Apartment living! | Organizing Made Fun: Apartment living!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Apartment living!

Imagine, if you will, having a nice, spacious home in the midwest - middle America. You have lots of land, a beautiful home, with a good sized basement. You have three beautiful children and their grandparents close by.Then, your husband realizes that he needs a career change for something more creative and wants to go back to school - to do visual effects for 3D computer generated graphics for entertainment {TV, movies, gaming}, in California!!  AAAhhhh!!

I'd like to introduce you to my walking buddy, Marti! She is the brave soul who ventures to walk up the hill of death with me every morning - and has lost almost 40 pounds doing it with me!!! But, even better, she's the brave soul who moved her whole family across the country so her husband could pursue a career change.  They had to sell their house and move to California, into a two bedroom apartment - and no yard!

She has had to downsize quite a bit and I am amazed at all her organization in her little apartment, with three kids and a husband to share! Here is a look at what I found and want to share with you - she gave some great tips and I also gave her some too!

First, you walk into her living area - the living room, kitchen, and dining room area. Notice a few things - no TV {living on no income means no cable}, a couple of computers {one of which is her husband's must haves for school}, and space. She made space for the kids to play inside by putting the furniture along the walls. She's a big crafter - BIG, I mean I had no idea how much stuff you crafty people could have....so, let me show you next all her crafty organization.

In her living area, she has this beautiful antique dresser. She has ribbon stored inside and on top. It's my favorite piece in there! You know I LOVE repurposing furniture to organize stuff, so I am naturally drawn to this!

In her "dining" room, she has neatly lined the walls with her storage drawers full of crafty things. 

Here is an old microwave cart she uses to organize her photo albums - since she has been a big scrapbooker for a long time.

She uses storage drawers but has spruced them up with pretty coordinating paper and labels that she made from her printer and some of her cardstock paper. Have I mentioned how creative she is?

Her kitchen is small and the cupboards were full of unused-wasted space, so she took advantage of it by purchasing stacking shelves to hold more dishes.

She also turned a broom closet {which she doesn't need to sweep much inside a carpeted apartment}, into a great pantry by getting some Ikea Trofast shelves. They fit inside and a little room to spare on the side, should she need to get that broom, but yet she can put a step stool or some bags.

Her hallway closet is their "landing pad" or entry. In California, we honestly don't need a lot of coats, fortunately for them! So, she only needs part of the closet to house the coats and the other half to store more things.

I suggested that for even MORE storage in this closet, she could put shoe pockets on the back of this door OR Command hooks half way down {see above} along with a shorter shoe pocket {see my cheap-O organizing board for more ideas}. That way the kids could reach to put their backpacks on the back of the door and she wouldn't have to drill holes into it - since this is temporary living space for them.

Three kids fit into a small bedroom. It's tight, but she's got some great space saving in there, too! The boys sleep in the full-sized bed and her daughter on the floor. Not perfect, but it works! My many UK followers have told me that they live in tiny quarters and I'm guessing that they may have a few that have to sleep on the floor, also!

They also have this great Ikea Trofast tower that they use for storing lots of loose toys.

In the master bedroom, they have a gigantic wall of bookshelves to hold all that stuff and more storage for toys.

Then, Marti has an amazingly big master closet, for an apartment. She calls it her "basement". 

Living in an apartment, there is no washer and dryer in their apartment - only shared in the laundry center.  Often you have wet stuff that just needs to be dried and you can't throw it in the dryer. So, her solution is to put a shower curtain rod IN the shower but pushed towards the side. This way you can leave it up all the time and still take a shower and then hang stuff to dry when you're done! I thought it was clever!

Well, that concludes the tour of apartment living! I know there are many of you out there who live in small places, apartments, and just need some ideas of how to gain more space and store stuff.  I must say, Marti got rid of a LOT of stuff before moving across the country and kept only the bare minimum. So, definitely getting rid of as much STUFF as you can is important!

If you live in a small space or apartment, share {in the comments} how you have found ways to organize and make more space, despite having little space. If you've got something on your blog to share about living in a small space, put the link in your comment! Does anyone else struggle with small space living?

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