small spaces http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12625/all en-US Can Tiny House Living Actually Save You Money? http://www.wisebread.com/can-tiny-house-living-actually-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-tiny-house-living-actually-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tiny_house_beach_000009394133.jpg" alt="Finding out if tiny house living can actually save you money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The hottest housing trend out there right now is the tiny home. No doubt, you've heard of it. From mini barns to micro-apartments, whole communities of folks living large in small spaces are sprouting up everywhere.</p> <p>But can tiny house living actually save you money? Read on for our roundup of the financial pros and cons of the ultra-downsizing revolution.</p> <h2>Smaller Means Cheaper &mdash; Well, Sort Of</h2> <p>Let's state the obvious: A small home is generally less expensive than a McMansion. But when it comes to <em>tiny</em> homes, that's only partially true.</p> <p>The average do-it-yourself tiny home costs about $23,000, while the average U.S. home price is up around $273,000. But square foot for square foot, tiny homes are actually tremendously expensive. They generally cost between <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2014/04/28/12-tricked-out-tiny-houses-and-why-they-cost-so-much/">$200&ndash;$400 per square foot</a>, which is far more than the <a href="http://www.census.gov/const/C25Ann/soldmedavgppsf.pdf">$77 average</a> for a normal-sized home. And, notably, normal-sized homes include land while tiny homes generally do not. Tiny homeowners have the added burden of negotiating and calculating a land purchase or lease into their overhead cost.</p> <p>All in all, a tiny home can save you heaps of money on a mortgage, but you'll pay a comparatively high price for the small square footage you've got.</p> <h2>Buying in Bulk Is No Longer Appealing</h2> <p>Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale Club members know you can save a slew of money through bulk shopping. But buying in bulk isn't very feasible when you're living in a tiny home. The obvious lack of storage pretty much throws a wrench in that plan. You'll probably also need to make more frequent trips to the grocery store &mdash; a burden on your time and car mileage &mdash; since your pantry and refrigerator size will be smaller. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a>)</p> <h2>You Can Bank on It</h2> <p>Tiny house living is a proven way to bulk up your savings. That's because 68% of those who own a tiny home don't have a mortgage. All told, 55% of tiny house owners <a href="http://thetinylife.com/tiny-house-infographic/#!prettyPhoto">have more savings</a> than the average American, with a median of $10,972 in the bank. And 89% of tiny house owners have less credit card debt.</p> <h2>The Laundromat Will Cost You</h2> <p>The typical tiny home doesn't have room for a washing machine. That likely means you'll be paying frequent visits to the laundromat, spending your time as well as your money to feed the machines and, if you own a car, drive yourself there.</p> <h2>Low Energy Expenses</h2> <p>Tiny homes are big on efficiencies of all sorts, and that includes energy. The very nature of living in a small space is economical in terms of heating and cooling. And the upside of not having enough room for a washing machine is that you're saving on energy expenses.</p> <h2>No Dinner Parties</h2> <p>You can't comfortably host a dinner party in your tiny home &mdash; there's simply not enough space. You probably won't have folks over for coffee very often for that same reason. Without an in-home gathering space, you'll likely be inclined to go out more than you otherwise might. And that means you'll be spending more money. When you live in a tiny home, coffee dates and cafe lunches as a means of catching up with friends are pretty darn appealing.</p> <h2>Add It All Up...</h2> <p>Tiny house living will undoubtedly save you money, but it will also cost you in small ways. Some of the tried and true tricks for saving simply won't work after you downsize. To reap the maximum cost-efficient benefits of tiny house living, you've got to be willing to shed and adjust some of your frugal behaviors.</p> <p><em>Have you tried living in a tiny home? How'd it add up?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-tiny-house-living-actually-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-lessons-from-the-tiny-house-movement">Big Lessons From the Tiny House Movement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mind-blowing-tiny-houses-with-huge-design-inspiration">Mind-Blowing Tiny Houses With Huge Design Inspiration</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-most-important-lessons-i-learned-about-money-when-i-became-a-landlord">The 9 Most Important Lessons I Learned About Money When I Became a Landlord</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-safe-to-re-finance-your-home-close-to-retirement">Is it Safe to Re-Finance Your Home Close to Retirement?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing compact downsizing micro homes small spaces tiny homes trendy Thu, 14 Jan 2016 16:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1635540 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun and Cheap Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bookshelf-home-178413931-small.jpg" alt="bookshelf home" title="bookshelf home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most frustrating parts of living in an apartment is lack of space. And even if you have ample room, organization can present other challenges. Of course, cleaning out your belongings is always a useful activity when maximizing square footage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit?ref=seealso">10 Ways To Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit</a>)</p> <p>For those items you just can't part with, try some of these smart storage solutions.</p> <h2>1. Custom Shelving</h2> <p>You can configure pipes and plywood boards in any way that pleases your aesthetic (and function) with this <a href="http://manhattan-nest.com/2010/10/20/pipe-ply/">DIY shelving project</a>. Check out your local hardware store's plumbing section to find pipes, connections, and flanges that will make the framework for your boards to rest upon. If you can't find boards the size you need, you can get them cut for free or a nominal fee in the lumber section.