Tuesday, April 12, 2016

10 Tips for Living Tiny

Ok, I don't actually live in a tiny house like the cute Tumbleweed model above, but I share a bedroom with my husband in an apartment with no common space aside from the kitchen. Our room functions as a space for sleeping, an office, an art studio, and a living room. As for the kitchen and bathroom, we share those with three other people. Our living situation may sound a little cramped, but we do alright by maximizing the space we have. Here are ten basic tips and tricks I have picked up for living minimally over the past several months.

Tip One
Go Vertical
When you have limited floor space, use the walls! Install shelves and hooks to hold your possessions. We have found that hooks on the back our door especially useful for storing scarves, belts, towels, jackets, purses, all kinds of things. Seeing your things on the walls also helps make the room feel cozy and more personal. 

Tip Two
Under the bed storage
For our first two years of marriage we slept on a box-spring and mattress on the floor because I just didn't see the point of a bed frame. But after moving into our current apartment (which is much smaller than our last), it was clear that the extra storage space was necessary. So off we went to Ikea to purchase a bed frame. We now have space to store our guitar cases, tools, Christmas ornaments, and other things we don't need everyday because crawling under there is inconvenient. For extra organization, you can buy cute storage containers.

Tip Three
Storable Surfaces
Storable surfaces are wonderful because they can serve several different uses and take up hardly any space. We use a fold away lap desk. It works as an office space, a breakfast-in-bed tray, a TV stand (for when we watch movies on the laptop), an art desk, among other things. When we are done with it, it folds up and tucks behind our squashy armchair and doesn't take up extra space. I have also seen fold away tables that hinge from the wall that serve similar functions. If you are living somewhere more permanently, this could be a worthwhile investment.

Tip Four
Build a Loft
We have an 8' by 6' foot loft in our room that my dad built with us from scrap lumber. I originally wanted to loft the bed and use the area underneath as closet space but after one night of climbing up and down the ladder I ditched that idea. Now our bed is underneath and the "upstairs" of the loft holds a lightweight love seat and coffee table. The edge of the loft facing out serves as a bookshelf to the rest of the room. You cannot fully stand up above or below the loft but we haven't found this to be a problem because we only use those spaces for sitting and lying down. Having the two levels gives our room distinct areas within the same space and makes for a very treehouse feel.

Tip Five
The In-house Mailbox
 One of the biggest culprits for clutter is mail. It seems to stack up on every clear surface and just doesn't look good. Find a pretty box or basket that you can attach to the wall to store unsorted mail and you will find your life less cluttered. Ta-dah!

Tip Six
Store Out of Season Clothes
  We use large sealable tubs to store winter/summer clothing during the off season to clear out and simplify the closet space. The tubs are stored in the corner of our loft until the weather changes and we need to swap clothing out. When that time comes, it's fun to re-appreciate the pieces that have been in hiding.

Tip Seven
Paint the Ceiling a Lighter Color than the Walls
This is an old trick that helps open a space up by giving the illusion of a higher ceiling.

Tip Eight
Shoe Storage
The bottom of our closet would be a pile of shoes if it wasn't for our shoe rack and hanging shoe bag. It organizes the space and keeps our shoes in order so we aren't digging around for a pair when it's time to get dressed. It can be easy to kick your shoes off at the end of the day and leave them lying around but when you have limited floor space, leaving little things scattered about the floor looks twice as messy. Do yourself a favor and organize your shoes.

Tip Nine
Make Your Bed
 A tidy bed cleans up the entire room and turns it into an inviting space to relax.

Tip Ten
De-clutter, Recycle, Buy Things Less
This tip goes without saying but I'm going to say it anyway. We, as people, don't need as much stuff as we think we need. Take advantage of your library instead of buying books. Donate the clothing that fits you awkwardly. If you are finished with something, give it to someone else. It is better to have a home full of things that you use and appreciate than clutter that gets in the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment