While the benefits of living in a small apartment may range from affordability to less time spent cleaning and organizing your home, a studio or one-bedroom rental is not always practical for couples or families with children. Moreover, your furniture, clothing, artwork and other personal belongings may not fit in the apartment like they once did, and you may now require additional storage space. Additionally, the apartment may no longer fit your style, personality or budget, or your home may be in a city or neighborhood that you have outgrown.
While your studio or one-bedroom apartment may have been the perfect fit for you when you first moved in, you may need more living and storage space as time goes on. To explore the various signs of living in an apartment that is too small for you and/or your family, review the sections below.
How often does the average American move?
According to the United States Census Bureau (US Census), Americans are moving less than they once were, as only 11.2 percent of U.S. residents moved during the 2016 year. Of those Americans who moved in 2016, 42.2 percent outgrew their current residence, while 27.4 percent relocated for family reasons. Moreover, 20.2 percent of movers relocated for a job opportunity and 10.2 moved for another reason. The average American will move 11.4 times during his or her lifetime, so it is safe to say that moving is fairly common in the United States even at its current reduced rate.
How can I tell if I have outgrown my apartment?
While fewer Americans are moving each year, there are plenty of reasons why you may choose to move out of your current apartment and into a larger space. For instance, your reasons may include:
- A new employment opportunity.
- A family related reason, such as you and your partner deciding to have or adopt a child.
- A housing-related situation, such as a rent increase.
- You may wish to establish your own household without your parents or current roommate.
Additionally, you may simply outgrow your current apartment, as further explained in the eight points below.
#1 – You have children but not enough bedrooms
If you were single or without a roommate, spouse or a child when you first moved into your apartment, you may outgrow your space after your partner moves in or you have children. For instance, you may simply run out of room or not have enough bedrooms to comfortably house your children or personal belongings. If you or your partner gives birth to a baby and the only available room for a nursey is the kitchen, it is likely a good time to start looking for a larger place.
#2 – Your life has changed
If you originally moved into your apartment because the city, neighborhood or building fit your style and personality, your preferences may change as you get older. You may wish to move to a new city or rent an apartment in a different type of housing complex that better suits your current needs. Moreover, if you and your partner moved into the apartment together but have since broken up or divorced, you may wish to start fresh by moving into a new space.
#3 – You have very little storage space
After you have children and/or get married, you will likely accumulate more furniture, appliances, toys, strollers, clothes, artwork and other personal belongings. If you have maxed out all your usable storage space even after donating any unneeded items to charity, it may be time to move into a larger home.
#4 – You do not have enough closet space for your clothing
If you own a great deal of clothing but your apartment has little closet space for storage, it may be time to look for a new apartment with a walk-in closet, especially if you refuse to sell or donate your items to charity. While you may have additional space in your apartment for a hall stand or clothing rack, your living space may still be too small to store all your favorite clothing and accompanying accessories.
#5 – An elderly family member needs to move in with you
Your apartment may be the perfect size for you and your family, but you may outgrow the space if an elderly relative moves in with you. Not only will you need to create additional room for the relative, but also space for:
- His or her medical equipment.
- Other personal belongings.
In some cases, you may even need to move into a handicap-accessible building to make things easier for your relative.
#6 – You work at home
If you began working from home after you moved into your apartment, you may find that the space is much too small for you when you spend most of your time at home. While many multi-functional desks and tables are available to you if you live in an apartment and work at home, you may require additional living space if you need more than a desk and a computer to get your work done.
#7 – Your apartment does not fit within your budget
Whether your rental costs have increased since you first moved in, you make less money than you once did or you no longer have a roommate to help you pay the bills, you may outgrow your apartment if you can no longer afford to live there. As a rule, you should not spend more than 30 percent of your monthly gross income on rent and utilities. If you start surpassing this, you may want to start looking for a new living space.
#8 – Your apartment is not large enough for more than a couple of people
If you like to entertain, a studio or a one-bedroom apartment may be too small for you. If your current apartment is too small for hosting holiday gatherings with the most important people in your life, you may be happier living in a larger space where you can entertain more loved ones during important events.