It may sound like a dream to live in a small house where you can reach everything you need by taking only a couple of steps. It can get tiring to live in a spacious home where you have to shout on top of your lungs to call your parents, siblings, partner, or children. But once you decide to downsize your living space, know that this isn’t going to be a dream, too. There is still maintenance that has to be done, as well as a lot of compromises on what to keep and what to give away or throw out.
Do you remember when you were in college and you live in a tiny dorm room? How did you survive? Where did you put your things? You and your friends pooled your allowance and rented a unit in storage buildings around town. It helped you a lot since even as a college student, you continue to acquire and collect things.
Once you graduated, you thought you’re over renting storage spaces. Finally, you can afford a space bigger than your dorm room. You can now have more things and invest in your pairs of shoes. But then, you realized that real estate as a commodity is expensive. Your first-job salary can’t get you a decent space, so you decided to take on a tiny living lifestyle.
Purge and Declutter
Do this regularly. Do this every weekend. Purge and declutter your things. Throw away what you don’t need. Give them away. Sell them. Donate them to charity. The point is, you cannot keep things, even those you think you’ll use in a year. You don’t have space for that. So many people are afraid of throwing things out because the thinking is, “What if I need these things later on?” You don’t know if you’ll need them later on. And even if you do, you cannot waste space on things you’re not using right now.
Create Zones in a Room
Because you’re staying in a one-bedroom apartment or a studio-type unit, you have to repurpose the room. Create different zones. Divide the studio-type apartment into a dining room, bedroom, living room, and kitchen. A room should have more than one purpose. Your bedroom can be your home office, too. Just make sure to create a workspace in a corner of your bedroom. That’s going to be your home office. When you are there, you’re supposed to be in the “zone.”
Maximize Your Closet
You won’t have that much closet in a tiny house. You’re probably short of closet space because you have way too many clothes even after decluttering. Try out closet systems that will maximize the space you have in the closet. Most closets put the hanging rod way too high, leaving enough space below the clothes for you to put a dresser. You can also use wicker baskets and transparent plastic containers to store your clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Don’t Use the Floor as a Dumping Ground
Get your items off the floor. If random things occupy your floor, you’ll soon use that area to dump every little thing you don’t have a drawer to throw in. Build some inexpensive shelves with drawers to keep these things organized and off the floor. Your house will look less messy if no random things are strewn around the floor.
Use the Vertical Space
This is probably most common for small houses. Typically, small houses should not be using vertical space because it makes the house look smaller. People can get claustrophobic, too, if cabinets are hanging from above the ceiling or on top of the wall. And yet, when you live in a small house, you don’t really have a choice. You have to use whatever space is available to you. Use bunker beds and vertical shelving units to store toys, books, and other things.
Invest in Dual-purpose Furniture
A sofa bed that can be converted into a full-size bed, a storage bench that can hold books and magazines, and a four-seater table that can extend to accommodate six or more… these are the kinds of furniture that you should invest in if you live in a small house. They will save precious space while also keeping their functions. These are particularly helpful if you have lots of stuff that you haven’t figured out what to do with. You can just throw them away inside the storage bench and tackle them later once you have the energy.
Living in small spaces is challenging. It’s not impossible, though. When you think about how few the maintenance you need to do for your house, that makes it all worth it. The only problem with living in a tiny house is the space, but that can be dealt with.