We are officially running out of room in cities worldwide, therefore people are forced to learn how to live in smaller spaces. Additionally, house prices have skyrocketed, and mortgage lenders now require higher deposits than ever before. It’s no wonder that people are struggling, around half of Americans in their 20s still live with their parents. Those who do move out usually have no choice but to share a living space with a roommate or live in tiny apartments or studios so small that it barely contains the basics.
How to Thrive in Tiny Apartments
Benefits of Solitary Living
Designers and furniture manufacturers have picked up on the spike in solo living. They offer smaller, compact units and space-saving methods for people living in under 1000 square feet. Many people would rather have a smaller apartment than having to share a space with a roommate. This is because people are starting to prioritize personal space, less socialization, freedom to decorate as they please, and independence. There are plenty of benefits to living in tiny apartments. You’re forced to think carefully about your possessions due to the limited space you have. Living alone also gives you the opportunity to carve out a better routine for yourself. However, we’re not saying that you should hide away and become a hermit! In fact, when you live by yourself it’s more important than ever that you have friends over, and go out and meet people to ensure you don’t become too isolated.
In tiny apartments, there might be lots of dead space because we tend to do things by the book instead of what’s right in a particular situation. Maybe you’ve placed your bed in one corner near the window so you can look outside and your desk in another. Closets tend to go in little alcoves and bookcases by the door. Why not mix it up? Move the desk or bed around. Swap chests of drawers for tall cabinets that go right up to the ceiling. Maybe you can put up a few floating shelves on walls you aren’t using. There’s no point in having large pieces of furniture that don’t fit. To maximize floor space in tiny apartments, use zipped wardrobe bags and storage baskets that you can place under your bed. Murphy beds are a great option for tiny apartments because they can fold up into the wall during the day. Always make sure to ask the landlord’s permission before carrying out any structural changes.
Kitchen Necessities & Tips
When you have to cook, eat, and sleep in the same room, it’s crucial that you keep kitchen appliances to an absolute minimum. This doesn’t mean that you can’t cook gourmet meals, it just means that you need to decide which items are necessary. Make sure that you’ve got the basics including a small oven and mini-fridge. Depending on how much space you have, there might not be room for a freezer, kettle, or microwave.
Not having a freezer can be an inconvenience, however, there are ways around it. You can go to the store every day or every couple of days on your way home from work. Going to the supermarket will not only get you out and about but also change your eating habits. Instead of relying on frozen or processed foods, you will put a bit more thought into your meals. You’ll likely find yourself eating more healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, fresh meat, fish, and whole grains. Forget frozen pizzas! Why not create a healthier, lighter version? All you need are premade pizza bases, tomato salsa, fresh cheese, slices of German sausage, and vegetable toppings of your choice. Simply toast under the grill, and that’s it!
Importance of Cleanliness
Each morning try to give yourself an extra five minutes to clean up. When you live in a small space, the slightest mess can make living there unbearable. Establish a daily routine that includes making the bed and doing any leftover dishes before leaving for work. Try to clean the floor once a day, and hang up your clean clothes instead of tossing them on the floor. Keep the washroom clean too, since it’s where you get ready. If you have a bed that doubles as a sofa, it’s especially important to make it look inviting. Buying a latex mattress like this one that’s super soft will be much better for your back and hips. It might even be worth trading in your old futon for a pull out sofa bed with storage drawers so that you don’t have to drag out folding chairs every time you have guests.
Keep it a Work-Free Zone
Instead of doing work inside your small space, try going to the library or heading out to a coffee shop to finish that report. This way, you can get out of the apartment, and you won’t associate your studio with stress. For days that you do have to work at home, consider using a standing desk instead of a permanent one. Keep your paperwork organized in folders so that your desk doesn’t get cluttered. Creative professionals prefer this method. Over the last few years, old offices have been repurposed into chillout zones, informal meeting rooms, and private pods where you know you won’t be disturbed. Visiting a work zone gives you a chance to meet people who are in the same industry and you’ll have other living, breathing human beings to talk to instead of just your cat!
Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design.
Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, https://www.patriciadavisbrowndesigns.com/. She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and eHow.com talent offering design tips.
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