Our apartment is pretty tiny. It’s 500 square feet and is essentially two rooms and a bathroom. Any real estate agent would describe it as “charming” and “cozy”. It is those things. But it’s also effing small. Since my partner and I moved in together (yes, I’m still using the word partner), we’ve gone from 1200 square feet, to 850 square feet, and now 500 square feet. We’ve cut our space in half!
Here is how we are making 500 square feet work for us now.
Ditch the Unnecessary
Before we moved in to our current space, we got rid of HALF of our stuff. Here is how we did it.
The best thing is, 6 months later I can barely tell you what we got rid of. I don’t miss it! I really don’t! I’d strongly encourage anyone downsizing to get rid of half your stuff. You can do it.
My best advice? If you wouldn’t notice that something was gone if your spouse threw it out while you were out of the house, you should get rid of it.
Hide Your Junk in Plain Sight
As much as you can try to get rid of much of your junk, there will still be random things you just want (or need) to keep. What about that pack of 50 colorful markers? What about your tool box or your random craft supplies? Or the absurd number of power cords that you aren’t sure what they go to but don’t want to throw them away?
We keep our small apartment organized by hiding our junk in plain sight. We do this using baskets above our kitchen cabinets and on our bookshelves.
Utilize Multi-Purpose Furniture
Our coffee table has a hidden storage area for blankets and the 12 remotes that we don’t use (seriously, how do we have so many remotes?). Our radiator has a cover that doubles as a TV stand. Our dresser acts as our TV stand in our bedroom. Our kitchen island has replaced a dining room table and a desk.
I promise it’s not always fun sitting on a bar stool to blog, but there is literally zero space for a desk or dining room table in our home. Most of our furniture serves multiple purposes and for our small space, that is efficient and necessary.
Shelving is Your Friend
We have an absurd amount of bookshelves to wall space in our apartment. If there is a big empty wall, there’s a bookshelf on it. Yes, we have a lot of books. But we also use this space to display photos, houseplants, and store belongings.
Another helpful addition for storage space in a small apartment is to install floating shelves above doorways. This is a great option for storing TP and extra towels in the bathroom.
And the best shelving? Our closet has tons of additional shelving added. I can’t take credit, it was this way when we moved in. It looks like it would be easy to install and is probably similar to this Closetmaid Shelf Track Kit from Target.
Here’s what my closet looks like:
Conserve Counter Space
Keeping all countertops clean helps keep the apartment from feeling like it’s over-crowded. All appliances (except for the coffee pot), are put away unless they need to be used. We don’t have a microwave. If we need to use the toaster, we just pull it out and put it back when we’re done. Even though we are definitely messy people, cleaning off the countertops really helps keep the space feeling open.
Remember Why You Love Your Small Space
Sure, our apartment is half the size of most places in the suburbs. But we also are mere blocks from fabulous coffee shops, fun bars, beautiful parks, and amazing restaurants. We’re paying for our location, not for our space. So if you’re feeling cramped in your small space, get out of it. Explore your city and remember why you embraced your small space to begin with.
Have you ever downsized? What suggestions do you have for making the most of a small space?