Living in New York, I have gotten used to adapting to small spaces. You pay a lot for a little here so it really teaches you how to adapt and maximize your space. I live in a one-bedroom apartment but have learned to utilize every square footage of space for maximum efficiency. It is all about being smart with your space. You don't necessarily need more space but need to learn how to use the space you have, correctly. Read on to see how you can and how I incorporate each of these into my own apartment.
1. Storage and organization
Storage is your friend. There are a couple of things you don't need year round and can store for most of the year. Things like wardrobe changes due to the seasons allow for you to store away ample amounts of thick clothing to make space for the warmer months. For example, I store my clothing in bins that can easily slide under my bed. Our kitchen is quite small and I cook a lot so we have a mobile kitchen island that couples as extra storage. I store my crock pot, toaster over, extra baking sheets, stand mixer, cutting boards, a waffle iron and rolling pin on this island. It also has drawers, which most offer, and I store tons of small items in those like my pastry cutter, sticky notes, cupcake liners and other super random things. Also, if you have space above your kitchen, use it. Currently I keep our extra paper towels and toilet paper up there.
2. Buy resizable items or foldable furniture
This was hard for me at first because I have always been super clear about what I want my living space to look like. I had to remind myself that this is just temporary and not my forever home and that helped me make smarter decisions. Buying resizable items like a foldable drying rack or a pull out couch is a must when you live in a small space. It makes it easier because these things can be put away until needed. They can also be stored in uncommon places like behind a door or in between other items.
3. Avoid decor clutter
Not only is this extremely tacky (sorry!) but it's also completely unnecessary and usually a waste of money. You don't need a hundred different rustic signs with some cliche saying on every inch of wall. You don't need a hundred different "just for decoration" items on every countertop and table. Stick to five or six (or less) chic and classy items that enhance your space and atmosphere - preferably something that you can hang. They don't need to be large either. Also, if your style changes, it will be easier and cheaper to update since you didn't spend hundreds of dollars on pointless decor. Don't feel the need to fill ever spot in your place with something. Minimalism is beautiful.
4. Use shelves and hang items
Built-in shelves are the best if you are able to do that where you live. If not, get tall and skinny fixtures like bookcases and shelves for storage. Not only will it give you more storage options, it will make your place look more spacious and organized. Hang large items like mirrors and TVs on the wall to get more floor space as well. We have yet to mount the TV in our apartment - Nick is "getting around to it" 😂
Use multiple mirrors in small spaces. Putting a large mirror on the wall in your living room will effortlessly make it look larger. Small mirrors on tables, mirrored coasters, a mirror in the hallway, full length mirror in the bedroom or even gallery style mirrors on the wall. Mirrors automatically give the illusion of a larger space. Explore different shapes and sizes as well for a more dynamic atmosphere. Also, open the blinds/curtains to let the natural light in - this truly changes the whole look of a room. And decreases electricity usage.
6. Minimize the excess
Be honest, there is a lot of things you could get rid of that you don't necessarily need. You probably don't need that huge chair, tons of extra pillows or the beer cap covered coffee table you had in college. You may not want to live completely minimalistic, it's not for everyone. But, you should try to incorporate a little minimalism in your life when it comes to your apartment. It will only make your life easier.
*Our apartment looks a little different now, we have added some things and gotten rid of others. Feel free to check out my apartment tour video on YouTube!