When our clients’ budgets and space desires are not in alignment with each other, buyers are often forced to forfeit one — usually space. Here are eight creative ways to help your clients appreciate a smaller space.

As real estate agents, we have a responsibility to focus on our buyers’ needs and correctly direct them in every possible way during the process of making one of their most difficult decisions: where to live.

Sometimes, this is not easy because budgets and space requirements are not often in alignment with each other. The lack of storage space in many studios and one-bedroom apartments forces us to come up with creative solutions for fitting their many possessions into a small apartment.

Having sold my fair share of small apartments, I absolutely understand the need to explore every nook and cranny to find even a few inches of extra space. It’s important to me to help my clients think creatively, be organized and look for every possible storage option to create extra space.

8 creative storage solutions for smaller spaces

1. Build up

In the kitchen, the first place to look is up. Often, the previous owners have not made full use of the ceiling height and have stopped their cabinets a foot from the ceiling.

When installing new cabinets, I always suggest to make use of this extra space and build up. Look inside the cabinets to see if there is some extra room to add a shelf or hooks or a rod on the cabinet doors.

2. Bed storage

If your clients are buying a studio, or even a one-bedroom apartment, there are a multitude of bed options around that include extra storage and/or shelves in the headboard and drawers under the bed.

I’ve found that many people living in a studio like the idea of a Murphy bed or a “wall bed” system. These multi-functional wall beds feature a wide range of customized options that can transform a room and provide much needed space.

When they open up, many of them feature end tables and shelving all in one system.

3. Bench storage

A bench placed in the entryway or in any room can serve as storage, holding a lot of off season clothing, bedding, toys and more.

4. Valuable bathroom space

When it comes to the bathroom, a vanity under the sink is the best for storage, as are shelves or a shelving unit. An additional medicine cabinet can also provide more room.

5. Customized closets

Closets can also be customized for optimum use. It’s surprising to see how even a small closet can be transformed to make space for extra hanging, shoes, drawers, shelves and even a safe.

6. Building storage

Ideally, the building will have storage space that can be rented on a monthly or yearly basis. This is a real plus in a building as it can give a buyer that extra space for suitcases and other items that don’t fit into the apartment.

7. Bike storage

Bike storage is a wonderful amenity if my client rides, and many buildings provide that additional feature.

8. Space savers

There are many items sold to improve “under the bed” storage, such as space saver bags, shoe bags and containers for bedding. Just about anything is available online.

Knowing that New York is a city where you can spend the most money for the smallest space, I enjoy making suggestions to help my clients imagine moving into a more livable and comfortable environment.

Dorothy Schrager is a licensed real estate salesperson with New York-based Warburg Realty. Visit her website or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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