Home Forums Living Spaces Bedrooms Looking for some help simplifying

This topic contains 21 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  JGHopkins 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #160342


    Basically I am going to be moving into a smaller efficiency (18x12x8) and I am looking to use my space wisely.

    I am not looking for some extreme minimalism, just help being more efficient with less stuff…especially technology wise, which is where I am having the most trouble.

    this is what I have right now, a smart phone, TV, desktop PC, wireless printer…plus obvious stuff, clothes bathroom stuff etc.

    when I move my rule is, if it doesn’t fit in my car I get rid of it.

    so in my new place I want to make good use of space…still be able to have a couple of friends over but not make it to cluttered.

    so instead of getting a bed and a desk separate I am going to get a loft bed with a workstation.

    My goals technology wise are

    1. Have a nice smart phone convenience sake, sometimes a laptop or a tablet are totally unnecessary or inappropriate.

    2. Replace my desktop with something smaller and more convenient. I don’t play video games…at all, but I do use my computer for research and to keep track of a few things, it mostly ends up as storage, and not for pictures or anything. I usually use Photobucket or Facebook for those….

    3. I want something portable I can take with me for documents when a laptop is to unwieldy and my phone is to small to accomplish that purpose.

    4. (optional) I need something that can connect to my insignia TV so I can watch movies/TV on it (I don’t have cable.)
    this one isn’t a necessity because if nothing else I can get a Roku box or something similar

    Now the big problem comes with computer, I need a small computer with WiFi and preferably a CD drive so I can use my own movies (of which I own very few) instead of owning a DVD player and the very occasional outside program.

    so I was leaning more towards a tablet/laptop combo, but would also be ok with a laptop and a tablet separate.

    also any advice on making good use of my space would be much appreciated.

  • #233441

    Looking for some help simplifying

    There are lots of loft beds with desks underneath available. They are popular with college students, especially, so a google image search on “dorm loft bed with desk” turns up a lot of great ideas.

    Also try http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/bedroom/19039/

    As for having friends over, I recommend a two-seat sofa and two chairs. The chairs can be shared with the dining table. Furniture, including a coffee table and lamps, can be found on Craiglist or freecycle. It sounds like you are not acquiring expensive heavy new furniture just yet. Choose one large artwork, not several dozen little things.

    You already have worked out your technology preferences. The tv-to-laptop connection should be investigated before you buy because your old tv may not accept connection to the laptop. Check manufacturers’ websites first. If you have to postpone buying something for budget reasons, that’s normal.

  • #233444


    Looking for some help simplifying

    given your set of tech requirements, i would have:
    1. iphone
    2. ipad
    3. tv with dvds ripped to a hard drive. keep the dvds as back up.

    full disclosure: i am an apple fangurl.

  • #233470


    Looking for some help simplifying

    not sure of your cable/TV/movie alternates in your area/country but in USA I found that netflix hooks up fine to our TV (newer TV) with a $25 set of cables off our ipad… however Amazon prime does not and they are not planning to fix that anytime soon. Same with youtube. However we can use a laptop with an HDMI cable and basically set up the TV as a 2nd monitor and it works fine with all 3 movie/TV sources plus we can run DVD’s off it. Drawback? no remote control.

    I am also a big fan of the loft bed but speaking as a Californian, if you live in earthquake territory you are gonna have to bolt that sucker into the studs inside the wall every couple feet… make sure your landlord is ok with that! if you don’t live in earthquake-land, well… lucky you!

  • #233474


    Looking for some help simplifying

    I do live in the USA, Florida to be precise, the place I am moving to has a shared Kitchen so I don’t have to worry about a table or any cooking stuff, except for a couple thing for private use in my room. (which again is kinda small at (12x18x8)

    My TV most definitely is OK with hooking up, I’ve been using my desktop. But honestly it’s just kind of clunky, and not very streamlined or portable.

    So aside from my phone, which obviously is for handling stuff when I am not at home…my PC will be used for the following:

    1. Basic record keeping, simple word documents, etc.
    2. Watching TV/Movies I.E. Youtube, Netflix, Hulu etc.
    3. Email, research etc.
    4. Occasionally playing Minecraft/Technic

    I also like the portability of some of the Tablet PCs with full windows 8 and Intel processor like the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T, but I am not sure if I should spend it.

    what do you guys think.

    I’m gonna be using a heater (that looks like a fireplace for some aesthetic) that doubles as a TV stand, and a Loft Bed with a workstation and maybe some sort of couch.

  • #233515


    Looking for some help simplifying

    JGHopkins, I’m typing this on a netbook, which I love. My son told me that the problem with netbooks is that their memory, processing capacity and storage are limited to keep the size down, and I think that’s true. There are laptops made, with laptop capacity and memory etc, but nearer to a netbook in size – I suspect they’re the ideal, but are more expensive than the equivalent normal-sized laptop.

    I’ve noticed the keyboard tablets in shops, which people say are targetted at the former netbook market. I haven’t tried them – the keyboard quality would have to be good, though. I do have a 7″ Samsung tablet, which I bought shortly before upgrading my phone to a Samsung s3, and I much prefer my phone for nearly everything. However, for strightforward typing, and for research that will inform my typing, I much prefer a proper keyboard, hence the netbook.

