3 Crucial Tips for Moving Into a Small Apartment

New York City is a vibrant, energetic, and sleepless city, which is what people love about it. That’s the glamorous side, the Broadway, the Times Square, the stuff that makes people want to move there. But the other side of things is just as real and ten times more common: NYC is crowded, tightly packed, and expensive. It’s a relatively small area with massive needs, and more people show up every year. To find space for everyone, new apartments are always being built. To find extra space for everyone, many of those apartments are getting smaller. The studio is a staple of NYC life.

Many people like their space and would hate to give it up. A small apartment doesn’t mesh with their idea of good living. For too many people, “smaller” translates automatically into “worse.” But a small space doesn’t have to be any less cozy or stylish, and it doesn’t have to be far more cluttered and cramped. It’s just about knowing how to get the most out of moving into a small apartment, with tips that are guaranteed to help.

A cardboard box

Make Use of All Your Space

Studios seem absolutely tiny and cramped if you only focus on floor space when thinking of storage and furniture. Sure, there’s a limited amount of space to put things on the floor, but there’s just as much space and more if you make use of your walls and ceiling too. For instance, in your kitchen, you can use a magnetic wall strip to store your knives. A knife block takes up counter space, and you’re working with less. You can also use a hanging rack to store your pots and pans, leaving your cupboards free for other things. You can hang your garlic and dried spices from the same rack to feel extra sophisticated, if you like.

Outside of the kitchen, you can use wall-mounted shelves to store smaller belongings such as books and lamps. You can also use hanging shelves in your closet to maximize your closet space. Remember, there’s always space for vertical storage.

Speaking of Closet Space, It’s Time to Donate

Most of us have clothes we barely ever wear and don’t care about in the slightest. You might have pairs of shoes that you’ve outgrown, in size or style, and you might have shirts, sweaters, pants, and jackets that just aren’t your fashion anymore. All of that is still going to take up space in your new apartment, even if it’s virtually useless to you.

Hit the charity shops and thrift stores nearby. Put all those old clothes into a bag and take them over. You’re freeing up closet space, which you can use to store other items in the future. You’re also potentially helping others out by donating usable clothing where someone who might need it can find it.

Shelves on a wall.
Shelves will give you a lot of extra storage space.

Decorate Early On

The best way to pack a small apartment, your way. One disadvantage of a smaller apartment is less space to work with. On the other hand, that also means you have a much easier time making the whole place yours. You have less space to worry about decorating and prettying up with your signature touch. That’s a blessing, especially early on.

When you first move in, you’re going to have a ton of stuff to unpack, most likely. Start with the essentials, obviously. But after that, focus on decorating and making the place really feel like home. It might seem counterintuitive, but once you can see what your apartment will look like, you’ll feel a lot more motivated to get those ugly boxes unpacked real quick. It’ll also help with morale during the first few days, which are going to be hard. Some of your appliances might not work when you move in. The place is going to feel empty and uninviting. You’re going to feel lonely and stressed and overwhelmed, most likely. Decorating a bit helps you feel like you’re fighting to pretty up your apartment, not some random place.

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