Thursday, April 18, 2013

Apartment Living: Utilizing Small Space

In an apartment there are usually limits to space. Small closets, limited cabinet space and tiny bathrooms are some of the challenges. I'm going to give you some tips to maximize all of your space.

Clothes, clothes, clothes!
After living in a sorority house for a year, I realized just how many clothes girls have. Especially, with living in New England, a girl's closet can be stuffed full with sweaters, tanks, pants, blazers, etc. All of these clothes take up space. If you find your closet lacking, then the first step is sort through all of the different pieces. Decide if they are all necessary. I know that I have some clothes that don't fit well or just aren't appropriate for my lifestyle anymore. These can be donated to good organizations, such as the Epilepsy Foundation and the Salvation Army. These donations are tax deductible and will free up some space.

Now that you've cleared the unnecessary extras, you can organize your clothes. If your closet isn't big enough for everything, then you can use an extension for your closet, as pictured below, to double your space. These are inexpensive and an easy fix.

Chrome Double Hang Closet Rod, Commercial Grade
$14.99 Bed Bath and Beyond

Now that you have enough space, make sure you organize your clothes in a functional way. Here is a great article to give you some ideas for what might work in your space:

Kitchen/Dining Room
In most apartments there isn't the luxury of having separate dining rooms and kitchens. This means that you might have to use your kitchen as an eat-in space, or use part of your living room. Currently, I have a kitchen with a small nook for a very small dining room table, as well as a breakfast bar that doubles as an island. However, I don't have a ton of cabinet space or a pantry. You have the option of purchasing a Kitchen Island, but these can get pretty expensive. Another option is purchasing an inexpensive shelving unit.
 These can be found pretty easily. Walmart and Target both carry basic versions.

Another way to maximize space in a kitchen is to hide items that you don't use often. For example. I keep my coffee maker hidden away, because I don't drink any of it. However, most of my visitors and family do drink coffee, so it is still a necessary appliance for me to keep around. Other items, such as frying pans and silverware will need to be easily accessible, because they are used often. Reevaluating where items are kept every couple of months will ensure that you are using your space efficiently.

As a female, I have to say that having limited bathroom space can be very frustrating. Presently, I have fixed this only be choosing to do my makeup in my bedroom instead of in the bathroom. I only keep lotions, shower items and toothpaste in their. However, I find that decorating through utility is often the best way to use the space. I keep my hand towels in a rack on my toilet base and bath towels go on hooks on my door. Hand soap and toothpaste go on my sink, while lotions and medicine go in the cabinet. Other items go in the cabinet under the sink in little baskets. This is functional for me, but it might not be for everyone. Get in a routine and your space problems can be eliminated!

Good luck and make sure to set aside some space for a few extra books.

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