We're crowded in here! How many square feet do we need? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-13-2011, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't even have that much stuff, but I did have to bring in another dresser the other night for my "extra" storage space for stuff like toilette paper, shopping bags etc... My place is so small, about 225 square feet maybe and one main room and a tiny kitchen that doesn't even fit the fridge. We keep all the dressers in the hallway right next to the apartment door and it looks so crowded. I have bare minimum of furniture and big stuff for my babe and I need to figure out where to put things now so we can still walk around. I can't put a dresser in the closet b/c there isn't room to open the drawers that way or I would.

 

How many square feet do a mama and baby really need to live more comfortably? I'm tired of having to move something just to get into my own closet!

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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225 square feet is SMALL- even just for one person and a baby.  I'd bet even 100 more square feet and you'd feel not nearly as cramped.  600 square feet (a one bedroom apartment) would feel huge to you!

 

I would use a lot of vertical storage if I were you: shelves on the walls and over door frames, over-the door hooks to use the back of the door to hang jackets, hanging shoe caddies (for shoes or other organizational needs).  Use your under the bed space for storage.

 

And don't keep anything you don't need...easier said than done right? :)


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Old 01-13-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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another idea- could you get rid of the dresser all together and just use a few hanging clothes organizers in the closet?  similar to this: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90154559

This is what I do, even with space.  I just hate dressers b/c our bedrooms are so small and dressers take up so much room!


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Old 01-13-2011, 05:22 PM
 
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I second the vertical storage and multiple function furniture.  I have 2 larger size squares seats that the top pops off and there is storage inside. Under bed storage- get those lifts like they use in college dorms and then you can slide bins under your bed. Add a skirt around a crib (if you have one) and it can hid a load of items. I added peg board to my kitchen wall...with hooks, you can hang up a lot of stuff to free up shelves for things like towels, bathroom items, extra food.

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Old 01-13-2011, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those are great ideas, but I can't use some of them right now. I can't afford to buy anything and I don't have the wall space to put up shelves either. I wouldn't feel safe having them above my couch or my bed and my kitchen is more like a small closet with no space at all for anything. I did put a little wooden box on the wall to act as a shelf and put a shelf on top of the stove to hold tea and some spices.

I like the dressers b/c my old one is now my sons b/c it's nice and low and acts as his changing table and it's right outside the bathroom and next to his closet, so it's perfect where it is. My dresser has a nice boom shelf on the top of it and I just moved it to the main room so I could make room for the "extra" dresser b/c where it was it was about 2 inches to big and it stuck out and I could see it from the main room. It didn't fit against the wall, know what I mean?

My closets are full, mine has my clothes and shoes and our Christmas decorations and stuff I refuse to store in the basement (it tends to get broken into) and an end table that I had to move when I got his exersaucer. His is full of his clothes and some bathroom stuff.

I might look into some under the bed boxes, but I don't know what I'd store in those. Maybe the Christmas stuff? I do have a closet hanging organizer thing that I keep my extra sheets in and hats and gloves etc...

It mainly the day to day things that I have to find a way to organize in a way that easy to get to when I need it. I do have 5 doors in here and only 1 can hold an over the door hook and still close properly it's also the door that doesn't need to be closed.

I can't wait to move, but need to pay down some debt first and wait to the end of my lease in May. I just want to get some ideas of what size a place I should look for. That way I don't waste my time even looking at a place that's only 300 square feet when I'd really need 450 or something.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:07 PM
 
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When you go to move, you might have to just go see some places to determine what square footage feels right to you.  Sometimes two places can be the same in square footage, but the layout of the floorplan can make it feel bigger or smaller.


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Old 01-14-2011, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's true. My place is small and just 1 room, but the lay out feels like it's 2 rooms b/c the hallway is pretty big and we actually use as the change table area for sonny boy. I just needed a good idea about how much space I really need.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:38 PM
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if everything that you have is exactly as much as you want and need, then i should say you should look at what you have and think about how it would best fit in what kind of space.

 

you can use a piece of graph paper to help. draw your current apartment and all of the furnishings that you have and what you think you might need. make it to "scale." cut out your furnishings.

 

then, draw a larger room to scale that is 50 sq ft larger, and then one 100, and 150 and so on. in each one, play with your furnishings to go "ok, now this will fit." 

 

with what we have, we could live in 225 sq ft if it was shaped properly. we own very little, and so we don't need that much space for storing things. one of the places we were considering before we chose this place was a one room place (studio). you opened the door into the kitchen on your left, and then the bathroom was through a door on the right (this included laundry). then there was the main room, which could fit a bed and a small table and chairs. there was also a closet (which backed up against the bathroom). this would have been fine for us, but we found this place at the same price for much more space, so we decided to go with it. i think it was 225 or less. that would have been for the three of us. 

 

it's really about how you use the space, what you need, and so on. you'll have to experiment to determine how much space you, personally, need. :)

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Old 01-15-2011, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not at all good with drawing things to scale thing and I've even tried the on-line tools to help with that. I'm really limited to where I put things b/c of the plug in situation here. I have 1 in the kitchen and 2 in the main room and 1 in the hallway. The 1 in the living room is where I plug my fridge into. I do have another one that I don't use, but it doesn't work and sparks. The owner will not fix it. We are very squished in here and there isn't much else I can get rid of, except for clothes as my son outgrows them. I need to move for a few different reasons, but really shouldn't until my debt is paid and I give enough notice so my landlord won't charge me for leaving early.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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We're a family of four in a 500 square foot house, and it's just TOO SMALL. I feel like I'm smothering. Putting away laundry makes me want to cry, because we have one closet and two dressers in the entire house. I bet though that it would feel AWESOME for you, with only two of you! I bet if you had even just one more room (dining room, seperate kitchen, etc) it would feel more comfortable. I think part of my smothering feeling is that there is no place to get away from my family when I want to be alone.

 

Some of my slightly more creative storage solutions:

 

- I use suitcases to store stuff under the beds. I picked up three vintage suitcases for $10, and they hold out-of-season stuff.

- I got rid of all my DVD cases and store all our movies in a binder. 

- I try to keep the closet ridiculously organized because it is SO jam packed. Even our clothing is color-organized so that I can find something quickly.

 

 

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Old 01-16-2011, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I only have about 6 DVD's and I gave away most of my CD's after I burned them onto my Mac. I got rid of my big and old and really nasty dish rack recently and bought a cute little stainless steel one that fits perfectly on the tiny counter space I have for it. I also got a discount on it b/c some pieces were missing:joy Just the thing the utensils go in. Just that makes my kitchen feel more organized.

I'm just sooooo glad I don't use bottles and formula and all the stuff that goes with it. I'd just have n room at all for it.

My goal is to pay off debt and catch up on bills and then move to a bigger place. I'd love to save a little money though so I can treat myself and by a few cool storage things for the new place though. I think I can do this by September for sure. I don't need a fully closed 1 bedroom, but even a double salon would be great to have a separate sleeping space and living room space.
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Old 01-16-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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Good luck to you! I hope you can move into a bigger place soon.

 

My goal is to be out of this house in two years. I hope I can keep my sanity until then. If there were just one more closet, I think I could manage just fine.

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