11 Simple Ways To Maximize Space in a Small Apartment 

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  • Multi-purpose furniture is everything when it comes to saving space.
  • Taking advantage of vertical space is key.
  • Strategic mirror placement and minimizing clutter can also help create a more spacious feel.

When you live in a small apartment, you’ve got to maximize every inch you can.

Shopping for furniture isn’t just an exercise in balancing practicalities and aesthetics. It becomes a question of how many functions it can serve while taking up as little space as possible. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t understand this when I moved into my first studio apartment. For a year and a half, I somehow lived in a shoebox without dividers, a tiny dining table that I couldn’t fold up, and slept on a bed that didn’t provide extra storage space.

Suffice to say, there were a lot of incidental door-to-chair bumping .

As I upgraded into a (slightly bigger but still pretty small) apartment, I began learning a thing or two about maximizing space (or at least creating the illusion of one). Not all will work for your specific space, but adopting some of these tips can help you make your home feel a little less stuffy and more cozy. 

1. Multi-Purpose Furniture

This is the biggest game changer for small spaces (and not getting it is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made when I lived in a small space). 

For example, I would have been better off getting a loft bed than a standard queen bed. Underneath the bed, I could have had extra storage space, a workspace separate from my dining table, or even a TV and a mini-entertainment space/reading nook like this bed below. 

IMUsee Loft Bed Frame for Juniors&Adults, Metal Twin Size with Safety Guardrail&Removable Ladder, Space-Saving, Noise Free, Matte Black

If your space is big enough to put another bed in (mine wasn’t), but an air mattress isn’t really your thing, opting for a bean bag that doubles as a bed allows you to have a corner where you can chill.

If you work from home but don’t have a spare room for an office, you can get a coffee table that can double as a workspace and extra storage. 

The options are (almost) endless. Investing in multi-purpose furniture allows you to make the most of your small apartment space without sacrificing style or comfort. Please don’t make the mistake that I did and make living in a shoebox even more uncomfortable than it needs to be.

2. Take Advantage of Vertical Space

When people say their house has limited space, they usually mean limited horizontal space. So, one easy hack to create more space is to use vertical space when you’ve exhausted every inch of your floor and closet.

Here are some ideas you might want to consider in terms of using vertical space: 

  • Use floating shelves: Floating shelves are a great way to add storage without taking up floor space. You can use them to display books, plants, and other decorative items.
  • Install wall-mounted cabinets: Wall-mounted cabinets are perfect for storing items you don’t use daily. You can use them to store linens, towels, and other household items.
  • Hang hooks: Hooks are an easy way to add storage to your walls. You can use them to hang coats, hats, and bags.
  • Invest in a wall bed: If you’re short on space, a wall bed can be a lifesaver. It folds into the wall when you’re not using it, freeing up floor space.
  • Hang a pegboard: A pegboard is a versatile storage solution that can be used to store everything from tools to craft supplies.
  • Hang a pot rack: If you’re short on kitchen storage, a pot rack can be a great way to free up cabinet space. You can store pots, pans, and other kitchen items.
  • Install a wall-mounted desk: A wall-mounted desk is a great way to create a workspace without wasting valuable floor space.

Any of these tips can help you create additional storage space when there aren’t any. 

YGEOMER Floating Shelves, Rustic Wood Shelves, 4 Sets of Wall Mounted Shelf for Bathroom Decor, Bedroom, Living Room and Plants (Carbonized Black)

3. Strategic Mirror Placement

Strategically placed mirrors can be one of the simplest tricks to increase the visual space of your small apartment. Mirrors reflect light and create an illusion of more space, making them an excellent addition to any room.

Here are some ways you can use mirrors to maximize space in your small apartment:

  • Hang a large mirror on a wall: Hanging a large mirror on a wall can create the illusion of a larger room. Place the mirror on the wall opposite a window to reflect natural light and make the room appear brighter and more spacious.
  • Use mirrored furniture: Mirrored furniture, such as a mirrored coffee table or dresser, can add depth to a room and make it appear larger. The reflective surfaces bounce light around the room, making it feel brighter and more open.
  • Place mirrors behind light sources: Placing a mirror behind a light source, such as a table lamp or candle, can maximize the light’s reach while creating an almost magical effect. The mirror will reflect the light, making the room appear brighter and more spacious.
  • Use mirrors to create the illusion of a window: If your apartment lacks windows or has limited natural light, you can use mirrors to create the illusion of a window. Simply place a mirror next to or across from the real window to reflect the light and create the illusion of a second window.

By strategically placing mirrors throughout your small apartment, you can create the illusion of more space and make your home feel brighter and more open.

Tangkula Glass Coffee Table, 42.5" L × 20" W ×14" H, Modern Clear Tempered Glass Coffee Table for Living Room, International Occasion Tea Table, Waterfall Table with Rounded Edges

4. Consider a Foldable Bed and Dining Table

If multi-purpose furniture isn’t your thing (or perhaps you can’t find one that you like or suits your space), consider foldable furnitures—specifically a foldable bed or dining table. 