</p> <h2>2. Hanging Baskets</h2> <p>Small bathrooms and kitchens can benefit greatly from the addition of <a href="http://indulgy.com/post/b1dHIoEbB1/bath-toy-storage-idea#/do/from/71354785036">hanging fruit baskets</a>. The benefit here is that there's little required for installation &mdash; so even if you have a picky landlord, you should be able to do this project and get your deposit back. The photo shows bath toys stashed in the baskets, but you can put in anything you need off your counters.</p> <h2>3. Clothing Rack</h2> <p>Closets are another issue in apartments large and small. Heck, my first house hardly had any closets &mdash; so it's an epidemic, if you ask me. The solution: Get yourself a sturdy garment rack! You can buy one for as little as <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10246860/">$10 at Ikea</a>. Making one &mdash; here's <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-coolest-diy-clothes-rack-weve-ever-seen-169109">a tutorial</a> using more pipes and boards &mdash; might cost a bit more but give you some flexibility with regard to design.</p> <h2>4. Corner Storage</h2> <p>If the industrial look isn't your cup of tea, this <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/01/build-organize-a-corner-shelving-system.html">corner shelving nook</a> might be more what you're after. Just head to the organization section at your home improvement store to find the basic shelving brackets. They most often come in plain white, but you can spray paint them to match any decor. The author suggests saving money by purchasing narrow boards for top shelves that might house lighter, smaller items.</p> <h2>5. Hooks</h2> <p>If you look around, you can probably find a million purposes for hooks in your space. And the good news is that hooks are <em>cheap</em>. Use adhesive hooks anywhere you need to hang something. In the kitchen, for example, that might mean <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Easiest-Cupboard-Pan-Lid-Organiser/">stowing pot covers</a> on a cabinet door.</p> <h2>6. Ottoman</h2> <p>Most of us like to prop our feet up after a long, hard day. And this <a href="http://www.oprah.com/home/How-to-Build-a-Rolling-Storage-Bench-DIY-Storage-Containers">DIY Storage Ottoman</a> is perfect for this purpose &mdash; all while providing some extra hidden space to toss belongings. The instructions include directions for adding wheels, but you can skip that if you want your cube to remain stationary. Total cost is around $40, which is much cheaper than store ottomans I've seen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home?ref=seealso">10 Super Cool Ways to Hide Storage in Your Home</a>)</p> <h2>7. Bookcases</h2> <p>When I was living in apartments, the most useful piece of furniture I owned was my large bookcase. I used it for books, of course, but it was most useful for other items I needed to organize in my everyday life, like dishes, records, craft supplies, and &mdash; eventually &mdash; my child's toys. You can find bookcases at thrift shops for a dime. Making them <a href="http://lookiewhatidid.blogspot.ca/2012/09/laundry-room-makeover-week-using.html">work for non-book items</a> is easy with some baskets, hooks, and bins tossed in the mix.</p> <h2>8. Door Racks</h2> <p>You know those over-door storage solutions for shoes, makeup, and other items? Forget the advertised purpose and use them for whatever you need up and out of the way. The shoe organizers can be great for <a href="http://fashionablehome.blogspot.com/2012/01/organize-cleaning-supplies.html">cleaning supplies</a>, cooking utensils, or bathroom items. You can even use them to organize art supplies and <a href="http://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/housekeeping/toy-storage-ideas/?socsrc=pmmpin140913orgdollcase&amp;crlt.pid=camp.Zh0MICNqpp0N#page=6">small toys</a> in your child's room.</p> <h2>9. Book Gutters</h2> <p>Though I most often see this project for children, I think a <a href="http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-install-rain-gutter-bookcase.html">rain gutter bookshelf</a> would work equally well for adult books (and other smaller items, like craft supplies). Stock up on plastic rain gutters in the exterior section by all the roofing materials. Spray paint them to your desired shade. Hang them on the wall. It's that simple!</p> <h2>10. Laundry Dresser</h2> <p>When I lived in my small studio, the biggest problem I had was keeping my clothing off the floors. This <a href="http://ana-white.com/2011/07/my-laundry-basket-dresser-doors">DIY Laundry Dresser</a> is a smart, stylish solution. If you are working on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">minimalist wardrobe</a> or don't have many clothes, you can also use this type of dresser to organize a large number of things from kitchen gadgets to office supplies.</p> <p><em>How do you create storage in a tiny space? Please share in comments &mdash; we'll make room!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home organization small spaces storage Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1242977 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-4412135-small.jpg" alt="woman on couch" title="woman on couch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Living in a New York City apartment for a decade certainly taught me how to prioritize a small space. However, some of the greatest lessons I learned from apartment living can be applied anywhere, whether it be a house or a cramped room. Here are a few small space tips that can help you take advantage of your square footage, no matter what type of dwelling you have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a>)</p> <h2>1. Door Backs</h2> <p>Many hooks and racks can be easily installed on or over a door to free up space. Besides the obvious hanging shoe racks on closet doors, think of other places, like using hooks on a bathroom door for towels and robes, hanging floor mirrors on the back of a bedroom door, hanging pots and pans on kitchen or pantry doors, and even using the <a href="http://www.organizeit.com/hair-care-rack.asp">backs of bathroom cabinet doors</a> to store hairdryers and necessities.</p> <h2>2. Wall-Mounted Electronics</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smsp-3788527-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>If you like to read in bed, but are short on night table space, <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/bedroom/decorating-tricks-bedroom-00000000017540/page12.html">wall-mounted lamps with plug-ins</a> to use as sconces are not only are functional, but can also be beautiful. And of course, a wall-mounted television is a big space saver for a small living room. In the kitchen, you can also wall-mount small appliances, such as microwaves and coffeemakers, freeing up counter space. