Small living isn’t for everyone. It’s tight, cluttered and doesn’t provide a lot of private space. You also don’t have much freedom with the way you arrange your furniture and make it a functional living space. If you’re building your own tiny home you have more options, but that wasn’t my situation. 2 years ago I moved into my first apartment all on my own. I was looking for a one bedroom, but in my town there weren’t many options. I came across a studio apartment that I instantly fell in love with. Full of character and lots of ideas to make it my little gypsy hideaway.
Things changed a little when I found out I would be sharing this space with a little one. I had to think more efficiently and less cute and cluttered. It’s definitely not easy sharing a small living space with a little who is now a toddler running around and dragging out all her toys. I thought I would have to move somewhere bigger once she started moving around. But now I can say I’ve successfully survived living in my tiny apartment for 2 years, even with a toddler.
Make it cozy
The first thing I did when moving into my small apartment was make it cozy. Small living in itself is cozy and tight, but try your best to make it warm and inviting. I’ve used a lot of texture and pattern to cozy up my small living room area. It’s become a bit of a sanctuary. I love relaxing on my couch or in my big comfy chair. Mood lights on and my essential oils diffuser giving off a pleasant aroma to make the space more calming. I’ve added tidbits of decor to bring the space together and make it look like an actual living room and not just a big open space.
Use the space you do have efficiently
I don’t have many options for using my space wisely. However, I’ve made it work and have accommodated to make room for the essentials of any home. Being an open studio style does help, but it does have its down sides. One of my biggest worries with my space when finding out I was adding a baby to my small living space was how I would be able to provide her some space of her own as well as have an option to put her to bed behind closed doors.
It seems a little crazy, but I set Journee’s bed up in my walk in closet. It works really well to be able to put her to bed at night, close the door and then get to work on my projects without worrying about making too much noise to wake her. This created another issue however, where would I put all of our clothes? So I built a closet set up along one of the walls in my apartment. It works great and is a good use of the space.
Hide any clutter
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t keep my work space at home very neat and tidy. Supplies I frequently use are often left on my desk and those that I don’t use so often tend to pile up because I have no where to put them. I don’t like things to look messy when you walk into my home so I had to find a way to hide the mess. Luckily I have a small little nook off the side of my living room where I was able to fit my desk. Even better, my bathroom door opens toward my living space and COMPLETELY hides my desk!
Another issue with clutter in my small living space is the toys and random things my daughter finds to drag all over the apartment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tripped over a stuffed animal or stepped on a small toy. Drives me nuts! But she’s not at the age where I can force her to keep her things in her own area. I had to create peace among us somehow and came up with a way to giver her a play space of her own. There’s just enough room behind my couch to where I could put a book shelf and give her some floor space. She hasn’t quite utilized the space for its purpose yet, but it does keep most of the toys out of my living room! Soon this space will also be where her bed goes and I’ll be turning the closet into my work space!
Keep the junk to a minimum
One of the biggest tips I’ve learned to surviving a small living space is to get rid of the things you don’t need or use. My storage space is bare minimum. I have an extra closet to use to hang on to things I don’t frequently use. However that closet has turned into a place to hide my bags of empty pop cans that need to be recycled and my minimal holiday decorations. I don’t have room for extra stuff or stuff I MIGHT use someday. Moving around a lot the few years before moving into my apartment helped me to get rid of most of my random things, but getting rid of junk is a never ending process.
I’ve recently embraced the idea of minimalism and acquired a less is more attitude. I spent the last month deep cleaning and purging tons of stuff I have no reason to hang on to. There’s a good chance I took out 5 garbage bags full of stuff to the trash, and then filled another 10-15 boxes full of mostly Journee’s clothes and a good handful of my own. Looking around my apartment and seeing so much more open space brings me such joy. It has definitely motivated me to constantly go through any clutter I have in my apartment and get rid of the things I do not need.
Living in my small space has totally inspired me to continue living small. I’m currently working towards finding the perfect camper to move my little and I into that still allows me to do my work.Have you ever considered living tiny? Do you already live tiny and have some great tips on how to make better use of your space? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the tiny house movement.