It’s funny how the decisions you make on a whim, with the least thought put into them; turn out to be the most important decisions of your life. It sounds odd, but packing up my life in South East England and moving to Paris when I was 21, was one such decision. As it was, I arrived here fresh out of university I was propelled across the channel and into the rest of my life.
Within two months I had met and fallen in love with my, now husband. Eight months later we moved in to our first tiny apartment. The first time I had really lived with a boyfriend, we painted the whole, crumbling place bright white and filled it with (retrospectively) awful furniture. We learned how to live with each other and how to manage our very little space and in general were very happy.
Two years later we were married and four months after that, I fell pregnant with our son. Our previously bright and spacious apartment suddenly closed in on me. How were we going to have a baby in a one-bedroom 40m2 apartment? Where would we put all the STUFF that comes with babies? Like most Parisian apartments, we had NO built in storage, no basement, and no attic. Panic set in. Something had to change.
A quick survey of our friends, most of them young, professional couples in their twenties told me that nearly everyone was in the same situation. Big apartments are hard to come by in nice neighbourhoods and when they do, the competition for them is HUGE and they are extortionately expensive. It turned out that what had to change was us.
In the six years that I’ve lived here, I’ve often wanted to start a blog and the time has never been right. Finally, faced with the arrival of our second son into our, now 50m2 space, I’m motivated to write about our experience. Small living is by no means unique to Paris. Big cities are where the jobs are and they are expensive to live in. We just don’t think space (or lack of it) should stop you doing whatever it is you want to do – whether that’s having children, serving up twelve person dinners on a regular basis or creating a space that you can see yourself growing into, not out of.
There are other aspects to city living with a family that I intend to touch on in this space. Small living tends to equate to simple living, minimalism and simple parenting subjects. Living in one of the most expensive cities in the world nearly always equates to frugality, meal planning and general thrifty subjects. I hope that this can be a space to introduce you to how we manage what some (including our families!) consider an unusual lifestyle and inspire you into whatever it is you desire.
I’m not saying we’re doing things perfectly and I definitely have a lot to learn but I’m excited to fill these pages up with our life.