Jaeri lives in a small room, but she has learned from the room’s limitations how to minimize her possessions and maximize her use of space. Jaeri’s room is all about how she wants to feel when she is there: efficient, positive and comfortable. The furniture in her room is organized so she can be as productive and focused as possible. She has only the things she needs. She has also brought lots of positivity into her living space by decorating the calming blue walls with positive affirmations, pictures of loved ones and her own artwork. When Jaeri moves onto the next stage of her life it will be easy for her to pack up and move; but for now, she has embraced the small room for its coziness and made her room a relaxing, inspiring, distraction-free home.
How Jaeri Uses Space
Because my room is really small I try to move in the most convenient way. I wake up (and sometimes I do meditation) and because my room is freezing cold, I have this sweater near my bed. Then I study here, then I take a shower and come back.
I chose this room, even though it is very small, because it is independent from other rooms. Hannah’s and Rebecca’s rooms are connected so they put wooden boards between them, so I just chose a really independent room. Also, I have this window so it’s pretty shiny and the sunlight comes in a lot, which I really like.
Another reason why I chose this room is the wall color. I heard that blue is very comforting and calming so I chose this wall color. But I realized that if I only have this blue color then it will be really moody, so I use these Post-Its for their color to make the room lighter.
The limitation of the small room is that you can’t do extra things like yoga or invite your friends in here, but at the same time it is really cozy and it makes me feel like it’s my room!
I try to not buy anything, even little things, because it really distracts me when I study. Furniture or even clothes, I try not to buy extra. I try to live with what I have.
In the beginning of last semester when I first moved in here, I felt really lonely. Living in the dorm is really loud and you can hang out with friends, but living in an apartment can make you feel outside of society. So I put the quotes on my wall to boost my self-esteem–“You’re the best! You’re the smartest!”–something like this. I see them before I go to sleep and it has really helped me.
These are my New Year’s resolutions [on the window]. I divided them into the three parts of my life: daily, school-life and relationships. Relationships is also divided into three parts: friends, family and society. School life is divided into two, school activities and grades. My daily life is divided into family life and health and self-development. My goal was to get all A’s, but I don’t know if it is working! Sometimes I get a little mean to my roommates, so another one of my goals is to be nicer to them.
Q: What object best represents you?
A: I think it is my bed area. I wanted to define clearly the “bed part” of my room and the “desk part” so that’s why you can imagine a dividing line between them. I spend a lot of time on my bed–I even do homework there–and I try to motivate myself with the Post-It notes that I like. It makes me feel like it’s home, back in Korea. When I’m in my room I want to feel like I’m really motivated and like I’m doing something. That’s the reason why I put my artwork up, to show myself that I did something and remind myself that I’m doing enough but I can also do more.
Q: What is the meaning of home to you?
A: Home welcomes me every time. Even if it takes a long time for me to come back, it welcomes me.
Q: Does this place feel like home to you?
A: Yeah, after I put things in here. As time goes by, I try to put things in here that I really like and that make it feel like home. My sense of home is mostly separate from things. I don’t want to be distracted when I’m doing something and I realized that if I have a lot of things around me, my room looks smaller and it really distracts me. I get along with my roommates but I am really independent and I wanted a room that I can make my own, that feels like home to me.
Also make sure to check out our previous interview with Jaeri’s roommate Rebecca here!