So far, I have to admit that life under quarantine hasn’t given me much to complain about. I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home, and while catching up over Zoom isn’t the same as spending time with my friends in person, I’m very grateful for the fact that I live with my boyfriend, who is a fantastic person to be stuck indoors with.
But there’s one catch: shortly before our state got serious about this pandemic, we decided to downsize and move from our spacious two-bedroom apartment into a smaller one-bedroom. We figured that since we would be living in a smaller space, we would actually make an effort to get out more often so that we wouldn’t feel cooped up.
Clearly, that’s not happening right now—but if you’re also stuck indoors in a small space, there are a few things you can do to make your situation more bearable. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been focusing on making sure that our apartment is a place where we would really want to spend time. Here’s how to make your small apartment feel a little warmer, cozier, and more welcoming to make the most of our time inside.
1. Declutter and Deep Clean
Decluttering and taking extra time to clean every couple of days has been an essential part of my routine lately. When your space is cluttered, it feels much smaller. If you can’t get outside right now, you want to make sure that you have plenty of room to move in your apartment. Doing some serious decluttering and properly storing a few things I had left lying around my bedroom means that I now have extra room to do yoga.
Plus, now is a good time to get into the habit of being extra clean. If you do have to step out to run errands or go to work, you want to make sure that your apartment is disinfected afterward.
2. Put Photos of Your Family and Friends on Display
One thing that has definitely put a smile on my face? Putting up photos of happy occasions with my loved ones.
After going through a few boxes I hadn’t unpacked yet, I found a cute photo of my boyfriend and me from a wedding last summer. I like having it on display in my apartment—it reminds me of everything we have to look forward to once this is all over! I also put up a bulletin board with lots of mementos from the past year, like movie ticket stubs, rewards cards and business cards from our favorite local businesses. Yes, it looks a little bit like the decor from my college dorm—but I feel like it really brightens up our space and personalizes it.
3. Switch Up Your Decor
Could you rearrange any decor in your apartment to make it look fresh and new? You might be surprised by what you have lying around. And you can definitely get creative with this! For example, I edit a newsletter that comes out every other month, and I had several copies of each of the past few issues lying around my apartment. I decided to frame a couple of the covers and hang them on the wall above my couch.
I’ve also dug out a few candles that we hadn’t used in a while and placed them around our apartment—it gives the whole space a nice glow, and they smell great!
4. Indoor Gardening
Depending on where you live, you may be able to purchase seeds or small plants from a gardening center—while taking the proper safety precautions, of course! If this isn’t an option in your state, you can also order seeds online. Even if you do not have balcony space, you just need a sunny spot indoors to get some sprouts going. Lots of herbs and veggies are quite easy to grow in your apartment. You can start with basil, parsley, rosemary, mint, microgreens, and peppers. Since most of us are doing way more cooking at home these days, your homemade meals will taste even better with fresh herbs!
There’s no denying that living under lockdown is difficult for everyone in different ways. And if you’re living somewhere small, especially with other people, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little bit stir crazy. Right now, it can be tough to try and make the best of a bad situation. But if you’re feeling antsy, try re-organizing your space. It just might lift your mood!
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