing and will hopefully have it done soon.

      As for now, it seems like you’ve got a lot of “stuff” that you feel is cramping your lifestyle. I’ve had many clients like this and there is help! πŸ™‚ What kinds of things are you talking about? Clothes? books? electronics? lots of jobs? if it’s how to organizing you’re stuff, you’re welcome to send a picture and i’d be happy to give you some tips, but for now, while it can be very overwhelming for many people to even figure out where to start to get rid of stuff, try this. Take a bag and fill it with five things – they can be clothes or books or whatever – five things you can live without. And think of those five things as something that could really help someone else out. All you need to do is start with five things. I bet that once you get started, you will be able to get to ten or maybe fill a box, but even if you don’t, it’s ok. Small steps. If you’d like, let me know what you got rid of and how you felt.
      Good luck!
      felice

    • Start with a list of what you do want. For example:

      Recombine 7 tops and 7 pants into 49 different outfits.
      Study and eat on a daybed or sofa bed.
      Try floor cushions.
      Reconsider your recipes.
      Try one set of pans, dishes and utensils.
      Try a few sets of towels.
      Try a couple sets of bed linens.
      Store items in pull-out baskets or boxes beneath furniture.
      Go paperless with a handheld computer.

      A living room set, bedroom set, dining room set and office as well as excessive cupboards, closets or shelving may not be needed.

      Take time to think over your list. Then discard the remainder. It’s much easier than fussing over each individual item.

      • You’re chock full of great ideas!

        On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Felice Cohen

    • Keep your favorites and discard the rest.

      Consider creative alternatives and how to do without.

  13. Great story and awesome place. My blog had quite a few hits and is continuing to. Make the most of life and continue to inspire others!
    rocky
    se7enthirty.com

  14. Filipe Pontes permalink

    Hi, i’m from Portugal and i really love your house, it’s very homey. I think you would like to see this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg9qnWg9kak&feature=player_embedded.

  15. Leah permalink

    Hi Felice, how are you? Great video, very inspiring. In September I`ll be returning to NYC for college, could you give me some suggestions on how I can go about finding an affordable apartment similar to yours? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, take care.

    • Hi Leah,

      I’ve been asked that a lot and am doing some research, but they are hard to find. I lucked out and found my place through a friend. In the meantime, maybe try Craig’s list. Sorry not to be more helpful. If you have other questions on organizing, let me know!
      Best,
      Felice

      • Leah permalink

        Hi Felice, thanks for your reply! Yeah it sure is tough finding a good place to live in NYC, let alone a small affordable place. The last year I lived there I had a tiny single over priced dorm room and if I can’t find a place independently I’m likely to move back to the dorm and another shared space.

        Do you have any tips on generally dividing a small room and also making a temporary privacy curtain or light weight divider in a dorm room that doesn’t mess up the walls?

        Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, take care and have a great day πŸ™‚

      • Hi Leah,
        A friend and her partner just had a baby. They live in a large studio and had asked me months ago if it was doable to stay there with the baby. I recommended she divide off a section and it turned out great. She used the sliding door company
        http://www.slidingdoorco.com/. The one they installed is permanent but the company may have some that don’t mess up the walls or ceiling. Another idea may be some free standing book shelves. I know Ikea has some. or the metro shelves I own, you could always add a curtain. Good luck and let me know how it works out. Send pictures!
        Best,
        Felice

      • Leah permalink

        Thanks for much for the advice and the links Felice! The unfolding apartment is AMAZING, wow. Something like that would surely be something I’d like to have if I had a permanent living situation in NYC after college. I Googled the firm that made the unfolding apartment and they do really innovative solutions for living spaces.
        Here is the link, http://www.normalprojects.com/?p=182

        Thanks again and have a great weekend.

      • Thanks for that site. There are so many people doing such innovative things. Terrific. If you do use one of these firms, please send pictures. It would be great to see. Have a great weekend, felice

  16. Very inspiring! I live in Vermont with a 1500 sq ft cape (if you count the 300 sq ft seasonal back porch) which is small by local standards. I’m trying to find ways to minimize and its starting to feel like a mansion! But I’ve still got a lot of decluttering to do, have barely scratched the surface.