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen">How to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen</a>)</p> <h2>3. Mirrors</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s no secret that adding wall mirrors to a small space can make a room appear larger. Well-placed, oversized mirrors can especially do wonders for fooling the eye and reflecting more light to brighten up a room.</p> <h2>4. IKEA</h2> <p>IKEA sells a multitude of furniture and organizational items aimed at small space living. Their in-store displays and website are great for inspiration. Some favorites include the <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70177175/">hanging kitchen wall dish drainer</a>, the <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S99875912/">VIKA VEINE</a> desktop, which functions as both serving table and desk, and the <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20228714/">BRIMNES headboard</a>, complete with storage compartments.</p> <h2>5. Rethink Clothing Storage</h2> <p>Take a hard look at your closet and drawers to make sure every bit of cubic space is utilized. In the closet, try installing extra rods, adding more shelves vertically, using shoe racks, and putting hooks on side walls. Take advantage of the space between the floor and your clothes to slide in a small dresser that fits just below hanging shirts, which can add valuable drawer space. Or, if you are in desperate need of hanging space, go for freestanding clothes racks in the corner of a room. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet">How to Organize a Messy Closet</a>)</p> <h2>6. Kitchen Carts</h2> <p>A kitchen cart on wheels can easily help increase kitchen storage. I wedged one below a small window in my old kitchen and used the shelves below for storing pots and the top as more counter space for food prep. <a href="http://www.kmart.com/sandra-by-sandra-lee-kitchen-cart-granite-top/p-021W004596582001P">Kitchen carts with fancier tops</a> can even serve as moveable islands or buffet stations. Make sure to also utilize the sides of the cart to hang kitchen tools and towels.</p> <h2>7. Double-Duty Guest Quarters</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smsp-5284304-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have a guest room, let alone enough room for yourself, think sofa beds. A multi-functional couch provides a fold out option for guests and works great in living room apartments, home offices, and finished basements. Or, go for couches that are perfectly comfortable as-is, especially those sporting a chaise sectional.</p> <h2>8. Pegboards</h2> <p>Pegboards open up some serious storage space when hung on a wall. <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-a-pegboard-pot-rack-rue-189055">A pegboard in the kitchen</a> can neatly hang pots, colanders, pans, and tools, while one in the bedroom or a closet can be used to hang a jewelry collection. <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/266428/pegboard-organizer">A pegboard in the garage</a> provides an array of options, from hanging tools to sports equipment.</p> <h2>9. Kid&rsquo;s Room</h2> <p>The obvious small space choice is a bunk bed in a kid&rsquo;s room to make use of vertical space. However, even if you don&rsquo;t have children sharing a room, a trundle bed, which slides out from below, is a great option for creating additional sleeping quarters when necessary. Loft beds are another great idea for kids or college students in small spaces, which not only provide a nifty sleeping area, but also open up precious real estate below.</p> <h2>10. Seating With Storage</h2> <p>The storage ottoman is one of the easiest fixes for adding more seating and storage. I used two affordable, faux-suede numbers on casters in the living room of my old apartment, which I could easily move around to provide extra guest seating while storing all kinds of odds-and-ends inside. Today they function as seats and toy storage in my house&rsquo;s family room, still serving their dual purpose.</p> <h2>11. Kitchen Cabinet and Drawer Organizers</h2> <p>Get the most out of your kitchen using organizers that can double the amount of storage. <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/274787/25-kitchen-organizers/@center/276989/organizing#170750">Vertical dividers</a> can help fit trays, flat pans, and pot lids, while small cabinet stands or even a <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/274787/25-kitchen-organizers/@center/276989/organizing#164216">simple tray can help stack mugs and cups</a> to make the most of all the vertical space. As for drawers, <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/tips-techniques/storage-ideas-small-spaces-00100000067344/index.html#6">using drawer dividers</a> to create an organized and smart space for all items will help you utilize every last inch.</p> <h2>12. The Right Paint</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smsp-home-4337195-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Using certain paint colors and design elements can make a tiny area feel a lot bigger. From painting a vibrant focal wall to coating a ceiling in a lighter hue, check out <a href="http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/color-rules-for-small-spaces/index.html">HGTV&rsquo;s painting tips for small spaces</a> to find some great pointers on making your room seem larger.</p> <h2>13. Underbed Storage</h2> <p>From shoe organizers to garment storage boxes, there are all kinds of <a href="http://www.containerstore.com/shop/closet/underbedStorage">underbed storage containers</a> that can make use of this large, hidden storage space. In my old apartment I used plastic underbed storage bins with wheels for easy access, which held everything from wrapping paper to extra pillows. My husband even stored his snowboard under the bed most of the year.</p> <h2>14. Clever Room Dividers</h2> <p>To help create separate areas within a small space without chopping up the flow or shutting out light, a <a href="http://www.hgtv.com/designers-portfolio/room/asian/living-rooms/3119/index.html">sheer curtain divider</a> is a great fix. <a href="http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/organizing-small-homes-0710#slide-1">Strategically placed furniture</a>, as well as a collection of large, potted houseplants can also act as natural dividers.</p> <h2>15. Coffee Table Storage</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smsp-5184707-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:302px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Trunks or storage ottomans used as coffee tables allow you to store blankets or other belongings inside. Many traditional coffee tables also now come with shelves or drawers below, which are great for holding books, magazines, or other items.