Anyone who’s ever gone apartment hunting in a city knows that sometimes you have to get really creative in order to make a tiny (but still cute) space livable. Especially when the apartment you’re moving into has no actual interior walls. Yeah, I recently moved into a studio apartment and have learned all about the importance of creating “zones” (aka faux rooms) within the confines of a 500-square-foot rectangle. But the thing that’s made living in this smaller space possible? Maximizing every square inch I have, thanks to these 12 random but useful buys that range from a serious but discrete storage bed to some collapsible kitchen gear. Here, everything that will likely make studio living a bit more bearable—or at least a bit more organized—for you, too.
1. Extara-Queen Hydraulic Lift Platform Storage Bed
This platform bed might look unassuming, but it’s proven to be the best storage I could’ve invested in. Currently, it holds half of my shoe collection, all of my sweats and sweatshirts and all of my handbags (all organized into their own plastic containers). It’s also great if your bed is against a wall, since you don’t have to deal with any sliding drawers—you literally just lift the mattress up and everything you need is right there.
2. All-Clad FusionTec Universal Pan
Listen, I really considered getting the other all-in-one pan we all know and love. But since I’m working with a super tiny kitchen, I needed a multitasking piece of cookware that could go from stovetop into the oven. And so far, I’ve used this All-Clad to boil pasta, whip up more than a few stir-frys and make my fave crispy Brussels sprout recipe. I can attest that it does it all and still lives up to its non-stick claim.
3. Oxo Good Grips Multi Grater
Speaking of my tiny kitchen, I really had to be strategic about what I brought in here. And there was no way I was going to give up precious space to a huge cheese grater. I love how this one collapses totally flat, so I can easily tuck it into a drawer.
4. Cq Acrylic Invisible Acrylic Floating Wall Ledge Shelf
I have a feeling that a man designed my bathroom...because it has no medicine cabinet. And that’s an issue for someone with an extensive skincare routine. So, one of the first things I installed after getting my keys were these four acrylic shelves. They’re all super sturdy and wide enough to hold all of my products—and visitors always compliment me on how cool my skincare wall looks.
5. Sonos Move
Another thing my bathroom doesn’t have? More than one outlet. Which means the Google Mini I’d previously been relying on for my AM listen of The Daily podcast was no longer a viable speaker option. I’d been eyeing a Sonos (as a general upgrade in terms of sound and experience) but since I also have a balcony, I went with this indoor-to-outdoor speaker. I love that I can dock and charge it in one spot and carry it around to listen wherever I am in the apartment.
6. Food52 Five Two Over-the-Sink Drying Rack
After reading my colleague Dana’s review of this life-changing drying rack, I knew I needed to get one of my own. And I’m now wondering what I ever did without it. I love how it can be folded up into practically nothing when it’s not in use and has a separate little pocket for drying wooden spoons and the like—not to mention, that pocket can double as a tiny colander. This is multitasking at its best.
7. Urban Outfitters Pipe Coat Rack
As a fashion editor, you might (rightly) assume that I have a lot of clothes. Which creates a bit of an issue out of having just one closet. Giving up a coat closet was a pretty big change for me—but this sturdy coat rack from Urban Outfitters has made the transition a bit smoother. It’s not wiggly or poorly made like other racks I’ve encountered, and it has a cute little shelf for shoes. Come summer, I plan on swapping out my heavy coats to display my cutest summer dresses.
8. Hay Colour Crate Sets
I’m a bit biased because I love anything from this Scandinavian brand, but these stackable and collapsible crates are truly amazing. I use mine to store my sunglasses collection, extra sets of sheets and my jewelry collection. They might not be traditional storage boxes (and it’s worth noting that they do not come with secure covers), but they are the actual definition of cheap and cheerful. Seriously, I love opening my closet to see them stacked in all of their pastel glory.
9. Turbo Microfiber Reusable Pads Compatible with Swiffer Sweeper Mops
Less is more when you live in a one-room apartment, which is why I decided to swap out a mop for a Swiffer. But in an attempt to be both sustainable and space-minded, I got these Sweeper mops that can be used dry (to trap dust) or wet (like a traditional mop). The varied texture on the bottom helps tackle sticky messes, and after I’ve cleaned the entire apartment, I can just throw the pads into the washer and they come out good as new.
10. Mitzi Gina Light Plug-In Wall Sconce
Mitzi makes plug-in wall sconces that don’t require you to hire an electrician in order to install them. So yeah, they’re renter friendly, and they work with plenty of decor styles, from Scandi-chic to modern. I actually have yet to buy these, but they’re next on my list.
11. H&M Jute Doormat
Furnishing an apartment is not a cheap endeavor, which is why I’m so glad that H&M Home exists. Everyone’s fave fast fashion brand also makes trendy homewares that are surprisingly high quality. For example, you’d never even guess that this doormat costs $25 if you saw it IRL.
12. Mo Mi Hair and Home Spray
Living, working, cooking and sleeping within the same room makes you realize how easily scents can carry. And, to be honest, a lot of the candles and diffusers I already own tend to overwhelm my apartment. Which is why I love these Mo Mi sprays that are made with botanical waters and essential oils to lightly fragrance a space. My fave? The Forest Bath, which smells woodsy but crisp.
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