This spring I was totally thrown for a loop when I suddenly found out I was going to have to move. I had been renting a lovely 2 bedroom condo in downtown Boston for the past 4.5 years and now the owner was coming back. Conventional wisdom has it that spring/summer May – Aug are the best time to find new digs in Boston because people tend to move based on the school year. This pertains largely to college students, but also to families with young children. My lease ended in May but I was told I could stay in my apartment until mid-July. I thought no problem, I would have plenty of time to find the right thing and stay in the neighborhood I had lived in since 1991. Well I was in for a big disappointment! The high cost of condos, families with young children staying in the city rather than moving to the ‘burbs, high rents, the need for parking, the ability to have pets, and the desire for other amenities like an elevator, central-air and in-unit washer and dryer limited my choices. Add to that the fact that rents had gone up quite a bit in the past 5 years, and the selection was almost non-existent. I was moving from an 1100 sq ft, 2 bedroom/2 bathroom unit with underground parking and an additional storage unit in the garage. Comparable apartments were being advertised with rents 25% higher than what I was paying.
I decided that I didn’t really need 2 bedrooms and the second bathroom while nice, wasn’t a necessity either. The second bedroom served as my office, but I rarely sat in it preferring to sit with my laptop in the living room or at the dining room table. When I ended up leasing a 767 sq ft one bedroom/1 bathroom apartment with a huge closet walk-in closet (WIC)(6′ X 13’) in S Boston I knew I was going to have to get serious about downsizing. Over the years I had collected quite a bit and a couple of years ago when my mother passed away I added more things to my home. The reality of having a second bedroom/office was that I was able to keep things I no longer really needed and really should have gotten rid of long ago, and the second bathroom had meant 2 each of a vanity and medicine cabinet. Most of the square footage I lost was in the second bedroom, living room and master bath. I would also no longer have a long foyer which gives an apartment a larger feel but doesn’t usually add much to its functionality. My entryway closet would also now be half the size of the one I was moving from, and I would no longer have a linen closet.
By the time I moved I was convinced I had a solid plan for making everything work, but once in the new apartment, found my plan had some big flaws. In the end I was able to make it work, but it took a few iterations to find the right layout for my furniture and finally set things in place. Re-purposing things like my dining room table into a headboard is still ongoing, but I’m getting there slowly but surely.