I've been loving my apartment for almost two years now. I love the location, which is my reasoning for some of the luxuries I have sacrificed (like a washer/dryer & dishwasher). It is within walking distance to many amazing restaurants, places (like the local zoo), and my work. I can't say enough about being able to walk to work - the amount of road rage I have avoided through this time has probably shaved me about five years of aging.
I also enjoy the charm of my neighborhood. It is full of lots of large trees, and homes that are at least 100 years old. It never gets old walking through the neighborhoods come rain, snow or shine.
Now for the down-falls of a small apartment. I love being organized, but when you don't feel like you have room to sprawl out, say for organizing papers, or doing a craft, stretching, or yoga. I definitely have learned that I need a place with enough space somewhere where I can lay on the floor and do a snow-angel! Otherwise it feels a bit confining and claustrophobic over time.
Why am I venting? Chad recently found himself homeless for a month due to a miscommunication from a landlord. We didn't want to move in together before the wedding, but didn't have much of a choice given the situation and timing. I wouldn't say Chad moved in... he took over about 40% of my closet space (which were maxed out anyways); everything else went to storage. It was a great challenge for us - my place, at 600 sq ft, is cramped anyways with one person. So, we learned to live with the clutter for the short 30-day time-span. At first I was "can you pick up your clothes" and he was "do you have to leave that there" but then we realized the situation was hopeless and we both accept living 'hoarder-like" for the time being.
We are both fairly neat people. I live by the rule "a place for everything, everything in its place", but when you don't have a place for everything to begin with it feels a bit overwhelming. It is a good lesson, though. I tried to imagine what we would do if this was a permanent living situation... we definitely would be purging a lot of things. I'm not one for clutter, but the downsizing made me feel like I had so many unnecessary kick-knacks.
Once we move to our new place when we are married, our stuff should fit much better without being bare nor excessive. It's not huge - about 1000 sq ft, and we still will probably purge things here-and-there (yay Craigslist!), but it is a great lesson to not have a desire to accumulating stuff. Over time this can be so easy to do! You see that cute vase, or there's that amazing deal on that little side-table, but living more simple and basic can be very freeing! It also is great when going to Target (such a dangerous place!) You see all that great seasonal decor, dishes, and furniture and think "that would be so great to have in my place!" But, then you realize you can't even find a place to put down your drink so it becomes much easier to walk away.
Chad is now moved out and my place feels SO much bigger! I've been cleaning out my closet and purging clothes and whatever I can. Getting rid of things feels so good - especially in the bathroom. Do you really need that 10 year old perfume? Boy, it's so easy to forget how long you've actually been holding on to some of the things you have. I'm working on getting rid of all those hotel shampoos I've been accumulating through the years. In theory they are great, but when it comes down to it - I don't actually use them all that much. Do I really need to hold on to the 30 bottles I've gathered? So I pick my few favorite and get rid of the rest.
I'm pumped to really take advantage of my own place for the little time I have left. Moving in with Chad will be wonderful, but I'm really relishing the little time I have to really make this place my own! Now, what to get rid of next...?