Living in a small NYC apartment – how to make it possible?

Moving Tips NYC - April 22, 2021

The cost of living in NYC is extremely high, there’s no reason to pretend otherwise. It’s one of the most expensive places in the world. And yet, there are good reasons why people all around the globe want to move here. Nothing in the world can match the energy that New York City has. So, what’s a person to do? Cut as many costs as possible. Moving to a small NYC apartment is the first step. Then, it’s about making it work. And you can make it work. All it takes is a bit of creativity and thinking outside the box. For example, you can rent moving supplies and then use them for storage. Small things like that. Here is how to make living in a small NYC apartment possible.

Optimize your storage space

The most obvious problem with living in a small NYC apartment is the lack of storage space. Of course, you’ll never be able to have as much stuff as if you were living in a bigger apartment, but you can optimize your space. More often than not, the reason that people don’t have enough room for their items is that they put them where they seem to fit, without a plan in place. Don’t do that. Your home will be cluttered and you won’t be able to fit enough stuff. Instead, be strategic, use multipurpose items, and go high. For instance, cheap plastic bins for moving can double as storage boxes. And walls are prime storage real estate.

Decorations in a small NYC apartment.
Utilize your walls as much as you can.

You have a couple of options on how to utilize your walls. You can install some shelving, put up some hooks and hangers, or even stack plastic wardrobe boxes for moving and use them as storage bins. Then, look at the unused space behind your doors and underneath your bed. You can surely fit a few items there. It may seem like these are small things at first, but you will quickly realize how much more space you have. Also, don’t forget to put up some towel racks if you don’t have them already. Basically, use every inch of space you have.

Make your apartment feel bigger

Finally, it’s not only about optimizing your space, but about making it feel bigger. There’s a couple of ways you can do this. First, go for fewer large pieces of furniture, instead of multiple smaller ones. It may seem counterintuitive, but the smaller pieces make the apartment feel small. Large pieces do the opposite. Then, try to make your space feel open. Windows without curtains are the first step. Or go for curtains that let in light. Lighter shades are always better but you need to clean them more frequently.

The second is keeping it light. Many owners of small NYC apartments go for dark colors, but you should do the opposite. Light colors make your space feel more open – this goes both for your walls and items. In short, to make the most out of your living space, you need to be creative. So don’t be afraid to try things out.

Chairs and a table in front of a wall.
Light colors will make your small NYC apartment feel bigger.

Use communal spaces

Finally, because you are living in a small NYC apartment, you likely won’t be able to practice most of your hobbies inside. Unfortunately, you can forget about collecting antiques or something similar. Now, it won’t be a problem if you mostly have outdoor hobbies, but otherwise, you’re out of luck. On the plus side, most small NYC apartments are located in building complexes. And those building complexes usually have some communal spaces you can use. Essentially, if you are on good terms with your neighbors, the public spaces can function like your front yard. So get out and start making friends.

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