But for some, cramming big style in a small space can be a point of pride, and it can also be worth a national prize.
Small is the new big for Garrett Antin, who uses every inch of his 340 square foot space in Chelsea, the quaint pad he calls home.
It took home top prize in the country, about $4,000, for the coolest, hippest, small apartment.
"It's really great because it cleans up really fast. Within an hour everything is taken care of, but at the same time within 30 minutes you can make a large mess and it's a disaster," said Garrett.
The folks at Apartment Therapy.com, who also created a book loaded with hundreds of design solutions for small spaces, organized the contest.
Every entry was less than 1,000 square feet.
The clincher in Garrett's case: his custom Murphy bed, that fits just right in his living room.
"It doesn't look like someone took a small space and twisted it into doing more than it should, it just reads like a beautiful room," said Maxwell Ryan, the creator of Apartment Therapy.
Where Garrett tells me he has everything he needs, including a view on Empire, and nothing he doesn't.
Where you can reach the fridge from your bathroom, where a mirror is worth its weight in gold.
"It's going to double my light from the windows, it's going to open up the space. Everything feels larger because when you're on the couch looking at the mirror, which shows the other room," said Antin.
Maxwell filled me in on other tricks, how to make your space look bigger than it is.
Start with dark floors and light walls. Next, have three points of light in every room and, if you can get rid of doors:
"Doors take up a lot of square footage and you can't put furniture where they want to turn," said Ryan.
So what else could possibly be missing for this space? Garrett has one more thing on his wish list:
"The one thing I miss out on is, I'd love a dishwasher of course."