    Make sure to come sailing on Lake Champlain on one of your weekends away!

  17. Hi, Love your space. Really, I think you are living larger than most people because all of New York City is your apartment. I love that you were honest in saying you had a panic attack the first night πŸ™‚ I am curious to know what you consider to be important materialistic things, that you currently have in your apartment? You know the fru, fru stuff that most of us have in 1000 square feet.

    • Fru, fru, eh? Love that expression. Interesting that you put “important” and “materialistic” in the same sentence. I guess it depends on each person. Someone who likes or works (or is a writer!) might have a more expensive computer, while a friend of mine thinks spending $1,000 on sheets is reasonable.

    • I, too, would find it very interesting to know what others find essential. Perhaps a brief survey of just the ten most important.

  18. Joel permalink

    I’d be interested in finding a similar living situation. Looks great for living minimally and cheaply (for Manhattan anyways). Got any tips for finding one?

  19. Mike permalink

    Hi, I just watched your youtube video and noticed that you said you only intended to initially stay in that apartment for a year, but ended up staying there for several years… I was just wondering if you had any plans to move out once your lease is up? If so, I would love it if you could put me in touch with your landlord(s) so I could inquire about renting it after you leave. If not, thank you for your time anyway!

    • Hi Mike,
      As of now, I’m not going anywhere, but if I do, I will certainly let you know!
      Best,
      Felice

  20. hi Felice,

    I loved the video on how you manage to live in 90 sq ft so much that I just featured it on
    my website – “Made In Slant” a San Francisco-based art and design blog –

    http://www.madeinslant.com

    Best of luck with your writing,
    Eyeswoon

  21. You know i lost most of my assets and have had to start over at 50. i often wondered things like well i went from a big house to a room, i dont have the income i had, lost my car; dont drive and yet i still have dreams and goals to accomplish..how in the world will i do it??? Then for a second it thought? Am I on my way to homelessness , living on the streets?? is this my end??? But i remember my dreams , i remember “if there is a will; there is a way” and ive always believed and taught my daughter to make the best with what you got so when i ran into the video about your apartment that led me to ya ; it was an inspiring confirmation to me and its just strenghten my faith. If you could do it so could i.. Thank you Felice and im happy to know your story. ps: starting the book ive been wanting to finish the last ten years; got the time now since i lost my job.. You know our lives and the challenges we go thru are just Points in our journey that mark our success. Im 50 but i still believe i will get there to my dreams made manifest. Thats one thing no one can ever take away from you and that you should never loose. carmen

    • Carmen,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have inspired me! Yes, no one can take away your dreams and it’s never too late to reach them. I’m glad to have
      helped in anyway I could. I wish you the best of luck with your book. Can’t wait to read it!
      Best,
      Felice

  22. Felice I love, love, love your apartment. I’m not sure I could sleep in that loft because I’m so claustrophobic, but the rest of the space would be perfect, especially with NYC at my doorstep!!! Thanks for sharing!
    Here’s my organizing tip for you…I have my closet organized by type of garment, so all the sweaters are together, all the skirts, all the slacks etc. Each time I wear something I hang it on the far right of its section. I dress from the left, if something stays on the left side for a whole season, I know I don’t want it anymore and I can donate it without a pang.

    • Sarah,
      I love that tip! I do encourage clients to keep like clothes together, but your suggestion of rotating the clothes is genius! Makes it so obvious every time you pass over it and don’t wear it. I bet you could even put a color marker on the bar (or some type of divider) to show what hasn’t been worn (some might not remember…). Thank you so much for sharing. Any other tips you’d like to send, that would be great. Anyone who does that, must have a slew more up her sleeve!
      Thanks again.
      Felice

      • it’s so nice to share my ideas with someone who “gets” me. my friends just think I’m nuts…
        πŸ™‚

      • Well, we’re all nuts to some degree πŸ™‚ …but I’m sure you’re friends love when you go “nuts” on their closets…or would go nuts for it. My sisters and I love to organize together. We get a thrill out of going “nuts” on a closet or the garage or redoing kitchen cabinets. There’s a real sense of accomplishment. Plus we laugh and talk while we’re doing it. “Why does dad still have so many boxes of rusty nails in the garage?” or “Do you remember when we used to play tennis with this wooden racket?” Then we quickly fill the car with the donations or garbage before our dad sees what we’ve tossed.

