Coping with the limited space of an apartment

Published on 15/11/2006 in Your Spanish Home

Most people who decide to move to Spain are seeking a change in lifestyle. It might involve examining priorities. Ultimately many of those priorities will be directly or indirectly associated with money. For a great deal of people the only way they will be able to at least to begin a new life in Spain, is to make some sacrifices. One of those sacrifices may be exchanging their comfy, central heated “castle” for a more basic apartment. Those who have decided to downsize from an average sized home with a loft and garage in the UK to an apartment in Spain will need to assess their belongings.

In order to live in apartment, you can really only keep what you need. If you are lucky enough to have a “trastero” (small store room) included than you are slightly more flexible. However, there is usually limited space within an apartment itself and once the wardrobes are full with your clothes, it doesn’t leave space for much else. It is particularly difficult if you have children because of the obvious accumulation of toys.

It requires you to be quite ruthless to part with the belongings that have surrounded you either within your sight or stuffed away in a loft for a significant part of your life. But it must be done. Down grading to an apartment is not for sentimentalists and if you really want to hang on to your clutter you might want to consider the option of storage.

Another tip to overcome the limited space is to think carefully when furnishing your new property. Look for furniture which has a dual usage. For example a huge trunk can be filled with books and used as a coffee table. Look for beds with space underneath, okay it might not be good from a feng shui point of view, but I am sure the feng shui bosses would rather everything be under the bed than all over the floor as a hazard. You can use the space to store bed linen in those specially designed slim boxes. Invest in a couple of those vacuum bags to store away duvets during the summer.

Looking for a sideboard? How about one with drawers. The same goes for a bedside table. It takes up floor space so make sure that it has drawers. Make storage a priority when you are looking for furniture as you will certainly use it. You might even seek the assistance of the professionals such as a furniture broker who will put you in touch with suppliers who can assess your needs such as

If you have a spare single wardrobe, fit two or three shelves in to hide away towels, tools etc. Don’t forget you won’t have an airing cupboard or a cupboard under the stairs – all those hidey holes that you took for granted!

Living in an apartment really does take minimalism to the extreme and you will have to use your imagination to store away everyday items or you will soon feel as though you are bursting at the seams.

If you are making the move to an apartment in Spain this year review what you are taking with you, and then get rid of half it and a month later half again! Of course, it is entirely up to you what you do with your belongings but many people choose to sell things at car boot sales, put ads in local papers or if you are feeling generous give the lot to charity!

Written by: Susan Pedalino

About the author:

Women In Spain

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