My New Texan Home

The semester starts tomorrow! I may not have a university username yet (and all that entails), but I do have a place to live. My parents ferried up most of my furniture yesterday and I have been moving in. It’s still a bit spare, but that will change with time (and paychecks).

IMG_1126 IMG_1125When looking for an apartment, I looked up all of the properties I could online, called or emailed them to check availability, and then made appointments with properties that had any rooms available. Of course, I had a few criteria to help limit my search:

  • My budget. This started at max $500/mo, but eventually had to be raised to max $650/mo due to availability and suitability (safety, etc.) of the apartments.
  • 1 bedroom or studio, preferably the former.
  • Ground floor. My RA has been flaring up and I’ve had enough of stairs.
  • Be within cycling distance from campus.
  • Has to have a dishwasher. Washing dishes is my least favourite chore and thus costs more mental spoons than I’d like to admit.

I lucked out during my search that on my first day of viewing properties I found what I was looking for, and more: a ground-floor, 1-bedroom apartment, rent below my maximum, with rent including water and gas. Not only does the flat have a dishwasher, it also has its own washer and dryer (the actual units, not just connections). The only thing it doesn’t have is a gas stove and the property doesn’t allow pets, but I can live without either of those for the time being. (Though I do really miss Jewely Cat!)

My kitchen has almost too much storage (though most of it is very high and I cannot access it without a ladder) and the bathroom has no storage at all beyond the cupboard under the sink.

IMG_1131 IMG_1128I have pored over dozens of various websites for “tiny bathroom tips” and “small bathroom storage”, and many of them are difficult to do in a rental. I have been brainstorming for ways to increase storage and functionality in the bathroom without 1) breaking the bank, 2) putting lots of holes in the walls, and 3) making it feel cramped.

Any suggestions?

6 thoughts on “My New Texan Home

  1. Lola says:

    It reminds me of my place in Dallas! For the bathroom, it just occurred to me that a rack for the back of the door might be helpful (one for towels, or if it makes more sense, a shoe rack meant for closets can be used for toiletries instead.)


    • Chera says:

      Thanks! I vaguely remember your apartment in Dallas. Its layout was a mirror image of mine, if I recall correctly?

      I’m hesitant to hang towels over the back of the door because I don’t think they’ll be able to dry well. The door is open whenever not in use, which means the towels would be in a close space between the door and the wall. But I did just buy and assemble an etagere/space saver to put over the toilet.

      I’ve also put three stacking plastic drawers under the sink, and there’s still room under the sink to store other things out of sight. I’d like to put a row of hooks up to hold towels instead of the very narrow towel rack in place, but that’s on my “wants” list, not the “needs” list.


  2. Faith says:

    Since the door will be open when not in use, can you hang the towel rack on the outside of the door so that the towels can air out all day? You could remove or switch it if you were having guests.

    Your bathroom looks very much like ours. Our landlord built in a towel rack over the toilet itself (which I find strange) but I often look with envy at the stands designed to fit above the toilet. They usually have two or three shelves and would hold extra toiletries. We also have a large rack that fits in the shower (it hooks over the showerhead) for anything we use in-bath, and (because I am lazy at unpacking) we have two plastic tubs (maybe 10 liters each?) across from the sink that are stacked and make a small shelf (we store excess toiletries in them). If there is space in the hall, depending on what you want to store, you could probably also put a small shelf or cupboard unit just outside the door (we have a hall closet a few feet from the bathroom, and all our clean/unused towels live there).

    So happy you are settled! It is lovely!


    • Chera says:

      That’s a great idea about switching which side of the door the towel rack is on! I’ll give it some thought. Thanks!

      I don’t think I can put tubs on the floor in my bathroom — not without tripping on them or banging my shins all the time. I did get one of those over-the-toilet stands you mentioned though, and already it’s made a huge difference.

      Unfortunately the only closet I have is the closet in my bedroom. However, it is rather…long. (I don’t know how to describe it. It has deep “sides”?) I’m going to use a hanging sweater organizer thing to store linens and towels.

      Thanks for the suggestions and tips! I’m guessing that the school year is about to start for you and Isaac soon too, right?


      • Faith says:

        We are in our third week of this semester already! This year is especially crazy.

        Sad about the lone closet. We have three, but none are large/deep. I look forward to having a house with more storage someday . . .


  3. Sarah says:


    I was going to suggest a shelf for over the toilet, but it sounds like you’ve already done that. The other thing you could do is keep linens or other overflow bathroom items (extra contact solution, TP, etc) in your bedroom closet or in one or two of the kitchen cabinets that you can’t store kitchen things in? Getting a step stool will be of great use for reaching those high up cabinets and you can put extras up there (we have a folding step stool).

    Can’t wait to see more pictures as you settle in!


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