So you moved into an apartment, a dorm room or maybe just found a new place that is smaller than your last. Coming from someone who miraculously found a house in the Liberty Park area with a huge room complete with a walk-in closet (I spoiled myself for sure don’t judge) but now lives in an apartment near the U in a room that is just short of 100 square feet, downsizing is a lot trickier than you would think. Figuring out how to use space efficiently is the best strategy, and hey, if New Yorkers and Europeans can accomplish this in an effortlessly stylish way, why can’t we? Read on for my four best tips for downsizing effectively.
- Be Realistic
I know it may seem hard to throw away those pair of shoes from high school with lots of holes and even more sentimental value, but when your living space just can’t accommodate useless items, it’s time for the trash. Going through your belongings is an important first step to planning what will be prioritized in storage. It’s especially helpful to complete this process before you move to your new space — this will save you lots of hair pulling and sleepless nights searching through boxes for items haphazardly packed away. This is something I learned the hard way when I moved into my modest new room. Once I realized the only piece of furniture that would fit was my queen sized bed, I relegated the living room as the new home to several tables and a few boxes of arbitrary items I never used but couldn’t bring myself to abandon…something my roommates weren’t the fondest of.
2. Measure. Measure Literally Everything.
Knowing the exact size of your room is a huge advantage when you are looking for solutions to storage. If your closet can’t fit it all, jotting down it’s dimensions and heading to IKEA can turn out to be a fun way to spend the day and find functional items at the same time. When I got the first few necessities settled (aka bed, makeup and a few summer clothes) I realized my closet was literally seven inches deep and about a foot and a half wide. There was no room for hangers let alone a shoe rack to house my beloved babies. Panicked, I began to think of how I would live with my entire wardrobe strewn around the house, unconfined in one space. One of the only benefits to my room is that I have my own attached bathroom (sink, toilet, and bathtub that doesn’t double as a shower). I love baths but I use the communal bathroom to shower so I really didn’t have a need for it. I measured it’s width and length and cut a board that would fit. After finding a well-priced clothing rack, I set it up on top of the board and voila! My bathroom was now also my closet. Multi-use spaces are the name of the game here, and you can’t accomplish that without whipping out a tape measure.
3. Declutter Often
When every corner of your room has a purpose, there isn’t much room for clutter. Going through past school work or a bundle of chords you swore had a function once is essential for keeping your sanity and maintaining your space. This step is really encouraged for everyone, but it is especially useful when your space is so small. Going through items regularly will help you stay content with your room and build helpful habits that will come in handy in the future!
4. Think outside the box
Many items have more than one way to use them, and thinking beyond their conventional purpose will result in efficient use of space and an edgy style. Instead of a desk, find a sturdy shelf and a collapsible chair. This is a good place to note that shelves are your best friend here, unless you live in a dorm that won’t allow nails. Arranging shelves in an interesting design adds flair to your room and creates more space for storage. This is just one example, but refusing to play by the rules will help you make the best out of a tiny space.
So there you have it — four tips for downsizing your stuff in tiny spaces. While it’s not the easiest, moving into a smaller space can help you become more organized and create a cool space you love to come home to. Happy measuring, collegiettes!