10 Gadgets That Make Small-Space Living So Much Easier
Tiny tech is on the rise!
Even for the most organized people in the world, small-space living has its challenges. For one thing, you just don't have as much room to decorate or arrange your belongings. But beyond that, it can be almost impossible to find somewhere to keep the gadgets and appliances that make living easier, or find ones small enough to work in your tiny abode.
All hope is not lost though, as more and more companies are coming out with tools that are not only useful but sized perfectly for small spaces. And if you're not sure where to start, we rounded up 10 trusty gadgets that are sure to make living little feel like you're living large.
1: Handheld Fabric Steamer
When I first moved to New York City, I naively thought I'd have space to store my much-used iron and ironing board. But after one glimpse of my tiny room with no closets to speak of, I realized it was time to say goodbye. Now, I couldn't be happier with my no-iron lifestyle. My handheld steamer not only blasts out any wrinkle in no time, making my clothes look professionally pressed, but it can also be used to refresh upholstery and remove tough odors. Oh, and its compact size means it fits perfectly into smaller homes and apartments.
Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Fabric Steamer, $59.99; target.com
2: Hand Vacuum
Gone are the days of hulking around an oversized (and likely overpriced) vacuum, thanks to this handy, high-powered handheld version. It's equally equipped to take care of wet and dry spills, and it doesn't use any cords. Thanks to its wall-mount/charging station, it also fits seamlessly onto any free wall, whether in a closet, cabinet or even the kitchen.
BLACK+DECKER Wet/Dry Cordless Hand Vacuum, $44.99; amazon.com
3: Immersion Hand Blender
Blenders and food processors tend to be bulky, and let's be honest, not used all that frequently, so why do we dedicate so much counter or cabinet space to them? Well, thanks to immersion blenders those days are in the past. These sleek gadgets can be used to make smoothies, soups, purees and more, and this version even comes with a whisk attachment, beaker and mini food chopper.
Ovente 6 Speed 3-in-1 Immersion Hand Blender, $34.99; amazon.com
4: Personal Blender
While immersion blenders are great for people who want to go beyond just smoothies and shakes, if delectable drinks are all you'll be making, a personal blender may be more your speed. The compact size means it will slide easily into any open space on your counter or in a cabinet, and you blend your beverage right in the travel bottle so there's less cleanup.
Oster MyBlend 20 oz Personal Blender, $24.94; walmart.com
5: USB Bed Lifts
Any small-space dweller knows the importance of utilizing every square inch, even under the bed, which is where bed lifts come in. Adding even a few inches of space can drastically change how much you're able to store, and the genius inclusion of power outlets and a USB port eliminates the need for keeping clunky power strips on the floor.
Studio 3B 4-Piece USB Bed Lift Set, $29.99; bedbathandbeyond.com
6: Compact Humidifier
If your small space suffers from a lack of great circulation, or dry air leaves your sinuses feeling worse for wear, it might be time to consider a humidifier. Don't worry about it taking up the entire room, or making a ton of noise though, this smaller version is extra quiet and can be adjusted to your perfect level of moisture.
Honeywell Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, $49.95; honeywellstore.com
7: Mini Bath Scale
While keeping a scale at home is definitely not for everyone, people who do rely on them to keep their health on track know they can often take up a considerable amount of space. That's what makes this shrunken-down version so great; it still offers accurate readings, just at a much smaller scale.
Taylor Mini Digital Glass Scale, $18.99; shoptaylorusa.com
8: 1.5-Quart Slow Cooker
Whip up dips, soups and mini meals in this little slow cooker. Its small size means it can be tucked away easily, and makes it ideal for home cooks who only have one or two mouths to feed.
Cooks 1.5 Quart Slow Cooker, $20; jcpenney.com
9: Handheld Espresso Maker
Say goodbye to the days of dedicating half your kitchen counter to that barely functional coffee maker you've had for years. This little gadget lets you churn out one cup of perfect espresso at a time, and is the perfect size to keep tucked in a drawer, or to bring with you on your travels.
Minipresso Hand Espresso Maker, $59.95; crateandbarrel.com
10: Mini Laundry Machine
One of the biggest downfalls of small-space living (in my humble opinion) is that there's rarely enough room for a washer and dryer. And having to spend your free time at a laundromat is just not fun. Enter the Laundry Pod: a portable laundry machine that's eco-friendly, compact and easy to use. It has enough space to wash up to 10 garments at once, uses minimal water and no electricity at all. What could be better?
Laundry Pod, $79.99; storebound.com
Don't ... Drape Curtains Right Above Your Window Frame
These light wool curtains run floor to ceiling, giving the window in this small bedroom a dramatic and spacious vibe. Custom furniture, including a 10-inch-deep, built-in storage unit, utilizes every foot of space and eliminates the need for bulky dressers. — Kimberley Seldon, designer and owner, Kimberley Seldon Design Group
Don't ... Overwhelm a Room With Too Many Patterns
Choose a hero piece as the focal point for your room, like a bold upholstery pattern for the sofa. Then use a mix of quieter neutrals for the remaining furniture and walls to keep the space light and open. — Danielle Kurtz, creative director, The Land of Nod
Don't ... Forget the Back of the Door
Make use of otherwise wasted vertical space by creating extra storage on the back of a closet, pantry or mudroom door. Over-the-door hooks can be customized with baskets and racks of different sizes. — Sharon Tindell, chief merchandising officer, The Container Store
Don't ... Be Afraid to Paint Everything the Same Color
Blur the lines by continuing your wall color onto the ceiling; doing so makes everything feel more cohesive and less cramped. — Brian Patrick Flynn, designer, Flynnside Out Productions
Don't ... Underestimate What You Can Do With a Closet
We took an underutilized closet and turned it into a bar by lining it with faux croc wallpaper, then adding studs and a framed photo to the back of the door. The built-in drawers were dressed with vintage brass pulls and sprayed in black lacquer while the tray, outfitted with drawer glides, was lit from the shelf above. — Robert Stuart, owner, Robert Stuart Interiors
Don't ... Be Afraid to Hang Things Up (Even Furniture!)
