Astoria is almost perfect. We have a unique and beautiful urban park, walkable streets, and more street fairs than anyone can count. There’s no other neighborhood in New York City where the food selection is so diverse and delicious — and a lot of it is pretty affordable by big-city standards! We can be in Manhattan in no time (when the subway is working, anyway) and can take a cheap cab to LaGuardia Airport when it’s time to get the heck out of this city for a while. And at the end of the day, we’re back home in Queens, where things feel just a little more comfortable and where our apartments are just a little more affordable.
Of course, “affordable” is relative here. You can easily pay a couple grand a month for a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria. And most of us are reasonably happy to do so — but we’re also not eager to pay much more. So when we think about getting a place with more bedrooms than we need, or when we weigh the new luxury apartment with the bigger closet against the flat in the pre-war building without any closets at all, you know what we’re likely to choose.
That means living in Astoria comes with at least one great compromise: space! Living here means finding ways to do more with a little less real estate. But that’s okay, because you’re about to get a few great tips for making space in your Astoria, New York, place.
Use closed-up cabinets and drawers
You’ve heard of “open shelving,” right? It’s the hip design trend that just won’t seem to die. Magazines and blogs love showing images of spare California homes and hip Manhattan lofts in which, for some reason, there are no doors on the kitchen cabinets.
This is madness. Who has this much space? Who has this few things? Who has a perfectly matching set of bowls, plates, pots, and pans? Nobody, that’s who. So here’s your organizing tip of the day, Astoria gang: Keep your cabinet doors on, and find even more storage that hides your stuff.
Drawers, free-standing cabinets, coffee tables that double as wooden chests — these are all great places to put stuff without having to worry that said stuff is beautiful and tastefully spaced apart (which wastes space, by the way!). Bookcases and shelves are great, but beware of an organization system that relies too much on open shelving.
Go up the wall
Don’t let your tiny space drive you up the wall. Instead, stick a floating shelf or two up there!
You may not have room ito push a bookcase or freestanding cabinet up against every wall, but mounting shelving high on the wall can give you storage without costing you square footage. High shelving is just the thing for storing books, houseplants, and collectibles.
Rent a storage unit
Some things seem frivolous elsewhere, but just make sense in New York City. Like the wash-and-fold service, for instance: It’s really not that much more expensive, and it will save you a ton of time! Here’s another thing like that: storage.
Yeah, yeah: Americans have too much stuff. We’re running out of room even though our houses are getting bigger. But while “our” houses might be getting bigger, we Astorians are living in the same tiny apartments that people lived in back in the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s. So go as “minimalist” as you want — you should still consider a storage unit.
Self storage in Astoria is convenient and reasonably priced, especially given the state of real estate here in Western Queens. So grab one! Stash your bulky winter coats for the season or move some books there until you can afford some new shelving. In Astoria, storage just makes sense.