Author Topic: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?  (Read 28073 times)

Zikoris

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #50 on: October 02, 2014, 09:54:10 AM »
Another update: I got rid of the computer desk and got a long table for that wall instead that will eventually be a double desk. We replaced the TV with a much smaller and lighter one which is on the new table for now, but will be getting wall mounted when I find someone to help me with that. The shelf that the old TV was on is now outside on the balcony to hold supplies for my upcoming gardening and composting project, so that corner is free now.

I'll post another set of pictures when I get the TV up - that should be the last thing to do for now.

capital

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2014, 07:53:05 AM »
Another Ikea tip: at least in the NYC store, they have model small apartment setups in their browsing floor, and that can be a good place to look for inspiration.

Zikoris

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #52 on: October 03, 2014, 10:29:04 AM »
I'm mostly commenting to follow as we're living in an apartment that's feeling cramped and cluttered (embarrassingly much larger), but I do have some ideas for you too!

I do want to add that your bathroom looks so much more spacious now! I'd actually caution against putting a cabinet above the toilet because it'll just make the small space feel closed in (and the painting is nice). IMO, the medicine cabinet (looks like you have one?) and under sink storage should be plenty of room for all of the bathroom necessities. I know how easy it is to end up with extra unnecessary stuff in a bathroom. Maybe consider doing a declutter of that lotion you hate, etc.

Also, do you need a toaster oven? A regular toaster has a much smaller footprint and you already have an oven in your range... I would think that if you didn't have the toaster oven, you could put the microwave where the toaster oven currently resides and put a small toaster on your 'main' counter space. Then you could get rid of the kitchen cart completely ad it is now cluttering up your living room.

One last thing, you mentioned getting an Kitchen Aid in the future for making dough? I would look into finding a working used model from like the 80s or earlier. All the parts are essentially the same, but the newer models don't seem to hold up to making dough repeatedly over time. Another bonus, the mixer would have a smaller foot print than your current bread machine and free up some more counter space.

I agree about the bathroom, I changed my mind about getting a second cabinet - I like that painting there now (fun story - I got that painting for free about 8 years ago when I worked for a junk removal company. Someone literally paid me to take it away!), and I found other homes for the other stuff.

We definitely need the toaster oven - we actually got rid of our toaster because the oven is so superior. It makes better toast, is great for heating up things like a slice of pie or pizza that you want to stay crisp, and is way better energy-wise for small batch baking and cooking (like a dozen cookies, half dozen muffins, or a few vegetarian chicken strips). We don't actually pay for electricity, but it's always good to be lower impact. We use it multiple times a day for a huge variety of things.

I'll definitely look into getting an older Kitchenaid when the time comes. I've heard bad things about newer mixers and bread dough.

darkadams00

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2014, 01:14:32 AM »
I'm not sure if you have a "too much odds and ends stuff" problem that requires a thinning exercise or an "all I have are these shelves left over from my dorm room" problem that requires some storage options that don't result in visual stacks of stuff stuck in every nook. Everything just looks cluttered--papers sticking out here, clothes sticking out there, stuff stacked up, piled up...If I walked into your place for coffee, I would feel awkward because it looks like you didn't expect me to come.

1) On paper, define your spaces. If you're sharing spaces for multiple purposes, define the space separately as you would want it if it just served each purpose. Merge them until they blend together or can be switched easily. Second-hand furniture is inexpensive and can meet your needs and look great if you have a plan that fits your space.

2) Adopt a cleaner look everywhere--90+% of what I see cluttering your pictures shouldn't be visible to casual guests coming over for dinner, even if everything I'm seeing are items that you desperately need. Drawers/bins/storage containers are your friends. This container on this shelf holds household items like office/computer supplies. That really cool crate holds games, magazines, and books and serves as your coffee table. This chest will seat one or two people and holds five pairs of shoes. That second-hand wardrobe is actually a coat/umbrella closet on the right side (living room side) and a cleaning supply closet on the left (kitchen side)...and so on. In our home every drawer/cabinet/storage unit holds similarly-purposed items. If friends come for dinner, they see an organized office, an inviting living room, and a welcome kitchen. If an item makes the room look better and fits your decor, then leave it out. If it's strictly utilitarian and/or adds nothing to your decor, then it should be put away. Anything that doesn't add to the visual appeal of the room weakens the appeal.

