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NYC Life Hacks

The Challenges and Benefits of Living in a Small Apartment in NYC

Thinking of moving to the “Big Apple?” You may find yourself living in a small apartment in NYC. It’s no secret the cost of living in New York is high–55% higher than the national average. But, for many, living in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the world is worth it, even if it means embracing small space living. Keep reading for an honest look at the benefits of small apartment living and the challenges of small apartment living in NYC to decide if it’s worth it to you.

The Benefits of Living in a Small Apartment in NYC

Despite their size constraints, some of NYC’s smaller dwellings have huge benefits that can make them attractive alternatives for city dwellers. Here are three benefits of small apartment living in NYC. 

Lower Costs

The smaller the apartment, the smaller the rent bill. You’ll also pay less for utilities like electricity and gas the less square footage you have to heat and cool. While your stuff might be a little cramped, your bank account will reap the benefits of small apartment living in NYC.

Easy Maintenance

Do you hate mopping your floors or dusting every surface throughout your house? Then you may enjoy small space living because of the easy maintenance. There are fewer surfaces to clean in a studio apartment and fewer floors to mop when you only have 300 square feet of space (or less!).

A Simpler Lifestyle

You might think NYC apartment living would be stressful, but living in a small space can actually reduce stress in a few ways. First, it encourages you to limit the number of unnecessary items in your home. Minimalist living can lead to less stress overall. You’re also likely to spend more time outdoors or engage in low-impact activities such as reading or meditating. Overall, living simply encourages harmony between your home and lifestyle, which ultimately reduces stress.

The Challenges of Living in a Small Apartment in NYC

Living in a small apartment in New York City can be an exciting yet challenging experience. From cramped quarters to sky-high prices, navigating the city’s real estate market isn’t always easy, especially if you are on a budget. Here are three challenges of small apartment living you may face along the way. 

Lack of Space

300 square feet isn’t a lot of space–and that’s not even as small as small apartments in NYC come. During your apartment search, you’ll likely come across studios with 80 square feet of living space and smaller. The lack of space can pose some challenges, like feeling cramped or not having ample room for necessities like a bed and a place to eat dinner. Nevertheless, if your budget allows, you can find a bigger small space to stretch out a little.


Living in a small apartment in NYC typically means forgoing storage–not just storage for extra items but everyday items too. Depending on how big your apartment is, you may experience a lack of closet space and cabinets, which means everything is out in the open. Although a lack of storage is one of the challenges of small apartment living, we’re sharing our best space-saving tips below to help you make the most of it. 


Privacy is one of the biggest challenges of small apartment living. Not only are you living in close quarters to all your things, but you’re living close to people, too–likely with people living above, below, and on both sides of you. While it makes it relatively easy to get to know your neighbors, it also makes it challenging to enjoy a sense of quiet and privacy. 

Tips for Making the Most of NYC Apartment Living

While adjusting to NYC apartment living may feel daunting at first, there are countless space-saving tips to help you make the most of your space. With small apartment organization techniques, such as using vertical storage solutions, you can enjoy your apartment without sacrificing essentials like comfort or style. Here are some tips for small apartment New York City living.

1. Stay Clutter-Free

To live clutter-free, start by getting rid of items you don’t need or use on a regular basis. Then, to prevent clutter from piling up, put items away after using them and never let things pile up on top of surfaces. Keeping your apartment clean and clutter free will make the space feel more spacious and organized.

2. Make the Most of All Your Space

Storing items vertically on shelves or behind doors are effective storage solutions for studio apartment living. While you might only have a few hundred square feet of floor, your walls–even your ceiling–can be used for storage by adding shelves or hanging items overhead.

3. Embrace Minimalist Living

If you’re living in a small apartment in NYC, you’ll need to embrace minimalist living. This approach offers the opportunity to declutter and clear out the unnecessary things in your home. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and only keep items that truly spark joy. Learn to enjoy experiences outside your home rather than storing material possessions inside your small space.  

4. Decorate to Make Your Space Look Bigger

You can create the illusion of space by decorating small apartments using these tips:

  • Go one shade lighter with wall colors to help create the illusion of more light
  • Use tall furniture pieces to draw eyes up and make ceilings look higher
  • Hang large mirrors on walls to give your small living room a spacious vibe
  • Opt for glass, acrylic, or lucite furnishings that reflect light rather than absorb it. 

With these small apartment design tips, you’ll feel more at home in your cozy little abode!

5. Prioritize Functionality

Functionality in a small living space is key. Everything you own should serve a purpose (or two or three). Opt for multi-functional pieces of furniture like an ottoman or sectional with storage, as this not only allows for better organization but also makes efficient use of the smaller area.

Need Help Moving into Your Small Apartment in NYC?

Whether this is your first time living in a small apartment in NYC or you’re a local moving into a new space, we can help the move go smoothly. At Metropolis Movers, we provide residential moving services to all five boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Queens–so we can help you move your things, no matter where you find yourself small space living. Give us a call at (718) 710-4520 or request a quote, and we’ll reach out to plan your upcoming move. 

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