Finding a New York apartment this summer was debatably the most painful two weeks of my life. If you ask anyone here they’ll tell you the only thing worse than finding an apartment is actually moving into it (and out of the old one of course). Lo and behold the actual apartment hunt was far worse than the moving, for me at least. By the time moving day rolled around I was still living out of a suitcase so my ride up the elevator with 3 suitcases in tow wasn’t quite the moving day New Yorkers were referring to.
Eventually my 23 boxes from good old Plainfield, IL arrived and I had about enough room for maybe 3 of them. So I got really, and I mean really creative on how I could fit 25 denim jackets, about 100 too many beauty products and the rest of my 22 years into a studio turned two-bedroom apartment.
I’ve compiled a list of 5 things that saved me when it came to making the most of my 9 by 10.
- I spend half of my time getting ready in the morning digging to the bottom of my make up bag to try and find my mascara. This acrylic makeup organizer has seriously saved me when it comes to knowing where everything is. It’s small enough to fit on the bathroom counter but big enough to store all of my beauty favorites.
- 2. I also keep these lipstick holder (below) on my windowsill to display all my lipsticks. It doubles as a colorful décor piece and makes it way easier to find what shade your looking for.
- I don’t know how my dad is always right, but it seriously never fails. I wanted a cute all white bed frame with a headboard to match. But of course he made me op for the more practical option. I ended up with this bed frame that comes with 4 extra inches of height for under the bed storage. It has seriously been the biggest lifesaver for storage. You can store 8 full-size tote bins underneath or storage drawers; I did a mix of both.
- Since I have the lifted bed frame I had a field day when it came to under the bed storage options. For me, I chose to keep 4 totes in the back row full of winter clothes and boots. In the front row I keep two of these baskets for storage and then two identical sets of drawers.
- This is super obvious but I still feel like it needs to be said. Flat velvet hangers can save you so much space in your closet.
Last minute tips:
- Don’t overdecorate. For me this was so hard because I love for my room to feel home-y but seriously it can get over cluttered and just become overwhelming.
- Keep counters clean (says the girl who has covered her entire window sill) but seriously keeping kitchen counters and tables clean helps to make the space feel bigger.
- Use accent pillows to bring color to your space. My apartment is painted all white and sometimes that can make it feel a little like a hospital so bringing color to my bedroom and the rest of the place was super important to making it feel like home.
- Utilize items you use everyday and want easily accessible as decor. Cough, cough this lipstick organizer.
If you’re moving or just doing some reorganization these tips are amazing for saving room and making your space feel way bigger than it actually is. Enjoy!
Although the title may be misleading, this is not the story of how I made it home after one too many glasses of chardonnay. That’s a story for another time.
One of the hardest parts about moving is making the new home feel just as much of a home as the last place did. I learned quickly that New York City was not Plainfield, IL, not even close. And it never will be. I traded in my backyard for a doorman and my Ford Escape in for the NYC subway system.
True to character, the day I picked up my keys I didn’t fail to come with a tote full of hand lotions, random cookbooks, and candles. Although slightly obnoxious and most certainly unnecessary it was my small way of making it feel like mine. Living in a city as big as this one makes it easy to feel like a very small fish in an even bigger pond. Attempting to strategically decorate my quaint 7 by 8 in a way that makes it feel more like a living space and less like a shoebox was easier said than done.
The best part about my bedroom is hands down the huge window that overlooks Amsterdam Ave. Anyone who knows me knows I feel about a healthy dose of natural light. With the window comes a decent size windowsill that I have completely covered in glass jars, baskets, my favorite books and way to many lipsticks to count.
Although we try to focus spending money on experience over ownership, sometimes the tangible things are important. They have a way of transforming nothing into something and more importantly make you feel a small sense of comfort. So, if sometimes we need to be a little materialistic then so be it. I’ll cover my room in boxes too small to actually store anything, enough candles to light up the city, and rug that looks like a Pomeranian because I can. And because it makes it home.
A funny thing happens when you pick up and move to a new city. Or should I say a lot of funny things.
Moving at any part of your life is intimidating, it’s scary, overwhelming but typically symbolizes some sort of new chapter. There is nothing quite like that feeling knowing everything is about to change. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve moved before but just 90 miles up I-55. Never across the country, to a city that I had nothing more than job offer and a suitcase or 3. In my own experience this time around I stood somewhere between terrified and blissfully optimistic. At some point though, through all the planning you just take the jump. And so here I am, 22 years old and living in New York City.
To say I always knew I’d move here would just be naïve. Overtime I slowly realized all of my planning; preparation and sometime serious OCD over my dreams could never overpower the speed of life. If this new chapter has taught me anything yet, it’s to roll with the punches. Although I won’t bore you with the number of times things have not gone according to plan, I will say it’s been one hell of ride so far.
After a month of commuting, apartment hunting, and late (and I mean late) nights, I am finally home. I’ve settled into a cozy (AKA tiny) apartment on the Upper West Side with a roommate who appreciates a cheap bottle of wine and hunting down the insanely cute dogs in our building as much as I do. Started a position at one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines. Met amazing friends at work who make late nights at the office bearable and even later nights on the town unforgettable. And one of the sweetest parts of all is knowing that I did it, me. Now don’t get me wrong, my dads phone has been ringing off the hook with questions such as how do I assemble a bedframe (that he so kindly pulled his Kayak on the side of the river to give me instructions via Facetime). But all in all I couldn’t have taken on this new chapter without the support and love from all my friends and family.
So on that note I need to take a second to say thank you. To my parents for their unconditional love and constant advice. You are my rock and I would be nothing without you. To my brother who calls me consistently and never fails to make me laugh. To my second family the Schroder’s, for opening up their home to me and making me feel like apart of the family while I searched for an apartment. To my best gal Eric who answers every Facetime call and keeps me grounded. And to New York for embracing me as an official New Yorker (whatever that means).
Here’s to writing about figuring out life working a new job, in a new apartment all while living in New York City!