One of the improvements to the Layer Properties Manager introduced in LT 2009 was the ability to collapse the layer filters pane, located on the left side of the palette.
In this drawing, there aren't any layer filters, so I don't need to see the pane all the time. Instead, I'll use the double-arrows at the right of the pane to collapse it, enabling me to see more layer properties at once, or to show the same information in less space.
Even though the filters pane is collapsed, you can still access them with the button highlighted in red in the above image.
And if you want a compromise between the default filter pane size and total collapse, you can move the bar between the filter pane and the layer list to resize it.