Creative Storage Solution For New York City Apartments


As everyone knows, apartments in New York City come sparse with space and high in price… just one sacrifice for living in arguably the most exciting metropolitan Mecca in the world. Thousands of individuals and families a year pick up house and home and make way to The Big Apple for none other than fruitful opportunities and larger-than-life adventures. And when they come, they ‘literally’ pick up house and home!

A typical middle-aged couple moving to New York City from another place in the United States (a normal place!) has easily accumulated 10-20 years worth of ‘Stuff’. Stuff from living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, closets, attics, basements, garages, patios… stuff from anywhere and everywhere. Coming from living areas of 1,200 – 3,500 square feet, space is not an issue. Sentimentalism isn’t either. Not so in New York City! Our middle-aged couple has two choices – quadruple their income or shed some tears by shedding some stuff.

Apart from being astronomically more expensive, a typical New York City apartment is 50% smaller in living area than an average American home, e.g., 750 square feet versus 1,500 square feet. In Manhattan the difference is 60-70%. Not to mention lack of a homeowner’s go-to catchall… a garage! It is not uncommon for our middle-aged couple to move 2,000 square feet of household material to an 800 square foot apartment. You’re right, that’s not possible! Which leads to the how-to ideas, options, solutions and suggestions for which this is the first of hopefully many more articles.

For this particular article, I want to focus on what I think to be the best storage solution for smaller, less-bulky items. The main factors considered here are convenience, simplicity and cost.

Mobile Closets

The mobile closet concept was originated by a creative entrepreneur who was born and raised in small New York City apartments. Seeing the challenges of small space living, he thought up and designed an innovative way to maximize space inside closets, under beds and throughout apartment spaces.

A typical mobile closet is the size of a standard apartment closet (6′ x 4′ x 28″) and is literally delivered to your front door on wheels. Prior to delivery, you have the option of requesting a specific inward layout of the closet based on what you wish to store, e.g., wardrobe bars, shelves or a combo of both. After delivery, you take 24-48 hours to fill the closet with things like seasonal clothing, holiday items, sporting equipment, collections, storage containers or just smaller things that store easily together. When finished, you lock it up with the provided lock, call the company and see the closet off to a safe, secure storage facility… usually in New Jersey due to much cheaper real estate. When you want it back, the company delivers it usually within 24 hours. It’s that simple.

The cost is typically around $60.00 a month and in most cases includes… Initial delivery of closet to your home – Rental of unit – Rental of facility space – Two or three home returns per year – Free lock and up to $2,000 insurance.

Many New Yorkers will testify that mobile closets have helped them free-up valuable apartment space while eliminating the hassle of doing it all themselves, i.e., driving to and from self-storage facilities, carrying up and down steps, renting trucks, finding labor or bugging Uncle Bob on his day off. After all, many in New York don’t even own cars or have a driver’s license. At such a low cost and with the added convenience, mobile closets are proving to be one of the most desirable solutions for optimizing small spaces in New York City apartments.

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