By Vince Mancuso, StorageUnit.com
The growing trend of shrinking apartments is nothing new to the country at this point, having begun years ago. People are willing to pay more for less space as long as the amenities are good and the location is right. Still, just how much have multi-family homes shrunk?
As many renters trade size for amenities, new apartments shrunk roughly 7% in Atlanta and Denver, 11% in Austin, 15% in Boston, and as much as 18% in major cities like San Francisco and Seattle over the past 10 years. For example, Seattle’s average new apartment size went from 1,012 square feet in 2004 to 756 square feet last year. And this doesn’t include the rapidly growing trend of micro apartments, with apartment sizes as small as 200 square feet.
While new renters are comfortable paying for less space, there are things you can do to make the most of your small apartment. Here are 4 things you can do to utilize all the space you can in your apartment.
1. Shelves Create Vertical Storage.
You’re apartment isn’t going to get any more square footage. Adding a bookshelf in your living area, bedroom, or both will greatly increase your vertical storage space, which can be used for so much more than books. Shelving is relatively cheap and easy to self install, which means you can also add shelves to your bathroom, dining, and kitchen spaces as well to increase the usable space for storing toiletries, cutlery, or non-perishable foods. You can even utilize that dead space behind doors by adding a small ladder to store blankets.
2. Store Things Under Your Bed.
Unless your bed is resting directly on the ground, the space underneath your bed will remain in an unused limbo. This area is great for vacuum-sealed storage bags of seasonal clothing or for specially-sized plastic bins that were designed to fit under beds. You can even purchase bed raisers to lift your bed up and increase usable space.
3. Regularly Rotate Your Clothes to Reduce Clutter.
Whether under your bed or in a storage unit, regularly rotate your seasonal clothing, especially if you live in a region that requires thicker winter clothing. Jackets, pants, and sweaters can easily clutter up needed closet space, so remove the clutter before it starts by switching out your clothing.
4. Multi-task With Your Furniture to Maximize Space.
This is especially helpful with micro and studio apartments. For instance, have your kitchen table double as your work space, use a chest as a coffee table, or purchase storage ottomans so that your furniture serves more than one function. You can even place your furniture strategically, such as placing your bed horizontally against the wall so it can double as a couch.
How do you utilize space in your apartment? Let us know in the comments!
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