With micro-apartments becoming New York City’s new affordable housing stock amid rising real estate prices, New Yorkers’ apartments are smaller than ever. But unfortunately, the amount of stuff we own doesn’t necessarily shrink with the square footage of our homes. To help you figure out how to fit all your possessions into those tiny digs, we asked New York City interior design experts for unique tips that won’t require you to spend all the extra money you’re supposedly saving on rent.
If you’re downsizing in space, you should also get rid of things you don’t need. After that, assess what kind of storage is best for you. “If shoes and handbags are your vice, you need more closed shelving and cabinets,” said Kevin Clark of Homepolish, who lives in Carnegie Hill and has experience decorating apartments as small as 260 square feet. “If it’s sweaters and T-shirts, dressers are better.”
Create a micro-foyer
A wall-mounted shelf with a drawer is great for a tiny entryway. “It’s a perfect spot to drop your phone off, put your keys down and it won’t take up floor space,” Clark said. He added, “A small stool is great to tuck into a corner or under the shelf so that boots/shoes can easily be taken off.”
Hook it up
Hang hooks wherever you can, suggested organizer and blogger Tidy Tova, who fits the space she needs for her business into her Crown Heights apartment. “The back of your closet door is a great place to hang accessories, bags or clothing that you often throw on,” she said. “And the back of your bathroom door should be maximized to hang towels or toiletries.”
Peg it in
“Peg boards are great space savers and can be used to store kitchen items like pots, pans or bulkier utensils,” Tova recommended, adding that they can also hold jewelry, accessories and supplies.
Utilizing vertical space, such as by putting shelves at the top of a closet, helps keep things out of the way, Tova said. But “remember to place less-frequently-used items out of arm’s reach and use the most accessible storage areas for belongings that you use often,” she noted.
F is for futon
“A great convertible sofa-sleeper was a lifesaver for me in my 10-plus years of studio living,” noted Betsy Helmuth of Affordable Interior Design, who once lived in a 150-square-foot apartment she later learned was an illegally-rented janitor’s closet. “Purchase a cover that coordinates with your decor. Then put under-bed rolling baskets, like Pottery Barn’s Jacquelyne Baskets, underneath to store your bedding during the day.”