If you’re renting (or move frequently), you know how challenging it can be to get settled in a new space. Large, heavy pieces of furniture can get stuck in doorways and snagged on stairs. And even once they’re inside, some of your pieces may not work as well in the new space. What to do? Think small, versatile and easily mobile — starting with the 10 essential pieces straight ahead.
1. Love seat. Unlike a full-size sofa, this two-seater style can tuck in just about anywhere. In a small living room, use a love seat with a pair of small-scale chairs. Have more room? Add a second love seat. And if you spring for a full-size sofa down the road, you can still use that love seat in a master bedroom, home office, library or den.
2. Sleek media unit. Look for a media unit that fits a TV on top (or floating on the wall above) and has room behind cabinet doors for electronics and storage but not much else. All-in-one media cabinets designed to hold the TV inside will just add unnecessary weight and bulk to your next move.
3. Rolling bar cart. A rolling cart can be used to house drinks and glassware to be sure. But it can also come in handy as a server in the dining room, extra storage in a rental kitchen, an impromptu bookshelf, portable arts and crafts station or towel valet in an apartment without a linen closet.
4. Stools, ottomans and poufs. Small stools and ottomans can be used as side tables, footstools, extra seats or, clustered together, a coffee table. Firm surfaces make the most versatile pieces, but soft poufs can be a handy addition as well — place a tray on top to turn a pouf into a functional table.
5. Butterfly chair. With leather or canvas stretched over a collapsible metal frame, a butterfly-style chair is both a design classic and a move-friendly space saver. Tuck one into the corner of the living room or bedroom, and when you need to move it, just fold it up and go.
6. Extending table. A dining table that can extend in size gives you the ability to keep it small in a compact apartment but stretch it out for parties and special occasions. And if you move into a space with a larger dining area, you can use the same table in its extended state.
A gateleg table, like the one shown here, is optimal for very tight spaces, because with both leaves down it transforms into a slim console table. If you have a bit more room, a good alternative to the gateleg table is an extending table with leaves.
7. Wicker or rattan headboard. A simple platform bed means you can skip the box spring (one less thing to move!), and you can go a step further by choosing a lightweight headboard made of wicker or rattan instead of solid wood or iron. Your back will thank you.
8. Small chests of drawers. A pair of small dressers is better than one large chest: They’re easier to lift and move and can fit in just about any space. Put two side by side in a large bedroom, or place them on adjacent walls if space is tight.
Bonus: A small chest can stand in as a bar or buffet in the dining room or as a changing table in the nursery (with plenty of room for diapers inside).
9. Small bookcases. Small bookshelves that can be positioned horizontally or vertically offer the most options. If you have only a sliver of wall space, place the bookcase vertically; if you have a longer wall, or need to fit the shelves below a window, position it horizontally. As with dressers, it’s better to choose several smaller bookcases than a single massive unit that may or may not fit in your next place.
10. Daybed. A twin daybed can be used as a guest bed and as extra seating when guests aren’t staying over. Because it’s small, it fits well in a combo home office or nursery, or it can work as a window seat in the living room or on a sun porch. And while not super lightweight, daybeds do tend to weigh less than sofa beds and are typically more comfortable to sleep on.
This article originally appeared on houzz.com