Thinking Out-Of-The-Box In Your Box-Sized Apartment
Accept The Inevitable
Part of succeeding at apartment living is knowing that you need to have a certain keen eye for making the most of what you can get within your budget. It’s a skill that develops with time and experience. For example, it took me several years of living in modest apartments before I surrendered to purchasing a bed frame and realized I suddenly had an insta-closet living under my mattress. It wasn’t that I didn’t want my mattress off of my apartment floor (though there was a certain amount of boho-starving-artist romance to it), but more so that I didn’t want to drown in an inventory of Ikea furniture within my, let’s call it modest, space.
Take The Inventory
The average apartment size in Jersey City sits at 834 sq. ft. This will most often refer to a 1-bedroom apartment. So, we can assume you’re apartment has one bedroom, a living room or an office, a small kitchen, and a bathroom. The essentials you’ll most likely be purchasing in order to live at a base level of comfort are likely to be a bed, a couch, a kitchen table and chairs, and a desk or lounge area chair. The fact is, these are the items that will normally fit in the apartment without a problem, not causing you to seek out vertical space solutions for city living (which also hold a ton of value). In reality, what will start to be negotiated in your space, and eliminated if you can’t figure it out, is all of your stuff. Your clothes, books, keepsakes, shoe collection, bicycle, plants, and inventory of ceramic pots that you can’t get rid of, can quickly make you feel like you need to KonMari your life ASAP. So, let’s talk solutions.
Put A Nail In It
One apartment amongst the several I’ve experienced in the city (six apartments in eleven years, and yes, I’m very good at moving) had an above-average amount of square footage, but very little storage space. It lacked in both closet space and shelving, so we had to get crafty. Floating shelves are one of my favorite space savers to add to an apartment. Not only are shelves practical for storing a variety of your belongings, but they can quickly elevate the design and appearance of your space. Depending on the size of the shelves you decide to install, let them function as everything from bookshelves, to a t.v. stand, to an exposed closet.
Fold It Up
When you don’t have the luxury of enough floor space and need to find creative ways to even hold the essentials, this could be your move. Putting furniture away when not in use, like your bed or a kitchen table, can be key in allowing your space to be live able. A hideaway bed will save you a ton of space, as well as not forcing your guests to be in the intimacy of your bedroom while they’re in your living room, or possibly your kitchen. Check out the impressive use of hideaway items in this 400 sq. ft. Manhattan apartment and imagine the possibilities of what you could accomplish with the space of an apartment in Jersey City.
Make It Small(er)
One of the first things many of us imagine when we’re setting up our new apartment is that house-warming party we’ll throw. Then, the reality sets in that your apartment has four chairs, a cozy couch for two, and a close-proximity, standing-room-only kitchen. If this is your reality, embrace it! Make the most of your space and make it beautiful by not trying to crowd it with furniture that shouldn’t be there. The full dining table for eight guests may be yours someday, but for now, go with the two-person table and have a little more legroom to move around. Better yet, make it an expandable one, so you can pull those leaves out when you’re hosting. Check out this list from Apartment Therapy on where to buy small and smart furniture if you’re realizing it’s time for you to downsize and improve the way you’re mapping out your space.