I grew up in a detached house type of home so I never experienced condominium life or apartment living. After I got married almost 4 years ago, we started living on our own already and lived in a condomnium at the heart of a busy central business district.
Our first home as a couple was so convenient that when you cross the street, you find the grocery, shopping mall, drug store, lots of restaurants and bars, cinemas, and banks. Convenience was on our side and so is expensive standard of living. Our home was a studio type of condominium unit. It was just right for the 2 of us. Everything was very different since we live on our own and pay our own bills already. Life became more complicated. Little did we know that it will get more complicatedly happy with the birth of our first born!
Now we transferred to a slightly bigger condominium unit, but still near from our first building. But with the upcoming birth of our 2nd child, we will be needing a bigger place again. So we’re moving again this year.
Condominium life looks so easy for those who never experienced it but now I understand and salute those living in small spaces with a tidy and organized home. It’s doable really, but it’s a big challenge! Of course if you’re not used to living in small spaces and in buildings, you’ll get bored living in a sort of “box” type of home so the tendency is to always head out. Try to overcome that in time and make your home as cozy as it can be. We all have the ability to adapt to change.
The past years of living in a condominium taught me well and made me realize so many things. So here are some tips I’d like to share to live BIG in small spaces:
Develop a better eye for details. This will help keep your condo living life in order from cleanliness to organizing and arranging your things. The small clutter and small things do matter in small homes.
Keep the home always clean, all the things in their proper places, and no small clutters around to also help you find the things you need easier and faster. Also, being detailed-oriented will keep your eyes open on what to add or remove to improve your home.
Being detailed -oriented will bring out that creativity in you. Feel free to do DIY storages too- light on the pocket too!
Dual or multipurpose appliances and things
In buying appliances and things for the home, it’s best to have dual or multipurpose stuff like a sofa bed, ottoman storage chairs, a foldable table that can be used as a side table and a small party cart in the future, and mason jars – where you can put condiments, food, juices, toiletries, or anything that needs to sorted out and kept in different containers.
You’ll be saving space with dual purpose stuff plus more storage room too!
Have a system in place
Once you already fixed your home – when it’s organized and neat. Make sure it didn’t happen by chance. Have a system in place like how to keep your socks neat in the closet, how your shoes are arranged, how the dishes are placed after washing, and many more. Follow the system religiously (get your housemate/s to cooperate too) and you’ll find it easier to fix the home and no need to rush to fix the place when you have surprise guests.
Simply your life
Live a simple life. I used to buy a lot of clothes just because I want to. So when I moved from my family’s home to our first home as a couple, I had to cut my closet in half due to limited space. Now that I have 1 kid, again due to the lack of space, I had to cut the closet in half again (not to mention the clothes that don’t fit me now because I’m a larger woman because of pregnancy). I had to stick with the basics, let go of those I don’t wear often.
I feel better keeping my closet simple now and knowing that my preloved clothes are being enjoyed and taken cared of by cousins and relatives makes me happier too.
Always buy what you need, less of what you want. It’s not about living with nothing but living with things that have meaning and purpose. These are wonderful things to keep in your home.
No to hoarders
We all have the tendency to hoard. We want more of what we already have and we get too attached to even the littlest stuff- even the simplest headband or socks (even if they have holes already). Let’s not allow these hoarded stuff to become clutter because they will attract more clutter in time.
Remember, the problematic and worst case hoarders started as simple hoarder of simple tiny things. Hoarding will eventually become a mental dilemma so be careful.
Corners, walls, and ceilings are your friends
You’ll have a new appreciation for the usually ignored parts of the house.
You can put corner shelves to maximize the space.
Walls will not only be decorative but can now be a functional space.
Ceilings and below the ceiling spaces may be utilized for storage and other creative uses.
There’s so much you can do with creativity and need (combined accordingly).
Ikea’s simplicity bore some people but when you live in a home with limited space, Ikea will be your go-to home design pegs. Ikea will give you so many ideas on how to fix your home, make space, and have everything organized neatly.
Simple, organized, and clutter-free home will surprise you on how it will benefit your day to day life in and out of the home.
Mirrors can always do the trick for you! Put mirrors (usually large ones in small-spaced apartments/ condominiums to create an illusion of a bigger place. Instead of an dead-end wall, you an endless image of space which is created by the mirror. It just look not so cramped and tight.
With creativity, accompanied with the need, we can create a lot more spaces in the home. We can make use of the back of the doors.
Under the bed.
Tiered racks for storage.
There are many other areas of the home which you can maximize. Stay creative and be keen on those areas. Remember, you don’t need to fill up your home -every corner, every wall. It will look all the more cluttered when there are so many things happening around. If there’s no need for more storage, no need to create or alter the home.
Traditional doors take up too much space. Well, for small homes it does. And that little space may still be a big help in creating more spaces. For some rooms like storage room, laundry room, helper’s room, or comfort rooms (especially when it’s in the room or hallway) you may choose sliding doors to save space. You can still keep doors the traditional type for the rooms and your main door. It’s still more secured than the sliding doors.
To give a little life element in the home, add a small plant, aquarium, or have plant or flower paintings. This will add to the lively and feel good aura of your home.
These are some of the stuff I get to master through time. Applications of these is still always a challenge. But somehow, I can say we keep our home neat everyday and the system in place. So anywhere we transfer, home management will always be key to an organized home. Your appliances and furnitures don’t need to be 1st class all the time. It’s how you take care of your things, keep them neat, and handle them with care all the time.
Small space living is becoming the new home especially for most couples who are starting their family or for our retired elders. There are advantages and disadvantages to this type of living too. But for us, we maximize the advantages and try to make have a good work-around on the disadvantages to live LARGE in small spaces! 🙂