I actually really like living in a tiny two-room Moscow apartment.
I mean, I sometimes get a little wistful looking at gorgeous Pottery Barn and HGTV magazine spreads, but whenever I start to complain about how expensive it is to rent and buy here; how we have no yard, and the yard we do have is filled with dog poop and broken beer bottles; how there are no thrift stores, and everything else in Moscow is just too expensive; how there just isn’t enough room in our apartment and I wish we weren’t renting so we could redesign everything, it helps to remind myself how many things I actually do really like about this place.
I love the high ceilings and the 8th floor view over the park. I love the white walls, and big, new windows and the fact that we have all our own furniture, and how close it is to the metro. I like that it’s small because it keeps us from buying and hoarding too much junk! Also, less square-footage means less cleaning and upkeep for both of us.
After several years of apartment dwelling, here’s a list of some of the things that I wish someone had told me about Moscow apartment living:
- Cleaning and re-organizing is as good as (and much cheaper than!) moving or remodeling! Whenever I start to get cranky about where I live, a good closet cleaning always helps.
- Moscow apartments are really, really warm – you’re not going to need that big, bulky down blanket from Minnesota that now takes up almost a fourth of your bedroom storage space.
- Use hooks – it helps to be able to hang stuff up.
- Just buy a few towels – you’re not going to have enough room to store more
- Don’t bring your high heels. You can’t walk around Moscow in them anyway, and now they take up tons of storage space.
- get covered shelves for economist husband to hide all his papers
- Throw pillows, though indeed very pretty, are totally a waste of space. You only have one place to sit down in your living room, so don’t take it up with pillows.
- Just get a few Christmas/other seasonal ornaments.
- CD and DVD albums are the way to go – you’re not going to have space to store all those cases!
- duvets are the best.
- If you buy a sun lamp, you’ll definitely be a happier person – you probably won’t turn it off for the entire six months between October and March.
- A great alternative to envy-inducing Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens sites is the fantastic “Apartment Therapy“, which features fantastic, practical, inexpensive and creative ideas that remind you how lucky you are to live in such a small cool space!