How to Survive Living in a Tiny Apartment

A major part of adulting is when the time comes to pack up your things and move out of your beloved childhood home. In my apartment searches, I have realized one thing — the days of having a huge bedroom in my parents’ multi-thousand square-foot house are gone. In the past several years, since moving out, I have had my share of cramped living quarters. While it’s not ideal, with the rising costs associated with renting, it’s often the reality for students and young adults. Here are my top tips for when you’re faced with this problem:

1. Don’t buy in bulk

I know, this goes against everything my mother taught me. Everyone loves Costco for their amazing prices on aggressively large multi-packs of everything, from Kraft Dinner to makeup wipes. A lot of times you do save a chunk of change by shopping this way, but it’s not worth the headache when you get home and realize your cupboards are already busting at the seams. While it may be less efficient, going to the grocery store more frequently and making smaller purchases each time will ensure that your tiny kitchen will be able to accommodate everything you need. I know it’s hard to resist buying 10 packs of ramen when it goes on sale, but trust me, your kitchen will thank you.

Don’t be this girl…

2. Buy multi-purpose items

A full-size blender that also has single-serve attachments? Check. An ottoman that doubles as blanket storage? Check. Only have a bachelor apartment with no living room to entertain guests? Consider a futon that can convert from a bed to a couch. If you can find something that you can use for multiple uses, it just means that you don’t have to find space for more things in your apartment. Win!

3. Maximize your closet space

Chances are, if you have a tiny apartment, you don’t have a walk-in closet either. As someone who loves shopping and has a considerable collection of clothes as a result, I’ve learned that the best way to keep my closet organized and tidy is to store away clothes I know I won’t be using in the near future. During the summer, I hang all my dresses and put my sweaters away in storage. Another tip: get your hands on some of the vacuum storage bags. They make a bag of clothes a fraction of the size and allow you to store away tons of clothes in a small space.

4. Use vertical space

When you can’t sacrifice precious floor space, go up! Think of cities — instead of building out and taking up more space, they build huge skyscrapers. While I wouldn’t recommend stacking all of your belongings into precarious piles, you can still utilize this concept. For example, instead of taking up a lot of space on the floor for shoes, consider a shoe rack that has multiple levels, or an over-the-door shoe organizer. You can also use Command Hooks on the wall for countless purposes: jewellery storage, a coat rack, a place to hang your bags — the list goes on!

5. Clean and organize often

In a smaller space, it takes less to make it feel messy and overwhelming. Keeping on top of things, like doing the dishes and putting away laundry, will keep your space free of mess and will help your apartment feel a little less cramped. In the same way, it’s important to keep your apartment organized. When everything has its place, you’ll eliminate needless clutter that makes your space feel smaller. 

With these tips, you’ll be able to survive even the tightest of living quarters, stress-free!