  23. Crystal Cortez permalink

    I’m going to college in new york city, as if tuition wasn’t enough, room and board is way to expensive, so I’m looking for a place to call home of in the city. I’m young, and on my own without any family or friends, venturing off into the unknown, which is what draws me to NYC. All the way on the other side of the U.S. is california, which is we’re I’m from, so there’s a few things I’ll need to get accustomed to. From reading the comments of others who are looking for the same thing I am, small, very, very small studio apartments, you don’t know of any other places like yours. You’re really lucky to have found such a one of a kind place, and the rent is amazing. But not neccesarily 90 sq. ft., but small studios in general; do you know of any apartment complexes, or owners, who to contact,some of your friends, in any area in Manhattan were I could find a place. Any more in your bulding(hehe)?Do you have any tips to look for one, should I go building to building to search? And is renting a room just as good or way different then a studio? I feel kinda like a burden because you have so many of the same questions about were to locate a studio, and here I am. But any information on anything would suffice! I found your blog via utube, and I’ve been reading non-stop, I admire you, for being so humble! thanks.

    • Leah permalink

      Hi Crystal, I’m in much the same situation as you! I’m a college student from the west coast too, from WA State. And I came to this blog months ago looking for advice. Felice was so kind and ultra helpful to me in answering all my questions, I know you will find great advice here! Anyway, I attended my first 2 years of college in NYC. But I had to return home to save money and take online classes this past year with my NYC college because the dorm costs had gone too high and for the low quality, dirty accommodation it was not worth it. Right now I’m still looking for housing which is tricky in NYC. I can’t tell you where to find housing that I know for sure is great. But I will tell you what has come up in my search so far. In the city there are independently run residences for women students and professionals the application is a bit rigorus. And they usually want a copy of an ID, an essay, a photo, personal interview etc. I personally thought it was too much info to be giving, but other people don’t mind. The places I’ve found so far are Centro Maria, St Mary’s residence, the Brandon, the Webster, sacred heart residence, Merkle residence, and others google these names and google the general search term women’s residences or women’s housing in NYC. The women’s residence may run from $700-$1500 per month. With usually month to month rent no lease. But they do want to know your expected length of stay. Next, there are coed private dorms. One that I’ve been looking at for a long time is Educational housing services which I think is too pricy for a single room for me but I may just go with that one and just have roommates because they have the semester lease option and in-apartment kitchens AND IT’S MY FINAL year of college, yay! Another place is called University Place in brooklyn. These seemed to have only have double rooms last time I checked. So I hope this helps, google these places as a starting point and search for reviews of these places many of them have mixed reviews too. Aside from that you may visit my new blog about where I discuss my unique experiences as an out of state student attending college in NYC (plus it has fashion/beauty topics) check out naturally-styled.blogspot.com sorry I don’t normally pub my blog on other blogs unless it my really be of help to someone. Anyway good luck Crystal, drop by my blog and ask any questions you may have about attending college in NYC as a west coast out of stater πŸ™‚

      • Wow, you’re such an angel, thank you for all that advice! I truely had no idea of all those places were they offer housing. I do love New York City, although many people have told me more negative things, than good things about the place, but I don’t really care what they say. I have always thought its better to lead with your heart than your mind. I plan to stay there for a couple years than move back to Cali to finish my bachelors degree. P.S. I did check out your blog, loved it, and Washington is a gem!!

  24. Rahiem permalink

    Hi Felice! Presently, I live in NJ. In order to pay down my debts and cut my expenses, a year ago I moved out of a 1 bedroom apt. and moved in to a small studio apt. For the past year, I’ve been feeling down about the whole downsizing thing. However, after watching your video, I’ve been inspired and I am learning to appreciate my simple living. Thank you for sharing your story. Good luck with all your career and life ambitions!!!

  25. Madge Ladue permalink

    The important question – how many cubic feet? Love it!

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