How to maximise space in a small apartment?

3 years ago

I live in Singapore , where space is a constraint and majority of the people like myself live in small apartments.

How does one plan and maximise the space inside so a family can live comfortably and yet have enough storage space?

Storage seems to be a perpetual problem in Singapore apartment homes.

Please advice.

Comments (6)

  • Andrew Baisley
    3 years ago

    I'm not a pro (and I hope a real designer answers your question), but here's how my family does it in Singapore:

    1. Get rid of things.
    Don't fall prey to sunk cost fallacies. Just because you bought a piece of furniture or a bunch of clothing or books or toys or whatever, doesn't mean you need to keep them if they are no longer working for you. You can sell stuff on Carousell or donate them to needy people. Sometimes not having those things will provide more value, by freeing up space, than the false belief that you need to keep things around because you paid for them.

    2. Everything should be multi-function.
    Especially here in Singapore, everything should have multiple uses. Your bed can lift up to provide storage. Your book shelf can also be your entertainment stand. Your coffee table can double as a breakfast nook or homework table. No tool in your kitchen should be a one-job tool (for example, if you have a blender, a food processor, a spice grinder, an immersion blender, a coffee grinder and a mortar and pestle - maybe it's time to clean out the kitchen cabinets).

    3. Rotate toys
    We have a baby at home and try really hard not to accumulate too many toys. To do that we have two toy bins. Every two weeks we switch the bin that's in rotation, so every two weeks our baby gets "new" toys that he hasn't seen for a few weeks. That allows us to keep the total number of toys to a minimum and he seems to be pretty happy (and hasn't caught on to this trick yet).

    Hope that helps some. Google around for "small apartment" blogs and ideas - there is a ton out there.


    Ranie thanked Andrew Baisley
    Best Answer
  • PRO
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Well said Andrew.

    Its important to distinguish from what you need, what you want and what you can live without.

    Identify and maximise storage space with "storage beds" and cupboards that are quiet and blend with the rest of the house in design. Putting things away in where they belong also helps the clutter.

    Pull out furniture like stools and ottomans under a coffee table help to maximise space when not in use. Lots of ideas can be found even with pull out counter spaces in kitchens.

    Mirrors help to open spaces and let in light in an otherwise room with 4 bare walls (hence making the space seem bigger).

    In short, dont buy what you dont need and if you do buy something new, make sure you have a place for it in your home before making that purchase.

    Plan and make your home space work for you.

  • PRO
    3 years ago


    I have lived in Singapore for many years and have lived in tiny apartments so know the issues you are facing.

    My tips would be;

    Go through each room systematically and decide if the items you have there are functional and belong in that particular space. If they are no longer used or outgrown then sell or donate. You will feel so much better with keeping just the things you really need and love. If you do buy anything use the 1 in and 2 out method.

    Use shelf risers in cupboards that have a lot of wasted vertical space. I use them in the shoe cupboard, kitchen cabinets and all sorts of other areas to make the most of the space I have.

    Vacuum pac seasonal clothing and guest bedding etc. This will reduce down dramatically and can then be stored under beds and tight spaces.

    Go digital and try to remove as much paper clutter as possible.

    Put things away and where they belong to help with visual clutter. If you have lots of decorative stuff think abut rotating that too, like you would with holiday decorations.

    Don't forget to use the backs of doors and cupboards!

    Let me know if you have a specific problem area and I will try to help with a solution!

    Good luck


    Ranie thanked Sorted
  • PRO
    Tori Black Homes
    3 years ago

    I agree with Andrew - Everything should be multi-functional:

    Another trick is to make a bold statement with everyday objects :

    Hope that helps.





    Ranie thanked Tori Black Homes
  • Ranie
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thank you so much for the advice guys.

  • feimao747
    3 years ago

    Living in small apartment is fun and you really have to be like what Andrew said, you cannot afford to be a hoarder. Doing up the space may not need to spend money. My little bedroom is warm and cosy, Mozzie net from Ikea cost next to nothing but makes a huge difference. Don't forget the plants, they are cheap but makes you feel like you are living in the great outdoors. Lightings are important for mood setting too. Have fun exploring the possibilities.

    feimao747's ideas · More Info

More Discussions
Tailor my experience using cookies

By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. Learn more.