Furniture-Free Living in Your Apartment

Before you hit us with confused looks, let us explain. Furniture-free living isn’t about living in an empty apartment or sleeping on a bare floor. It’s about thinking outside the lines on what we think of as “traditional furniture.”

For example, furniture-free apartment dwellers may do away with their couches and replace them with soft rugs, pillows and low tables. The main goal of this trend is to have more room to move around your living space and promote a more active life. No more couch potato!

“When you take away the chairs and couches, you force your body to find different ways to engage and relax. You use your joints, muscles and work the entire body. You move more, burn more calories, build stronger muscles and keep your body happy, happy.” – Robin Konie

If you’re anti-clutter and are a fan of Marie Kondo’s minimalist lifestyle, furniture-free living may be for you. Here’s how to give it a try in your apartment space.

Set some ground rules

It’s going to be a tough transition to go from a furniture-filled apartment to one that’s pretty bare. You can help yourself get ready for this lifestyle by limiting the time you spend lounging on the couch and instead get up and get moving.

For instance, instead of binge-watching Netflix after work, go for a walk or head to the gym for a good workout. When working, opt for a stand-up desk or yoga ball. If you work from home, your counter or breakfast bar might be the perfect height to put a laptop so you’re on your feet all day.

Try this for about a week and you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly if a furniture-free lifestyle will be comfortable for you.

Move room by room

Start by eating on the coffee table versus the dining room table or on the couch and then graduate to using poofs and cushions instead of laying across the sofa. Store away your dining room table. Watch a few videos on how to sit on the floor correctly so you don’t injure your back.

Rather than jump head first, start by storing away one piece of furniture at a time. There’s no timeline on how fast you should go – take your time and purge only what you need to. It’s not something you do in one swoop!

Talk to your building manager about storage space in your complex – many offer it to tenants for free. Also take this time to get rid of any old pieces of furniture that have seen better days.

Admire your open space

You’ll see that members of the furniture-free lifestyle have different levels of it. Many proponents say that you don’t need to be 100 percent furniture-free to reap the benefits, it’s about using the space in a better way and making you more active.

For example, you could only make the living room a furniture-free space with lots of comfy pillows, low tables and sitting mats to encourage more movement. Then, leave the rest of your apartment as is. Make the trend fit your current space and level of activity, not the other way around.

Pro-tip: If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the #furniturefree hashtag on Instagram.

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Muriel VegaMuriel Vega is an Atlanta-based journalist and editor who writes mostly about technology and its intersection with food and culture. She’s the managing editor of tech news publication Hypepotamus, and has contributed to The Guardian, Atlanta magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, VICE and more. She spends her time eating her way through Buford Highway and exploring Atlanta's arts scene.

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