Life Hacks for Small NYC Apartments to Maximize Space

Life Hacks for Small NYC Apartments to Maximize Space
  • Opening Intro -

    When you're choosing an apartment in NYC, there are a lot of things to consider.

    Really, that's something that's true wherever you're living.

    But let's be honest - New York is (in)famous for the difficulties people have with finding a decent apartment.


More often than not, you have to make compromises. For example, you might have to settle for a smaller apartment than you’d like, in order to have the location you want. But in that case, you shouldn’t be worried – there are lots of ways to maximize space usage, even in a tiny apartment.

That’s why we’ve prepared a few hacks for small NYC apartments!

The Word of the Day is – Collapsible

Obviously, having a smaller amount of space than you’re used to is not ideal. But if you’re dealing with such a situation, there’s no need to despair. As you’ll soon see, there are quite a few ways to make your tiny apartment quite functional.

If you put some effort into sprucing it up and doing some light renovating, you’ll find that the space you have is quite sufficient for a comfortable life. All it takes is some willpower, patience, and most importantly – the right ideas!


Find a comfy pull-out sleep sofa, loft bed or futon for a small apartment living room. You can make your living space a bedroom at night and a living room during the day. Or it can function as a second bedroom when a friend of family member stays the night.

pull-out sofafutonloft bed


That’s why we’re here to help you out. We’ve got a few hacks for small NYC apartments that you’ll find quite useful. First and foremost – you need to think about what takes up most of your space. In a small apartment, the centerpiece of your room will obviously be a bed or a sofa. If you want to have a stylish apartment where you can also entertain guests, that’s possible within a smaller space too.

You just need to find the right collapsible bed. Sure, a futon or a folding sofa is generally considered uncomfortable for sleeping. But that’s just a prejudice that’s actually untrue if you choose the right one. Especially today, when you’ve got so many contemporary options. Just make sure you pick the most comfortable one, and you’ll immediately gain a lot of space in your living area.

Finding a Collapsible (Mobile) Kitchen Island

Indeed, finding the right hacks for small NYC apartments is a never-ending struggle, especially when you’re trying to maximize your usable space. But while finding a pull-out couch is an obvious choice, there are many other things you can do; which most people don’t even consider.

And there’s no need for you to make that mistake too! As we’ve mentioned, looking for collapsible interior pieces is a great idea for a small apartment. So, let’s take a look at the area where most different activities happen in any home – the kitchen area.

A kitchen island is something every kitchen area needs, but they can take up space. So a mobile kitchen island – something you can pull out when cooking – and then set back into the corner might be the best fit for a small apartment.

mobile kitchen islandfolding kitchen islandbreakfast cart


If you take a look at a traditional large kitchen, you can easily identify what takes up the most space. And that’s your kitchen island! Every functional kitchen needs one, especially if you do a lot of cooking. But did you know you can find quality collapsible kitchen islands?

These reduce the space your kitchen requires to function normally by quite a lot. These can function as utility tables, or even carts with wheels. And in this day and age, you can find ones that fold to a completely flat surface! That means you can simply put them away when you’re not using them, saving yourself a lot of hassle, and more importantly – free space.

A pull-out desk

Up until now, we’ve mostly talked about household furniture and items that you use on a daily basis. Obviously, when you’re looking for hacks for small NYC apartments, functionality is a crucial factor. But when we consider the free space you need for your apartment, it’s not all about immediately visible space.

You also need space to store your smaller everyday items, that you use for work or leisure activities. And if you do a lot of work from home, you’ll obviously need a desk. But a large desk can take up quite a lot of space, even though it doesn’t seem like it.


Living in New York (or some other metropolitan city) means working in New York. So you need desk space to work that can take up a lot of room. There are some alternative desks that can free up space.

studio deskcollapsible deskwall desklap desk


While a collapsible desk is a good idea, those can be notoriously unstable; even the most modern designs. That’s why we recommend a different option – a pull-out desk! Installing a workstation that pulls out of your wall is much easier and cheaper than you’d think.

A small amount of effort and money will save you quite a lot of space on a daily basis. You simply pull it out when you need to do some work, or just require an additional counter around the house.

Extendable Dining Table

Naturally, there is no one general solution for people looking to maximize space with hacks for small NYC apartments. That’s because most of us have varying lifestyles. For example, some of us are people working from home, who need a good office desk in their apartment; as we’ve detailed above.

But others are people with families, who obviously need a decent dining table around which everyone can gather around. And when you’re looking for hacks for small NYC apartments; ideally, you’d want the ability to have both.


A traditional family dining table may take up too much space in a small apartment! So consider a studio, folding or coffee table lift. These can be used as dining tables that can be stored away when not in use.

studio dining tablelift coffee tablefolding dining table


That’s why we recommend getting a collapsible dining table. This isn’t one of those picnic tables which fold to a flat surface. Actually, this is a table for which you can adjust the length, according to your current needs.

These days, you can find those that start out as little more than a counter, and you can extend them to a desk-sized table. And then, they go all the way to a full-sized dining table. Once you’re done with your family meal or your work, you can just collapse it to a width that suits you, in order to maximize space.

Information credited to Capital City Movers NYC

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Image credit: Pixabay

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