The growing "tiny house" movement reflects the desire for many Americans to simplify their lives and finances. If this idea appeals to you, the acquiring of a tiny home could still be a little too difficult or expensive for your current situation. The good news is that there is an easy way to marry the downsizing of a tiny house with the ease of renting: moving into a studio apartment.
Studio apartments have similar square footage to many tiny houses and still offer all the basic amenities you need without the extra preparation and cost of purchasing and designing such a home. Here are 5 top tips for making a successful transition to a studio apartment.
Downsize Furniture. Your old furniture may not be the right fit for a small space. If it's dark, bulky, overstuffed or visually large in other ways, you may want to consider replacing it with slim, simple versions instead. Light-colored furniture or furnishings with tall legs tend to make an area seem more open and less full.
Think Vertical. Make use of the height you have available to get things off the floor and avoid clutter. Hang wall-mounted shelves—especially in less-used places like above existing furniture and over doorways. Use hanging cup-holders of various sizes to hang items that might otherwise end up on the floor. Tall bookshelves that go nearly to the ceiling provide a big bang for your storage buck. Think about the storage space available under the bed and underneath seating areas, ottomans, or tables.
Stay Organized. One key to surviving a small home space is to be sure to keep it all organized. Everyone needs a little bit of "stuff" even when they downsize. The quantity of what you have can begin to creep upward again. When you don't have a lot of room for lifestyle creep, it's vital to keep everything in its place. Use whatever organizing system works for you to keep areas like closets, under-bed storage and kitchen cabinets organized and controlled.
Digitize. Streamline your life by turning as much as you can into digital versions. This can include doing things like scanning photos and necessary documents and destroying or storing originals. Convert your music and movie collections to digital files that you can easily play on your television using Bluetooth or streaming technology. Use streaming services for things you listen to or watch less often.
Get Outside. Rather than trying to make your studio apartment into everything you need, make use of the outdoors as well. Relax in nearby parks, dine outdoors, read in the library for free, make use of local events—do things elsewhere to avoid spending too much time stuck in a small space. By treating the entire neighborhood as your home, you can have your tiny space and enjoy a free range lifestyle too.
Whether you're a determined tiny house dweller or just looking to see if the lifestyle works for you, moving into a studio apartment can be a great transition. You'll save money and could discover a whole new way to live a fulfilling life.