</p> <h2>17. Declutter and Organize</h2> <p>Of course cleaning up and organizing your belongings can help to make any space more functional. However, in small spaces, it&rsquo;s essential. Invest in some cheap plastic storage containers and sort through items to store them more efficiently and get rid of unwanted things. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things You Can Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <h2>18. Shower and Tub Storage</h2> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have a ledge or shelf in the shower, try a hanging <a href="http://www.lowes.com/pd_5917-336-7807NNMV_0__?productId=3058341">shower caddy over the showerhead</a> to hold everything from shampoo to razors. And for kids in the tub, there are many mesh bags that have suction cups, which stick to the tile to provide extra hanging toy storage.</p> <h2>18. Useful Armoires</h2> <p>An armoire can be a great piece of furniture to make up for lack of closet space. From storing clothes to housing an entertainment center, armoires can be extremely versatile. To cut down on bulk, try making an armoire into a multi-functional part of the room, such as pairing it with a chair for an <a href="http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/projects/revamped-armoires-for-small-space-storage/#page=3">armoire office workstation</a> or using it in the living room as an <a href="http://www.bobvila.com/antique-armoire/31434-13-easy-ways-to-repurpose-antique-armoires/slideshows#!2">open bar for entertaining</a>.</p> <h2>19. Beautiful Boxes</h2> <p>One of the best ways to beautify clutter is to use decorative boxes. These look great in closets or in the corner of a room. You can buy cheap, attractive photo boxes at craft stores or cover a shoe box in pretty fabric to store small items, photos, or even office supplies. Stack them neatly, and they look like decor.</p> <h2>20. Beyond Books</h2> <p>Take advantage of great shelving and vertical storage by making your bookcases work harder than just holding books. In our old apartment, a bookshelf in the living room artfully stored and displayed our wine glasses, plates, framed photos, and baskets filled with baby toys. In the bedroom, bookshelves housed jewelry collections, office supplies, handbags, and cherished mementos. &nbsp;</p> <p><em>What are some other small space solutions that have worked for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments">10 Fun and Cheap Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home clutter organization small spaces Fri, 18 Oct 2013 10:24:03 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1346 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Live Alone Without Going Broke http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-alone-without-going-broke <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-live-alone-without-going-broke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-5278354-small.jpg" alt="home" title="home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="174" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After sharing a four-bedroom apartment with four people, a one-bedroom apartment with another person three separate times (I slept in the living room), and then a two-bedroom apartment with four people (which means sharing a bed), I have been living alone for over a year in a small studio apartment &mdash; and I love it. No, really. You have no idea how good it is to come and go as you please with no one around. But after this month, I'm moving in with a good friend, so I thought it was the perfect time to recount the many ways to be frugal while living alone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-before-moving-in-with-someone">What to Do Before Moving in With Someone</a>)</p> <p>I should let you know &mdash; I live like a 13-year-old boy. If you walked into my apartment, you'd see a string of clothes pretty much everywhere, leading up to my bed, which will indubitably never be made, with me sitting in it, hunched over my computer watching Netflix and eating Totino's pizza rolls. In other words, I'm not the healthiest or cleanest person who lives alone, but I definitely am one of the cheapest.</p> <h2>1. Know Your Neighbors</h2> <p>This is extremely important, and will save you (hopefully) on an alarm system. Living alone can be scary, but knowing who you live around is of utmost importance. Make sure they know what you're doing and when (especially if you're going away for a long period of time). No need for them to become an everyday part of your life, but a little familiarity can go a long way.</p> <h2>2. Share the Internet</h2> <p>Yes, I understand that you live alone, but if you're in a one-bedroom or studio apartment, you most likely have close neighbors. I live in a home above my landlord and next to another studio apartment, and the three of us share the internet. The signal isn't the strongest, but it works well enough to save 66% in Internet bills and/or coffee from the local coffee shop.</p> <h2>3. Get a Library Card</h2> <p>I can understand boredom, but if you live alone, I can't justify having cable (unless your main source of income is writing about television shows, in which case, I would like to steal your job please). Library cards are free, and the libraries nowadays usually have a large supply of DVDs waiting to be rented. If you can't live without TV service, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for">use Hulu or get a Netflix account</a>.</p> <h2>4. Make Leftovers Your Favorite Meal</h2> <p>Everyone should plan out their dinners whether they live alone or not. That's a given. But I always talk to people who live alone who say, &quot;I don't cook because there's no one to eat with me!&quot; Well, you have you to eat with, and then you have you to eat with for lunch the next day, and if there are enough leftovers, lunch the day after that. In other words, leftovers are the best thing you can hope for when you live alone and want to save money.</p> <h2>5. Utilize Your Freezer</h2> <p>I have to admit, there's nothing worse than sharing a fridge and freezer with a roommate, especially if you have the same eating habits or your roommate is in a relationship with someone who doesn't understand labeling systems. But mostly, freezers are only so big and can only fit so much, so having it all to yourself is something to take advantage of. Also, you can freeze large amounts of soup, fresh fruit, meat, and more if you don't end up using it all.