When we moved into our very small space, we had to downsize but we found clever ways to make apartment living doable. We still feel like we are living large despite not having the square footage anymore.
The most important tip when moving to a smaller place or decorating a smaller place is still think big!
We definitely made use of space that was functional to our day to day living.
It does not have to be difficult to downsize, declutter, or decorate! You can do wonders with simple tricks to organize and make use of any space.
Furthermore, downsizing does not mean you have to lose the beauty in your home.
Amazon.com, Facebook Market, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby have all that you need to organize, save money, and make sure every inch of your small space is functional while maintaining a polished look!
We will start with the one area that is behind a closed door but impacts our everyday life when living in an apartment, the laundry room!
In the District, compact washer and dryer units are usually not in an ideal spot and they normally lack any useful storage area. Although this was not one of our biggest headaches, we did have to figure out a unique way to make use of the space so we could keep all our laundry supplies preferably in the same general area.
We measured the empty space on each side of the unit and placed containers that slanted inwards. The slants prevented the containers from slipping down and more importantly, we did not have to use nails.
Using this space to hold the most used items at an ideal level eliminated the annoyance of reaching up to get laundry detergent down from the top of the unit each time we washed clothes.
With the space above the washer and dryer unit, we installed a shelf to hold extra laundry detergent items. We consolidated smaller items in one container because the consolidated weight prevented items falling to the floor during the spin cycle!
Another trick, we used magnet hooks to hold hangers for items that cannot be dried.
We also used an over the door hook that helps air dry additional clothes that cannot be placed into the dryer.
Again, it all depends on the space available in your washer and dryer unit.
Another issue we had was the lack of a coat closet near our front door. We could not make our own mud room but we made our own “mud space.”
Hobby Lobby sells compact furniture at decent prices, especially with their coupons, that could store and hide essentials. For us, our essentials, now that it is warmer, are swimming pool towels, umbrellas, reusable grocery bags and bike gear!
It is okay to go through an identity crisis at any tender age and feel the need to donate all your belongings if it makes you feel free from stuff. However, if you have children, don’t throw away all their toys. They are kids. Kids need them for their development.
Do donate toys they have outgrown and organize the rest!
In the long run, it is more expensive to replace items so do not throw away all their beloved belongings!
When we moved to an apartment last April, we did assume Maxwell would spend more time outdoors, which he did, then winter came. We realized this logic was severely flawed because we did not have a backyard and half of the time the weather was not ideal for Maxwell to play outside. We found ourselves spending more time indoors!
Thank goodness we had one rule prior to moving to our apartment last year, downsizing Maxwell’s toys was not an option. We were not going to be selfish and make him suffer for an adult decision we were making to move from a house to an apartment because my husband had to relocate for his job.
Not getting rid of all Maxwell’s toys was the best decision we ever made! Not only did Maxwell adjusted fairly easy to his new life of living in two homes, one located in DC and one located in Williamsburg, his learning development flourished this past year!
As my sister always says “let kids be kids.”
To finish with one tip for outside the home, if you have a dedicated gym locker or for your children’s school locker, adjustable shelves and magnet hooks are perfect to organize and make use of all the space.
They are inexpensive! Amazon.com sells them for less than $20! No more piles of clothes or books!
ReCreative Souls hopes these tips help with you make use of your small space! Thank you for visiting us!
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Big hug from Irene, Steve, and Maxwell!