A bed and a dining table tend to take up the most space, and when you get one that you can store away during the day, it gives you more room to use to use the space for other activities.

Many different types of foldable beds are available on the market, ranging from simple futons to more elaborate wall beds that fold up into the wall. Some even come with built-in storage, a great way to keep your belongings organized and out of sight.

Foldable dining tables also come in many forms, from high ones that give you storage space and can also serve as a standing desk to ones you can wheel around and sits up to six people (like the below). It allows you to host dinner parties even when you really don’t have room for it. 

FUNROLUX Folding Dining Table with Rack and 2 Storage Drawers, Movable Extendable Space Saving Kitchen Table in 3 Forms (White)

5. Utilize Beds and Doors as Storage Spaces

In addition to vertical space, the other way to store your clutters is to find storage space within your existing furniture. If you’ve already brought a bed without built-in storage, you can use the space under it for extra storage or use bed risers to lift your bed off the ground, creating extra space underneath. 

Doors are another great way to create extra space. An over-the-door shoe organizer, for example, allows you to store your shoes and small items, like socks, underwear, jewelry, and accessories. Over-the-door hooks in your bathroom will enable you to hang towels, robes, and other things. They’re also super easy to install and don’t take up valuable floor space. 

6. Minimize Clutter

This isn’t something I’m particularly great at, but when I do take the time to do it, I really notice the difference. 

Clutter can make your apartment feel smaller and more cramped, but adopting some simple practices can help keep your space tidy. For example, taking some time each week to declutter your belongings and get rid of anything you no longer use can prevent clutter from building up and taking over your space. 

Investing in storage solutions such as bins, baskets, and shelving can also help keep your belongings organized and out of sight. This is an excellent option if you’re like me and want to do as little as possible to keep your place clean and tidy because you can just put things away when you’re done. 

Clear surfaces can make a small apartment feel more spacious. To create a clean and open feel, keep your countertops, tables, and other surfaces clear of clutter. Consider storing seasonal items, winter coats and holiday decorations in a separate location, like a storage unit. This will free up valuable space in your small apartment.

7. Use a Neutral or Light Color Palette

Another easy hack for creating the illusion of more space is to stick to a neutral or light color palette. Light colors reflect more light, making a room feel brighter and more open.

Neutral colors, such as white, beige, and gray, can also create a calming and cohesive atmosphere, making a small space feel more relaxing and less cluttered.

8. Take Advantage of Corners

Don’t let the corners of your small apartment go to waste. Corners can be a great spot to maximize space and add functionality to your home. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your corners:

  • Create a corner workstation: If you need a dedicated space to work from home or study, consider creating a corner workstation. A few floating shelves can go a long way in a room corner. Install a floating shelf alongside or above a small corner desk to create an efficient workspace in a tight corner, or get a working desk designed to be placed in a corner
  • Add a corner shelving unit: A corner shelving unit can provide additional storage space and add a decorative touch to your small apartment. You can use it to display books, plants, or other decorative items. Choose a unit that fits your style and needs, whether that’s a sleek modern design or a rustic wooden unit.
  • Install corner cabinets: Corner cabinets can be a great way to add storage space to your small apartment. You can use them in the kitchen, living room, or bedroom to store items you don’t use often. Choose a cabinet that fits your style and needs, whether it be a tall cabinet with multiple shelves or a small cabinet with a single door.
  • Hang corner shelves: Hanging shelves in the corners of your small apartment can be a great way to add storage space without taking up too much room. You can use them to store books, plants, or decorative items. Choose a style that fits your decor and needs, whether it be a simple wooden shelf or floating mental ones.

VECELO Corner Computer Desk 41 x 30 inches with Smooth Keyboard & Storage Shelves for Home Office Workstation, Rustic Natural Brown

9. Use Dividers and Furniture to Create Zones

In a small apartment, creating distinct zones can help make the space feel bigger and more organized. Whether you use furniture, rugs, or room dividers, you can create different sleeping, working, dining, and lounging. By visually separating these zones, you’ll create the illusion of multiple rooms within a single space.

Creating separate zones via dividers was one thing that kept me sane while working out of a small apartment. Was it as good as an office? No, but it made a massive difference in giving me emotional separation between work and rest. 

10. Hang and Mount as Many Things as Possible

One of the most effective ways to maximize space in a small apartment is to hang and mount as many things as possible. Whether it’s your TV, bicycle, or guitar, finding ways to mount your chunky belongings to the wall will free up valuable floor space and make your living area feel more open and spacious.

11. Transparent Furniture

Transparent furniture can help create the illusion of more space and make your small apartment feel less cluttered.

Transparent furniture is made from materials such as acrylic, glass, or lucite. These materials are see-through, which means they won’t block the view or make your space feel cramped. 

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