Nine Tips for Saving Space in Your Apartment

Living in an apartment has so many advantages – security, convenience, access to facilities and much more. Often one downside however is less living space. To enable you to make the most of your new apartment, we have put together nine of the top ways that you can maximise space in your apartment.

1. Be Wise With Clothes and Furniture


A wardrobe like this could hold a weeks-worth of clothes

It’s surprising how much space clothes can take up, even worse when they are unable to be stored appropriately. Sure that leather jacket looks good, but would you wear it often during summer? No, so it’s best to leave the clothes you need easy-access to in the wardrobe or dresser, while the out-of-season wear goes into storage. Clothes that you don’t wear any more are not worth holding onto, and should just go to the local opshop.

Same goes for furniture, do you need two vacuum cleaners? If you don’t have space for one, why not just borrow a friend’s vacuum for the day? Being economical can often mean more than just being financially responsible..

2. Go Vertical


Tall shelving can house a variety of goods, but best to buy a shelf your height, than rely on a ladder.

Often when we measure space in a property we take into account floor space, but not ceiling height. Storing goods vertically can conserve space efficiently and also put smaller items in an organised fashion, such as an alphabetised system for books in a bookcase. Using a bookcase or cabinet can be the difference between a cluttered study, and an organised work space.

Vertical storage units can often make good dividers, and usually fit well into small alcoves or recesses. Many antique storage units also act as decorative talking pieces, but be mindful of size, as they are often designed for large houses.

3. Multi-functional Items

Definitely discussion points in the kitchen area, multi-functional goods save plenty of space by putting two goods together (the most basic example is the fridge-freezer combo). Most goods have a very specific role, but can be made to do multiple tasks. It can require a bit of creativity to make goods perform more than one role, but the money and space saved is worth it.

4. More Space, Instead of More Décor


A minimalist bedroom. Note the small, yet functional and appealing decor.

Sometimes the illusion of a bigger house is better than the illusion of being cultured, and this is especially true in a small apartment. While it may be nice to have that huge fake Rembrandt painting, it looks better to have smaller décor and artworks that allow more space, rather than clutter or enclose the room.

When dressing a small room, it is wise to use neutral colours and leave bold colours to the feature pieces. Also when placing functional furniture, allow plenty of walking space. It’s an apartment, not the Hermitage Museum.

5. Compact/Collapsible Furniture

Got guests coming over? Sure, just get the fold-out couch ready, extend the dining table, and unfold a few chairs. Seriously, no social butterfly is complete without most of these items. Collapsible furniture is good for when you need to create open spaces, and especially good for cleaning the house. Other great examples are ironing boards, and pull-apart couches.

6. Treat the Balcony as an Extension to the Living Spaces

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Hallmarque balcony has an alfresco area as a living space.

While it is not interior space, and is therefore susceptible to weather, the balcony can be an informal dining area and extension from the living room. As it brings in plenty of natural light and fresh air, it gives the illusion of a bigger space, and makes small apartments feel less cramped.

If you wish to use the balcony as an extension of the living space, make sure the walkway between the balcony and living is clear. Placing furniture in front of floor-length windows can enclose rooms (as seen in the image above, but little space is lost), but that can be beneficial to act as a divider if you still want to frame the living spaces.

7. Raised Platforms for Discreet Storage

Most furniture has four legs, but there are a few space-hogs that have a big solid frame. These are OK if they have built in storage underneath or need plenty of support, but otherwise it is just impractical. Raised platforms (e.g couches, tables, beds) can allow for cardboard boxes and other goods to be stored discreetly below if necessary. This rule applies to any furniture that generally should have spare space beneath it, as long as it is supported enough for its intended use.

8. Trick Your Brain with Light

Allure Artist Impression Kitchen No 2

Allure Kitchen. Plenty of natural light and cool colours makes the room appear spacious.

OK, so this is kind of cheating, as it doesn’t add more space. Tricking your brain into believing the space is bigger can make a apartment feel less confined and more homely. Glass and transparent materials allow light to make the house appear more spacious, while cooler colour palettes reflect light and make rooms feel bigger.

Using mirrors and reflective surfaces fall into this category, and often make very practical substitutes for artworks in small apartments or hallways.

9. Needs Before Wants

We all know at least one person with a gym set that they never use. Sure it’s good to have, but not at the cost of space for more important things. In many cases you will have the old Gym set simply because your previous home or apartment didn’t have a gym. So get onto Gumtree and sell it – and declutter your life and your apartment.


Freshome – 5 Tips for Fooling the Eye and Making a Room Look Bigger

The Simple Dollar – Sixteen Tricks for Maximizing a Small Home or Apartment

Forbes – Ten Apartment Organization Tips to Maximize Space

Written: 22 December 2016

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