Growing up in the suburbs of the USA, I didn’t realize I’d be living in a 510 sq-ft apartment with my family of 4 and my dog. Initially the limitations were difficult to overcome. But having lived here for more than a decade, I have learnt ways to adapt to this new lifestyle and they have positively impacted how I live now. Here are 5 Positive changes I have experienced while living in Hong Kong.

Value Less Things

Due to the physical limitations of my home, I just can’t have so many things. In the beginning, it took time to adjust. I used to collect basketball shoes and to be honest, most of them I didn’t wear. So eventually I let them go and donated my b-ball shoes. This little change provided me more room for the happy playful memories with my kids. Of course, practically speaking we needed more room for burp clothes, diapers, clothes, bottles… : )


Becoming a Smarter Consumer

Living small has pushed me to buy products that are longer lasting and tailored to my family and I. When we buy something for our apartment, we always ask, “Where are we going to put it?” or “How often are we going to use it?” It’s really hard to avoid buying the latest and greatest things because Hong Kong is a walking advertisement. We try as best as we can to stick to these two core questions before making a purchase.

Being Organized

Prior to living in Hong Kong. I saw no reason to be organized. Throw stuff in a bag, stuff your clothes in your drawer – “whatever right?” Smart design and transforming furniture can give us more space, but organization maintains it. It’s an overlooked aspect of living in a small apartment. I’m happy I discovered it because it has positively influenced many aspects of my life, including my productivity when I work.

Organized stationary in desk drawer at work

Using Things Until I Can’t Anymore

I haven’t tossed my I-PAD mini with a cracked screen. I still read my e books(only purpose) on my commutes to work and home. Before I would probably just buy a new one right away, but this little guy has helped me rekindle a reading habit. Eventually I’ll get a new one but I won’t feel guilty because I gave this little guy as much as I could. Living small has allowed me to value everything to the max.

cracked I Pad mini

Really Liking Plants

This is a new interest really. I never really gave indoor plants much thought or care before Hong Kong. But the longer I live here, the more I feel that every small apartment dweller should have indoor plants. We live in a concrete jungle, so it’s important for us to keep our connection with nature! There have been many studies that show evidence that plants can purify your indoor air and help relieve stress levels. The more I read and learn about indoor plants, the more it fascinates me.


Living small has many challenges but it has unexpectedly helped me pick up new habits and interests. Are there any lifestyle changes that you’ve experienced when you downsized? Share your comments below.

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