I lived in an apartment in college that I shared with two roommates, but this definitely feels different. I've made a lot of new discoveries, like the acute pain that the first of the month brings, and that your mom was right when she said you need to clean the floors every week. In that college apartment, my room was actually the living room, which became subdivided through a system of french doors and curtain rods; so having four solid walls and locking door is like a whole new world! Also a biggie is the fact that what we lovingly called "the pillow fort" was in fact bigger than my new studio.
Moving into a tiny space is definitely a learning experience. I never imagined that I would graduate from college, get a job, and then move into a renovated one car garage (not kidding) with only one window (yikes) and entirely mirrored wall (is that weird?). But, despite all of that, I am totally enamored with my new space. So for the first blog post about my "little den", I thought it was only right that I share a few things I've learned so far.
1. You don't need to buy tiny furniture for a tiny space.
I have a full sized bed, a table with leaves, and two huge dining room chairs. Do I have a whole lot of extra space? No, not really. But what would a twin bed, card table, and folding chairs achieve? Certainly not great repose, but you could probably do cartwheels. Or play Twister. Go for the stuff that's going to make you the most comfortable; and plus, putting larger pieces in an itty-bitty space is more aesthetically pleasing (it actually draws less attention to the small size!).
2. On that note, don't nix the bar cart just because it's not terribly practical.
I'm not going to be the next Gatsby considering that an occupancy of five would probably be breaking the fire code, but it's something I want, so I have it. This applies to a lot of things; while certain items may not be pragmatic in 300 square feet, it's important for you to have the objects that make a happy home. Set up the sewing machine. Put your Kitchen Aid mixer on the tiny counter. Hang the big ol' chalkboard. Be happy when you walk through the door.
3. There's something really great about taking your pants off in the kitchen...
...because it's also your bedroom (and dining room).
4. Don't assemble Ikea furniture alone.
I'm dead serious. You will have blisters, you will be cursing whoever designed those stupid picture instructions, you will be on the verge of deleting every Pinterest pin of any remotely Nordic travel destinations, and you will swear you never liked those meatballs anyways (I didn't mean it!). Use the buddy system, at least for the sake of your sanity.
5. Living in a small space makes you realize what things you cherish...and what things you're going to sell at the next yard sale.
You take a good long look at that tiny closet (if you're lucky), and suddenly those clothes that you bought for-such-a-good-deal-but-never-wear-but-can't-get-rid-of become pretty simple to part with. A lot of stuff just seems too laborious to pack and unpack (all those seashells from last summer's beach combing? Bai Felicia!). Sometimes the silliest things can strike you as perfect however, like the two vintage plastic deer that have lived in 3 different homes with me. I can't part with them, and they now occupy prime real estate on my bookshelf. Mostly, don't become bogged down and stressed out by those decisions; you can wait to decide whether or not you're ready to give up that collection of Babysitters Club books.
My goals for this blog are pretty diverse at this point, and I'm interested to see where it will lead. I want to make the most out of my little den, keep my creative spirit alive despite a draining 40 hour work week, try out some recipes, and maybe a DIY or two.
Mostly, I hope you'll join me for the ride!
Cheers, & many returns, Rachel