Natural World

Living Efficiently


Courtesy of ubmfuturecities.com
Courtesy of ubmfuturecities.com

With a combined interest in cutting our carbon footprint and cutting our costs, many urbanites and young adults are turning to micro apartments. This allows you to live in a high cost region, like a college dorm or the middle of downtown, without costing nearly as much as a regular apartment, and might be just the thing for agoraphobics (fear of open spaces) or minimalists. I tend to be a fan of the concept myself, with the added reasoning that I just like efficiency. I love my country, but I hate how homes in the greater D.C. area (thats the slightly smaller cities that the locals consider part of D.C. but the map says are separate. Sort of like a map telling the world that long island and Queens arenat part of NY. So, as in, not really true at all.) are sprawled out all over the place. Great rooms, where two giant sofas are still left swimming in the vast void of space? A house where each kid gets a whole suite thats bigger than an apartment rather than just one bedroom? I think its crazy. Too much waste, not enough foresight! And then those same people cant park their cars in their garages because they have so much junk its overflowed. What America needs is clearly not more space, but rather a bit more efficiency in their spaces.

 

        So, even though my living space dozen`t have to cram in a kitchen or bathroom in my 300-500 square feet, the maximum for an apartment to be considered micro, I think it is valuable to take cues from the designs used in these spaces and apply them to our own lives. Maybe if everything we had was super organized and hidden away, our homes would always be magazine photo and company ready! (Instead of always being messy, except for a mad dash cleaning spree right before Christmas each year.)I actually really like that idea myself.

Here`s some ideas from the experts everyone can use to make their space work a little harder with a few organizing ideas that you can steal and use in your own home. Hint: Everything should multitask or pack flat.

 

1. Use the back of Doors

closetYou know how things like closets, bathrooms, and kitchen cabinets have doors? Use `em. That`s the perfect place to put small or skinny things that would get lost if put in the main storage area, and this way you are storing twice as much in the same space! Just be sure whatever you put on the back dozen`t interfere with closing the door. I recommend micro command hooks to hold individual pieces of jewelry on the back of a closet door. It`s cheaper than a jewelry box, and it`s more flexible as your needs change! The site linked here was the cheapest at press time, but be sure to comparison shop!

2. Multitasking Pieces

When you have messy practical things, the best thing to do is fold them and put them away. Need a stool? Have one that folds flat and can be squirreled away. Or the kind that is a chair. Notice that, when folded into a chair, this variety has a little shelf? If you want to be super efficient, you can store something there. Of course, it would be a pain to move magazines every time you wanted to reach the top shelf, so maybe on second thought that isn`t actually such a great idea.

3. Things That Pack Flat

 

Need lunchboxes, colanders, cups? Get the kind that can be folded flat. They have silicone varieties of all three of these that really can be squished down pretty close to flat so they dont use up a lot of room in your cupboards. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B001TI1MP4/ref=sr_1_14_olp?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1388561600&amp;sr=8-14&amp;keywords=silicone+colander+collapsible&amp;condition=new">This</a> variety also has fold down legs so it wont collapse while you are using it. You`d realize how handy that is once your hand knocked against no-stand version and you had to watch your counter drown in a sea of noodles- that would certainly be a disaster!

4. Use Awkward Spaces

If your home has a lot of awkward spaces, those are also great places for storage. In my bathroom there is a 4 inch well behind the door, so I installed a couple of thin shelves to make use of the space. If you have slanted ceilings, you can install cabinets or shelves that move with the roof line as well. These were custom made by Mawdsley Williams.

5. The Minimum Effort

And at the very least, you can install a medicine cabinet in your bathroom instead of an ordinary flat mirror. You can currently buy the one shown on sale here.

What are your efficiency tips and tricks?

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5 comments

  1. We have taken a lot of cues from Ikea on this one – since moving from a house in Michigan to a one-bedroom apartment in Denver, We’ve had to basically cut everything in half. We have a couch from Ikea that is “L-shaped”, and houses a bed that pops up to form an entire King! How cool is that?! Also, part of the “L” has a space for storage, so the foam topper, blankets, pillows, and sheets all go in there :)

    1. I love when living spaces are really efficient! I guess you can tell from the post! That is really a guest room in a couch, though, isn’t it? That’s really exciting, I have furniture envy now :)

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