I Live in a Small New York City Apartment, and These 6 Space-Saving Purchases Have Made All the Difference

They help me make the most of my limited real estate. 

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Interior Of Home Office With Computer At Table
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New York City is infamous for its small apartments that are the size of closets in the rest of the country. I live in one of these apartments. In fact, the one-bedroom I moved into last year is on the small side even by the already shrunken New York standards.

Even though I live alone, moving into 500 square feet required seriously rethinking the way I interact with my space. I have had to get really creative when it comes to optimization. Even though 2021 was, generally speaking, a big shopping year for me (being shuttered inside for months will do that to a person) the six best products I bought were all space-saving household items.

Decluttering was essential during this move. I got rid of some big things — the 50-inch TV I had from my parents, all of my vacuums, mops, brooms, my laundry hamper, and dozens of others.

The "getting rid of" part was easy, but finding suitable, space-conscious substitutions was where things started to get tricky. I heavily researched every new product I purchased for my home. It was a time consuming process, but now I have some wisdom to impart. These are the best items I bought for my small apartment.

Cadence Capsules

Build Your Six Capsule Travel Containers, honeycomb style

When I finally discovered Cadence I was upset that no one told me about it sooner. These small, aesthetically pleasing, air-tight, leakproof capsules have solved so many odd problems and organizational issues. You can buy the honeycomb shaped containers in seven colors, pick between existing general labels, or create labels of your own for an extra $3. I have a Cadence capsule by my kitchen sink where I put my rings when I wash the dishes, one in my purse for my medications, one in the bathroom, and one in the bedroom both for hair bands and bobby pins. Plus, I have three that I use for skincare products while traveling, several on the kitchen counter for spices and salts, and a dozen more for other miscellaneous things.

Hulken Bag

Reusable Grocery/Laundry Bag On Wheels

My first Hulken bag was a gift to me from the brand. Following my introduction, I bought a second one for myself, and then three more that I have gifted to family members over the last six months. The Hulken bag is a heavy duty tote bag with three straps and four wheels that can be folded and flattened down to a couple of inches for storage. It's incredibly useful for city life. My first Hulken is a medium in silver that I use for the outside world—grocery shopping, neighborhood errands, and even weekend train trips. My second, large pink Hulken gets used mainly for my laundry as a hamper, transporter, and detergent storage device.

Jinou Mini Video Projector

Amazon Mini Video Projector

Probably the most difficult problem I had to solve was that of my TV setup. There is simply no room in my apartment for a large TV, let alone a dedicated console or shelving unit. Eventually I found my solution—a projector that sits on a wall shelf about 5 feet off the ground. It allows me to watch movies at a larger scale than my old, ridiculously bulky TV did, but it only takes up a few inches of precious real estate. Projectors can get very expensive, but I like this one on Amazon. The quality is good enough for my needs, the built-in speakers have served me well, and there are USB ports where I plug in my Roku Stream Stick.

Tacahe Corner Floor Lamp

TACAHE Corner Floor Lamp

If you check back in with me in a few months, I bet that I will have one of these lamps in every single corner of my home. So far I have only one, but buying at least two more is on my to-do list. It is so thin, easy to install, and completely unobtrusive. I went with the white color, which blends seamlessly with my plain painted walls. The light comes with a remote that allows you to pick any color in the rainbow with buttons that help you navigate through a set of standard ones like red, blue, and pink. This lamp is the singular best, most transformative thing in my apartment.

Sagler Wooden Dish Rack

Sagler wooden dish rack plate rack

I cannot take even 10 inches of space for granted in my apartment, which is why my dish drying rack had to be something that didn't need to live on the kitchen counter permanently. This wooden dish rack does its job humbly, and for only $17.

Swiffer Sweep + VAC Cordless Vacuum Kit

Swiffer Sweep + Vac Cordless Vacuum Starter Kit

Once again, if you've been keeping the Swiffer vacuum a secret, you are my enemy. It is literally the only floor cleaning tool I own, having replaced my previous system which involved a wet mop, a broom, a Swiffer, and a vacuum. I use both the wet and the dry Swiffer cloths on it, and tackle every inch of my apartment before tucking the appliance into a nook where it otherwise goes unnoticed.

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