If you’ve recently moved to a big city and you’re living in a smaller space than you’re used to, it can be hard to adjust. Most people are naturally pack rats – we collect things and we don’t like to get rid of them. We’re also very fond of our privacy, so suddenly being faced with having to share a small space with other people can be daunting. Here are our top 11 tips for dealing with the change with grace:
1. Open Up The Space
I have always said that doors are the enemy of progress. Obviously some doors, like your front door, your bathroom door, and the bedroom door, are important for privacy, but you might be able to do without some of the others. Consider taking the doors off your closets – they take up a lot of space, and can get in the way. Instead put a curtain over your closets, or just leave them open. As long as you stay organized, they will still look nice.
Putting up mirrors around your home is actually a great way to make the room appear larger, especially if the room is well-lit. Buy a few extra mirrors to hang on walls and doors, and your home will feel bigger. Oftentimes this can make the difference between feeling cramped or relaxed.
3. Door Backs
As long as you have to have doors in your home, you might as well make use of them. There are lots of options for hooks and racks that hang over the top of your doors that can really help you make more efficient use of your space. Hang towels from a rack on the bathroom door, or put your ties in a rack on your bedroom door.
4. Utilize Guest Space
If you want to have guests overnight, you may want to think about creating multi-functional sleeping spaces. Couches that transform into beds are great for this purpose. Personally, I have Moroccan style couches that double as comfortable sleeping surfaces, so all I have to do is throw some sheets down for my guests.
5. Get Painting
The right colors in a room can make it feel larger and more comfortable. By combining the colors of your furniture and walls in a pleasing way, you can really open up the rooms in your home and make them feel more inviting. The standard white color walls may not be the best choice for a small apartment – think about choosing a more colorful palate.
6. Stay Organized
The smaller the space is that you live in, the more important it is to stay organized. Little messes can become big problems rather quickly when they take up a huge percentage of your available space. Try to always put things back where they go, and clean up after yourself every step of the way. That way, you’ll avoid the stress of cleaning up later, and the space will be nice and open.
7. Get Rid Of Your Stuff
Every once in a while, you should go through everything you own and decide what is really worth keeping. When you live in a small space, everything you keep matters. If you’re not using it regularly, it may just be taking up space and getting in the way. Sometimes we want to hold on to stuff that is sentimental, but not actually useful. If you have a lot of stuff you just can’t bear to part with, you may want to consider renting some storage space.
8. Communicate With Your Friends And Family
When you move into a new place, your friends and family may be tempted to buy you housewarming gifts you don’t actually have room for. It’s not easy to tell someone you can’t take a gift, so you end up keeping it even though you don’t have the space. Let the people in your life know that you would rather receive gifts that don’t take up space, like gift cards.
9. Re-Think Storage
Take a look at your closets and cabinets. Are you storing everything as efficiently as possible? There are lots of easy ways to increase your storage capacity and make everything easier to get to. Head to the local dollar store and pick up some baskets and shelving units to maximize your space.
10. Go Digital
Do you have a huge collection of music, DVDs, and books? Consider starting a digital collection instead, and getting rid of your physical one. It will save you a lot of space, and it is much more convenient, anyway.
11. Go Outside!
If you live in a big city, the whole city is your home! You might live in a small space, but there is a whole city out there waiting for you to explore. Participate in local events, go read a book at a coffee shop, or enjoy the sun in a park. Most big cities have tons of things to do and places to go, so you should take advantage of all of them.