Since my husband and I got married and moved into our first place (a 400 square foot apartment) it has been very difficult for me to adjust. I grew up in a 4 bedroom suburban home complete with a finished basement. I could change anything I wanted, when I wanted. I also had more than enough space to cook a million things at once and to be in a room alone if I needed to. It was definitely not easy to go from that to having just about no kitchen and the whole place being basically one open space. Not to mention I can’t even paint the walls here – the white walls are boring me to death.
It’s very gratifying making the best use of your space because it makes your home more functional. There are many ways to make more space in an apartment and how to use the space you do have, even if you can’t do any renovating (which is the majority of the time when renting at least). In another post I’ll talk about how to make the illusion of more space but for now let’s get to actually making a little extra – and much needed – space.
A huge thing for me is organization tools that can go over and under things. Make use of the empty air hanging over your toilet and doors. When you only have 400 square feet you have to use every inch of that to it’s max.
I love this shelving I bought from Ikea. It fits perfectly over our toilet and is extremely helpful. There is no linen closet or anything of the sort in our apartment so I would really have no other place to keep towels, wash clothes, etc. I also love being able to have a little extra something decorative in the bathroom since there is no shower curtain, (and we aren’t allowed to paint the walls) I’m able to use it to add some color and depth to the room.
This shoe holder is super handy to have. I think I got this from Walmart but I honestly can’t remember cause I’ve had it for so long. I keep all my shoes on it and the hubby has a little shoe rack that he keeps his on. But this is perfect because it uses the space that would normally be wasted. You can even fit more that one pair in some of the pouches if they are flat enough (like sandals and ballet flats). It also makes it a little easier when you move places because you already have your shoes packed and ready to go. When moving from my parents house into the apartment I just rolled it up into a box. This things is definitely not limited to storing shoes – use your imagination to organize something that may be taking up a lot of ground space or something that may not have a home of its own. For example, my parents have something very similar hanging on the inside of the coat closet to store scarves and gloves.
The bed frame we got from Ikea has a good amount of space for storage underneath it. (Can you tell I’m a little obsessed with Ikea?) They sell little storage containers with wheels that actually fit perfectly underneath it but we don’t have enough space to be able to wheel them out. There’s only about 1 1/2 feet between the side of the bed and the wall and the other side of the bed is against the wall! I’m definitely looking forward to moving somewhere that’s just a bit bigger than this tiny place.
I also have a little closet organizer to store my socks and intimates. It’s pretty small but can hold quite a bit. As you can see my closet is small enough so I need something that takes up as little space as possible. We also have a hallow ottoman for storage (ours from Target holds abut 4 blankets). We don’t really have the space for a coffee table so I use a little tray on top of this to act as one if I need a solid surface.
PURGE UNNECESSARY THINGS TAKING UP PRECIOUS SPACE
Something else that can make a huge difference is just plain getting rid of things. My husband and I have gone through things at least 2 or 3 times since we’ve been married (going on 5 months) and purged trash bags full of stuff. We’ve mostly gotten rid of clothes but also cooking things we had more than one of and selling old electronics we don’t really use anymore. This has cleared up so much space in our closets and under-the-bed storage, plus it keeps things organized and clean.
When you go through your things ask yourself these questions:
Have I used/worn it within the last month?
Is it something I’m keeping to use for a project (crafting/cooking)?
Does it have personal value (like something from a family member or close friend)?
Odds are if the season hasn’t changed and you still haven’t worn it or used it you probably don’t need to keep it. If you’re using if for a project why not just schedule out a time to do it – actually put it on your schedule – and if you don’t think it’s important enough to do that then you should probably get rid of it. Getting rid of things isn’t always easy, but you’re making your life simpler and clutter free, so just remember that if your really torn whether or not you should get rid of something.
So that’s just a few things that I do to make a little more space in our apartment. What are some ways you make extra space in your home? Let me know in the comments below and also let me know if some of these tips helped you make use of the space you have! 🙂