One issue that many apartment dwellers struggle with is a lack of space. This can be especially challenging for the person who has to share an apartment with a number of roommates as the space is divided and divided again until there is nowhere left to put anything. College students have storage needs to accommodate their belongings, but not every apartment complex is capable of meeting those needs.
When we designed Meadows Crossing, we had the help of the Grand Valley State University architect who had just designed housing for the GVSU Pew Campus in Downtown Grand Rapids. We asked him for advice about how to create smart storage opportunities in our townhomes. As a result, Meadows Crossing townhomes were designed to benefit our tenants and their need for storage.
Kitchen and Common Area Storage
The kitchen and living room are common areas that all tenants have to share. They all have to use one refrigerator, and they have to share cupboard space to store their groceries and cleaning products. Some tenants cook more than others, and conflicts may arise if the cupboard space is too limited. It’s a very common phenomenon that if one tenant has too much stuff and nowhere to put it, he/she will use space that’s not being taken up and think little of it. However, the roommates may resent this without saying something, and this may create tension between them and cause arguments down the line.
At Meadows Crossing our townhomes have four bedrooms and four tenants. We worked with the idea that providing four of everything would set boundaries in common areas and help eliminate conflict between roommates. All of our townhomes have four food storage cabinets so each tenant knows how much space is allowed and can plan and use that space accordingly. The linen closet in the laundry area also has four shelves for this same reason.
Bedroom and Closet Storage
Many college roommates have to share bedroom and closet space and will argue about whose stuff is where and where that stuff should be instead. Sometimes the only way roommates can settle their fights is by putting tape down through the middle of the room! Staking out closet space can be equally challenging.
At Meadows Crossing, all tenants have their own bedrooms, and every bedroom has either a walk-in closet or a closet with a built-in organizer. The closets with organizers have a closet bar that extends the entire length of the closet and then another closet bar that goes two-thirds of the way across. This allows for 70% more hanging space. There are also foot racks to allow for more shoes. Every bedroom closet at Meadows Crossing is generously sized to fit all clothes and other belongings.
We also designed the beds to add even more storage. Instead of a box spring, each bed has a thick mattress and a foam mattress pad. This opens up more storage space below the bed without sacrificing any comfort.
For students’ coats and other outerwear, there is also a coat closet by the front door in every townhome.
A messy or crammed living space can create unnecessary stress for college students. There are ways to make better use of small spaces in college apartments. At Meadows Crossing we encourage all of our tenants to get creative with organizing tools and hacks so that they will have everything they need on hand when they need it. Our tenants typically find adequate space for their belongings in our townhomes because of how well they are designed.