How to call the broom closet home
8. Have a place to go
Even if you love your tiny home, you occasionally will feel cramped. You may need more space to spread out.
For Erin Melissa Dabbs, having a front yard or patio to relax on has been a lifesaver. Her studio cottage is less than 400 square feet, so there's not always space to escape.
Maybe your apartment complex has a courtyard that's relaxing, or there's a park just down the street.
A place to relax doesn’t have to be outdoors, either. Your local library, a community center or a friend's house will do just fine.
9. Use mirrors
Patterson says he tried to open up his apartment visually by using reflective surfaces, including a large mirror that doubled as a broom closet because he could tuck things behind it.
Gillingham-Ryan says he has seen some amazing installations in small spaces using mirrors. They reflect light and create the illusion of space.
One example is putting a dining table against a wall with a large mirror behind it, he says. By placing a lamp on the table, you allow someone's eye to extend through the wall and reflect the light from the table.
"All of these things give you the sense of being in a space that's much larger than the square footage," he says.
10. If possible, have light walls and dark floors
Gillingham-Ryan says light-colored walls will open up your space, while a dark floor creates a warm feeling that gives the effect of falling away from the walls, which makes the bright walls look taller.
"Not everything has to be white, but lighter colors are more expansive and more reflective," he says.
Smaller for the long haul?
A lot of people start out in small spaces, such as a college dorm or a room in a house. Some people move up to bigger spaces as they acquire more belongings or can afford to do so.
"But some people discover, as I did, that their sense of the space is really informed more by the emotional experience in the space than the square footage," Gillingham-Ryan says.
After college, Gillingham-Ryan moved to a 250-square-foot place in New York. He continued to live there when he got married and had a baby. It was only when his daughter was nearly a toddler that they moved to a bigger place next door. It's 700 square feet, which he says many people wouldn’t consider big enough for even one person.
Shafer was raised in a 4,000-square-foot house and says that having to clean it when he was a kid was probably a big part of why he lives in small spaces now. He still lives in one of his 100-square-foot houses, but it's next door to a 500-square-foot house that he calls his "wife's and baby's house." They go back and forth and live between the two homes.
Frank, on the other hand, says she would live in a bigger space if she could because in her apartment, she feels as if she’s living in a hallway.
"Whenever I get the chance to go out of town and be in a bigger place, I'm always jumping at the chance," she says.
She says she renewed her lease for a second year but doesn't think she can handle another year after that. She likes to cook and bake, but doing so in her current space is an ordeal.
Baking a pie means her entire apartment becomes a disaster zone.
"There's all this cooking equipment out on my desk — blender, mixer, etc.," she says. "And there's just this one pie at the end."
She says she manages to make it work only because she's a neat freak. "A place for everything and everything in its place" is her mantra.
"You have to live so close to yourself," she says. "Everything is right in your face."
Wixon, who now lives in a townhouse in the suburbs of Minneapolis, says he enjoys having more space for living an orderly life. But he still loves his small spaces.
"One of the first things I checked upon moving in was whether my bed would fit in the closet," he says. "Nothing comforting like sleeping in the closet."
Thanks dude, now land lords will take a $1,000 per month space, cut it up into 5 units & get $500 per month for each.
So what will be our gain?
Funny thing but people think of New York City as only the Island of Manhattan below 96th street ( of course !). Only 20% percent of New Yorkers live there.
I live in Queens , 12 minute ride by subway and 2 minute walk from Midtown and rent huge 3 bedroom apartment with 2 balconies, in a very nice, clean ( for NYC ) area for $ 1900.
I know it would be a palace in Texas but in the center of the world ( Manhattan) it's about $4000.
I am from NYC and the fact that someone thinks a 105 sq foot studio (thats 10ft x 10.5ft) is a "steal" at $700 just goes to show how messed up the city living mentality is. People from NYC seem to buy in to the myth they are "living in the greatest city in the world" and will do and pay anything to continue to live a cramped noisy existance.
Human beings were not meant to live in such confinement and our subconscience has to work very hard to cope with it. Read The Human Zoo by Desmond Morris and some of the experiments he has conducted on people living in urban as opposed to small town environments.