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Storage ideas for small spaces

minute read

    Sometimes living in the heart of your favorite city means you may have to sacrifice a little bit of space. Or maybe you're living in a small apartment to save money, or because it's close to work or family. But even in the coziest of studio apartments there are ways to add storage to maximize the room you have. Whether it's using vertical space or adding storage in less traditional places, there are plenty of storage ideas for small spaces.

    Getting started on storage for small spaces

    When you're looking at storage solutions for small spaces, the first thing you may want to do is take a step back and figure out what exactly you have to organize. Go through your apartment and take inventory of what needs organizing, such as kitchen appliances, shoes or toiletries. You may want to keep a list with photos on your phone to refer to later.

    Additionally, this may be a great time to declutter. If you're in a small apartment, it doesn't take much for excess possessions to become overwhelming. Consider donating those extra clothes and shoes you don't wear and narrowing your kitchen accessories to just the essentials.

    Once you've decluttered and have your list of notes, you may want to sit down and make a list of supplies you'll need to accomplish small space storage ideas. More on that below.

    Organizing small spaces

    Storage solutions for small spaces may differ from room to room, as different items need different ideas. Here are a few ways to get started:


    • Pegboards: Hanging pegboards in the kitchen can be useful in many ways. You can hang larger utensils, pots, and pans from them, while only taking up a bit of wall space. Pro tip: Don't be afraid to paint or decorate your pegboard.
    • Baskets: Add baskets above your cabinets if they don't go all the way to the ceiling, or on top of your refrigerator. This oft-forgotten space can be a great place to store your lesser used items, like that pie tin you only get out at Thanksgiving.
    • Over-the-door racks: An over-the-door rack can be a great way to give yourself some extra storage space. If you have a pantry or nearby closet, a rack hanging on the door can store anything from utensils to pantry staples to spices.
    • Drop-leaf tables: If you're short on dining space, try a drop-leaf table. You can keep the leaves down when it's just you or raise them when you have visitors.
    • Door hooks: Add hooks inside your cabinet doors to maximize storage. You can keep your pots on the shelves and hang the lids on the doors for more room.


    • Shelf risers: Use shelf risers to double your storage. You can store extra toilet paper on the bottom and lotion on the top, for example, or whatever makes sense for you.
    • Hanging cabinets: Hang a medicine cabinet. This will add storage without taking away floor space and keep your necessities right at eye level. Win-win!
    • Over-the-toilet storage: Add over-the-toilet storage. These pieces are usually easy to assemble and provide a couple shelves over what is often dead space in a bathroom.
    • Shower caddies: If your shower doesn't have much room, use a shower caddy to hold and organize all your products. And no, it doesn't have to be one of those colorful plastic ones you used in college. There are plenty of stylish metal caddies that hang on your shower head and will still look sophisticated.

    Living room

    • Floating shelves: Adding floating shelves is a chic and minimalist way to add more storage, even if it's just a place to put your plants.
    • Storage furniture: Dual purpose furniture is a great way to maximize storage for small spaces. For instance, choose an ottoman that doubles as storage space so you have a place to keep extra blankets, remotes or magazines.
    • Wall hooks: Hanging hooks are a simple way to get things put away. Hang hooks near your front door for jackets and car keys so they don't end up on side tables or the couch. You can even find stick-on hooks that won't damage your wall.
    • Empty space: Consider using the wall space above your couch for storage. You can stack books, put trinkets, or add plants for a unique type of art.


    • Under-the-bed storage: Get storage containers that can slide under your bed. You can store anything from clothing to seasonal décor without ever having to trip over it or see it. There are totes specifically designed to slide under beds, but if you find you'd like even more space, get risers and give your bed a lift so you can fit bigger bins under there.
    • Over-the-door shoe organizers: These offer a way to keep your shoes stored neatly without taking up any valuable real estate inside your closet.
    • Wall hooks: Use wall hooks to hang things like purses and scarves. This will get those items out of drawers or off shelves so you can use those spaces for other things.
    • Shelf units: Rethink your bedside table. Instead of something minimal, consider going with a shelving unit that's a little bit larger. That way it can also hold your extra blanket, books, a speaker or whatever else you need to find room for.

    Go-to small apartment storage hacks

    When in doubt, keep these hacks in mind when organizing your small space.


    If you have a lot of storage to purchase and you're worried about your budget, consider thrifting supplies. You'll likely find things like shelving and furniture that you can use to help you achieve your small space storage ideas.

    Vertical space

    When you're looking at a space and feel stuck about what to do, look at the vertical space. See if there's a place you can add shelving on the wall, if you can hang a hook or if there's a way you can build up instead of out. Of course, don't keep your most used items out of reach, but vertical space is a great way to store less commonly used items.

    Nooks and crannies

    Look at unusual nooks and corners in your apartment. You never know when the perfect thing to fill those odd little spaces will just so happen to be a brilliant opportunity for organizing small spaces. Check out corner shelves for more ideas.

    Combine uses

    Combine storage with design by using the storage of things like your favorite vase or designer bags as décor. This will make your home feel uniquely yours, will also being practical. Organization ideas for small spaces can be fun and functional.

    What's more

    If you're willing to be creative, you'll find there are many storage ideas for small spaces. Using the space you have in intentional ways will have your home feeling organized and tidy before you know it.

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