Living in small spaces can be difficult. If you’re apartment living right now, you know exactly what I mean. Just one piece of furniture in the wrong place can make you feel like a packed sardine. And if your apartment is a studio, you have another challenge to face. There is no clear allocation of space: no bedroom, living room, or dining area. Instead, you’re cramming everything into one area and hoping for the best.

Having a sense of space is important. It makes you more willing to invite friends and family over for gatherings. Removing obstacles for your social life is always a good thing. And on the mental health front, lack of clutter can reduce anxiety and stress. That’s why more real estate equates to higher rent. 

But for those of us confined to a small studio, there is hope! You can create a more spacious atmosphere simply by updating how you organize your space and creating defined areas. If you’re ready to start moving some furniture and grabbing some tools, let’s get started!

Define the space.

Before you do anything, create a concept for how you want your space to look. Remember that the objective is to make your apartment more spacious, so always keep this in mind as you plan. Your couch might look good under the window, but think about whether that would cause an obstruction somewhere else.

Because you lack walls, you might be tempted to use a different item as a barrier, like a divider or a big bookcase. Try to avoid this since it can end up making everything more cluttered. Create definition by using different design themes for each section.

Be smart about furniture choices.

When you’re really strapped for space, a unique way to approach the issue is to get creative with furniture. Find a bed that functions as a couch, or one that folds into the wall Murphy-style. Use desks or tables that you can store under the bed when they’re not being used. Think about whether that end table or decorative item is really a necessity. Opt for fewer items and multipurpose selections.

Find items to help you organize.

Staying organized is key to having a more spacious living arrangement. Luckily, there are tons of items out there that are designed to make your life easier. The kitchen is a great place to start. You might have minimal counter space and cupboards. In this scenario, a kitchen cart with a butcher block top will give you storage space below and an additional cutting board area. 

In the bathroom, utilize wall space to add shelving and suspend towels or products. Lazy susans are a great way to make accessing things in your cabinets much easier without having to move other items around. Innovative items like this can make organizing much simpler and smarter.

Think vertically.

When you don’t have a lot of horizontal real estate, it’s time to look up. Don’t forget that there is ample space above. Stacking containers will be an excellent storing solution with a small footprint. If you’re looking for bookcases or dressers, seek out tall and narrow pieces that will give you the same amount of storage without taking up a lot of room. Use mirrors and long curtains that give the illusion of high ceilings to trick yourself into thinking that you have more space.

Studio living can certainly be challenging. You’re being asked to create an entire home for yourself in one room. But it can also serve to spark your imagination. With some creative solutions for your space, you’ll be surprised at how little it takes to turn that 400 square foot room into a warm home for yourself.