You know how they say that good things come in small packages? Well, the same is true for small apartments. In fact, many people have far more square footage than they really need! With a little vision and some creative storage solutions, a 300-square-foot unit can feel and function on a much larger scale.
How to calculate 300 square feet
It's easy enough to calculate 300 square feet if you know what you're doing and have some basic supplies on hand. The great news is that it takes less time to do this in a small space, so you're already winning!
Anyway, when you figure out the square footage, you're measuring a square footage than they really need!. To do this, a person only needs a tape measure, as well as a pen and paper to write down the measurements. Also, a phone calculator is helpful to figure out the final number, unless you love crunching numbers in your head.
Then, measure the length and width of each room in the unit. In a 300-square-foot apartment, this is likely to only be one room, plus a small kitchen and a bathroom. Measure each of those separately. For each room, multiply the length by the width (for example, eight feet long by nine feet wide comes out to 72 square feet). Then, do the same for the other living spaces and add it all together. Don't forget pantries and closets!
Most apartments already have this measured out for you, but knowing the exact dimensions are ultra helpful when picking out furniture to work in a relatively small space. Plus, it doesn't hurt to make sure you get what you're paying for.
How do you visualize 300 square feet?
Most people don't naturally think in terms of square feet, so it's difficult to picture how big 300 square feet is. Probably the easiest way is to consider the interior of an average school bus, which runs from 245 to 300 square feet. We're not talking about the extra-long or extra-short buses, here. Make sure to visualize an average, run of the mill school bus. Most units aren't so rectangular in shape, of course, but this should give you some idea of how much space you'll be working with for furniture, décor and so on.
The good news is that modern builders and renovators are far more adept at maximizing space, so smaller units are usually designed with functionality in mind. No more oddly shaped corners and such to accommodate! Unless you live in New York City. Then, all bets are off.
Is 300 square feet small for an apartment?
The answer to whether or not 300 square feet is small for an apartment is all about perspective. The truth is, it's never going to look like a multi-room, terraced penthouse, but it doesn't have to feel like a shoebox, either.
There's actually a lot to say for living in a small space. The knowledge that you're limited on square footage (hopefully) prevents a lot of unnecessary new purchases. That, along with low utility bills, are money savers all in themselves.
For reference, the “tiny homes" that have become so popular in recent years are less than 600 square feet, however, the average size of a tiny home is 225 square feet! That's about one-eighth the size of an average home.
So, clearly, a 300-square-foot apartment is much smaller than a house, but this is one circumstance where size doesn't have to matter. Simply learn how to work with what you've got!
Tips for living in a 300 square-foot-apartment
Unless you're moving from a 100-square-foot room, chances are you're going to have to make some adjustments before taking possession of a 300-square-footer. Here are a few top tips to make the transition easy-peasy.
1. Declutter in the extreme
It's always a good idea to purge old, broken or unused items when making a move, but it's downright necessary when heading to a unit this size. Before packing up, make a pile to keep, a pile to trash and a pile to donate or sell. If you haven't used or worn something in months, chances are you'll never notice its absence. Minimalism is very “in" right now, so hop right on that bandwagon!
2. Make use of wall space
In a small apartment, creative shelving is your friend. Pick up some floating shelves, a miniature bookcase or something along those lines. Also, opt for shelves that pull double-duty, like one that hangs wine glasses, but also has space to store items up top.
3. Retrofit the kitchen
Along the same lines, add functionality to the kitchen with stemware racks that attach under cabinets, saving storage space for other unsightly stuff. Keep that bulky knife block from taking up precious counter real estate, and install a magnetic knife bar over the stove, instead.
Those without dishwashers will definitely want to invest in an over-the-sink drying rack to save space and time, and a spice rack affixed to the interior of a cabinet door frees up plenty of room for pantry staples.
4. Organize the bathroom
This bathroom won't feature a soaker tub or tons of cabinetry. Invest in organizers for the shower, under the sink and over the toilet to store medications, hair care products and styling utensils. Over-the-door shoe organizers are a wonderful, utilitarian touch, and they're perfectly sized for such items!
5. Shop smart
That hand-me-down, king-sized bed your parents gifted you isn't going to cut it in a 300-square-foot unit. Shop (new or used) for something more like a twin or full in size. For the “living area," consider a small loveseat, couch or even a day bed that pulls out for the occasional guest. Definitely mount the television on the wall, or forego it altogether and stream shows on the iPad or laptop.
6. Be color smart
When selecting linens and furniture, opt for light colors, as they'll make the room look larger than dark hues. Add personality using pops of complementary colors here and there.
7. Keep it tidy
From the very beginning, set a cleaning/decluttering schedule and stick with it. Junk everywhere makes a small place claustrophobic, fast. In fact, keep it extra under control and get rid of one item for every new thing you bring in!
Need a little visual inspiration? Check out this viral TikTok video, which shows before and after footage of a New Yorker's 300-square-foot unit. A little vision and TLC are all it takes to make a small place feel like home!
Mini is mighty
Some people choose a small pad near the action at a fraction of the cost, while others simply prefer the minimalist lifestyle. No matter what your personal reason, embrace the potential of your 300-square-foot micro-apartment and turn it into something truly special and unique to your needs.
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