Living in a (match)box








paris: small capital – it’s all about the small. And when you’re living in an apartment in Paris, any other size just doesn’t come into it (unless you’re just too jammy for words). But looking for the positives is a splendid pastime, and so in the ‘silver lining’ spirit, here’s a list of ten reasons why living in a shoebox is actually pretty cool.

1. The acquisition of ‘stuff’. Quite simply, wherever you live, you’ll buy stuff to fill the space you have. A smaller space means a much reduced need to buy more stuff. Money saved, right there. Plus you automatically disqualify from ever being one of those hoarder people in Channel 4 documentaries who quite literally drowns in their own possessions.

2. ‘Stuff’ changes. Having to be more selective in what you fill your intimate space with, possessions become something to be chosen with care. What you do select will become more precious as a result, simply due to its rarity. Plus, you’ll never get a better lesson on appreciating how little you actually need in life to be content. Life should be about the doing and the being, not the having.

3. Cleaning. The bigger the space, the more nooks and crannies, surfaces and floor space (and sheer ‘stuff’ for that matter), to clean. Chez moi, cleaning takes no time at all. Leaving more time for the cooler things in life.

4. In-built shopping police. Wardrobes in small apartments are fairly limited, forcing you to adopt a one-in-one-out policy. There’s just no room to make bad purchases that sit in the back of the cupboard, never to be parted from their labels.

5. The toning possibilities. All of that bending around and stepping over furniture pushed together as close as it will go, reaching up into impossibly high cupboards and being able to stretch from the bed to reach almost 50% of your total possessions in one go, well, that’s a new type of domestic yoga that takes no effort at all.

6. Organisation. You don’t have drawers upon drawers to fill with papers you’ll organise later (on that day that will never, ever come…). With the limited space, you have to be organised from the outset. And organised people, as we all know, are just more zen.

7. Out the door! Given that staying in a small space in the warmer, sunnier days of the year isn’t the most fun a person could have, the motivation to leave the house and explore Paris and the surrounding areas is turned up to 11. If you lived in a duplex with a view of the Eiffel Tower, you’d never want to leave, and as a result you’d miss some of the best parts of the city.

8. A real winter warmer. When the nights draw in and the city gets colder, sure you don’t want to go out. You want to stay inside and cuddle up in a cosy space that beats an apartment with vast, vacuous rooms any day. Plus your shoe box will be soooo much cheaper to heat. Bonus!

9. The best relationship test you’ll ever have. Think that current squeeze will last the course? Living in a 25m squared apartment together will soon test that theory. Fail, and it was never meant to be. Survive living together in limited space, and you know you’re onto a winner.

10. Sheer romance. Well you are in Paris after all (and therefore you don’t get much of a choice where size is concerned). Ever seen the Little Paris Kitchen? That would never have worked in a kitchen fit for cooking a meal for 200. Plus, you’ll never get a better opportunity to live out your Hobbit/David the Gnome fantasies, so embrace it.

Feel free to send me any more suggestions. I’m off to cook dinner whilst having a bath.