</p> <h2>6. Remember: Preservatives Aren't the Answer</h2> <p>And speaking of a freezer, don't buy all the crap that I buy just because it's cheap. There's a fine line between being frugal and not taking care of your body. And I have a terrible tendency to buy food that is terrible for me. Just because you live alone doesn't mean that you have to buy food that will never expire. Just plan ahead, and make sure you cook the perishables first, or freeze them. It will be just as cheap, and you'll feel better for it.</p> <h2>7. Buy in Bulk</h2> <p>When you run out of toilet paper when you live alone, you really run out of toilet paper. There's no one to hand you another roll or run to the store. You're screwed. So buying in bulk can be a cheaper and viable option.</p> <h2>8. Start an Herb Garden</h2> <p>Fresh herbs are expensive at the store, but they're super cheap to grow. My attempts at this failed miserably, because yet again I'm a 13-year-old boy who can't cook and only likes eating frozen pizza. So basically, I had a TON of basil. Like a bazillion bunches of basil, and I had no idea what to do with it. Shortly thereafter, it all died. So if you're going to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">have an herb garden</a>, USE IT!</p> <h2>9. Get an Extra Job or Volunteer</h2> <p>I have two jobs, currently &mdash; a full-time job and a part-time one. The full-time is at a non-profit, and the part-time is at a local music venue. This is in addition to my occasional writing. I'm not suggesting an extra job is always the answer, but if you're bored and want someone to talk to, it beats going out and spending money on drinking or dining out or the other typical ways that people who are always alone spend loads of money. Volunteering is also a good way to go, as well. Sometimes you get free meals out of it! And I mean that in a totally altruistic way.</p> <h2>10. Make Sure You Have Enough Space to Work Out</h2> <p>You live alone, so your roommate won't get mad when you flip on the TV to a yoga video or all of a sudden do 50 crunches while watching &quot;New Girl.&quot; (I have a tendency to do this because Schmidt is ALWAYS working out. I also sometimes drink whiskey during &quot;Mad Men.&quot;) It's your space, so you can do whatever you want. Just make sure you have enough room to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes">work out any time</a>. Saves on the gym!</p> <h2>11. Have a Full-Sized Kitchen</h2> <p>You may be tempted by the price of a studio apartment with a kitchenette, but it really just means you'll eat out more. Having a full kitchen with more than a college-sized refrigerator and two stove burners can go a long way with both saving money and eating healthy. Go big, or don't move in.</p> <p><em>If you live alone, how do you do it on the cheap?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-alone-without-going-broke">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-valentines-day-picks-your-pocket">8 Ways Valentine&#039;s Day Picks Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-more-hobbies-you-can-start-for-free">10 More Hobbies You Can Start for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas">Flashback Friday: 122 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Snack Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-valentines-day-gifts-for-10-or-less">20 Valentine&#039;s Day Gifts for $10 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/celebrate-love-not-money-with-these-recycled-valentines-day-gifts">Celebrate Love, Not Money, With These Recycled Valentine&#039;s Day Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cooking for one living alone small spaces Wed, 31 Jul 2013 09:48:44 +0000 Jennifer Holder 980773 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ideas to Make a Small Space Seem Bigger http://www.wisebread.com/11-ideas-to-make-a-small-space-seem-bigger <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ideas-to-make-a-small-space-seem-bigger" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6839848535_af0e04b715_z.jpg" alt="small room" title="small room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The winning design of a competition held by Mayor Bloomberg for the best micro-home proposal was <a href="http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/city-unveils-winner-of-tiny-apartment-competition/" target="_blank">announced recently</a> and was chosen for its smart use of maximizing storage space and lighting. The micro-units, measuring 250 to 370 square feet, are being established in part to address the housing shortage in the populated city of New York.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Entertain-Small-Apartment-26232872">RELATED:&nbsp;5 Tips for Entertaining in a Small Space</a></p> <p>You don't need an interior designer to help make the most of your small space. If your home feels a little bit too micro for you, there are plenty of easy tricks you can use to make it seem spacier than it really is. Read on for some smart decorating tips.</p> <h2>1. Double Duty</h2> <p>Choose furniture that serve multiple purposes to make the most out of them. For example, using a hollowed out ottoman for a coffee table or opting for a sofa bed that can double as a sofa and a bed.</p> <h2>2. Translucent Is the Way to Go</h2> <p>Picking furniture that&rsquo;s transparent and translucent, like ones made out of lucite or glass, can lighten the room, which is key to making it look bigger than it is.</p> <h2>3. Display Them</h2> <p>Don&rsquo;t have a place to put certain items? Try to display them in an artful way and make them look like part of the decor.</p> <h2>4. Hidden Storage</h2> <div id="slide-content"> <p>Find ways to maximize every space possible, especially the ones that are hidden. Store clothes and other items in a plastic container under your bed or under your sink.</p> <h2>5. Furniture With Legs</h2> <p>Instead of furniture with a solid and bulky base, try picking ones that stand on thin but sturdy legs, such as chairs with metal legs.</p> <h2>6. Go Light</h2> <p>The color palette of your home should be on the lighter end. Think white, pastels, and muted colors. The light decor will open up your room and make it feel spacier than it is.</p> <h2>7. Think Up</h2> <p>When you live in a small apartment, the space gets filled up quickly. Be creative and make sure the pieces you have are tall and narrow. For example, pick tall and skinny bookcases and side tables.</p> <h2>8. Measure Before Buying</h2> <p>You need to work with the limited space so make sure you&rsquo;re measuring it before you get furniture that&rsquo;s too large or too small. Not having the right size can make the apartment look smaller than it is.