Make a space/decor plan (1) and adopt a decorating philosophy (2), and you should be well on your way. The details will follow. Specific ideas can be found by the thousands via Google.

Zikoris

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #54 on: October 04, 2014, 01:06:43 PM »
Here's the latest set of update pictures: http://imgur.com/a/jyu0B

I left out the kitchen and bathroom since nothing's changed there (well, I moved Anthony's scratching post into the kitchen, but that's it).

Still to do: Get the TV mounted up on the wall to turn the table into a double desk, plus hang a few more things up on the walls.

ScienceSexSavings

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2014, 03:09:13 PM »
The oversized cat-themed area rug is a nice touch.

Personally, I think toaster ovens are one of the greatest inventions out there! Your place looks much, much more tidy and organized now. Keep us posted :)

Astatine

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #56 on: October 04, 2014, 07:35:59 PM »
Here's the latest set of update pictures: http://imgur.com/a/jyu0B

I left out the kitchen and bathroom since nothing's changed there (well, I moved Anthony's scratching post into the kitchen, but that's it).

Still to do: Get the TV mounted up on the wall to turn the table into a double desk, plus hang a few more things up on the walls.

Wow! Big improvement. (I'm mostly replying to say d'awwww kitty! so cute)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 07:39:55 PM by Astatine »

Goldielocks

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2014, 08:08:38 PM »
Here's the latest set of update pictures: http://imgur.com/a/jyu0B

I left out the kitchen and bathroom since nothing's changed there (well, I moved Anthony's scratching post into the kitchen, but that's it).

Still to do: Get the TV mounted up on the wall to turn the table into a double desk, plus hang a few more things up on the walls.
This doesnt look like the same room!  I especially like the table under the window and access to kitchen now.  It looks great.?  MIL worthy.

Squirrel away

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #58 on: October 05, 2014, 04:59:58 AM »
Such a cute kitty.:)

RetiredAt63

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #59 on: October 05, 2014, 05:31:43 AM »
Huge improvement.  However, I agree with others who have said get things out of sight - things like pillows and hand vacs should not be in plain view. Look at how nice the back of the Murphy bed looks, and then look at the shelf beside it - immediate sense of overwhelm, too much different stuff all "shoved on" the shelves.

I bet the kitty loves all that open floor space for play.

I should add that you are being an inspiration, I am looking at my own space with fresh eyes, and decluttering and reorganizing.

OSUBearCub

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2014, 01:13:28 PM »
Your giant cat genuinely delights me!  :-)  He's got that "king of the castle" sort of look. ;-)

DeepEllumStache

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2014, 02:29:32 PM »
Everything is looking really awesome.  And I love the "I own this, all of this" picture of the cat.

falcondisruptor

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #62 on: October 06, 2014, 03:05:40 PM »
What a difference!  That new desk area really makes the space look less cluttered.  Sometimes extra shelves aren't helpful!  You're doing really great with such a small space.  If you're still looking for suggestions, I'd just like to point out that you have lots of kitchen cupboards, so maybe some of the things are that are out in the open (tidy on shelves) could be jammed in there. 

MKinVA

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #63 on: October 06, 2014, 07:00:27 PM »
Sponge Bob in all his variations needs to go. If you are old enough to have your own apartment and your own boyfriend, you are old enough to get rid of all stuffed toys. Besides, his sarcastic face is competing with the cat. And the cat is cool.


Zikoris

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #64 on: October 06, 2014, 07:31:18 PM »
Sponge Bob in all his variations needs to go. If you are old enough to have your own apartment and your own boyfriend, you are old enough to get rid of all stuffed toys. Besides, his sarcastic face is competing with the cat. And the cat is cool.

Not happening :)

Zikoris

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2014, 07:58:05 PM »
http://imgur.com/a/gljfT

This is probably the final set of photos.

Finally got the TV mounted on the wall, but it was a different wall than originally planned. The one behind the computers had stuff behind it that shouldn't be drilled into apparently. You can see it in the first picture, taken from right inside the front door above the shoe rack. It's actually very convenient since we don't have a couch, because it's right by the foot of the bed when it's down - video games in bed, yay!

I decided to start keeping my sewing machine out so I mend things when I need to rather than months later. It fit nicely behind my laptop.

