I live in a 324 square foot apartment with two cats and a small dog. No, it is not horrible. And no, it is certainly not for everyone. It takes a lot of patience and a good sense of humor (pat on the back). I also probably have the best behaved fur kids of all time.
I make it work because a) I love my pets and b) I have to. I live in Denver, which has a horrible rental market right now (because, duh, who doesn’t want to live in the Mile High City). Finding any apartment is pretty much impossible. Finding a one-bedroom or something with square footage or hardwood floors? Forget about it. So I settled for an adorable, albeit tiny, studio. And I make it work.
Here’s how you can make living in a small space with pets work too:
1. Invest in a good vacuum. I swear by this Dirt Devil EasyLite. It’s less than $40, super lightweight, compact enough to store easily, and works in a way I can only describe as amazing. I vacuum every day, and this vacuum is super durable for the price.
2. Get an air purifier. Also less than $40, this Holmes Visipure Table Air Purifier is a steal. The first month I lived in my apartment I didn’t have a purifier, and the difference is incredible. Pets are sometimes smelly and disgusting. They are also allergy-inducing. The Holmes Visipure has different filters for things like smells, allergies, smoke, etc. I get the Total Air Filter, which does everything.
3. Create a space for everyone. My mother likes to say “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” I find myself thinking this phrase about 50 times a day living in 324 square feet. I can’t stress how important it is to establish boundaries with your pets as soon as you move in. Give your pets a certain bed, blanket, or spot in your apartment that is just for them (and that they can go to when you need space).
4. Don’t buy ugly toys. In a small space, you see everything. There is no hiding a giant, green frog squeaky toy or 8,000 little brightly colored cat mice that are only going to end up under the fridge. I’ve made a new rule that none of my pets has more than 2 toys, and all the toys go in one basket when we’re not playing. I also only buy toys that match my apartment (white, wooden, or black). I know it sounds a little crazy, but it makes a huge difference.
5. Find a good pet daycare or petsitter. There are going to be times when you want to entertain, go out of town, or just want 324 square feet for yourself. In Denver, I’ve found Camp Bow Wow and and Gentle Hearts Pet Sitting. When I lived in Michigan in a little space, I had my mom watch my dog one night a week. Find whatever works for you.
What tips do you have for living in a small space with pets? Comment below!