Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I recently downgraded from a one-bedroom apartment to a studio. Living in San Diego as a young, single female, this decision was the most logical in saving money, simplifying my life and also seeing if maybe Carrie Bradshaw was onto something. While the extra money I save in living in a smaller space will not go to expand my non-existent collection of Christian Louboutins (oh the humanity), it will go into an ING Direct savings account I opened that is currently earning 3.00% APY which is far more than my credit union. Thus, building that famous “emergency fund” we are always reading about from personal finance blogs (see, The Simple Dollar’s Emergency Funds: How and Why You Should Get Started Right Now)

Anyway, for your reading enjoyment a brief list, according to Suite101 on the sweeter side of studio living:

Keeping Studios Clean

Most studios don't have room for dust-collectors like coffee tables, china cabinets, and entertainment centers. Instead, buy double-duty furniture (day beds and decorative chests), some functional items (computer desk, small dining table, television stand), and if space allows, a sofa or bookshelf. The flip side is that small spaces magnify anything that is less than white-glove clean. If you forget to make your bed or mop the floor when a visitor stops by, you can't close the bedroom door or shoo guests out of the kitchen.

Decorating A Small Space

Keeping clutter to a minimum goes a long way. Keep the kitchen area neat and free of dirty dishes, and vacuum and dust frequently. A studio is not the place for knickknacks any more than it is for large furniture. These things take up valuable space. Make sure that furniture and decorations don’t impede movement around the space. It pays to measure the furniture and make a floor plan before moving in. Don’t rent sight unseen and plan to just fit everything in once you get there.

Organizing Small Apartments

Plan before going grocery shopping. Small spaces have limited storage room. Bargain shoppers beware - there may not be room for jumbo packs of paper towels. Clutter makes a small space seem even smaller. To achieve a cozy but airy atmosphere, store things in sneaky spaces – under the bed or sofa, in the cabinet over the fridge (just not in the stove – it’s dangerous). Try dividing the space into mini-rooms. Place a small telephone stand in one corner. Create an entertainment space: buy a shelf that attaches to the top of the television to hold a stereo.

Add Simple, Personal Touches

Life in a studio is simple living at its finest. Everything you need is there - a roof over your head, a place to sleep, a place to cook and eat. You also have room for those touches that make a space home. Walls to hang pictures, a window ledge to place a vase of flowers, a closet or corner for mementos and books. What you do not have room for, you truly don’t need right now.


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