Jul 23, 2014

Lessons from a one-bedroom apartment

We are on the cusp of moving, and I'm so excited I can almost taste it! There is so much I will not miss about this place (loud neighbors, parking passes, loud neighbors, not a lot of space, loud neighbors...), but there have been some fun memories, so in case any of you out there are still in small living spaces, I give you a handful of random things I've learned. (Sounds appealing, no?)

*You can vacuum the whole place in less than 20 minutes. This might be the thing I miss the most. If you have an outlet that will let your vacuum stretch, you may even be able to beat this time. This means you can wait until half an hour before someone comes over to vacuum, and you'll still have time to relax before they arrive.

*Go up with your space. We have a decent amount of furniture in our apartment, but the areas that don't seem quite as cramped are the ones where we have shelves on the wall. Getting things off the floor makes a world of difference.

*If you think your neighbors are loud, just wait until the next set of people move in. Oh my gosh, I could tell stories. Let's just say we have been woken up by all kinds of activities, and it makes me long for the days where an active dog above us was the biggest complaint.

*Put your dresser in your closet. We have been spoiled with a huge walk-in closet the past few years, and putting a dresser in the closet helped more than we expected; it gave us more space in our bedroom, and I don't have to worry about waking up Ben if I'm debating on outfits in the morning.

*You can still host events. It's all about perspective. (She says, as she's leaving). You may have to get creative with arranging furniture, but it can be done. We had 16 people for our midnight dinner!

*Being in a small space can be fun. This may sound weird, but I'm going to miss not being able to see Ben all the time. His studio is next to our kitchen and about two steps from our living room/dining room. I'll curl up on the couch with a book, and he'll be at his table drawing, and every so often we'll just look over at each other and smile. As excited as we are to have a few more rooms (and stairs!) in the new place, I'll miss that closeness, and expect we'll put some kind of chair in his studio for me.

*It is what you make it. I can complain until I'm blue in the face about this apartment, but where we live is expensive and this was the best deal for us for many reasons. I don't believe you have to own something to make it feel like a home, just as you don't necessarily need a ton of space either. Will it be nice to have more room? Of course. But we've lived in a one-bedroom apartment for seven years - you just learn how to make it work. (Plus, it gives you great stories to laugh about later. "Remember when it sounded like our neighbors dropped dead bodies every night?")

Have you ever lived in a small space? Do you prefer that, or do you like to spread out?


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Haha, when Eric and i lived in a 1 bedroom apartment, I could vacuum most of the house with it plugged in to one spot. BEST. I was so unimpressed when I moved to our house (I can still do downstairs on one plug but then there are stairs involved WAH).

Our issues in our apartment were heat (we had no air flow at all so it got so gross in the summer), the loud autobody shop under us (really... our neighbors were okay but hearing crazy stories all day was weird ha ha) and mainly 1 bathroom. We could survive 1 bedroom but one bathroom did not work for us.

Nora said...

Fun post! I've only lived in apartments on my own, but my biggest issue were the smells (I lived in a more urban and diverse area and I can tolerate food smells but not B.O. or other smells) and the noise. Oh, the noise. Occasional noise is one thing, but insane fights or other activities at 2am? No thank you.

I love having my dresser in our closet. Both D and I do that, in fact. Makes a huge difference and makes our bedroom seem more relaxing.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you lived in a small space? When I've come to visit you before it always seemed huge to me! Like you said, it's all perspective ;)

Maybe I should right a post entitled: What to do when you have two rooms instead of one; a survival guide.

Amber said...

Before we got our townhouse we had lived in two 2-bedroom apartments and two 1-bedroom apartments over the course of about 4 years (and this doesn't even include our dorm arrangements in college). Anyways, when we moved into our three bedroom townhouse we were upgrading from a TINY 700-square foot basement suite with one window. I honestly didn't know what we would do with all the new space we would have. Well, three years later it's definitely filled up and now we're daydreaming about a full house. HA. Perspective, right?

These are really good tips about living in a small space though. I will say that regardless of the size of your place I think the location is more important and our townhouse is in an amazing locations!

Stephany said...

I lived in a 1-bedroom with my mom for about 3 years and it wasn't fun! We felt like we were always on top of each other. But it was cheap & I was in school and not bringing in much money, so we made do. Now, we live in a 2-bedroom, 2-bath with a more open floor plan and it is LOVELY. I love our apartment so much!

At our last apartment, our upstairs neighbor had two little dachshunds that she would let stand on the balcony and bark INCESSANTLY. She never told them to be quiet or anything. Drove us CRAZY! I have a dachshund, I know they can be yappy, but I never, ever let Dutch carry on. It was so rude and inconsiderate. UGH apartment neighbors! Luckily, the neighbors we have now are quiet and nice! That's so important!

Unknown said...

I always wanted a big house so I can decorate all the rooms and stuff, then I bought an appartment, it has 3 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, a hall, a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a terrace, And now I keep saying to everyone if I knew then what I know now I would have gotten a smaller one, for all those reasons you mentioned!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I have pretty much only lived in one bedrooms, but it's also just me so that makes a huge difference! I hated my space in Charlotte because I had one closet and I felt like I was so cramped in there since I lost 400 sq ft when I moved. But I learned how to make it work and reminded myself that it was temporary. I have definitely learned that when living in small spaces, closets are essential and that it's ideal for the closets to have built in shelving as I haven't owned a dresser in like 10 years!

I am so so so excited for you guys and happy that you are moving to a space where you'll have more room. I think it will be life changing. And no more loud neighbors! Hooray!!

Katelin said...

Yes, yes and yes. I couldn't agree with you more on this. I loved our little one bedroom place and we definitely made the most of it. We had parties, we cleaned the place in two seconds and we got really good at storing stuff in weird places.

So excited for you guys!

Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com said...

I can't remember a time when I DIDN'T live in a small space... I'm in a tiny studio right now, & it's, um, a challenge. But at least I get to be back in the city!

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