</p> <h2>9. Clear Clutter</h2> <p>Purge your apartment of the unnecessary and be aggressive about getting rid of items. Digitize memorabilia you&rsquo;re hanging onto and dispose of items you&rsquo;re not using. Clutter can make a small home seem cramped and getting rid of it will create more visible space.</p> <h2>10. Don't Block the Windows</h2> <p>Let the natural light shine through and keep the curtains simple so as not to make the room feel stifled.</p> <h2>11. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall</h2> <p>Add mirrors if it makes sense and if it doesn&rsquo;t clutter up your tiny home. If placed correctly, mirrors can seemingly widen your room&rsquo;s perimeters as well as lighten your room by reflecting light.</p> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Just because your apartment is small doesn&#039;t mean it needs to feel that way. Check out these tips for making the most of a tiny home. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Storage-Space-Ideas-22707628">11 Ideas for More Storage Space</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Decorate-Rental-Apartments-22742698">6 Tips for Decorating Rental Apartments</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Lisa-Ling-House-Photos-Tips-Peaceful-Home-26949318">Lisa Ling: 5 Ways to Make Your Home a Peaceful Oasis</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ideas-to-make-a-small-space-seem-bigger">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-remodel-your-bedroom-without-demolishing-a-thing">7 Ways to Remodel Your Bedroom (Without Demolishing a Thing)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home apartments budget decorating small spaces Thu, 07 Feb 2013 11:24:34 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 967630 at http://www.wisebread.com Studio Apartment Living: A 5-Point Survival Guide http://www.wisebread.com/studio-apartment-living-a-5-point-survival-guide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/studio-apartment-living-a-5-point-survival-guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000000317863Smallc.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are already a lot of great resources for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stretch-out-a-small-space">small-space</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-save-on-apartment-living">apartment</a> 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: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen">7 Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen</a>)</p> <h3>1. Find Storage Everywhere</h3> <p>Myscha's article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-space-survival-strategies">small-space living</a>&nbsp;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 &mdash; 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.</p> <h3>2. Don't Sacrifice Your Favorite Comforts</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>3. Entertain Entertaining</h3> <p>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 &quot;wild dance party&quot;), 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.</p> <h3>4. Keep It Clean</h3> <p>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.</p> <h3>5. Get Out. Leave. Go.</h3> <p>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 <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walk-walk-walk-walk-walk">walk</a> 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.</p> <p><em>Do you have any tricks for dealing with studio living?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/studio-apartment-living-a-5-point-survival-guide">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen">7 Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">Garden Ideas for Small Spaces</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments">10 Fun and Cheap Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home apartment living small spaces studio apartment Thu, 24 Feb 2011 12:36:09 +0000 Meg Favreau 495254 at http://www.wisebread.com McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/173715165_0bc49eb5bd_b.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to US census data, the size of the average American home in the 1950s was a modest 1,000 square feet. Today, the square footage has more than doubled to nearly 2,500. If our families are getting smaller and our objects are getting more compact and portable, why do we need all this space? As the recession of 2008 continues to grind away at our lifestyles well into 2011, maybe it&rsquo;s time we slay that final sacred cow of &quot;bigger is better&quot; &mdash; our homes. Here are just nine advantages of small houses.</p> <h3>1. They Fight Clutter</h3> <p>Smaller homes force us to consider what items we own and why we own them. It&rsquo;s easy to fill up large homes, and often it seems like our personal inventories balloon to fit the spaces we&rsquo;re in. The first step in becoming a minimalist may be to minimize your square footage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-space-survival-strategies">Small Space Survival Strategies</a>)</p> <h3>2. They Promote Energy Efficiency</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, great rooms are lovely, but I can&rsquo;t help but think about those heating and cooling bills. Cathedral ceilings are dramatic and wonderful &mdash; if there&rsquo;s a corresponding cathedral-sized congregation to pass the collection plate to. A smaller physical footprint means smaller bills, and a house that&rsquo;s well designed and well-insulated will always win the numbers game.</p> <h3>3. They Rein in Taxes</h3> <p>Our property taxes are determined by assessed property value, and value is partly determined by square footage. Though a number of other important factors also affect assessed value, all things being equal, smaller homes equal cheaper property taxes.</p> <h3>4. They Encourage Social Interaction</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to get lost in a big house, or at least be isolated from the rest of your family. When I was a kid, my brother and I shared a bedroom until my parents bought a larger home when I began high school. Though I might have argued the point at age 11 or 12, the memory of falling asleep with by big brother nearby is a cherished one. I think part of the reason we enjoy a strong bond now is due, in part, to all those years as &quot;roomies.&quot;</p> <h3>5. They Promote Good Design</h3> <p>In much the same way that small homes compel us to be conscious of clutter, they also encourage smart design. Space limitations challenge our creativity and drive innovation. Small homes designed for versatility are filled with clever surprises: A staircase is built to house a reading nook underneath; a stainless steel utility table is a kitchen countertop on wheels, a home office, and kids' craft area.