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I know it’s annoying to hear New Yorkers complain about the lack of space they have in their apartments, so I apologize for being one of them. But let me just put out there that my gripes are actually paired with tips. See, since I’ve been living in perhaps the tiniest apartment in the East Village (with a roommate I might add), I’ve come to master many essential space-saving hacks.
For example, I’ve found a multi-use spice rack (yes, there is such a thing) that takes up absolutely no counter space, a mirror that also functions as a huge unit of a jewelry holder, and a desk that is also a book shelf and plant holder. All of these things took some time and effort to discover. I have a strict budget—I never spend more than $200 on a single item—and am seriously skeptical about products. After all, I am a shopping editor.
But, these items have all garnered my trust and received stellar reviews from other shoppers. Plus, I’ve been using these things every day for more than a year. They’re still functioning and in one piece, so just know they’re better than 99% of the things you buy online, anyways.
Also, to prove that I’m not exaggerating about the space in which I live, here’s a picture of my living room/kitchen/office/gym (please give any decoration kudos to my roommate, I did nothing):
Now do you believe me that saving any/ all space possible is important to me? You better. Below, shop 11 of the space-saving tools I owe my life to. Without them, I’d be lost in a cluttered mess of a home.
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Mind Reader Slim Locking Jewelry Cabinet
As somebody who buys every chunky necklace and vintage-looking ring they see, a jewelry holder is an integral part of my daily life. This one has so many uses: It’s a mirror, safe, and dresser all in one. It’s big enough to store slim scarves in addition to the typical accessories.
mDesign Paper Towel Holder with Spice Rack
The amount of storage space in my apartment is laughable. What’s worse: the counter space is even smaller. So, what’s a gal who loves to cook to do? Find something that has a few space-saving uses like this paper towel holder and spice rack. It requires no tools to install and fits a substantial amount of spices on top.
Walker Edison Freya Urban Industrial Ladder Desk
Working from home throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it too many challenges to count. Among them, trying to fit a workspace in a 100 square-foot apartment. This desk doubles as a shelf for decor and books, plus has enough room at the bottom for me to tuck in my ottoman chair when I’m not working. It’s a space-saving savoir.
Onlyeasy Foldable Underbed Bags
I am a shopping editor, thus I overshop and have way too many things. To put all of those things in a place that’s accessible, yet out of sight would be a huge challenge if not for these underbed bags. They have handles that make it easy to pull them out when I’m switching out seasonal clothes or trying to find that random shirt I never wear. Plus, they have a secure zip cover that somehow prevents any musty smells from arising over time.
Household Essentials Canvas 10-Pocket Hanging Organizer
I had one of these things in my college dorm, so it was a bit of a full-circle moment purchasing another for my full-grown adult apartment. It fits 10 shoes at once (though, if you have flats or sandals, you can finagle more) and utilizes hardly any closet space.
AmazerBath Adhesive Bathroom Corner Shower Shelf
My shower is just large enough to fit one (1) adult human, and the rain shower head makes it impossible to use a typical shower caddy, so finding this corner shelf was a true miracle. Again, it takes no tools to assemble, and somehow has lated over a year. My roommate and I pack on toiletries—I’m talking at least six products each—on our individual shelves (each purchase comes with two) and the holders withstand the weight with ease.
Joseph Joseph DrawerStore Compact Cutlery Organizer
Remember how I talked about having no kitchen storage space above? I wasn’t lying. And, the singular drawer I have in my kitchen is about as slim as can be, so much so that I couldn’t even entertain the thought of a typical cutlery organizer. This slim one fits just as many forks and knives inside without having to be super wide. The unique angle of each slot makes it easy to pull out the items you want, too.
Diommell 12-pack Foldable Clothes Storage Boxes
I know that it might seem counterintuitive to put smaller boxes into cramped drawers, but trust me when I say this makes working with crowded dressers so much easier. It allows for my socks, intimates, and everything in between to be organized and stores in the best way possible. The longer ones are great for bras and tights, while the smaller boxes are ideal for socks and underwear.
Tribesigns Corner Shelf
In my bedroom, I estimate that I have maybe 6 square feet of extra space, so getting bedside tables was not an option. Instead, I opted for this corner shelf. It functions as a purse holder, jewelry stand, lamp holder, and phone stand. The wider base also creates the illusion that it’s larger and adds a flare of style.
Nifty Rolling Coffee Pod Mini Drawer
I’m a Keurig lover—I just tested the brand’s new smart model and it’s iconic—but storing K-Cups in my cabinets was just not possible. I can hardly fit in a box of oatmeal. This drawer adds space without taking it away. You place it under whatever device you have and it fits up to 24 pods at once. I truly couldn’t imagine life without this wondrous contraption.
StoreSmith Broom and Tool Organizer
Okay, it’s not the most attractive device on the market, but I swear this thing is a life-changer. It secures and holds brooms, mops, and even vacuums while taking up as little space as possible. Hang it in your closet, garage, laundry room, wherever. No matter, it’ll be your new favorite home addition.