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LIFE IN 450 SQFT



Family, friends, coworkers, and patients have asked me how I live in a small 450 square foot apartment with my husband and golden retriever, so today I thought I'd answer that question. But first, I'd like to share some of the pros and cons of life in 450sqft. It is a little different than I thought it would be, but maybe even better!


PROS


Our apartment is on the first floor so when we need to take the dog out, it's super quick and easy! It was great after a seizure Hannah had in the apt (the only one so far), after she was stable enough to walk we rushed her outside to go potty. If we had been on the second or third floor, it would have been much more difficult for her and she probably would have had an accident walking down the stairs.

We love that we are in a great location and are super grateful to be near everything we need. I do drive across town for work and JP drives across town for school, but grocery shopping and leisure shopping is very nearby. If I need to run to the grocery store, we're literally a couple of blocks away. We can walk the Deschutes River Trail as that is just down the road from us. I'm telling you, it is awesome.

We have our own brand new washer/dryer. Aah, the simple pleasures. Oh, did I mention the apartment complex is a new build? We are the first renters in our apartment!

Less space means less cleaning! I'd say to clean the whole apartment it takes about thirty minutes. THIRTY MINUTES! In our house, I couldn't even clean all three bathrooms in thirty minutes, much less the rest of it! Less cleaning means more time for other things. Love that!

We have a cute little patio where we have our two adirondack chairs. I thought about putting a small table out there to rest drinks on and whatnot, but with us moving in a couple of months (once the RV is ready) it just doesn't seem practical. We'll see, I might hang some lights, who knows.

We have fairly inexpensive rent! We didn't have to be on a wait list, like most renters in Bend, and God's timing couldn't have been any better from when our house closed to when we moved into the apartment.

Our apartment complex is dog friendly and they don't have weight limits. There aren't any restrictions on how many dogs you can have but I do believe there are breed restrictions. We even had a "pet interview" with management and Hannah passed with flying colors!

The complex has some fantastic amenities that I don't feel comfortable sharing at this point, as it is literally the only complex in the entire city with them. As much as I try to be transparent on the blog, I won't be giving out my address any time soon. Maybe after we move I'll share about how we've enjoyed the wonderful amenities.


CONS


The "kitchen" has limited counter-space. I'm not sure if I'd call it the kitchen or the living room or the dining room as the layout is an open concept.

We have only one closet. No coat/storage closet. No garage or small storage unit on the premises. We've had to get creative with storage solutions so we did manage to move the washer/dryer over slightly to one side of the "laundry room" so that I could put in a teeny tiny rolling cart for cleaning supplies. We have our small vacuum cleaner and our mop stored behind the rolling cart. We have our Christmas decor (one storage bin) and baby gear (one storage bin) in the main closet as well as our guitar, karate weapons, and all of our clothes and shoes. It's a little tight, but we're managing.

We can hear the neighbors doing everything that neighbors do...need I say more?

We both wear headphones on a regular basis since we're in such close proximity to one another, otherwise whatever we're watching/listening to can be very bothersome to the other person since our taste in music and entertainment are very different. If JP is studying, he'll wear noise canceling head phones and overall, it has worked out pretty well.

We don't have a view of the mountains. Ok, this isn't a deal breaker and we could've gotten those mountain views had we picked a 3rd floor apartment. Since we were looking out for the dog's best interest, we went with the 1st floor.

With the limited amount of space, we can't entertain much or have more than two guests over at the same time. Not to mention we don't have enough seating for those guests.

The patio replaces our backyard. On the one hand, there is no yard maintenance to worry about, on the other hand, the dog can't run freely anywhere unless we take her to a dog park.

The parking spots are not free. We have only paid for one parking spot, so JP must park on the street in front of the complex, or side street. Can anyone tell me if that's normal to pay for a parking spot in an apartment complex nowadays? I've had a few apartments over the years (8 years ago), and I've never had to pay for a parking spot. I'd love to hear your experience in the comments below.

You cannot escape when someone uses the restroom unless you physically leave the premises. Mind you, we only have two windows in the entire apartment...(our RV has  twelve windows).

Literally, every time we use the oven, the smoke alarms sound. Without fail, EVERY TIME. We even turn the fans on high and they still alarm. Hannah is super freaked out by how loud they are that she starts trembling with fear. Poor girl. The first thing I do when they alarm is open the sliding glass door and let her outside onto the patio. That way we get some air flow and she gets further away from the noise. That might be the worst con on the list.


WHAT WE'VE LEARNED


Since there is very limited storage space, we've had to get creative (underbed storage, vertical storage, hook over the door storage, etc.) with finding homes for our belongings!

We've learned about what we really "need" and what we don't.

We've put more thought into where furniture goes and what we hang on the walls.

We've become even more organized and we only bring in things we love or really need!

We use multifunctional furniture - our storage ottoman is also our coffee table and our foot rest.

We've only added furniture that fit well, like our love seat that fits perfectly on the main wall. We purchased a desk with a glass top to help keep the visual weight down to a minimum.

We must be tidy, otherwise clutter will accumulate in about two seconds flat! We must put away our shoes in the closet and hang up that coat! Everything has a home.

It really helped us to de-clutter before we moved. If you'd like to read more about that, click HERE.

Have you heard of the one-in-one-out rule? If we buy something for the apartment that we already have, the duplicate must go. If it is something we don't already have, we must decide if it is something we need and if it will be useful for us and add value to us. To add to this, if I can purchase an item that is reusable, like these snack bags, or compostable, like this plastic-free dish washing brush, I will. If I can make it myself with what I already have, even better.

I love natural light so I am always trying to open the blinds. For me anyway, it makes a  huge difference! I do however have to be careful because people are constantly walking by our apartment taking their dogs out. If the kitchen isn't clean, the blinds stay closed, thank you very much.

As part of what we've learned downsizing our belongings and living a more simple life, I thought I would share some websites for your reference if you are interested in learning more about the minimalist movement. These people all have such unique views when it comes to living simply and I love to get a different perspective on the same general topic.


I'd love to hear about your minimalism journey and what you've learned along the way, so leave a comment below! Hope you have a great rest of your day!

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for checking out the blog post! I'd love to hear about what you've learned living in small quarters. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. When my hubby and I got married, we lived in a 500 sq foot house. it was cute. it was little. and yes, cleaning was so very quick!!! now with two goldens, I'm glad we aren't in something quite that small anymore but I think I am definitely all about smaller houses now, thanks to that experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, I can so appreciate simple living now! Wish we had started this journey years ago! Good to hear from you Laura! Hope you are feeling well these days!

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