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Apartment Living 101: How to Live Well in Small Spaces

Apartment Living 101 How to Live Well in Small Spaces

Having lived in apartments of all types and sizes for nearly 6 years now, I can attest to the fact that living in an apartment has several advantages.

However, it comes with its fair share of limitations as well. The lack of storage space and small living areas are just some of them.

Yet, in a way, living in small spaces like an apartment can be a great way to start downsizing, organizing, simplifying.

You need to free up space and for that, you get rid of stuff, buy less and basically live simple.

Here are some of the ways to make living in a small space easy, fun and comfortable:

Make a List of Things to Get Rid Off

We, my husband and I, have a ready reckoner of things to get rid of. Basically, this helps us downsize effortlessly, all the time.

The list includes among other things:

  • Books we’ll never read again and movies we’ll never watch again
  • Appliances and items that are broken, beyond repair, of no use
  • Old and shabby pillows, cushions and linen
  • Toys, clothes and shoes that are outgrown or outdated
  • Freebies from restaurants, hotels and grocery stores
  • Pots and pans that haven’t been used in the last 3 to 5 years

Whenever we notice that something “fits” the list, we know its time to let it go.

A Place for Everything and Everything In Its Place

In small spaces, the need to keep everything in its place and have a “home” for all your stuff becomes more important than ever.

A little clutter looks like a real mess in an apartment. So, designate a spot for all your things. And make sure that they go there.

The next tip will make this job easier.

Make Labeling Your New Best Friend

Labelling is a simple and effective way of remembering the“homes” for your stuff. Having a jar labelled “Pens and Pencils” is an easy reminder to the spouse that pens need to go there and not just tossed on the table.

Labels also make it easier for you to remember what goes where.

I, for example, can never remember where I put the spare set of keys to the car and house. Having started labelling, it’s become much easier because now I just open the hold-all closet and can easily spot the box labelled “Spare Keys”.

Making Things Do Double Duty

Thinking out of the box (literally!) is essential to simple living in small spaces.

Turning empty glass jars into pen holders or spice jars, reusable grocery bags into laundry bags and old shoeboxes into stationery and craft supply containers are just some of the ways we’ve avoided bringing more containers into the house while storing essentials and must-haves.

Do read the following posts for more frugal, creative inspiration to organize and use what you have:

Decorate Small Spaces Smartly

When buying furniture, linen or storage solutions for an apartment, be smart.

Think of whether the item can solve more than one purpose. Ottomans with built-in storage are one such option. Turn bookshelves into decorative spots with curios placed artistically with books and colorful boxes that hold stationery and office supplies. Curtains that decorate and camouflage are perfect for imperfect spaces.

Here are a few good reads to help you with ideas for decorating a small space

Do you live in an apartment? How do you make life in a small space easier and simpler?

Photo Credit:jewell willett

Prerna


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Comments

  1. A very helpful post, indeed! I’ve lived in apartments and condos all my life, and so I can understand the challenges that come with small-space dwelling. It’s a good thing my mom taught me a thing or two about how to maximize small spaces and how to organize things so that I could manage my own home well with a few but thoughtful items.

    Right now, we live in a modest, 80 square meter apartment in a quiet neighborhood. It has a total of 12 sq. m of storage space, not including the kitchen storage! And so, I’ve learned to pare down our clothing inventory, keep a minimal amount of toys for my son, and limit our storage to just a few crates and boxes (i.e. Christmas decorations, baby’s hardly-used stroller, seasonal clothes, and emergency supplies).

    Learning to live with the essentials takes a certain mindset shift, but in the end, it reaps many rewards, the foremost of which is a relaxed, Zen-like vibe at home!
    Martine De Luna | Work-at-Home Mom Writer recently posted..Guest Post: A Cheat Sheet for the Juggling Mom

  2. We are planning to move out of this house and build one nearly half the size in a couple of yrs. Believe me, stuff is going! And I feel lighter already. ;)
    Emily recently posted..Change Your Perspective; Change Your Attitude

  3. Deborah Aldridge says:

    I’ve been downsizing for over a year now, and have rid myself of fully 3/4 of what I owned. I still have too much, though. I really want to get to where I can live comfortably in 400 sq. ft. or less. I’m always looking for storage solutions and stacking ideas. Thrift stores are my best friends for that. I’m learning ways to use and store things I never thought of, and it’s great!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      That is great, Deborah! Love how you’ve adapted to living comfortably in small spaces.. I agree, downsizing is the way to go as is being smart about storage. Thanks so much for sharing!

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