We’ve lived in our Philadelphia apartment for over four years now. I remember walking into the space and thinking – this is it. It just had a good vibe to it. I think Eric thought I was a little crazy, but I whipped out my checkbook on the spot. We’d seen too many other places fall through at the last second, and there were people waiting outside to tour it after us. Sorry, people outside – this place was going to be ours.
In many ways, it isn’t an ideal space, but it checked off three major requirements that we had: 1) it allowed pets, 2) there was a yard for Zoey, and 3) IN-UNIT WASHER-DRYER. Something I hadn’t had at all in my adult life. I was happy to overlook the odd layout, the crooked floors, and the minuscule amount of closet space. We’d make it work.
And we have! We went from a childless married couple and creatures to parents of a newborn (plus creatures). Then parents of a baby. And now, parents of a toddler, plus a dog and two cats. With each of these transitions, our little apartment has seemed smaller. We’ve added stuff. We’ve purged. We’ve added more stuff. We’ve discussed moving a million times, but by now – this apartment is our home. It’s going to take a lot to get me to move out of it. But even I have to admit that these days, life in 1000 square feet is feeling a little claustrophobic. It’s a constant struggle between always editing our belongings and living in a culture that wants you to buy more. And more. And MORE.
So the question is, how much space does a toddler really need? How much stuff do they need? How can we handle the steady stream of gifts from generous and well-intentioned friends and family who love us but who don’t take into consideration how we will actually fit an item into our tiny house?
I don’t have any answers today. But I’d love to hear your ideas – especially if you’ve tackled apartment and city living with littles. Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with to make our space work for the time being:
- Purge AGAIN. Especially clothes and shoes.
- Rethink our spaces and our furniture. What needs to be in the main living spaces, and what needs to be in the bedrooms? What can we do without?
- Freshen up. I’m dreaming of repainting our living room (maybe Sea Salt or Yarmouth Blue or Lavender Heather – what do you think?). I’m hoping a refresh will help us look at the space in a new light.