Consider desks or bookcases that hang on the wall, which allow for more flexibility in your space planning. Take advantage of vertical wall space; floating shelves don't require a lot of room and offer an additional place to corral clutter. — Danielle Kurtz, creative director, The Land of Nod
Don't ... Forget to Utilize the Stairs
Adding cubbies, shelves or hanging space under a staircase provides storage in an otherwise unused area and creates a designated spot for rain boots, backpacks and sports equipment. Whether it's open or closed storage — or a combination of both — be sure to go as high as you can to maximize storage. — Ginny Snook Scott, organization expert, California Closets
Don't ... Clutter Tables With Lamps and Frames
Don't ... Forget to Utilize the Foyer
We maximized every inch of this small studio by utilizing the narrow entryway that houses a home office, a mini bar and a closet that hides the washer/dryer and pantry. — Sofia Joelsson, owner, SoJo Design
Don't ... Shun Sconces
Sconces can free up important real estate in small spaces. By taking lamps off the table and floor and attaching them to the wall, you're making these areas way more functional and a lot freer. — Emily Henderson, designer, Emily Henderson Design and Target Home style expert
Don't ... Forget Under-Bed Storage
One of the most practical but least-utilized spaces in the bedroom is under the bed. This handmade platform bed features storage on both sides for books, craft supplies, seasonal clothes, accessories and more. Ditch cheap plastic bins for attractive wire baskets to corral clutter. - Courtney Weston, blogger, Always Rooney
Don't ... Just Think Square Sink
This round sink opens up the space and makes it easy to maneuver around the tiny bathroom. To avoid feeling cramped, we passed on closed storage and installed a linear wall shelf above the sink to hold cotton swabs, lotions and even flowers. — Betty Wasserman, designer, Betty Wasserman Art & Interiors
Don't ... Use Cabinets in a Small Bathroom
Don't ... Sacrifice Style When It Comes to Storage
Beautiful baskets in bright prints or unique textures do a great job corralling toys and extra blankets, but they're also a great way to add decor to a small space without cluttering up a room. I love to place them in corners or under side tables. — Jodi McKee, craft blogger and Pinterest influencer
Don't ... Think You Can't Squeeze in Another Piece of Furniture
Don't ... Get Locked Into Conventional Seating
Don't ... Neglect the Corners of a Small Room
We were able to squeeze a large rectangular table into a small kitchen by utilizing the corner and creating a built-in banquette. A tiny niche allows for storage and display without having to bring in additional furniture. Placing the large drum light over the table eliminated the need for additional fixtures in the room. — Karen Vidal, owner, Design Vidal
Don't ... Pass on Paneling
The paneled walls and coffered ceiling in this small dining room provide so much architectural integrity that the size of the room becomes an afterthought. A round dining table makes it easy for guests to navigate the space, while a high-hanging chandelier leaves views unobstructed. — Christopher Maya, owner, Christopher Maya Inc.
Don't ... Be Afraid to Mix Different Wood Finishes
Don't ... Think You Can't Add a Closet
Create a floor-to-ceiling closet by attaching rods and shelves to a wall, then draping off the area with a set of curtains. Define your storage needs, then choose the best spot. Here we moved the bed to the center of the room and built the closet on the wall behind it. — Janice Simonsen, design spokesperson, IKEA
Don't ... Push Furniture Against the Walls
Pulling furniture off the wall towards the center of a room keeps a small space feeling open and airy. The floating desk in this home office adds a sophisticated and intentional touch to this space. — Jessica Stambaugh, owner, Decorative Traces
Don't ... Hang a Small Mirror in a Small Bathroom
This tiny bathroom feels significantly larger thanks to the expanded viewpoint offered up by the wall-to-wall mirror. Mirroring an entire wall will amplify any space; hang one on a wall adjacent to a window and the reflection will open things up even more. — Kimberley Seldon, designer and owner, Kimberley Seldon Design Group
Don't ... Buy a Bulky Sleeper Sofa
This cottage is only 650 square feet — basically one large room with a bath and kitchenette. Instead of trying to work a sleeping area into the layout, we opted for a Murphy bed and hid it behind this oversized woven walnut door. — Betty Wasserman, designer, Betty Wasserman Art & Interiors
Don't ... Buy a Traditional Coffee Table
Don't ... Underestimate the Power of White
An all-white space allows light to bounce and reflect around the room, making any space appear bigger and brighter. An organized desk and minimal decor create an even more spacious feel, while the slightly warmer white found in the chandelier beads give off a cozy vibe. — Anne Reagan, editor in chief, Porch.com
Don't ... Shy Away From Bold Colors
Bold colors actually make a small space appear larger and more dramatic. Paint the walls, furniture and crown molding in a saturated color, then pair your monochromatic color scheme with something unexpected, like this white Lucite coffee table that lights up from within. — Ghislaine Vinas, owner, Ghislaine Vinas Interior Design
Don't ... Go With a Standard Swing Door
By using a barn-style door and putting it on tracks, we were able to create more space without having to swing a door in or out in this cottage's kitchen and bathroom. The door was original to the home's potting shed; we simply exchanged the clear glass with frosted glass for bathroom privacy. — Betty Wasserman, designer, Betty Wasserman Art & Interiors