</p> <h3>6. They Reduce Maintenance Costs</h3> <p>Larger homes also carry larger price tags for general maintenance like re-roofing, painting, new windows, etc. A commitment to going small also means a commitment to reduced expenses over the life of your home &mdash; and a greater chance of affording those &quot;uh-oh&quot; unforeseen expenses.</p> <h3>7. They Create Better Neighborhoods</h3> <p>Have you ever noticed how different it feels to walk through a modest pre-war neighborhood vs. any subdivision built after the 1980s? The pre-war neighborhood probably has smaller single-story homes that are built close to the sidewalk. They may feature broad front porches, garages tucked away in the back, and dense canopies of trees. By contrast, newer homes are imposing, set back like stately mansions on lots that are barren, deep, and narrow. The garages are more prominent and designed for small fleets of cars, bikes, and lawn implements. A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood">stroll though a pre-war neighborhood</a> becomes a jog in a newer subdivision.</p> <h3>8. They're Cheaper to Build</h3> <p>Smaller homes are often significantly cheaper to build. A conscious attention to detail can lead to lower materials costs and the option of using higher-grade materials. There&rsquo;s less foundation to pour, less floor to lay, and less roof to cover.</p> <h3>9. They Encourage Outdoor Activity</h3> <p>Homes are meant to shelter us from the outside, not to be a substitute for it. Often larger homes can meet all of our needs so completely that we forget there&rsquo;s a yard around all of those walls. Sometimes feeling compelled to &quot;get out of the house&quot; isn&rsquo;t necessarily a bad thing. Small homes can inspire us to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-your-garden">garden</a>, to get to know our neighbors, and explore other neighborhoods.</p> <p>Television and movies suggest we aspire to micro-estates with nothing less than three-car garages, media rooms, and America&rsquo;s newest enigma &mdash; man-caves. But were the homes we all grew up in so bad? What&rsquo;s lost in the bargain we&rsquo;re making to constantly move on and move up? Do we have more time, more money, or more freedom? Or are we simply wandering around our big houses looking for one another?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/houses-you-can-build-yourself">Houses You Can Build Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beginners-guide-to-finding-your-interior-design-style">Beginner&#039;s Guide to Finding Your Interior Design Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-tiny-house-living-actually-save-you-money">Can Tiny House Living Actually Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-move-to-a-new-city-to-reduce-lifestyle-costs">Should You Move to a New City to Reduce Lifestyle Costs?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle Real Estate and Housing cheap home design small houses small spaces Mon, 14 Feb 2011 13:24:11 +0000 Kentin Waits 489923 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_kitchen.jpg" alt="Woman in a little kitchen" title="Woman in a little kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="152" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently downsized from a rowhome to a small apartment. How small? Let's just say that the kitchen is better defined as an &ldquo;alcove&rdquo; than a &ldquo;room.&rdquo; There's no dishwasher, an appliance I grew all too accustomed to over the past few years. There's no silverware drawer. And there's literally no counter space, unless you count the two inch strip that runs between the sink and the oven. Heck, when I looked at the apartment, the previous tenant had been keeping his microwave on the floor. Something about having to get down on hands and knees to heat up a Hot Pocket seems really unappealing to me, but hey, maybe that guy really enjoyed the process.</p> <p>I love to cook, so I was worried about the tiny kitchen. But it's forced me to reconsider what tools I need to cook and how I prepare food, and so far, I'm loving it. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your kitchen if you're short on space:</p> <h3>1. Only Own What You Use</h3> <p>When I moved, I got rid of half of my glasses, some plates, and several rarely used kitchen appliances, among other things. As much as I loved whipping up frozen treats with my ice-cream maker, for example, it was hard to justify keeping something so large that I used maybe three or four times over the summer. And while I thought that not having a dishwasher would be a pain, it has made paring down my kitchen items easier, since before I could allow dirty dishes to pile up in the dishwasher until it was full, and now I immediately wash what's in the sink.</p> <h3>2. Purchase Miniature Versions of Appliances</h3> <p>I have a little Kitchen Aid food processor, and for my purposes, it has served me just as well as a regular-size one. The only real difference is that I have to puree my soups in batches instead of all at once. Similarly, I use a hand mixer for baking instead of a stand mixer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mixers">The 5 Best Mixers</a>)</p> <h3>3. Add Extra Storage Space</h3> <p>As you can see in the picture above, my apartment already had a wall-mounted pot rack installed, which has allowed me to free up the minimal cupboard space I do have for plates and food. (If you don't want to buy a pre-made pot rack, Myscha has suggestions for how to craft your own in her piece on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gourmet-kitchens-on-a-shoestring">Gourmet Kitchens on a Shoestring</a>.) I also keep non-perishable ingredients on my windowsill and on top of my cupboards, which allows me to both have extra storage space and put interesting items on display.&nbsp;</p> <h3>4. Make Areas Multi-Purpose</h3> <p>I thought about getting a little kitchen island for prep space, but instead I use my kitchen table for both eating and prep work. Not having the island makes the kitchen feel much less cluttered.</p> <h3>5. Keep It Clean</h3> <p>The messiness of a kitchen is heightened exponentially when there are fewer places for that mess to go. Clean as you cook, and don't let things sit out needing to be put away.</p> <h3>6. Buy the Ingredients You Need</h3> <p>I love buying pantry items in bulk to save money, but in a tiny kitchen, doing so makes my precious cupboard space fill up quickly. Be choosy about what you buy in bulk, and consider buying more fresh fruits and vegetables. They're healthy, and because you have to eat them while they're still good, they won't sit around taking up space.