Finally, I shuffled things around in the spare closet to accommodate my ugly bulk stuff - toilet paper and cat litter are now out of sight!

It's really nice having a table for my laptop now. Standing wasn't much fun before.

And that's about it for now!

1967mama

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2014, 08:41:26 PM »
This looks really great, Zikoris! I can't believe how your tiny living space actually looks like tons of space for two people. Very minimalist!

Dicey

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Re: Advice for making my small apartment more space efficient?
« Reply #67 on: November 23, 2014, 08:32:34 PM »
What a cute place! I love all the things you have done so far. I've looked at all the photos and made a list. Please read it in a gentle, matter-of-fact tone, because I do not want it to sound harsh and suspect it will. Not my intent, I assure you. In no particular order:

In the kitchen...

K-Put a 4" wide shelf all the way across the span above the stove. Put cooking utensils, etc. there.
K-Ditch the mirror above the sink and put a 6" wide shelf there for rice cooker and similar. 8" might work, but you don't want to hit your head.
K-Invert the yellow thing and store it in the white thing sitting on the cake stand. Turn the handles on the white thing so it sits closer to the wall. Better still, hang a high shelf in the soffit above the refrigerator cabinets and put that stuff up there, if you can't part with it. You may need a step stool to access it, so get one that folds flat. Hang it on the wall next to the balcony door. Bye-bye to what looks like a manila envelope.
K- Do you really need a toaster oven and a microwave? I'd buy a two-slice toaster, move the micro to the counter and get rid of the micro stand.
K- Spoon Rack? Whaaa? At least move it into the kitchen above the bread machine. And put that scary knife back wherever it was before.
K - Put cooking oil and soap away. When I lived in a tiny place, I used a small soap bottle (from an extended stay hotel) and kept it and a sponge in one of those racks you suction cup to the inside of the sink. Handy and off the counter.

On to the living room...

LR- Push dining chairs flat against the wall when not in use. Let the rocking chair be the star.
LR- Stand facing the desk. Slowly slide the right hand table out and put all those electronics on the floor. Carefully slide table back into place. Put printer on table.
LR- Hats on lamps are fire hazard. Floor lamps are trip hazard. Get something wall mounted, possibly swing arm and definitely LED from Ikea and put above either end of desk. Or even on the desk, now that the printer is gone.
LR- Buy an inexpensive matchstick-type or Roman shade and attach to Murphy bed to hide the shelves. Use Command hangers so you don't harm the unit.
LR- Move the barbells to the floor underneath storage shelves. Too heavy.
LR- Get rid of mirror, clock and papers on closet. If you need a bulletin board, there are cute Command clip-ons that you can attach to the left side of the bed, towards the office set-up. The cell phone trick to check your look in the bathroom mirror is golden. If you must keep a clock (NO!!!), hang it over the desk, but since your stove, computer and phones all function as time keeping devices, it really is redundant.
LR- I second the idea to put something pretty on the wall behind the MB, so you can see it when the bed is down.
LR- If you're going to be there a long time, I'd consider replacing the desk chair with something more streamlined. CL (or equivalent) is your friend. Extra points if it could double as an extra dining chair.

Next, the bathroom...

BR- Not much to add but this, in my mother's voice, "Put that damn lid down!" Besides looking more attractive, it will give you another place to sit. As to additional storage, don't buy one of those monstrosities that sits on the floor and goes above and around the toilet. A few shelves or a small cabinet are better options.           I like the picture.
BR - That kitty litter! Tuck it in the corner behind the toilet and hide it with the trash can. Ikea has some small, rectangular, covered trash cans that will tuck in nicely, and only cost a few bucks.

Finally, get some of those neat-o Command coat hooks and stick 'em on the back of the front door. Keeps your coats handy and out of the main living space.

Some of this stuff you can do right away and will cost you nothing. Others will take a little measuring, planning and a few loonies. Don't forget that you can buy pre-fab shelving at the big box stores and they will cut it to exact size for a very reasonable fee. Ordinarily, I am no fan of Ikea, but they are a valuable resource when outfitting a tiny home. And no, I don't work for 3M, but that Command stuff is better than post-it notes. Ikea and Target usually have a good selection. I can't think of a shoe solution yet, so I'll just have to let that one go for now...

And the FU bag? Love it!



 

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