How to Maximize Space in a Small Apartment: 16 Hacks

Last Updated: 6/5/2023

Author: James Zhao, Sr. Tech Specialist & Alex Park, Product Specialist

Have you been tripping over furniture or struggling to find a sliver of countertop in a tiny kitchen? Living in a small apartment can be challenging, especially when you're trying to strike a balance between comfort, functionality, and style. But small spaces can also be cozy, efficient, and surprisingly versatile when thoughtfully arranged.

This guide will show you how to maximize space in a small apartment. Whether you've just moved into a petite studio, a compact one-bedroom, or you're simply trying to streamline your current space, we've gathered 16 effective hacks to help you out.

No matter the size of your apartment, it's your home, and with a bit of creativity and planning, it can serve you beautifully. Read on to discover how you can transform your compact living quarters into an organized, spacious-feeling haven with these space-saving solutions.

General Small Apartment Space Saving Hacks

Making the most of a small space often means thinking outside the box and being willing to utilize every corner and wall. Here are some general hacks that can save space in any room of your small apartment.

1. Use Your Vertical Space And Doors

Often, when we think about storage, we look horizontally instead of vertically. But the walls in your apartment offer a world of possibilities for maximizing space.

Installing floating shelves or bookshelves not only gives you more storage space, but it also allows you to add personal touches with decorative items. You can also outfit the backs of your doors with hanging storage solutions for shoes, coats, or cleaning supplies.

2. Add Another Bar to Your Closets

If you think of your closest as a small space, consider adding an extra bar. This can essentially double your hanging space, providing an additional level to accommodate more clothes.

The extra bar can be easily installed below the existing one, offering a perfect spot for hanging shirts, skirts, or folded pants. It's a quick, simple, and budget-friendly hack that can significantly expand your space in a small nook of the apartment.

3. Install Fold Out Furniture

Fold-out furniture is a real game-changer for a small apartment. From fold-out desks to Murphy beds, these pieces provide the functionality you need without permanently occupying your precious floor space.

When not in use, you can simply fold them back into the wall or their compact shape. This way, your apartment remains uncluttered, and you can enjoy more open space.

4. Get a Storage Ottoman or Coffee Table

Other smaller pieces of dual-purpose furniture, such as a storage ottoman or coffee table, can be very beneficial in a small apartment. These pieces serve their standard functions while also providing valuable hidden storage for items like blankets, books, or board games.

You won't have to think about a storage unit for your extra stuff when your coffee table is working overtime! Investing in small pieces of furniture for your studio apartment to serve as storage space can make a big difference.

For Studio Apartments

Studio apartments, by nature, require a creative approach to space usage. You'll need to navigate the challenge of defining separate living areas within one open space, all while avoiding clutter.

These hacks will show you how to maximize space in a small apartment, transforming your studio apartment into a well-organized and spacious-feeling home.

1. Divide Out the Space

Even though your studio apartment is one open space, you can create the illusion of separate "rooms" by using dividers. Screens, curtains, shelving units, or even a strategically placed rug can help delineate your living area from your sleeping area.

This not only adds structure to your space but also provides privacy and orderliness. You can even use open bookshelves as a room divider, offering privacy and storage at the same time.

2. Choose A Murphy or Fold Out Bed

A Murphy bed or fold-out bed can be a real lifesaver in a studio apartment. By folding up into the wall or a compact unit during the day, these beds free up significant floor space for you to use as a living or work area.

At night, you can simply pull down the bed to transform your living space into a cozy sleeping area. Modern Murphy and fold-out beds come in a variety of designs, ensuring you don't have to sacrifice style for functionality.

For Small Kitchens

A small kitchen can be a challenge, especially if you love cooking. But don't despair—there are many clever ways to make your kitchen more spacious and functional, even if it's lacking in square footage. Here are some space-saving hacks that can help you maximize your small kitchen.

1. Combine Appliances Where You Can

One efficient way to save space and how to keep your kitchen clean is to combine multiple appliances into one — especially when it comes to dish cleaning. Enter the in-sink dishwasher, a game-changer when you're searching for how to add a dishwasher to a small kitchen.

