Seven Questions About Apartment Space That Aren’t Square Footage

Based on your preferences and lifestyle, you will need a certain amount of space in your apartment. While hunting for your new apartment, you might wonder just how much (or how little) square footage you’ll need. But sometimes, it’s not all about the amount of space you have. Here are seven questions about apartment space that aren’t about square footage.

1. Do I need a workspace?

If you work from home, you might want a separate room for your office. Having a separate office improves productivity because you can focus better when you regularly work in the same environment. However, if you are looking at a studio apartment, you probably won’t have a separate office, but you can always use a section of your room as an office space. 

Seven Questions About Apartment Space That Aren't Square Footage

2. Is there a dining area or dining room?

Some apartments have dining areas and dining rooms, whereas others might barely have a kitchenette. In smaller apartments with less space for eating and preparing food, you’ll need to make the best of the space you do have. For example, some tables can be used to work and eat, or if you don’t have an office, a dining room can also serve as your office if you have the right table and seating.

3. Do I have friends over a lot?

When you invite more than one friend to your apartment, you might struggle to fit everyone in your living room. That’s why your living room furniture arrangement is essential to consider if you often have multiple people over. On the other hand, if you don’t invite many people over or you have a small living room, minimal furniture such as a couch and coffee table may suffice. 

4. Do I have large items to store or place?

If you have extra square footage in your apartment, fitting bulkier furniture might not be an issue. And bulkier furniture isn’t just decorative – larger furniture provides some soundproofing from the outside world by minimizing the amount of sound that travels into your apartment. On the other hand, if you are interested in a smaller space, there are various multifunctional, space-saving furniture items you can use.

5. How big of a bed do I need?

Picking the right bed is a key apartment decision. Some people decide to sleep on an extra-long twin-size bed to save space, but with more apartment space, you can choose a wider bed so you have more room to move around. If you need more space than a twin-size bed or if you have a partner who often sleeps in your bed with you, a full-size or queen-size bed may be better for you.

6. What is my new furniture budget?

If you upgrade to a bigger space but don’t have furniture to fill it, can you afford to spend money to do so? Perhaps you have some money to buy a few pieces of furniture, but not a ton, and in that case, you can use thrifting apps to buy affordable furniture in good condition. If you don’t have enough money to buy any new furniture, moving to a smaller apartment you don’t have to fill with furniture may be a more budget-savvy move.

7. How big is the average apartment?

To know how your options compare with others, know the average size of an apartment. In 2019, the average U.S. apartment size was less than 900 square feet, and Seattle has the country’s smallest apartments, with an average size of approximately 711 square feet. Manhattan and Chicago’s apartments are second-smallest at approximately 733 square feet each.

Whether you’re looking for a large apartment or a smaller one, square footage isn’t the only factor to keep in mind. You can find the best apartment based on your furniture preferences and lifestyle – you can make your apartment hunt easier.

Published at Mon, 19 Oct 2020 17:25:46 +0000

Sustainable Living: Shopping Bulk with Reusable Containers

In our Sustainable Living series, we look at how tenants and homeowners are changing their apartments to be more sustainable.

Bulk items, such as loose oats and nuts, are often packaged in thin single-user plastic. Like all plastics, this packaging is not biodegradable and usually takes 400 years or more to break down. Additionally, plastics decompose into toxic particles, and microplastics travel in the air and are deposited in ways that harm the environment.

How can you reduce your plastic usage and move closer to a zero-waste, eco-friendly lifestyle? Here are some tips for shopping with reusable containers to reduce your plastic packaging waste.

Wide-mouthed storage jars

When going to the grocery store, bring some weck jars with you. Weck jars have wide-mouth openings, rubber seals, and glass lids. They come in various sizes, and their shape makes placing your goods into them while shopping super convenient. Weck jars are also suitable for storing and freezing liquids.

Other storage jars

Wide-mouth Mason jars are also handy to store your food while grocery shopping. They can hold many kinds of items and keep a tight seal. They can also withstand being heated and sterilized repeatedly without damage, and their glass can be easily cleaned. You can remove loose ingredients like grains from their original packaging and pour them into clear Mason jars. 


Although you’ve brought your containers to the grocery store, how do you get your bulk food into them without making a mess? Bring a set of funnels with you to prevent your goods from spilling all over the supermarket aisle (and perhaps yourself) when you transfer them to your containers.

Cloth reusable bags

Canvas, polyester, or nylon cloth bags are eco-friendly and hold more items than regular grocery store plastic and paper bags (which are usually flimsier than reusable bags). They’re also much more comfortable to carry, so you can more easily transport your goods without worrying about your bags coming apart and your bulk goods spilling. Your supermarket might sell them, and you can find many reusable cloth bags online.

When shopping for a reusable cloth bag, look for washable bags. You should wash your bags regularly for basic hygienic purposes – they carry a lot of food, which means microorganisms can grow in them without regular cleaning. You may also want a bag with a drawstring or something to tie it closed, as food can occasionally spill out of unsealed bags. 

Use additional plastic bags you already have to take everything home

After getting your first reusable bulk food containers, you may still have many plastic bags from your previous grocery runs at home. Don’t throw them out if they’re not damaged; reuse them. Bring additional plastic bags to fit all your groceries on large grocery runs. If you’re transporting heavy grocery items, then thicker, large plastic shopping bags are better.

Can I use these bulk storage items for fruits?

You might struggle to fit fruits into jars and cloth bags, but they should be fine in your plastic bags. Alternatively, fine-weave or mesh bags can be great for fruits. Choose containers that both suit your food and the environment to work toward the zero-waste lifestyle you seek.

Published at Thu, 15 Oct 2020 07:30:37 +0000