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How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

Today is the day we say goodbye to our sweet 415. Annapolis has been so good to us the past five years and I honestly can’t even believe we’re leaving it. Daniel and I have had more adventures than I can count with trials and blessings that have grown our marriage abundantly. I am so thankful for our time here and to be moving back to Charleston as our own family to create many more adventures and memories together. There have been so many people who have become family and I will forever refer to them as Aunts and Uncles to River. I pray that we always remain apart of each others lives.

Now — this post wasn’t meant to be a sappy goodbye, but a few months ago several of you wanted to know how we’ve spent the past five years in a 400 square foot apartment. We’ve had parties with up to 20 people here, we had six teenagers stay the weekend with us once, so many guests come and visit, more game nights, dinners, movie nights, and parties then I can count and I’ve loved every one of them. Once River came along, it made it slightly more challenging but it has served us well and we’ve loved living in downtown Eastport.

Below are a few ways I utilized the space we had and maximized our ability to host and welcome people in. Shortly after we moved in I read the book Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist and in it she talks about how the Lord has called us to open our homes to others no matter what season of “home” you are in. You don’t need a 1600 sq ft house to have people over. So thats what we did.

My biggest tip is to get double purpose items, a chest that’s storage and seating. A coffee table that can hold stuff. Put a cabinet over the toilet for storage but doesn’t take any more floor space. Get creative 🙂

Some places I shopped for storage ideas: Ikea, Homegoods, Goodwill, Target etc.

 

Front porch table and swing was perfect for dinners because it allowed us to stretch out and not be crammed in the kitchen.

We even moved out into the yard when we had lots of people over.

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years
The entry way to our apartment was my “office”. All my work related things were kept in here. The biggest tip I can recommend is keeping papers to a minimum. Throw away all the junk mail as soon as you get it, and only keep the envelopes you need to file. Have a specific place for just those and go through them often. Once the bills are paid and mail gone through, I throw away the things I don’t need and file the paid bills in a filling box I kept in our attic space. (This is easily accessible for us but you could keep the filing box under a bed or in a closet as well.)

All the cabinets you see here are all we had. I purchased a china cabinet that was in the corner of the kitchen but that was it. If it didn’t fit I got rid of it.

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

This was where all our coffee mugs lived.

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

The chest doubled as seating as well as storage. I kept things I didn’t use as much in here. Seasonal items, big baking dishes etc.

Everything I registered for and bought for the baby was intentional. If it didn’t fold up or become compact in some way, I didn’t get it. For example this booster seat worked well for us instead of a high chair that took up more space. When he wasn’t in it the tray slid underneath the seat to get it out of the way.

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

The china cabinet was where I stored all our “hosting” dishes. If it didn’t fit in there I got rid of it. I probably purged once or twice a year.

Our couch pulled out into a queen bed and the chaise lounge stored all bedding for it, as well as baby items once River came along. The ladder was all the blankets we owned. I got rid of anything that didn’t fit here.

The coffee table opened up and we stored all our games in that. It also would become a great TV tray for eating at.

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

These baskets are where we stored River’s toys. If they didn’t fit into these two I stored them for later (to switch them out) or got rid of them. His bookcase lived in our room by his crib.

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

Our one bedroom. This worked for us until the last few months when we were trying to sleep train him.

All baby items lived in this dresser. Diapers, wipes, clothes, anything… if it didn’t fit in here I got rid of it (or didn’t buy it).

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

We hung this curtain when he was around six months so he couldn’t see us and to create some separation.

Towels were stored here and bathroom items were stored in this cabinet. We also had a drawer system by the sink and a very small medicine cabinet. This room was the space I had to clean out most often to get everything to fit into these three spaces.

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

How we lived a 400 square foot apartment for five years

We made our 400 square foot space work for a long time and we loved it, but I am excited for a second bedroom for River. 🙂

Charleston — here we come!

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