When not in use, you can use the sink as normal. But when it's time to clean dishes, the in-sink dishwasher can wash them efficiently and thoroughly, right there in the sink. This unique design also saves time (45 minute cycles vs. traditional 90 minute) and uses less energy (178 kWh/year vs. 290 kWh/year of traditional models).

Other ideas for combining appliances include a toaster oven or air fryer instead of a conventional oven or an instant pot for pressure cooking, slow cooking, and more.

2. Hang Kitchenware When Possible

Your walls and ceiling offer prime real estate for storage in a small kitchen. Install a pot rack on your ceiling or use hooks and rails on your walls to hang pots, pans, mugs, and utensils.

This not only frees up cabinet space but also keeps your cooking tools easily accessible. Plus, your beautifully hung kitchenware can look cool as well!

3. Use Stackable Containers

Stackable containers maximize the small space you might have in your cabinets and shelves by stacking vertically. If counter space is hard to come by in your small apartment, stacking containers vertically can help free up the space you need.

You can opt for clear containers so you can easily see what's inside, and consider square or rectangular shapes, as they tend to be more space-efficient than round ones.

4. Add Additional Shelf Space to Your Cabinets & Cupboards

Don't let the space in your cabinets go underutilized. Adding extra shelves or risers can double your storage space, allowing you to store more dishes, cups, or food items.

Alternatively, consider installing pull-out shelves or drawers, which can make it easier to access items stored at the back of deep cabinets.

For Small Bathrooms

Even the smallest of bathrooms can feel spacious with a little creativity. By making smart choices about storage and organization, you can enhance the functionality and aesthetic of your bathroom — even in a studio apartment.

Here are some clever hacks that can help you get the most out of your bathroom space.

1. Add an Over-Toilet Shelf

The wall space above your toilet is often underutilized. By adding an over-toilet shelf or cabinet, you can gain a substantial amount of storage without taking up any additional floor space. This is a great spot to store toilet paper, toiletries, towels, or decorative items.

2. Roll Your Towels

Rather than folding your towels, try rolling them. Rolled towels take up less space than folded ones and can be stored in baskets or on open shelves for easy access. This not only saves space but also adds a spa-like feel to your bathroom.

3. Add a Corner Shower Caddy

A corner shower caddy is an easy way to gain extra storage in your shower without losing any valuable floor space. These caddies fit snugly into the corner of your shower and offer multiple levels of storage for your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other shower essentials.

4. Use a Tub Tray

A tub tray or bath caddy provides a convenient spot to place your soap, sponge, or a relaxing book while you soak. When not in use, the tray can serve as a storage space for your bath products.

For Small Bedrooms

A small bedroom doesn't mean you have to compromise on storage or comfort. With a little bit of planning and smart design choices, you can make your small bedroom feel larger and more organized.

If you have a studio apartment, the same goes for your sleeping area. Here are a couple of effective ways to maximize space — wherever your bed may be.

1. Use Under-Bed Storage

The space under your bed often goes unnoticed, but it can be a valuable storage area in a small bedroom. Consider getting a bed frame that has built-in drawers or simply slide in some storage boxes. This is a great place to store off-season clothing, shoes, or extra linens.

2. Use Drawer Cubes to Store Your Clothes

Drawer cubes or dividers can work wonders in organizing your clothes and making the most out of your drawer space. If you have the tendency to put your clean laundry everywhere but in the drawers, these cubes can help organize your outfits and clear up your living space.

Instead of stacking your clothes on top of each other, try rolling them and placing them side by side in these cubes. Not only does this save space, but it also allows you to see all your clothes at once, saving you time in the morning.

Shop FOTILE’s Space-Saving Appliances Today

With these hacks in mind, you’re ready to elevate your small apartment living to the next level. One of the best ways to do that is by investing in appliances designed with space-saving in mind, such as FOTILE's innovative range of products.

FOTILE's in-sink dishwashers offer the functionality of a full-sized dishwasher in a fraction of the space. Their sleek design allows them to integrate seamlessly into your kitchen, freeing up counter space while ensuring your dishes are sparkling clean.

Don't let the size of your apartment limit your lifestyle. Embrace the tiny living trend with FOTILE’s space-saving appliances. Start shopping today and transform a studio apartment or small space into a functional, organized, and stylish home.