Minimal living for most people in apartments means that you’re making the most of the space you have. It’s not necessarily about removing everything from your life, it’s about removing those things that don’t bring you joy or function.
That last part is important, function. You’ve got to make the most of functional living space in your apartment and enhance what brings you joy. That might mean you’re focusing on spending less time indoors and more out, so your space will be filled with functional living stuff like dining utensils for two or three instead of four or six individuals, then spending more time washing dishing because you’ve got at least three meals before you need to do them.
If you want to store seasonal items outside your apartment, you think about using self-storage. Of course, each individual or family is different and applying these principles may not work for everyone, but at least they may give you some ideas.
Consider Vertical Space
When your apartment is small, you want to utilize all the space to the best of its functionality. That means thinking vertical as well as area-wise. Stacking is the new term for the new year and it means more than just stacking tasks in your work environment. It also means using the vertical space of your apartment to add more functionality to your space.
If your apartment is a one bedroom, you might want to use a bunk bed, futon, or murphy bed. The last one, the murphy bed can be used for storage when it’s not in use. Also consider the space above your cabinets for storage. Many times, people forget that the space above your cabinets may be great for storing little used kitchen items or even your snow board.
Vertical space is often forgotten space, so think outside the floor plan and look up. Even the ceiling can be a great storage place. Consider hanging extra-large items, such as a kayak or skis, from your ceiling.
Think About Other Little Used Spaces
There are many areas in an apartment that could be converted to storage space and make more room in your apartment. A great example is using the space around your refrigerator. If you have at least three inches, you can create a sliding storage rack that stores small cans, spices, and boxes of dry goods.
You might consider your bathroom, also. Look under the sink, is there room for a tension rod to store spray bottles? The space around the toilet is also usable. Just remember, each item you store will have functionality and use in your bathroom. Another great space to consider a tension rod is under the kitchen sink. If you’re still looking at the kitchen, consider under the cabinets also. Would magnetic strips and jars be the best answer to store items or dry goods you use regularly in the kitchen? And finally, if you have a regular bed in your apartment, consider storage under the bed.
Create Built in Shelves
If you own your own apartment or have permission from your landlord, consider turning hallways or non-load-bearing walls into built-in shelves. You can also make use of that vertical space idea and attach shelving to the walls to create more space. That way you’re making the most of blank wall space that might otherwise have no use.
But, don’t forget that minimalism is also about giving the feeling of openness as well, so use considerable judgement when you’re deciding to create built-in shelves. Use the idea judiciously and with a minimalist’s eye.
Use Multi-Task Items or Space
If you can use creativity and make use of the idea that single task items create clutter, you’ll be able to really open your space up and make the best use of it. Not only can your bed be converted into a couch with a futon, you may have foldable furniture that slides behind the futon so you can be host to friends and family on occasion.
It’s all about focusing on finding and utilizing multi-use items. There are plenty of single use items that take up space like the beer can rack that have no other use but what they were made for. These are not objects that work well in a minimalist’s apartment, unless of course, when your recipe brings you joy and you WANT to have that rack. It’s about what makes you happy as well as what is useful.
These ideas can help you make the most of your apartment and create the life you want and are intentionally living, rather than existing in. Your apartment can be part of your joy, rather than part of your stress. A minimalist’s lifestyle blends the things you love to do with the environment you live in and right sizes your life to live it to the fullest.