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In the past 7 years I have moved a total of 10 times. I’ve lived in a house that was 2000 sq. ft. and a studio apartment that was 500 sq. ft. To this day, my all-time favorite place to live was that studio apartment. If given the opportunity to live in a small home again in the future, I would certainly say “yes.” The only time I did not enjoy living in that studio apartment was when I realized a hoarder lived next door; her belongings, garbage, and bugs had started to invade my home and porch.
But I digress; living in 500 sq. ft. was surprisingly easy and I would recommend it to anyone! I had plenty of storage (although I hardly used it), I had room for guests (at one point there were 4 people, 2 dogs, and a cat living in my studio apartment), and I even had a huge closet (which I later turned into a mini bedroom).
Plus, the benefits of living in such a small space were plenty! It was easy, cheap, and convenient. I was spending far less money trying to furnish it (in fact, I spent less than $500 furnishing it). I didn’t have the space for unnecessary belongings, so splurge purchases were limited. My electric bill was consistently under $100 per month. Best of all, it took me less than 30 minutes to clean the entire apartment!
Tips for Living in Small Spaces:
From my experience of living in this much smaller area, I have a few tips I can share with those who are considering it:
- If you need extra storage don’t be afraid to use the walls. In a place where you’re tight on floor space, build upwards for storage. Use shelves, hooks, or cabinets to give yourself extra storage space without taking away from your floor space.
- Opt for furniture that serves dual purposes. For example, futons or pull out couches. When I lived in my studio apartment one of my favorite pieces of furniture was this couch that could fold out into a bed, but it did even more than that. You could separate it into two pieces and have two chairs. Stick a small table by those chairs, and I had a dining area.
- Be ready to downsize. I was fortunate that when I lived in this studio apartment I was just getting on my own two feet, so I did not have very much. I had a small dresser, couch, bed, hope chest, tv, table, and 2 chairs. My kitchen was relatively empty, consisting of a blender, microwave, 1 set of dishes, and 3 or 4 pots and pans. I had about 5 pairs of shoes and 30 or so items of clothing. There were a few knick knacks lying around, and some books, but for the most part, that was it! If I were to go back to living in this studio apartment, I would need to half the amount of things I have now.
- If you have the ability and option to choose what it looks like, try opting for an open floor plan. Rooms will feel much more spacious with an open floor plan. Plus, open floor plans are much easier to entertain guests, instead of being locked away in a kitchen by yourself. If you feel the need to separate the spaces you can use curtains or room dividers, both are easy to tuck away when you’re done with them.
- Lastly, home décor can make your home feel even larger (or smaller), depending on how you decorate. Steer clear of large and bulky furniture pieces as these often make the room appear much smaller. Dark colors may also make the space feel smaller, especially if you select a dark color for the walls. Try instead to opt for light colors and sleek yet sturdy furniture.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).