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How to Fit All Your Stuff in a Small Apartment

Updated on August 16, 2014

There are a lot of very tiny apartments in New York City. I moved from a 7 bedroom house into a 1 bedroom tiny apartment in Manhattan. I had to become adept at making use of the space I had in order to keep my prized possessions. Here is what I learned.


In order to fit all your stuff into a small apartment you must make good use of all space available. There are several ways to do this without looking like you have shoved a size 9 foot into a size 6 shoe!


There are four basics that you want to master to live like a king in a small space...they are:


  • Use Wall Space...go up up up

  • Make each piece of furniture count.

  • Store things in nooks and crannies

  • Use Optical Illusions



First, One must think vertically when dealing with a small space, the walls are your friends. I fit an entire den into a wall unit that went from floor to ceiling and was about 8 inches deep. I was able to put my computer, printer, file cabinet stuff, all my books and office supplies into this wall unit. I had more space than I needed. Moreover, you don't have to have an ugly contraption to do this, you can use baskets for small articles and color coordinate the whole thing. It was very neat and attractive and everything was in that unit.



Also, you don't want to neglect the wall space in your kitchen and bathroom as well. Get a medicine cabinet with shelves and store the appliances you don't use very often on top of your cupboards in the kitchen (make sure to cover them as they will get dusty). If you can get some hooks and put your pots and pans either up on a wall or in the middle of the kitchen on a hanger. Not only does it look nice but you can hang a lot of pots and pans on them.


Secondly, every piece of furniture should have a dual function. Do you have a coffee table? It should have storage underneath. How about a sofa? It should be a sleeper sofa. Don't buy a chair with an ottoman, buy a chair that has a kick out ottoman inside it. All tables should have storage underneath or be able to fold up, like a drop leaf table. Even your bed should have storage underneath it. You can either put drawers underneath the bed or if you already have a bed add an extender and store things in vacuum bags. Dressers should be vertical not horizontal and the same goes for shelves and cabinets.


If you are still lacking space you can store things in the nooks and crannies of your home. Places like behind doors, underneath the sofa, behind the sofa, on hooks in closets and in shelves behind clothes in closets. Look around, be creative, visit the container store and get containers that will help you to utilize every inch of space in your closet. What good is a closet if you cant find anything? Make sure to use your walls and ceilings for lighting rather than taking up precious space by using floor or table lamps.


Finally, after you've done all of that, use mirrors to give the illusion of more space. They will trick your mind into thinking you have a bigger area than your really do. Furthermore, keep your interior design simple. Small spaces can look cluttered under normal circumstances, you don't want to further exacerbate the problem by adding busy patterns and distracting designs. Simplicity is your friend.


A small space can be very attractive and cozy, they are usually easier to clean providing more free time and are most definitely cheaper. Moreover, if you do some of the things I mentioned you should be able to fit all your stuff without tripping over yourself in the process and enjoy the cozy atmosphere that only a small space can provide.

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    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 2 years ago

      great tips. I just moved from a small apartment and now have more room but these tips will be handy even when families expand.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks

    • applecsmith profile image

      Carrie Smith 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you for the great tips. Voted up and useful!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Good luck. I know it's possible to fit a lot of stuff into a small apartment if you do it right, especially using the wall space. I hope you looked at the videos too because I think they are very helpful. Thanks for writing and please pass it along and vote it up :)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Maria, glad to be of assistance.

    • Maria Harris profile image

      Maria Harris 5 years ago from Houston

      Excellent hub. Rated up and useful. Love all your ideas.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks vocalcoach, glad to be of assistance.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Very helpful article with good tips. Just what I needed! Rated up. Thanks - :)vocalcoach

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Glad to be of help...put CP on your list..someday you'll go but the best time is in the fall October is awesome.

    • Hound Cat profile image

      Hound Cat 5 years ago from Los Angeles area of Southern California USA

      Went from a 900 sq ft apartment to a room for rent. This hub was very useful. Read your hub on Central Park as well. Makes me want to take a flight and go. Excellent.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks, I agree.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 5 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      great ideas for small spaces. small spaces are easy to maintain and are more cozy, you just have to be more creative in organizing your things.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks AllSuretyBonds

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 5 years ago

      Great Hub. These are all great ideas. I love the videos that you included. IKEA is a great place for looking for storage solutions for small spaces.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan

      You're welcome, glad to be of some help.

    • Balinese profile image

      Balinese 5 years ago from Ireland

      really nice - as i live in small apartment ; need to organise some stuff :) thanks for your hub!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Yes that helps...also drawers under the bed help too. I hope you took a look at the videos, they might help you too. Thanks for writing.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Great hub, Brie. I live in an apartment myself, and it pays not to acquire too many belongings. Tell that to my wardrobe! LOL! Oooh, I will need extra space soon! I am looking at the idea of getting in two large mirrors to lend the illusion of enlarging my living room. :)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Crystolite

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Wonderful idea.Excellent hub.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Great, I hope it helps.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This hub isvery relevant to me

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks for commenting Harlan.

    • Harlan Colt profile image

      Harlan Colt 6 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      I have always had a rack hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen that has all my pots, pans and large spoons etc hanging on hooks so they are easy to grab. I am an attic person too. I love to go up and make a useable space and store my junk; put one of those pull down ladders into the ceiling etc. Fun stuff. Fun Read Bri

      - Best

      - Harlan

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks No Body

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 6 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Very useful information Brie. God Bless you. Bob.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks, I wrote it for a friend who was having a difficult time and thought it would benefit others.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great hub. very well presented and very useful.

      I'm sure that many will benefit from reading this one.

      Useful/up here.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Nan: Storage units are very expensive here. I rented a very small one in New Jersey and it was $180 a month.

      Thanks for writing JD and breakfastpop

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      Very good advice. I have always been fascinated by making the most use out of small places. It takes imagination but it can be done.

    • JD Barlow profile image

      JD Barlow 6 years ago from Southeast US

      Great tips on how to fit a lot of items in a small area and still have room to move around.

    • profile image

      Nan Mynatt 6 years ago

      Brie I had the same problem and you have to be very creative. It is hard to get rid of your treasury. You can also rent a storage unit, if you don't have a basement. Great ideas for the hubbers!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image
      Author

      Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks vnustham.

    • vnustham profile image

      vnustham 6 years ago from Thailand

      great idea to do. Nice hub.

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