10 September 2008

So, I've been looking for ideas on living in a small apartment since it looks like we're moving from our just-under-1000-square-foot flat to a just-under-800 townhome. I've gotten good at living in an apartment this size with 5 people; it's straining my brain a bit to think of losing almost 200 square feet.

I've decided though that what really bothers me in a small space is having too much stuff. I think the tiny space arrangements at IKEA are good, but there's too much stuff in them. Our small-for-us place will work for us, and still be a lot cheaper than anything else in our new city, if we get a storage unit. It's not ideal, but I think it'll work.

The small apartment is much closer to the law school and will have a lot more children my older boys' ages than the one we could move too that's the same size as the one we're moving from. And it's closer to the library and farmers market. Closer to the law school is the most important thing though. And did I mention it's $700 less a month?


  1. When David was in law school (14 years ago!) we lived in the second floor of an old house with three big bedrooms - I don't know how big it was, but I'd guess somewhere close to 1,000 sf. Then, we moved into a 200 sf apartment with one bedroom and one front room (and a tiny kitchen in the corner and a tiny bathroom in the back)! When we put all of our stuff in the front room, I seriously didn't know if I'd be able to unpack.

    But, we also went from paying $500/month to $185/month. And I look back on that apartment as some of our sweetest, simplest times.

    I think in the same way you adjust to a bigger place (and just fill it up), you adjust to a smaller place.

    I hope you and your boys are enjoying your new city!

  2. One thing that has helped me live in small spaces is making sure I use the walls. Get shelves and put them up on walls so you can store stuff up high. I also really like using wire shelves and baskets to put in places like cupboards or in the top of closets. Those will increase your space too. You can also buy "bed lifters" or just use bricks to make your bed higher and put stuff under it. Be ruthless about giving stuff away if you don't need it/haven't used it in a long time. We actually got rid of a bunch of our books during this last move, and that's something I swore I'd never do, but it really did help. Good luck!

  3. You've probably heard me talk about my bed trick: replace your bed frame and box spring with 18-gallon plastic rubbermaid buckets.