Tip #64: Approach your tiny apartment joyfully.
My mom and dad are hands-down the cheeriest people I know. It’s not that they don’t sometimes get annoyed, or grumbly about driving in traffic (ok, fine, that’s really just my dad), but when those kind of annoyances crop up, that’s about where they end. They surface, but before you can blink, the concern is over. There’s no dwelling, there’s no worry, there’s no sustained hemming or hawing.
I once called my dad in a panic about something or other. I needed advice. Or more precisely, I needed to hear myself talk. After I’d finished talking myself down, I said something along the lines of, “Okay, I can do it.”
To which my dad replied matter of factly,
“Bear, we don’t worry, we just do.”
Written here it looks almost like an admonishment, but I assure you that it is more of a credo.
I get more notes than I can ever respond to in a timely manner about small apartment worries. Most of them hinge on the fear of an upcoming move to a tinier place. The particular concerns vary, but here’s the one bit of advice that I can offer universally: approach your tiny apartment joyfully. See it as an exciting challenge and not as an impending nightmare.
The first apartment that James and I shared together was enormous. It was five times the size of this place and then some. There was an entire room for our washer and dryer. It wasn’t fancy, but it was spacious. We rattled aound in it. After six months of living there we moved to an apartment that was significantly smaller and significantly lovelier.
For the three weeks between signing our lease and making our move, I panicked about how we would fit everything into the apartment. I hemmed and hawed. I made James make a phone call to the current tenant to ask if we could visit the place again. I begged her to leave a massive shelving unit, just in case we needed more storage. I worried that our recently thrifted bedroom furniture wouldn’t fit. I worried that no one would buy our couch which wouldn’t fit up the stairs. Thinking about adding two surf boards to the mix nearly sent me over the edge. I literally lost sleep worrying about it.
Everything fit. What didn’t, we sold. The shelving unit was wildly unnecessary and we moved that out too. We’ll probably never have as awesome an apartment for as little money. Life was good.
Life in your tiny apartment will be good too. Just skip the worrying part.
PS. Photo above includes Ma and Pa Boyle + sister and husband + world’s most adorable Oliver + me + James, who we forced to stay in the loft. Just kidding. Kind of.