1. Storage is the key to happiness
As much as possible, keep items concealed and out of view for an uncluttered look. Closet storage is best. To maximize it, be careful of closet organizers. These can actually take up more space if not planned properly. Regular shoe boxes, meanwhile, take up a minimal amount in a closet and can be stacked tighter for better use of space. Consolidate all of your travel items into your suitcase and store in there -- this makes packing faster and easier when you are ready for a quick getaway (see Tip 10).
Use tote bags, which hold tons of stuff and can be monogrammed or labeled for easy identification. These are also easy to move for cleaning, and since they’re made of fabric, they give more flexibility in tighter space. This is a great way to store magazines or books.
When you don’t cook, use your stove as a storage area – it has adjustable shelves and can provide much-needed space (just remember to take your stuff out again before preheating!).
2. Adopt a chic, clean & stylish design
Be sure that your apartment has an aesthetic. Play with color and accessories; don’t be afraid to use them. Design elements aren’t just for mansions. If you’re lacking closets or cabinets, create a storage/display making your space both decorative and functional. So many couture items such as vintage handbags, shoes, ties, and scarves are actually pieces of usable art. A smaller space can be a more opulent space.
3. Buy multi-functional furniture
Use a bed that has storage drawers underneath. Some have found that the drawers on the bottom actually had more space than a dresser, and free up a ton of floor space.
Ottomans and stools can convert from storage cubes to tables to additional seating.
4. Forget about room dividers, go for artwork instead
Use art to section off areas of the room instead of room dividers. These dividers often make the room look much more cramped and disrupt the flow of good energy through the apartment. Using art to differentiate spaces makes your apartment feel bigger and more open.
5. Be obsessively organized
When closets and cabinets are overflowing, it’s time to clean and reorganize. In a small apartment, you often find that you don’t have that catchall space that you do with a larger apartment. Mail must be sorted each day and laundry must be done on a regular basis. Once a routine is established, you’ll find that -- just like your space -- your time becomes more efficient.
6. Buy only what you love and purge often
After living for a few years with less space, you tend to buy only what you really need or really love, eliminating trends or donating them when the trend is over. Buying quality instead of quantity makes your dollar stretch further in the long run. And being on your fashion game in one of the most stylish cities in the world is a bonus. Owning one pair of great shoes is better than owning twelve pairs of mediocre ones.
7. Use every square inch
It’s not the amount of space, but how the space functions that matters. Make use of every square inch.
Many people have a guest room and they use it once a year when that friend comes to town. In fact, most people actually use only 20% of their house. But not you. You’re utilizing every last bit. Live simpler.
8. Do cost comparisons
When you start to get apartment envy and consider moving to a larger space, talk to your friends with bigger apartments and you’ll quickly realize their rent and utility bills are much higher than yours. Living in a smaller space, the costs are lower.
9. Travel as often as your schedule and budget permits
Go out of town at least five times per year, or as often as your schedule permits. This is a nice break and change of scenery. Friends will love to visit you, because you’re in one of the best cities on Earth. People in other parts of the country have 2-3 guest rooms, and no one ever goes to visit. It’s a good reminder that your piece of heaven is a sanctuary no matter the size.