4 People, 500 Square Feet: How We Make It Work

4 People, 500 Square Feet: How We Make It Work

Nancy Mitchell
Jun 29, 2015
(Image credit: A Cup of Jo)

In her San Francisco apartment, blogger Jordan Ferney has accomplished a serious feat: squeezing four people (and all their stuff!) into 500 square feet. How do they make it work? Read on to find out.

1. Start by getting rid of almost everything you own.

If you're dealing with approximately 125 square feet per person, you can't be too attached to your stuff. Spending a year living abroad before moving into the San Francisco apartment led to a sort of revelation for Jordan: "Our stuff had been in storage, and I realized there were 10 things that I was happy to see, but everything else I didn’t miss it at all." You have to value the living that you're going to do in your space, and not the stuff that's in it. Says Jordan: "When you have a small home, your stuff is worth more to you out of your house than in your house."

2. And keep getting rid of it.

Sadly, a one-time big purge doesn't mean that you're off the hook for forever, since stuff tends to accumulate. Jordan recommends going through your home once a month and getting rid of things that you know you're not using.

3. Choose your furniture carefully.

Everything in this home is chosen with the needs of the space in mind. In the small living room, a few essential pieces — the couch, and the bookcase for storage — are balanced out by other, visually lighter pieces, like the console table and the bentwood chair, which keep the space from feeling too crowded. There's no dining room, so a bar table in the kitchen does double duty as dining table and prep space The barstools stack when they're not being used.

4. Take advantage of clever storage.

Everywhere you turn in Jordan's home, there are clever storage solutions — cookbooks on a shelf above the stove, wall-mounted shelves for toy storage in the kids' room, pull-out bins in the closet. Get creative with your storage, and use the walls whenever you can.

For even more clever small space solutions, check out the full tour on A Cup of Jo.

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