Apartment living has a lot of perks, especially for those living in the heart of the city, but it can be difficult to find storage ideas that save space and work well. Apartment dwellers must be aware of organization tools that could damage the floor or walls, for example, as well as make sure their possessions are stored and displayed in an attractive, aesthetically appealing manner.
Fortunately, there are some great do-it-yourself (DIY) storage ideas without having to hang clunky shelving units or stack boxes in a corner. Here are a few of the best space saver solutions to keep your apartment looking fabulous and clutter-free at all times.
5 Useful Storage Ideas for Small Spaces
Your apartment might come equipped with some shelving inside closets and cabinets, but it is likely that you might acquire a lot more than what fits comfortably on the provided shelving — especially over time. Limited floor space means apartment owners have to get creative when storing shoes, linens, blankets, clothes, home office supplies, books and more. These DIY methods will help you keep organized and make the most of your available space.
1. Utilize furniture with extra storage space.
One easy way to add storage to your apartment is by purchasing furniture that features hidden storage, A few examples include:
- Hollow ottomans that open up to house blankets, pillows, and more
- Couches with storage units beneath the cushions
- Coffee tables with shelves underneath or storage drawers
- TV stands with shelves or drawers
All of these offer solid options to store extra cleaning supplies, books, or other smaller items.
2. Add shelving inside cabinets.
Kitchen cabinets can often be catch-alls for everything from plates, kitchen utensils, and snacks to stamps, to-go menus, and pens you’re hoping to test at a later date. It can sometimes even be difficult to see what’s in them, making proper organization a must. Some options include:
- Stackable shelving — Many home goods stores sell stackable in-cabinet storage shelves that can help add a lot of space and organize cans, plates, and other goods.
- Hanging storage — some extra storage to your kitchen cabinets by attaching some small organizers inside them, or by attaching some storage bins on the inside of cabinet doors.
- Baskets or bins — these can help catch smaller objects like sauce packets and keep.
- Hooks — simple hooks inside your cabinets could allow you to hang lids, lunch boxes, and more.
Make sure to use a non-damaging wall mounts when attaching bins, hooks, or other items to your cabinets to avoid creating holes or other damage. Some are held up by a tension rod or two, which also keeps damage to a minimum.
3. Use wicker baskets.
Wicker or other types of baskets are stylish, easy DIY options to provide a lot of extra storage in your bedroom, living room, or laundry room. These baskets come in various sizes and shapes to easily slide underneath a shelving unit or coffee table, and are perfect for storing small items that would normally take up space on a table or shelf. Plus, baskets fit with any décor scheme, from farmhouse to modern and everything in between. Consider your location when choosing the type, though: Wire baskets for your bathroom, for example, as they are more durable for areas that are prone to moisture.
4. Utilize under-the-bed storage solutions.
Many apartment owners overlook the space under the bed when reviewing their home for additional storage options. Most offer enough space to slide storage bins, baskets, or sleek boxes — stores like IKEA and Amazon have plenty of storage ideas for improved organization — which may help you avoid the need to take up wall space with a storage unit. This will help to keep your closet clutter to a minimum and works well in apartments of all sizes.
5. Consider over-the-door hanging organizers.
Hanging organizers can be hung over a pantry, coat closet, or bedroom closet door to give you instant DIY organization with no damage to your doors or walls. They are also low-cost, providing a great way to keep bath supplies, toilet paper, laundry supplies, cleaning supplies, shoe storage, accessories and more under control and off the closet floor. Several storage ideas exist, including:
- Shoe organizer that can be used in place of an on-the-floor shoe rack
- Shoe organizer repurposed to keep jewelry, toiletries, accessories, and more organized — especially if you lack bathroom cabinet space
- Hanging pantries for cutting boards, a hanging spice rack, or to clear kitchen counter space
- Clothing hooks for work uniforms to save closet space
Nearly every home goods or grocery store carries hanging organizers, too, making sourcing such options seamless.
If you’ve tried all of these storage ideas and still have no place to put your things, you may have too many things! A good rule of thumb is to sort your possessions at least once per year to see what you no longer need, what you don’t use, and what you might have acquired duplicates of over time. Place donations in cardboard boxes, throw out what cannot be repurposed, and put away only what you’re keeping.
Organizational Options to Avoid
There are a few things apartment-dwellers should avoid when organizing their homes, however. This includes actions that could create holes on the walls or doors, chip or peel the paint, or anything that might cause you to lose your deposit.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Use damage-free ways to hang pictures and shelves.
There are many options available to hang things on the walls without causing holes, including items like hanging strips and sticky tape. These are easily removable, allowing you to safely take pictures, posters, and artwork off the walls if you want to rearrange things or redecorate.
2. Get permission.
Ask your landlord or apartment office for clarification prior to doing renovations of any type in your apartment. Small updates like rearranging furniture or artwork are usually no problem. Bigger DIY projects like adding a wall mount storage shelf will need the approval of your leasing agent or company.
3. Consider the effort required.
A good barometer for whether something DIY might be a bad idea is how much effort it takes to set it up. If a shelving unit can be put together and set against a wall without needing brackets affixed to hold it to said wall, you’re good to put it up. If the shelf will require being mounted to studs to keep it up, you should consider a different solution to avoid damaging your rented apartment home.
These tips will not only help you to stay organized but ensure you will get back your full deposit when that time comes.
Be Transparent with Your Apartment Office
It can be daunting to try to find more space in your apartment, no matter what
size it might be. The best way to organize and keep your deposit is to utilize low-impact DIY storage solution systems in and around your home. When in doubt, consider thinning out your possessions to be sure you’re only storing the things you truly need or want.If you have any questions about apartment living in Washington, D.C. contact the experts today. Our staff can guide you through any leasing questions that you might have about available units and community amenities.