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Need strategies for move to small apartment-- please!

568 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Delicateflower
I'm about to sign a lease for a brand-new basement apartment, in a good neighborhood.

The downside is, it's small. There are 2 pretty small bedrooms, a bathroom barely bigger than a powder room, and one "main" room with the kitchen appliances up against one wall. If you're facing the "kitchen," there are laundry machines and pantry closet to the left, exit, coat closet, and bathroom to the right. The bedrooms are behind you, with the space in between more like a hallway than a room.

So, there's no living room, and only a little space for a little kitchen table. There are decent sized closets in each bedroom.

I'm thinking futon- couches for both rooms (ds13 in one room, ds5 and me cosleeping in the other). I've done a big decluttering of my own stuff (and will do more!). For the kids, we'll bring their favorites, and leave the less favored/too big with their father.

I've read many "small house" threads, but since it's a rental, I can't make any major changes. Any advice?
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I'm unclear. Is there no room in the main area for anything except a small kitchen table?

If not, I would consider a small couch and chair grouping with a small storage ottoman in lieu of the kitchen table if it fits. It would make the area more cozy and you can use tray tables to eat (they can be hung on the wall). I would 'ground' it with an area rug. It could be a play area as well and a place to hang as a family, or a place you can retreat to read or whatever when the kids are sleeping.

Also, you could consider setting up you and your five year old's room like a living room/playroom with a nice futon (like you mentioned) that can be put into a couch in the daytime. Rather than decorating it to look like a bedroom, that can be your 'family' room or living room.

If you do decide to use the main space as a small sitting area, they make drop leaf tables that screw into the wall (all which you can easily spackle and touch up when you leave) that hang flat against the wall when not in use. The chairs accompanying chairs hang on the wall too. They have them at Ikea, I think the table is only like $30.

Additionally, I would put shelves shelves shelves everywhere. In the bathroom, shelves for towels and toiletries. Dedicate one small basket for each member of the family's toiletries. Over the door towel holder in the bathroom. Dedicate one towel per person, with maybe one or two extra for laundry day. Or, you can hang a clear shoe organizer on the wall to hold toiletries. You can also use one on the inside of each closet to hold things like socks, undies, "junk" drawer items like scissors, tape, or stationary.

I would keep the bedrooms sparse, try to fit all clothing and such in the closets so you won't need dressers.

A small decorative dresser in the main area (if you have room) can hold pots and pans, cloth napkins, cookbooks, even laundry soap and things you don't want displayed. Then you can put a lamp and a few pictures or whatever on top to make it look cozy. You could also do that to store toys.

You'll have to purge a lot! I look online a lot for inspiration - there are some really creative tiny spaces. You may not be able to do it all, but sometimes it will inspire an idea for a solution!
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Well Tumbles Bumbles had lots of great ideas!I agree about the sitting area over the kitchen table if that in fact is the situation.A foot locker could serve nicely as storage/coffee table/eating area.And think vertical as much as possible.I would look at RV living for ideas and inspiration and even through the pages of Ikea.

Originally Posted by rere View Post
even through the pages of Ikea.
IKEA has some really cool table solutions. There's a double drop leaf table that when both sides are down is about 6 inches wide. There's a square table that has four chairs which push all the way under. They also have boxes which attach to the wall, then fold down to be a laptop workstation (for a teenager's desk).
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