</p> <h3>7. Use the Oven for All Cooking</h3> <p>I got used to browning my bread in the toaster. If I wanted to defrost frozen soup, I popped it in the microwave. But just about anything that can be cooked, unfrozen, toasted, melted, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-panini-presses">panini-pressed</a> in a countertop appliance can have the same thing done to it in or on the oven. Sure, it's not always quite as convenient, but your oven's broiler will make your bread just as crispy as a four-slice toaster. &nbsp;</p> <p><em>Do you have a tiny kitchen? If so, how do you cope?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-pantry-and-save-cash">How to Organize Your Pantry and Save Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-pantry-tricks-that-save-you-big">9 Pantry Tricks That Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/studio-apartment-living-a-5-point-survival-guide">Studio Apartment Living: A 5-Point Survival Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">Garden Ideas for Small Spaces</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Home Organization apartment living kitchen organization small spaces Wed, 29 Dec 2010 01:12:09 +0000 Meg Favreau 409877 at http://www.wisebread.com Garden Ideas for Small Spaces http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3633915640_0085acfd4c_z.jpg" alt="balcony garden" title="balcony garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no better way for me to wind down at the end of the day than by relaxing on my patio, staring off into luscious green foliage. Yet with a move on the horizon, from residential house to suburban apartment, I realize <a href="http://www.littlehouseinthevalley.com/i-love-grass">I can't forgo the garden</a> even if my patio is a scant 8 feet by 10 feet. I need the fresh flowers and green leaves that give me the sanity only nature can provide. After measuring out my patio, plotting creative container ideas, and utilizing my outdoor space efficiently, I found that almost any area can be turned into a garden oasis, no matter how diminutive the space. (See also: <a title="Vegetable Gardening: 4 Cheap Hacks" href="http://www.wisebread.com/vegetable-gardening-four-cheap-hacks">Vegetable Gardening: 4 Cheap Hacks</a>)</p> <h2>Containers of All Sizes</h2> <p>The solution to my patio predicament comes in the form of containers: small, narrow, and vertical. Since my patio is rectangular in shape, the best solution for me is utilizing the three walls surrounding the perimeter and keeping my <a title="6 High-Tech Tools to Help Your Garden Grow" href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-high-tech-tools-to-help-your-garden-grow">plants growing</a> up and out, leaving me plenty of room for my bistro table. Space-saving containers include the following:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Window boxes</strong> &mdash; Window boxes are normally narrow and horizontal in shape, but they need not only be used in front of windows. Window boxes can be securely anchored to the top of a patio ledge or placed on the ground. An alternative idea is hanging them from a wall or, if your apartment building or complex allows, hanging over a ledge. Not only do window boxes take up less space, they have multiple functions.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Hanging baskets</strong> &mdash; Half moon-shaped baskets can hang from any wall, or a drop-down basket can hang from an awning or overhang. Hanging baskets are space savers, leaving the ground clutter-free. They can be used at various levels creating a rich garden surrounding your patio.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Small and narrow containers and pots</strong> &mdash; Small round pots and narrow containers can be clustered together at different levels using plant stands. Not only can one corner hold many plants, but lifting the plants off the ground allows room for the others to grow.</li> </ul> <h2>Raised Beds</h2> <p>Small gardens don't only exist in apartment living. Many houses found in condensed cities have small yards that are begging for some flora. For areas with a small patch of dirt, raised beds can add color and utility to a cityscape.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Raised beds</strong> &mdash; Most raised beds are DIY. Purchasing rot-resistant wood at a local lumber yard, begin with 2-by-4s varying in length. Since you'll be adding your own soil, the existing dirt can be used as the floor of the bed. Raised beds can come in many shapes and sizes depending on how much room you have to work with. Raised beds also provide plants with excellent drainage.</li> </ul> <h2>Making the Most of an Indoor Environment</h2> <p>What happens if a patio or outdoor area is too small for a garden or non-existent? Use your sunlit windows and create an indoor garden sanctuary. Varying the size and height of plants with the help of plant stands and hanging baskets can turn a corner into a mini-garden. Some indoor plants I've had luck with include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Philodendrons</strong> &mdash; In particular the heart-shaped variety. They tend to grow with very little care, a deep watering every couple of weeks, and pruning. I've even grown a couple in my shower (they love the misted moisture).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Corn plants</strong> &mdash; They look similar to mini-palm trees with waxy green leaves and thick trunks. They tend to prefer filtered sunlight and require minimal watering.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Herbs</strong> &mdash; Cilantro, mint, and rosemary, to name a few flavorful herbs, can be grown indoors. Be sure to provide ample sunlight and drainage.</li> </ul> <p>With any container plant, adding nutrients every so often will benefit your plants.Checking the amount of water and sunlight the plant needs for optimal growing conditions will help reduce any plant troubles and keep them disease free.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/studio-apartment-living-a-5-point-survival-guide">Studio Apartment Living: A 5-Point Survival Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen">7 Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality">The Best Cheap Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-beer-to-get-rid-of-pests">Use Beer to Get Rid of Pests</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home apartment living container gardening gardening herbs small spaces Wed, 20 Oct 2010 13:00:17 +0000 Little House 266290 at http://www.wisebread.com