Sneaky Storage Secrets of a (Really Really) Tiny Apartment

published Dec 11, 2015
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Once upon a time Tesha lived in one of the smallest apartments I’ve ever seen, a trim little 224 square foot one-bedroom on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Since then she has upgraded a bit (tour coming soon!), but today we’re taking a look back at her old place. Despite its small size, it was also one of the neatest apartments I’ve ever seen — thanks to a few clever tricks.

1. Pretty boxes are your friend.

In a small space, finding space to store things is a constant struggle. An easy way to add more storage — and one that Tesha executes with aplomb — is distributing stacks of pretty boxes throughout your space. They become a design feature, and they’re a great place to stash things, whether those things are your most treasured possessions or just the things that were junking up the countertop and didn’t quite have a place to go.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

2. Use furniture to grow your kitchen.

The white piece pictured above wasn’t originally part of Tesha’s kitchen — it’s a rolling cart that she added after moving in, which more than doubles her kitchen’s storage and counter space.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

3. Incorporate shelving wherever you can.

I’m a huge fan of wall mounted shelves as a storage solution in small spaces, and Tesha has a great solution for people who can’t make holes in the wall (or don’t want to go to the effort and expense of hanging shelves). The two leaning bookcases in her living room add much-needed extra storage space, and the one on the left even has a deep shelf that functions as a desk.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

4. Use every available bit of space.

You can’t tell from the photo, because I am a very clever photographer, but Tesha stores a lot of stuff under her couch. This couch is only about three inches above the floor, which doesn’t seem like a lot, until you start to think of the under-couch space sort of like a very long, shallow drawer. And this isn’t the only neglected space in your house you can use to your advantage. Get creative, and don’t be afraid to store things above, under, or behind.

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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

5. Embrace drawers.

In this little apartment, even the nightstand is a workhorse, with six little drawers perfect for tucking smaller things away. Make your furniture work for you by picking pieces that incorporate drawers and shelves. Keeping an apartment — even a little apartment — tidy isn’t hard when you have plenty of places to put things away.

Re-edited from a post originally published 12.11.15-NT