    For ‘life organisation’ I am steadily moving my brain and organisational documents into my http://www.workflowy.com account which I also love, but can’t use fully until they have an Android version working (apparently planned) – I am jealous in that regard of iphone users, because workflowy is it seems already available in iphone format. For now I use it on my netbook and on my work computer. It is free, but the paid-for version is where Android and offline working will be, both of which I need.

    Long term I want my music all in digital format, although I’ll keep my CDs, probably on a large ipod, but backed up on a dedicated hard drive. I want my photos on another dedicated hard drive, but backed up in a cloud.

    Good luck with it all. I will be downsizing from a huge family house in a couple of years, so I am most interested in how it all goes.

  • #233530


    Looking for some help simplifying

    I like the loft bed with the desk underneath idea. Think storage for every piece of furniture you get.

    http://www.andybaird.com/Eureka/pages/storage.htm this website is for RV storage but there are lots of ideas you may be able to use in your space.

  • #233532


    Looking for some help simplifying

    Sky, you are right about furniture – I’m a great fan of Tapley33 furniture, which is available new here in the UK – not sure about US – very expensive though. However, it often comes up on Ebay or Gumtree. Brilliant for flexible organisation, and extremely sturdy and well made. I’ve bought a lot of mine 2nd-hand. I especially love some of the taller wall-hung open shelving units, especially the narrow ones – great with baskets.

  • #233574


    Looking for some help simplifying

    lol hi back 🙂

  • #233604


    Looking for some help simplifying

    Hmmm, if I were trying to minimize my electronica (it’s crazy around chez nous) I think I’d be tempted by the new HP Envy x2. It doesn’t have an internal CD/DVD drive, but it has two USB ports and an HDMI so a peripheral DVD player could be connected, and then you wouldn’t even need a TV.

    This exact product might not suit your needs – it’s new and I’m sure the bugs are by no means completely worked out – but something like it?

    Alt: Kindle Fire HD. My husband uses his for just about everything, instead of a laptop.

  • #233636


    Looking for some help simplifying

    Using a heater as a TV stand sounds kind of dangerous- you’d almost definitely void your warranty even if you don’t actually damage the TV.

    As far as what tech to use, if you’re okay with ditching the DVD capacity, you could try a netbook and a roku. The newer rokus can accept usb, so you can move digital movies over to the machine even if Netflix or Crackle don’t stream what you want to watch. A laptop + a separate tablet seems like overkill unless you’re using one of them exclusively for paid work.

  • #233641

    Looking for some help simplifying

    ermahgerd technology questions make my brain hurt! I bought a new PC just for gaming this winter and I don’t care whether it’s big and unminimal. Gaming on a multipurpose laptop is horridhorridhorrid… at least the game I play is.

  • #233665


    Looking for some help simplifying

    the heater isn’t just a regular heater, it looks something like this http://www.walmart.com/ip/Quality-Craft-Contemporary-Electric-Fireplace-Entertainment-Center-Black/14668556

    and yeah I mostly play Minecraft, but I may be reactivating my SWtOR account, haven’t decided…if i do I may keep my desktop and just upgrade it or I may shell out for a nice gaming laptop.

  • #234505

    Lauren Addis

    I think for making proper use of your storage space you can use storage boxes for storing your stuff and the most interesting thing about these boxes is that you can put them anywhere where you want. You can also install some shelves for putting your items and I think it is the best method to save space. In my opinion, you should sellout your pc and only use laptop, as it will surround less space then pc.

  • #234572


    I love our Roku. Set up for our Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon accounts, don’t need or want more. I would say laptop, tablet and smart phone cover most needs. I keep a large monitor and keyboard set up for work, which could double for the TV in a smaller space and is easier to set up than on a TV. Tablet is good for on the run and when I am mostly reading books or browsing the web. Phone is too small for reading most things now. I do still keep an iPod touch for music and audio books audio books instead of the tablet. It works great for Skype calls on wifi, too. We honestly haven’t used our DVD player since over a year ago, so maybe the end is near for the demise of that media.

  • #310232

    Adam Joubert

    Today, there are so many fantastic solutions to downsize and multi purpose. Pinterest has tons of ideas to inspire. Besides loft beds, there are murphy beds, couch beds, wallbeds, desks that transform and fold down, folding chairs and so much more. I am fascinated by making the most of small spaces. In my opinion having a well organized clean space, gives you inner peace as well.

  • #310515


    You can use wall mounted or multi-functional furniture items. You can also browse the web to find ways to make the best use of space.

  • #312921

  • #313135

    Azura Lee

    I find tablet/laptop combos to be the best option. Microsoft’s Surface can become both, but it’s a little on the pricier side. If you like iOS, then an iPad + keyboard cover will suffice as well.

    In terms of space, I found a magazine by this custom closet company that deals with space saving and organization help. It has some great ideas to help maximize available space in your home.



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