“Micro-studios”: A Review

   As I stated in my Back in Seattle post, I live in a “micro-studio.” What’s a micro-studio? It’s a studio apartment, but way smaller than the studio you just visualized. Way, way smaller.  They’re also sometimes known as “apodments” in Seattle, after one of the realty brands (not the one I rent from) that exclusively rent out micro-studios.  I call my place “The Pod” so I can say Dylan and I are two D’s in a Pod (*ba dum tsss*). Essentially, I live in a 180 square foot room equipped with a bed, a closet, a desk, a sink, a separated bathroom with a toilet and standing shower, and a communal kitchen.  Remember when you were in college and lived in a dorm? Yeah, same.

    I had only just decided to move to Seattle three weeks prior to doing so.  I had very little time to prepare and kind of had to commit to the first apartment I could afford.  I searched furnished studio apartments with a $1000 maximum filter on Craigslist, and only “micro-studios” popped up. It’s hard to imagine what 180 square feet look like, even with a few pictures as reference. I knew what I was getting into, though. I knew the whole apartment would be about the same size as my room back home in Los Angeles; so, upon moving in, I figured I’d be right at home. I spent most of my time at home in my room anyway, but I knew the one thing that would most likely be an issue for me was the communal kitchen situation since I love to cook, but do not love to share.
The Pod
    My first month there, I didn’t really notice how small the apartment was. My only issue turned out to be the unreliable wifi connection that would just randomly stop working for 12 hours at a time.  Since then, however, I’ve discovered many issues with living in a micro-studio. The issues include: the small space (since February, Monet and I have a gained a roommate, my boyfriend, making the smallness a lot more noticeable); the communal kitchen (its as bad as you’d imagine a communal kitchen to be – including stealing of my kitchen materials); and the indifference the landlord has towards the upkeep of the property (my mailbox was broken open for three weeks, two of the only three coin-operated washers in the whole building were broken for a month, and the construction of The Pod is slowly falling apart).
   Despite all of the negatives of The Pod, Dylan and I try to make it work.  Recently, to make our jail cell a little more cozy, we moved our furniture around a bit.  We put our bed between the desk and the wall, making it feel like a little bedroom area. Also, we managed to make a large open space that we can actually move around in without bumping into anything.  We’re going to get shelving and start hanging our posters, as well.  It’s wild, though, to think about how for seven months we resisted making our living space into a home for us, a place where we feel comfortable.  Additionally, The Pod has a rooftop with a beautiful view of the mountain range and all of Ballard. We can watch the sunset and the sunrise with no major blockage of our view by other buildings.  It also has a grill, where we entertain company with hot dogs, like real life adults would.
Dylan in The Pod – His face describes the same discontent I feel towards micro-studios.
     Overall, I’m not thrilled about living in a micro-studio, but I’m still happy.  If you are deciding whether to live in a micro-studio, my ultimate conclusion and advice is to view it before committing to it.  Do a full inspection of everything (again, seven months and The Pod’s falling apart). Also, look up reviews from other people that have lived in the same realtors micro-studios. Perhaps I could’ve known ahead of time how poorly managed the building is.  If you’re like myself and can’t view the apartment before moving in, I’d recommend getting a 3 or 6 month lease. That way you have the option to move out sooner than later without spending around 1000$ to break the lease. One of the major reasons preventing Dylan and I to move out is I got a year lease and it would cost us $1800 to break the lease, on top of the cost it takes to move into a new apartment.  As much as I genuinely dislike living in The Pod, though, at least I have a place to live that I can say is all mine – something I didn’t have the luxury of before.

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