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inspiration/resources for living in a very small space?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm new over here (but not to Mothering.com, obviously).

We are a family of 4 about to move into a 550sf apartment (2 rooms with a galley kitchen connecting). It is the ground (i/e basement) floor of a narrow rowhouse. My parents own the house and live above us but this has always been a separate apartment. We do have access to the shared backyard. We expect to live there for 18months to 2 years. Just started painting, renovating, and will start looking for/making furnishings soon.

We recently left an 860sf apt, and have been living for 2 months in my parents' house. We moved across the country and radically downsized. All we brought with us was what fit in the back of a toyota tacoma, as well as a couple of more boxes that we shipped.

Our old place felt fairly big to me, and we were very inefficient in how we used it. Untidy, cluttered. Also it was southern california so we could always escape outdoors! I know I have to be much better about keeping clutter and mess at bay, have to keep the space efficient and multi-functional. But, I could use inspiration (are there any great blogs? books?) and practical ideas about how to make a comfortable, cozy, and inviting home for four in such a small space.
post #2 of 10
apartmenttherapy.com

I love that site for inspiration and great ideas for living in smaller spaces. Have fun with your move!
post #3 of 10
immediately, you need a drop zone for your things for going out. i love lockers! ana-white.com has some great designs for different kinds of lockers that are easy to follow and build!

so, there are 4 people, i would make 4 lockers. each locker has a cubby above. you have your bag in the bottom of the locker, your coats hanging, and then a basket in the cubby above for your hat/scarves/mittens/whatever else. a friend of mine has one basket for cold, one for swimming, etc. then, the bottom shelf--depending upon the design--can be for shoes, sports stuff, what have you.

I might also include a mail-sorting center that includes a space for bills, one for letters/magazines/keeper mail, and one for recycling. Also, just to decrease clutter, try to get bills online and get off the junk mail lists! we have so much less clutter since doing this ourselves!

that will, at least, keep some of your stuff organized--because i find that coming in the door is the biggest hurdle. After that, making sure that everything has a place, and that you have space for new things, and that you tidy regularly (3-4 times a day), you'll be in great shape.

good luck in your new place!
post #4 of 10
zoebird - that website is wonderful! inspiration galore! thank you
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
lockers is a brilliant idea! that is also always such a problem in the morning, getting people out and ready. I think we can fit it in the space between the outer door and inner door (essentially unheated...). DH and my dad (our landlord) are very DIY builder types, so making some lockers is perfect.

I was thinking something like a mail sorting area... I think we'll have a particular evening of the week that is where we go through all the accumulated paper and resolve (pay bills, recycle, file, etc). But a sorting center is probably going to be important for us.

I have to check out apartment therapy more. I just stumbled across it recently.

THANKS!
post #6 of 10
You could do a search for blogs of people living in RV's since that is a tiny space. I like www.walkslowlylivewildly.com
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaegbert View Post
lockers is a brilliant idea! {snip}I think we can fit it in the space between the outer door and inner door (essentially unheated...).
I need to admit I don't know how cold it gets where you are, but if you were in MN I would strongly suggest you try to find a way to keep the lockers, or at least a place for coats and boots in a heated area. It is really not fun to go out into the cold having put on a coat and boots (or even shoes) that are already freezing. Starting off cold also makes it much harder to stay warm. Just a thought, it might not be an issue depending on how cold it gets there, or may only be something you need to rig a temporary solution for for a the coldest month or two of the year.

My other suggestion is to think vertically, there are lots of things that can be hung for storage. For example, ceiling height cabinets in bedrooms are a great place to store off season clothing or bedding.
post #8 of 10
apartmenttherapy.com was going to be my suggestion too. They recently released a book too.

Shelter magazines often have an issue devoted to living in "small spaces". I like ReadyMade because the projects are often realistic and involve re-using or upcycling materials. If you have time, you can probably search some pulbications on-line to figure out recent issues on small space living and then visit the library to look through the back issues.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthyMamaofDaisy View Post
You could do a search for blogs of people living in RV's since that is a tiny space. I like www.walkslowlylivewildly.com
I too was going to recommend Delight (poster on MDC), here is a direct link to her Flickr page with pictures of the smallers places they have lived in.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/happyja...7622958743825/
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
love these ideas, thanks all

we're going to maybe have a browsing day at the bookstore soon... you'd hope that living in NYC the local stores will be serving a larger-than-usual market for these resources.
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