Living in Japanese housing can have its fair share of problems. Finding apartments that have all of the things you need in it for a reasonable price is one of them. The other big one is learning how to cope with the lack of space in these places. Learning how to deal with this problem is something everyone must go through when settling in.
Make Use of Limited Space
Storage areas in typical Japanese apartments are very limited. You are usually relegated to a singular closet and a patio area. Those areas can hold a lot of things if you think of the kinds of storage devices you can use. There are small plastic dressers that fit perfectly in smaller closets and slow for more clothing storage. Hanging coat racks not only save space but can help you organize your outfits. The idea should be to group as much as possible while using the smallest portion of the space provided. Keep in mind that the closet area can also be used to store your futon if you are using one to sleep on. The patio area is pretty spacious and can fit a myriad of storage items. Many Japanese people use it for a small garden, or they have large stacking storage bins for infrequently used items. Finding the right amount of space to take in very important as it will also be the area where you will be drying all of your clothes. It is also important to mention that if you live on the first floor of your building your patio can be more easily accessed by random people if they want to. Keep in mind that criminal activity is very low in the country, but it can still happen.
Maximizing the Living Area
When it comes to your living area, there are many things you can do to help make the most of the space provided to you. Sleeping on a futon is the most obvious, as you can easily put the futon away when it is not in use. The usual practice is to have your small table out when using the room normally and fold it away to make room for the futon. Standing closets are also a good idea if you find that you need more closet space. They come in a variety of styles and sizes and be as simple as a standing pole rack to a full closet with shelves and dresser drawers. Stacking plastic dressers are cheap and convenient options. They can be as large or as small as your apartment allows. They are sold in many stores and can help keep your living space tidy while clearing up a room. Using these things can be more convenient for moving as well, since there is no large furniture, and they are easy to disassemble.
Adding Space to Your Kitchen
The kitchen area is probably going to be the most crunched for space place in the apartment. Small one-room apartments only give a small portion of the room for counter space, and maybe one or two burners for cooking. Standing racks for counters can help add a few levels of extra storage. These can be used in the cabinets as well to clean up pots and pans that may be strewn around in it. Extra counter boards that fit on top of your washer can add some much-needed space as well. Having a storage system should be a top priority as it can save a lot of space that wouldn’t be available otherwise.
The lack of space in Japanese apartments will seem like a big deal at first. If you come from a culture that allows for more spatial freedom, you may not see how you can make it work. If you use different kinds of storage furniture and establish a storage system for your things, you may find you have more than enough space to live in. Slowly check your place and then see what your nearest department stores or 100 yen shops have to offer. It could actually end up being a fun puzzle for you to figure out.