For the last seven years we’ve lived in apartments. And while I watch my friends back in the south buy their first homes, a slight sense of deficiency creeps up in me. The pride of home ownership runs deep in America and it seems that I cannot escape it’s lure.
I don’t hate apartment living, but there is a mental disconnect when the place you live in is not truly yours. But in this apartment, Lewie will have his first memories– running through the sprinkler on a hot afternoon, picking plums from the back tree, reading his favorite books on his parent’s bed.
So even though my name is not on the deed, this shelter where I eat and sleep and raise my child is truly home.
To help enjoy my apartment to its fullest, I’ve put together a little video and list of simple things I’m doing now.
#1 // Leave more
This list is not really in an order of importance, except this one. This is number one. When I return from trip, or even just an afternoon outing, I see my apartment with a new perspective. I miss my bed and the natural light and I tend not to notice the things that bothered me so immensely before. A majority of my frustration with my apartment is that I’m simply in it way too much. I’m caring for an infant in a small living space and most time I’m just experiencing cabin fever. So I’m leaving more–a little each day and ideally a bit each month, even just a one-night camping trip, with a true vacation each year. On my vacation wish list: this Hawaiian treehouse.
#2 // Invoke the senses
More candles, more cooking and also better cleaning products. I’m on a mission to replace all my cleaners with natural, handmade cleaners with essential oils. I’ve already made a few and it makes the drudgery of cleaning so much more pleasant. Especially with a good playlist on in the background. I love these simple cleaning solutions from Home Song Blog.
#3 // Make it personal
I’ve discovered that one of the biggest challenges with apartment living is that you accept things as they are. But some things are worth fixing and making more personal. We’ve never considered painting our apartment before, but a few months ago we went for it. I was just so tired of years of living in white walls. We might have to paint it back, but I have zero regrets about deciding to paint.
#4 // Purge the things you don’t love
I’m a perpetual organizer. I find an unusual joy in getting rid of things. But even though our apartment is pretty clutter-free, there is still so much stuff in it that doesn’t bring me any joy, so I’m donating it or repurposing it. Especially when you live in a small space, you want to be surrounded by things that truly bring you joy.
# 5 // Bring the outside in
This is especially important if you don’t have an outdoor space. Greenery is one simple addition that makes any place feel more homey. I walk around the neighborhood and pick up fallen succulents. I cut off overgrown vines by our fence and string them over the bed. And when I buy flowers I often hang them to dry so they last longer. Two other things that make any place more cozy: rugs and blankets.
#6 // Host more
Because when your space is filled with friends, music and food, it’s basically impossible not to enjoy your home.
Top photo // Lily Glass Photography
Song // The Apartment by Team Callahan