Tip #117: 5 Things You May or May Not Need in a Tiny Apartment.
But mostly the show has gotten me thinking about all of the things that people tell you that you need should you dare to live in a small space. Lots of these things are helpful. Lord knows I’ve made my own lists of suggestions for helpful somethings or other. But here’s the problem with tiny space must-have lists: any small-space solution is only as good as the problem is bad.
Here are a few common must-haves that you might decide you don’t really need at all.
1. Tiny velvet space-saving hangers.
You know the ones. They’re super slim. Clothes kind of stick to them so that your carefully pressed shirts won’t slip off. They are certainly very helpful for all manner of closets, but if your clothes fit perfectly fine onto bulkier hangers that you already own, and nothing is really very much squeezed at all, then there’s no need to invest in a whole new set. Non-problem solved.
2. Storage ottomans.
Assuming that having an ottoman is a possibility in the first place, I can understand the appeal of being able to make it more useful. Multipurpose furniture can certainly have a place in a small space, but it’s worth considering that you don’t actually need to store things in every square inch of a home. Sometimes these kinds of storage solutions end up trapping stuff you might not really need to be hanging on to in the first place: magazines you’ve read, junk mail, cords for electronics you don’t own anymore. Clutter caught is still clutter.
3. Drop-leaf tables.
Helpful? Absolutely. No doubt. Reason to kick your table to curb if it doesn’t collapse? Not necessarily. Drop-leaf tables—or any kind of transformer furniture—can be super helpful when space is at a premium, but only necessary if you don’t have the space for something immobile. Consider how often you might actually close the thing up before you invest in something with movable parts. In our apartments, we’ve hung on to favorite decidedly non-transformer furniture rather than buy new and that’s mostly worked out just fine. Bottom line, don’t panic if your furniture doesn’t come with moving parts. Maybe you don’t really need it to move?
4. Collapsible hampers, etc..
A collapsible hamper (or shoe rack, or colander, or dish rack, or what-have-you) is a really nice idea until you collapse it exactly never. If you’re not going to take advantage of the special functionality of a piece, consider whether it’s worth trading out what you already might have and love for something new. If a collapsible colander is EXACTLY what you need in order to store that very helpful kitchen item, go for it. Just remember: like a drop-leaf table whose leaves you never drop, a dish rack that you never fold up is, for all intents and purposes, not a foldable dish rack.
5. Gadgets and gizmos.
There are a million tiny things—special hooks and toilet paper holders and pocketed shower curtains, and shelf doo-dads—that you can buy to “make the most out of a small space.” Some of these things might be exactly, precisely, the very thing without exception that you need. But take it slow. Try a few freebie self-made options before investing in the “cure-all” that might not cure much. So many of these gadgets are cheaply made, or questionably constructed, or catchalls for junk rather than savors of sanity. Put simply: beware the gadgets.
Tiny apartment survival tip #1- 116, right HERE.