Thinking about downsizing to 400 square feet or less can be daunting. But the reality is that many of us currently or have at one time lived in a small apartment. Whether it's a studio in Lower Queen Anne, a tiny loft in Bellevue, or a DADU in West Seattle, small living spaces are pretty common. And it doesn’t matter if you are there to stay or just renting for the year — living in a tiny apartment tends to teach you a few things.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 11 things you learn when you live in a small apartment. Keep reading to find out what they are!
1. How to Create Storage Space
When space is scarce, you need to create your own. Bookcases that double as storage? Couches that have built-in bins for keeping your things? Yes please.
2. How to Let Go
When you first move into a smaller space, you are faced with some tough choices. You can’t take everything with you because it literally won’t fit. Purge yourself of everything that you don’t use or doesn’t hold sentimental value. Ask yourself, did I use/wear/appreciate this item this year? If not, kick it to the curb.
3. Minimalism Isn’t Everything
A lot of people who live in tiny spaces embrace the practice of minimalism. And that’s great! Minimalism works really well in small spaces. But one thing you learn living in a small space is that minimalism is not a requirement. You can fill your space full of things, as long as everything has its place. Decorate with intention, and you’ll be fine.
4. Light is Necessary
Natural light makes spaces seem bigger. You could live in an apartment the size of a postage stamp, but with enough windows, it won’t feel small at all.
5. You Have to Clean Regularly
As we said in #2 and #3, you don’t have to get rid of things that matter to you. But you absolutely cannot accumulate clutter! One thing you learn living in a tiny apartment is that there’s no space for waste. Take out the trash regularly, don’t bring home fliers/spare papers/etc., and keep your space organized. It's better for both the physical space and your sanity.
6. Experiences Matter More Than Stuff
This is a weird lesson for an apartment to teach you, but it’s really true. It’s fun to spend your extra cash on clothes and new toys...but when there’s no space for it, you have to hold back. This means you have extra funds for meals with your friends or trips with your family. We take it back — there is one thing you should buy. A good camera so that you can take pictures of all of these beloved experiences.
7. Humans Are Adaptable
Some living situations are better than others. But tiny apartments teach you that people can adapt to all sorts of things. Maybe it is a really small kitchen space, or having your bed in the same room as your toaster. With a little creativity and a solutions-based attitude, you will adapt. And you might even love it.
8. You Don’t Need Walls Between Rooms
Inhabitants of studios figure this one out quickly. If you want to create a separate zone between your bed and your “living room,” you don’t need walls to do it. Rugs, artwork, and bookcases can create different “zones” in your space.
9. Living Sustainably Feels Good
Don’t buy more food than you’ll consume. Get your bills in your inbox, not in your mailbox. Little things like this allow you to produce less waste and keep clutter out of your home. After a few months in a tiny apartment, you’ll agree — living sustainably feels good.
10. Multipurpose Items Are Your Friends
A couch that folds out into a bed? A pressure cooker that can also make rice? Anything multifunctional saves you space and makes life easier.
11. You Learn What Your Style Truly Is
When you live in a small space, you downsize by default. Pretty soon, you can look around the room and you’ll only see your most favorite things. What a good way to find out what your true style is!
Living in a small apartment is a phase for some, and a way of life for many. In the Seattle area, tiny homes are trending toward popularity. Living in a small space teaches you a lot of lessons that you can take with you, no matter where you end up. If you’re looking to change your living situation, reach out to our team and ask about the properties we have available.