Rental How-Tos is a Renters Week 2013 mini-series wherein journalist Bridget Moriarity (whose work has been published on Curbed and in Travel + Leisure, Art + Auction, and Time Out New York, among others) explores various practical considerations of living in a space you don't actually own. Up now: making do in a sardine-can apartment.
"Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy," reads the motto of LifeEdited, a company that consults with architects and developers on how to bring micro-living concepts into traditional buildings. Founder Graham Hill practices what he preaches, operating out of a 420-square-foot studio in Manhattan. Here, Hill's right-hand man, LifeEdited's communications director David Friedlander, shares some tips for living life sans stuff. It's a topic Friedlander, too, knows something about, having recently downsized his own accommodations when his family moved from upstate New York to a 600-square-foot apartment in Brooklyn. "It's a real process—we were in a place that's almost three times as big," he says with a sigh. "We drank the Kool-Aid."
"Most of us are around hundreds of pounds of printed material, but I have 16 gigs of storage on my phone—I can fit a small library on there," says Friedlander, who relies on the likes of Spotify, Kindle, Netflix, and Pandora for his entertainment fixes, forgoing all three-dimensional equivalents. Friedlander also points to Google's Chromecast, which allows online media to stream to a TV, as another innovation worth exploring. Pick Multi-Taskers
"Unless you're eating steaks everyday, for the most part, a pasta bowl is going to do everything you need it to," says Friedlander of his kitchenware of choice. The thinking is: Who needs plates when you have bowls? Who needs teaspoons when you have tablespoons? But there are limits to multi-functionality. "Forks work way better than sporks," says Friedlander of an ill-fated attempt to combine cutlery. Scour Furniture Stores
Edit Your Wardrobe
"I read in the Wall Street Journal a while back that the average person wears 20 percent of their wardrobe on a regular basis," says Friedlander, building a case to discard the other 80 percent. "Why not make any item you pull out your wardrobe your first choice?" Steal a Page From Denmark
· All Renters Week 2013 posts [Curbed National]
· All Rental How-Tos [Curbed National]
· LifeEdited [Curbed National]