How to Maximize Small Spaces

October 25, 2017

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy tours her Brooklyn apartment

Living in New York for almost seven years I’ve gotten pretty good at making small spaces work to my advantage. You have to get so creative! After my apartment reveal this summer I had a few of you ask for my best small space tips so today’s post is dedicated to just that! I hope you find it helpful.

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy's Brooklyn Apartment Tour

Maximize Under Bed Storage:

I thought I was rid of bed risers following my time in college but alas, I value every single inch of under bed storage available to me. I have multiple plastic bins with miscellaneous items along with extra linens, shoes I wear infrequently and more. I wouldn’t survive without the risers and the extra space they provide.

Define the space:

If you’re living in a studio it’s important to define your sleeping space vs. your living space. My clothing rack serves this purpose while also giving me more room to house coats and hats. The average New Yorker is dealing with a much smaller closet than they’d like so clothing racks can come in handy. I’ve also seen people use bookshelves and screens to define their spaces so think about works for your space!

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy's Brooklyn Apartment Tour

Rely on Nesting Tables:

Small apartments don’t always allow for coffee tables so for my last two places I’ve relied on nesting tables and these marble ones in my new place are my favorite. I move them out of the way as needed and they are perfectly compact while still being stylish.

Get Storage:

I never knew until this year what I was missing not opting into offsite storage. I decided to use MakeSpace to store my seasonal items and some things I want to hold onto but don’t currently have a use for (or room for) in my home. MakeSpace arrives, provides the boxes to pack your stuff in and then they take photos of it and store it for an affordable rate. When you want to swap out your belongings, you can schedule a delivery at any time. It is so easy and a huge relief to not have to find more space to store items I can’t currently be wearing. If interested, you can get a $75 credit with this link.

Get cascading hangers: I have a lot of clothes and the only way they fit in my closet are by these cascading hangers that allow my closet to basically double. I cannot recommend them enough.

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy's Brooklyn Apartment Tour

Give Everything A Home:

When you live in a small space everything needs to have a place it belongs so things don’t get messy. When you use something, put it back straight away. It’ll keep you sane and ensure your space remains far more tidy. These mirrored accent chests have been one of the best finds I’ve ever had in terms of making sure belongings have a home. I store my watches and necklaces and sunglasses in the drawers and in the cabinets are all my clutches and small bags. Everything is more tidy being tucked away and atop them I store all my lip colors and jewelry in neat acrylic boxes (find them here) and glass cases that keep dust away.

Use Mirrors:

While living with so many mirrored spaces is a nightmare when it comes to dusting, they also do wonders for making a small space appear bigger as they reflect more light. I have mirrored furniture but also this standing mirror to help in making my small space feel brighter and bigger.

Try Konmari Folding:

The folding method I learned from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was essential to maximizing the space in my dresser. I cannot recommend it enough! (And am guilty of having gone into friends’ drawers and re-done them with this method!) Other things I learned from that book can be found in this post.

I also found a lot of inspiration from Ikea and Pottery Barn’s Small Spaces pages. And don’t underestimate investing in boxes and baskets that will also give things a place to live! I took a lot of ideas from The Container Store during many a trip that involved a lot of standing in the aisles and studying items to determine whether they would work. Bring measurements of your space with you – it is a huge time saver!

Do you guys have any small space tips?

p.s. my apartment reveal and 5 simple ways to update your bedroom.

[Bekka Palmer Photography]

comments +

  1. Whit says:

    ooh girl I LOVE the mirrored accent chest and tables you have! So chic! and I invested in a clothing rack and it has saved my life! I love how you have it separating your bed and living area!


    • Meghan says:

      Thank you so much, Whit!! The mirrored chests are by far one of my favorite things in my apartment! So chic AND so functional! And we bloggers, we NEED those clothing racks lol! 🙂

  2. Ally Noriega says:

    Love how you styled the space…the mirrors on the chest is such a great look!!

  3. Ann A. says:

    I also use the cascading hangers for my necklaces.

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