Making 1000 square feet work for three

Guest post by Emily Hudak

Emily and her fiancée share a 1000 square foot apartment–with their four year old! Since the pair plan on having more children AND staying in their current digs, they had to get more than a little creative with their closets and storage space.

Says Emily, “We share a bedroom with our son and every closet is PACKED. Needing even more space for a little-one-to-come I had made a mini-closet for the nugget using a wide-ledged window sill.”

Her solution? Using two closet organizers ($20!) as shelves and suspending them with an expandable shower curtain rod ($7!). The rod is spring loaded, and can be adjusted to fit whatever width is required. Emily can stow away just about everything–her breast pump, bottles, blankets, and clothing for up to six months of time.

The best part? Since the organizers were set up by a window, they use the curtains to cover the shelves as if it’s a closet. GENIUS!

Comments on Making 1000 square feet work for three

  1. That is a brilliant idea! I really like that!

    We lived in a 750 SF home when we got pregnant. We ended up putting on an addition due to inheriting some $ and now live in a little over 1200SF and it’s 2 adults, 1 toddler and 3 dogs all over 50 lbs. We have room to spare. Living in 750SF for 10 years really taught us how to pare down, pare down, pare down. And now with a child, we are super selective with what we buy or bring into the house. We get something new, we put something old on Freecycle or Craigslist.

  2. Awesome! I love posts about living in a small space. Right now we’re in a little less than 1000 sf with two kids a dog… we are constantly re-organzing and finding new ways to make the most of the space. It has been a great lesson in making-do, and I hope when we get a slightly larger place we will use what we’ve learned to economize every inch!

    PS that is what my four year old looks like every single day… undies and a toy.

  3. I live in 260 square feet with my boyfriend, but we’re in Paris and the French are used to tiny spaces (not to mention astronomical rents). So it’s just one room, a sofa-bed and a cozy kitchen that seats 4. Small spaces really strip your crap down to what you really need, a good life lesson! (But now my parents 1000 square feet GARAGE is full of my stuff).

    • So true! When we were living in Japan we lived in a 300 sqft apartment with our two cats, then upgraded to a 600 sqft place. Now that we’re back in the US we’re scouting “luxurious” apartments with a whopping 700 sqft or more!

      I’m thankful for the years we spent in Japan because it’s made me realize we don’t need more space, we just need less stuff!

  4. Currently, we’re living in about 650 sf of living space with a garage. We have 2 adults, 2 boys, a lizard and a baby due in January. I took this summer to re-do the boys room to fit the baby. Can’t wait to post pics when it’s done!!

    Also, I love those closet organizers, esp, the shoe ones. They sit mostly flat against the wall or door and hold alot. Right now, I have one in our bathroom for all the supplies that don’t fit on the shelves. Plus, we can reach it from the shower, which means that we don’t have to have products lining our tub!

  5. Our family consists of 2 adults, a rowdy toddler & 3 pets. We are living in a 240 sq ft studio we built ourselves on some land my uncle has…can you say TIGHT fit? It’s been a great adventure but sadly we’ll have to move soon due to needing to be close to the city again.

  6. I love this post. I live with my dog, my husband, our daughter, and my husband’s good friend in roughly a 1500 sq. ft. rental home. My husband works from home, so he needs extra space, and with the larger house our friend was able to move in, but I still feel completely overwhelmed with space. Toys get scattered everywhere not to mention clothes, books, diapers and everything else. I think it’s an important lesson to learn that just because you can have a lot of space, things, etc. doesn’t mean you need it.

  7. We’re in the same predicament! 1200 sq ft, already have a two and a half year old, and planning a new pregnancy next year. My husband thinks I’ve gone mad, I personally don’t want to be pregnant any later than that, and we just don’t have the means to move right now. I said, we’ll make it work. Thankfully, we have nine foot ceilings in our apartment, so shelving will solve a lot of problems, but it’s going to be cramped no matter what we do. It’s all a matter of keeping what we use, and getting rid of all the extra.

  8. We used to live in a bus and had to get creative with space too. Now we’re back in a huge house I am wishing we had less space. It forces you to be more creative with storage and also cut down on the amount of ‘stuff’ you own. It’s hard not to fill lots of spare rooms with ‘stuff’ when they’re there!

  9. We are one toddler, 3 cats and a packrat husband living in 1200SF, which in NYC is considered quite large (although we only 2 closets!). But if you want to see what others do in really small spaces take a look at Apartment Therapy’s Smallest Coolest annual contest (no connection to me but fascinating). 1000SF is only considered “small.” They also have categories for “teeny tiny,” “tiny,” and “little.” The founder of that blog was living in a studio when he and his wife has their baby. It’s truly ingenious how they arranged everything.

  10. I think it is superfun to figure out better and better ways to live in a small space! And I would rather spend money this way than on buying up/taking up more space.

    We live in a 730 sq foot one bedroom with two adults, a ten month old and two cats and we LOVE it. We’ve never once felt cramped, and there are always fun home improvement projects on the docket to make our space more efficient and user friendly.

  11. I always wonder why people need soooo much space.

    We’ve got three little ones in even less square footage. It’s tight, but we don’t have a bunch of debt, a bunch of stuff we don’t need, and its cozy!

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