Moving to a new city can be an exciting but stressful time. But finding an affordable apartment in a desirable neighborhood is often one of the biggest challenges, especially in popular coastal cities like Long Beach, Mississippi. With a population of over 17,000 people and a prime location along the Gulf of Mexico, Long Beach is an attractive place to live for young individuals moving out of their family homes to live on their own.
While giving up space can be difficult, living in a small apartment in an exciting coastal city also has its perks. With some planning and creativity, your cozy apartment can become a comfortable home. Here are some tips for moving into and living in a small apartment in Long Beach.
Declutter and Downsize Your Belongings
When living in limited square footage, you won’t have room for all of the furniture, clothing, decorations, and other items you’re used to having. Be ruthless about decluttering and getting rid of things you don’t need or use. Have a garage sale or donate unwanted furniture, household items, and clothing.
For important items you want to keep but don’t have room for, consider renting a storage unit in Long Beach. There are affordable self-storage facilities throughout the city where you can safely store boxes of personal belongings, family heirlooms, seasonal decor, and furniture. Long Beach storage units are a great option for downsizing residents.
Make sure you’re strategic about what you do decide to keep. Choose multifunctional furniture and decor that serves several purposes, like a coffee table with storage cubbies or a nightstand with shelves. Utilize vertical space with wall-mounted shelves, racks, and cabinets. Stick to only the essentials of what you’ll actually use.
Choose the Right Neighborhood
One of the most important decisions when moving to a new city is choosing the right neighborhood. In Long Beach, popular neighborhoods for young professionals and families include Belhaven, Reynoir Street, Beach Boulevard, and Gulf Hills. Consider factors like commute times to work, proximity to restaurants and nightlife, access to public transportation, and safety when choosing an area.
Opting for a small apartment in a desirable, walkable neighborhood with fun things to do right outside your door can make up for less living space. You’ll spend less time at home and more time exploring the city.
Maximize Storage Solutions
Lack of storage space is one of the biggest challenges of small apartment living. Get creative when it comes to maximizing every inch of storage in your new place. For the entryway, use an over-the-door organizer to stash hats, purses, and shoes. Install floating wall-mounted shelves or wire racks above the doorways to hold keys, umbrellas, and mail.
In the kitchen, vertical organizers and drawer dividers keep pots, pans, and pantry items organized. Mount spice racks on the walls to free up cabinet space. For the bathroom, install shelving over the toilet and hanging wall cabinets for towels and toiletries. In the bedroom, use under-bed storage bins and hang shelves in the closet. Take advantage of all unused nooks and crannies.
Invest in Multifunctional Furniture
Furnishing a small space means selecting versatile, compact pieces that serve multiple purposes. A sleeper sofa or futon doubles as a couch and guest bed. A coffee table with built-in storage offers a place to put books, blankets, and remotes while also functioning as a table.
For the kitchen, opt for a bistro table and stools rather than a full dining set to save space. A rolling kitchen cart provides extra food prep area and storage for small appliances.
Create Designated Zones
With an open floor plan, a small apartment can feel cramped and cluttered very quickly. Create defined zones for different functions, like sleeping, cooking, working, and lounging. Use area rugs, curtains, or shelving units to carve out different spaces. Face furniture toward each other to designate sitting areas.
Maximize vertical space by mounting TVs and floating shelves on walls. Hang room dividers or curtains to separate sleeping areas and make sure each area has adequate lighting.
Let in Natural Light
Maximize natural light in your apartment with large windows, mirrors, and bright paint colors. If your apartment lacks sufficient lighting, consider replacing drapes with sheer curtains, adding mirrors to walls, and painting rooms white or light colors.
Position furniture near windows and natural light sources. Keep window treatments minimal and open. Add accent lighting like recessed cans, track lighting, or pendant lights. Proper lighting makes rooms feel more open and airy.
Decorate with Neutral Colors
Sticking to a neutral color palette is a smart decorating strategy for small spaces. Black, white, gray, tan, and cream have a calming effect and make rooms appear larger and less cluttered. Add pops of color and personality with accessories, art, throws, plants, and other décor items.
Paint walls in light neutral shades and choose soft-colored furniture and linens. Use colorful rugs and throw pillows to inject personality. Bold patterns and colors can overwhelm a small space. A neutral foundation with colorful accents enhances the feeling of openness.
Multitask in Your Living Room
The living room is often the main hangout spot at home, so make it work for you. Choose a comfortable couch or sectional that can seat several people. Add a coffee table, media console, and storage ottoman to hold living room essentials. Use the space for working, eating, socializing, and relaxing.
During the day, the living room can serve as your home office. At night, it transforms into a living room—store work supplies like your laptop and files in baskets under the coffee table or media console. Your living room can be a multifunctional space.
Maximize Bathroom Storage
The bathroom often gets shortchanged for storage space, so you have to get very strategic with the organization. Install wall cabinets, corner shelves, or floating shelves above the toilet for folded towels and toiletries.
Mount a towel bar on the back of the door and use over-the-door hooks for robes and bags. Store cleaning supplies under the sink in caddies or use a shower caddy for shampoo, soap, and razors. Take advantage of all available space with purposeful organization.
Moving to an exciting coastal city like Long Beach often means downsizing into a small living space. But with some practical tips for organizing and furnishing your apartment, you can maximize every inch to create a comfortable home. Take time to declutter belongings before your move, utilize space-saving furniture, and get creative with storage solutions.
With strategic planning, your small apartment can become the perfect launch pad for exploring all that Long Beach has to offer. You’ll be getting the best of both worlds – an affordable place to live in a fun beachside city. The lack of square footage will be a distant memory as you immerse yourself in the culture, cuisine, and coastal activities.