Studio Apartment Living: A 5-Point Survival Guide
There are already a lot of great resources for small-space and apartment living here on Wise Bread. But I'd like to take a moment to tackle the unique challenges of that cost-effective, and often-mocked living space, the humble studio apartment. Boasting a tiny number of square feet and housing pretty much everything in just four walls (including, occasionally, the bathroom), the studio apartment can be both cozy and claustrophobia-inducing. (See also: 7 Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen)
1. Find Storage Everywhere
Myscha's article on small-space living includes lots of great ways to find storage space, but finding storage can be even more challenging when your small space is just one room. Thus I'd like to add another storage option to Myscha's list that I utilized while living in my very first studio — the door. Unless you live in a very...erhm, special apartment (see the concept of bathroom-in-room, above), you should at the very least have one door. Hooks can be installed on doors to hang coats, towels, or bathrobes. My favorite door storage method, however, is the door-mounted shoe rack, because those little shoe pockets can hold so many useful things. In one tiny apartment I lived in, the bathroom door was right next to the kitchen area, and I used a door-mounted shoe rack to store all of my spices, utensils, and foods like onions, garlic, and potatoes.
2. Don't Sacrifice Your Favorite Comforts
Enjoying the low cost of living in a small apartment isn't worth it if you have to sacrifice the basic things that make you happy. If you're most comfortable sleeping on a big bed, figure out how you can make it fit with the space or find another apartment. Cramming yourself onto a twin mattress every night won't be worth it if you wake up cranky every morning. Similarly, you probably won't be happy with a hot plate and half-sink if you love spending weekends baking cookies and bread.
3. Entertain Entertaining
Living in a studio can be very lonely if you feel like you can never invite friends over. You won't be able to throw wild dance parties in your studio no matter how hard you try (unless we have very different definitions of a "wild dance party"), but it is possible to arrange many studio apartments so you can comfortably watch a movie with a friend or invite a special someone over for dinner. Keep this in mind when laying out your space and picking out furniture.
4. Keep It Clean
How messy an apartment feels increases quickly when there's only one room to keep that mess in. Keep it straightened up, and don't underestimate the value of items like a decent-looking hamper.
5. Get Out. Leave. Go.
I do very well with spending a lot of time alone (you kind of have to when you work from home), but even I start to go stir crazy if I spend too long in the same small room. Get out and enjoy the world around you, whether you're going for a walk or run, meeting up with a friend, reading at the library, or doing any of a host of other free or cheap activities outside of the studio.
Do you have any tricks for dealing with studio living?