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Claustrophobic? Extreme Small-Space Living May Not Be For You.

cramped apartment with wardrobe and couch

Photo by Thinkstock / The Nest

As someone who didn’t hit the five-foot mark until right before entering high school (I’m now 5’2”, thank you very much), small spaces never seemed to bother me. I’m small. Compact. Fun-size, if you will.

But moving from Indiana to New York City was more than just a culture shock -- it was a space shock. You may think you’re living frugally stuff-wise, until you have to decide whether you want to have a dresser or a queen-size bed, because you can’t have both. That’s a common NYC dilemma, like it or not.

So when I saw this man’s small-space living situation, in which he makes do with 78 square feet (for $800 a month, mind you), I just had to watch the video. Because holy moly, where do you even put...anything? Luckily, this guy’s an architect, so he was able to design himself a pretty functional little nook.

But the big city isn’t the only place where people are sizing down their living spaces. This family of three (a couple and their 13-year-old son) built a custom 320-square-foot house that they then paid off (they rent the lot it sits on for $400 a month). They even boast that they can host overnight guests, sleeping “six comfortably.”

Sure, compared to my NYC apartment, this house seems almost like luxury living. But break it down and that’s just a bit over 100 square feet per person. Oy. Even so, it seems the tiny home trend is on the rise, with more people (and families) opting for smaller spaces in favor of lower expenses.

Watch the video on the 78-square-foot apartment and the 320-square-foot home (for three!). Then let us know: Could you live in that small of a space?

-- Samantha Leal