The truth is that a 400 square foot apartment is quite small. It is less than half the size of the average apartment in the United States.
Many people are interested in purchasing or renting a 400 square foot apartment these days. In this guide, we will go over the benefits and drawbacks of living in a 400 square foot apartment.
Measuring the Size of a 400 Square Feet Apartment
Measuring the square footage of an apartment can be tricky depending on the space’s shape. For the sake of simplicity, we will assume that the apartment is a quadrilateral shape.
So if your 400 square foot apartment is square, this means it is around 20 feet in both length and width.
Similarly, let’s assume the apartment has a width of 10 feet. In this case, its length will be 40 feet.
This is still a relatively small space, regardless of how the room is shaped. In fact, it is considered small, even for a studio apartment.
Also read: How Big is a 600 Square Feet Apartment?
What Layout Would a 400 Square Foot Apartment Have?
A 400 square foot apartment would likely have to be a studio apartment. Such an apartment consists of a single bedroom with an ensuite washroom.
There is usually a kitchen in one corner of the room. There may also be a small portion allocated as a living room or dining space.
This single room setup means there won’t be walls blocking off different parts of the room. However, you might have partial walls or sliding doors partially obscuring certain sections.
This arrangement can offer you a bit more privacy. Especially, if you don’t want people in the kitchen area to have a direct view of the bedroom or vice versa.
Benefits of Living in a 400 Square Foot Apartment
Living in a 400 square foot apartment comes with many advantages. This includes:
Having Less Space to Clean
Cleaning your apartment can be a tedious task that many people would like to delay for as long as possible. This is because it can take more than a day for a large apartment.
The good news is that a 400 square foot apartment is quite small. Therefore, it is possible to complete cleaning tasks in under half a day.
This includes vacuuming the carpets, mopping the floors, and wiping down the room surfaces. Being able to accomplish all this in a short amount of time is a huge convenience.
You can also complete this whole process yourself due to how small the cleaning job is. So you won’t have to worry about spending extra money to hire a cleaning service.
That being said, you may need to hire a professional cleaning service to complete a deep clean every few months.
Saving on Electricity and Heating Bills
Another benefit of owning a small apartment is getting to save on heating and electricity. Compact single room apartments have low electricity usage as everything is in one room.
Therefore, you won’t need to turn on more than a couple of lights at night. You also won’t need to run your heating or air conditioning for long to heat up or cool down the apartment.
All these cost savings can be incredibly helpful if you are already paying a high rent. This makes a compact apartment great for people with limited income to spend on utilities.
Low Rent or Purchase Price
Apartment prices or rental rates typically vary based on many factors. This includes the property’s location, facilities, and space.
A 400 square foot apartment will have a relatively low rent or purchase price due to its small size. Therefore, you could afford to live in a prime area by choosing a small apartment.
Helping the Environment
Living in a 400 square foot apartment can also be good for the environment. This is because less material was used to construct the space.
Using heating and air conditioning sparingly can also lead to additional environmental benefits.
The apartment’s small size also means you can use fewer cleaning products. Such cleaning products are often bad for the environment. So using less of them is generally better.
Based on this information, a 400 square foot apartment would be a great choice for any environmentally-conscious individual.
Purchasing Less Furniture
Another advantage of owning a 400 square foot apartment is having to purchase less furniture. After all, you can fit only so much into a space this small.
Most 400 square foot apartments can accommodate a bed and a few chairs. You might also be able to squeeze in a couch and a coffee table.
This arrangement is perfect for people who don’t want to spend too much on furniture. Buying only a couple of furniture pieces should be enough to fill your compact apartment.
Challenges of Living in a 400 Square Foot Apartment
Living in a 400 square foot apartment does come with many drawbacks. This includes:
Not Enough Storage Space
Having enough space to store your stuff is important in any living arrangement. Unfortunately, a 400 square foot apartment doesn’t give you much space for this.
Your bed, couch, and coffee table will fill most of this apartment’s space. Therefore, you might be forced to keep most of your belongings in your closet.
Alternatively, you can opt to store some items in a locker or basement storage space. However, not every apartment building offers residents these.
One solution to this problem is to install shelves. This will allow you to utilize your apartment’s wall space for storage.
This does come with one major drawback. Lining your apartment walls with shelves will make your apartment feel more cramped.
For this reason, you might need to look for alternate storage measures.
Cooking Odors Getting Everywhere
As mentioned above, a 400 square foot studio apartment will likely have an open layout. This means the kitchen and bedroom are essentially within the same room.
This might not seem like an issue at first. However, it means that any cooking odors that linger in your kitchen will be noticeable in the bedroom area.
Such odors can be difficult to get rid of, even if you air out your kitchen. If cooking oils or grease manage to get onto your apartment’s carpets, the odor will linger for a long time.
Many people would prefer to avoid cooking in a 400 square foot apartment for this reason. However, there are some ways to reduce the likelihood of cooking odors lingering.
One tip is to keep your stovetop vent running throughout the cooking process. You can also leave it running for several minutes after you are done cooking.
Opening your window while cooking is also a great way to draw in some fresh air. This fresh air will then carry the odors in your kitchen away through the vent.
Little Space for Pets
Pet enthusiasts might be thrilled to have the chance to live in an affordable studio apartment. However, their pets might not enjoy this living arrangement.
A 400 square foot apartment might be enough for a cat. However, if you own a dog, they might feel restless after being cooped in such a small space.
There is no easy solution to this problem. You can try taking your dog for walks and other outings regularly, but this living arrangement still isn’t ideal.
Owning a bird can also be tricky if you live in such a small apartment. The lack of walls separating sections means you will likely be able to hear your bird from your bed.
You might be able to get by if you own a small bird such as a Canary or Parakeet that isn’t too loud. However, the sound these birds make can still be quite distracting at night.
Lack of Privacy
So far we have assumed that you will be living in this compact apartment by yourself. However, things will be far more difficult if you’re sharing the apartment with someone.
The limited space you have to store your belongings will become even more limited. You also won’t be able to enjoy much privacy if there aren’t any walls separating rooms.
This can be frustrating and lead to friction between you and your apartment-mate. For this reason, it is best to get a 400 square foot studio apartment only if you will be living alone.
Many people who live in compact apartments tend to be single. Such people typically move to larger apartments or homes once they find a partner and get married.
Limited Social Gathering Options
It is also difficult to entertain people in a 400 square foot apartment. This size makes it too small for large gatherings.
Any get-togethers you decide to host at your apartment will need to be limited to less than a dozen people. If you invite more people, you risk overcrowding the already limited space.
Making the Most of Your 400 Square Foot Apartment
As you can see, a 400 square foot apartment’s compact size offers many benefits and drawbacks.
So consider reviewing the guide above before you decide to sign the lease or purchase a 400 square foot apartment.
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