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10 Storage Ideas for Small Spaces

Updated: Jun 11, 2022

Image credit: The New York Times

If you live in a small space, chances are you have limited storage options. Therefore, we compiled a list of ideas for you to consider for maximizing storage spaces in your apartment.

1. Declutter First

Before you start thinking about storage, think about your decluttering. How long has it been since you wore that jacket? If it’s been more than a year, chances are you will not be wearing it again. Make an inventory of the items you no longer want to keep and search for local donation drop-off locations. Do you have an appliance you only used once? Maybe someone needs it. Consider listing your items on Marketplace. You’ll be surprised how much stuff you have that you don’t need or use. For more tips, you can check out our article about decluttering.

2. Utilize the Area Under the Bed

One of the biggest storage spaces in your home can be under your bed. Consider storage drawers or containers if you have a metal frame with lots of space underneath. They may end up making under the bed look a little cluttered, but they certainly are the most economical solution.

If you want to look for a new bed frame, you can invest in a bed frame with built-in drawers or a hydraulic bed with storage. It is a big investment, but having a uniform look and everything being hidden, you will achieve the decluttered look most needed in a small space.

3. Consider Getting a Sofa with Storage

Similar to point 2, you can store many items under your sofa if you pick an option like this one from West Elm. They can have a bulky base, but they will help with storage, especially in small spaces.

You can choose a sofa with storage drawers like this one from Homary or stick to the pull-out version, which is a more conventional one.

West Elm Enzo Sectional Credit: West Elm

4. Coffee Tables & Ottomans Can Help Store Items

You may not think that coffee tables or ottomans can help with storing items, but items such as tablecloths, pillows, blankets, books, and stationery can be successfully stored and tucked away using both.

Coffee tables come in all shapes and sizes. The most functional ones are with hidden compartments like this coffee table from West Elm, and this one which takes advantage of multiple levels.

Ottomans are the unsung heroes of storage. Their naturally bulky form can help store lots of items such as magazines and blankets you might occasionally need in your living area. For an example, see this ottoman from Article.

Image credit: West Elm

5. Invest in Closet and Cabinet Organizers

If you live in a small space, your closet space is most likely minimal. Before investing in an extra closet, you can come up with smart solutions for your existing wardrobe. For example, you can start using slimmer hangers, which will open up space. And an even better option is multi-level hangers. You can check out The Container Store, which has a lot of options. You can also opt for hanging closet organizers if you do not have enough drawer space.

Another improvement for storage spaces is using boxes. You can stack the boxes on top of each other and create different storage levels, like this one from The Container Store. And lastly, if your closet has a swing door, you can utilize the area behind the door by using caddies. They provide excellent storage for shoes, makeup, bathroom items, etc.

Image credit: The Container Store

6. Use Wall Mounted Shelves

You can dedicate one wall for wall-to-wall shelving. This way, you can keep everything you need to store in one area, freeing other areas from clutter and creating an accent wall that can be the focal point of your home.

When you use wall-mounted shelves, you avoid the bulky bookcase look and free up the floor area, opening up the space.

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7. Don’t Ignore Nooks (hence our name)

Structural elements such as columns can create some unusual ins and outs in space. You might think it looks unattractive, but these nooks can help with storage.

For example, you can install some floating shelves in a small niche like this one to make space for displaying books and art pieces. If you have a bigger niche, you can place a desk and utilize it for working from home or studying.

8. Use Vertical Spaces

Take maximum advantage of the vertical spaces. Utilize the back of doors by hanging wire baskets to store stationery supplies, shoes, and bathroom items. You can make a similar application on the kitchen cabinets by doubling up your spice storage.

Think of the unused vertical spaces you can convert into storage or display areas. This can be the area on top of the doors when you walk into a room. You can install wall shelves and create a bookshelf/display. Since it is not the first thing you see when you walk into a room, it will have a more subtle effect and clutter the space less.

Another tip that will save you space can be a wall for your plants. You can free up your windowpane and eliminate the planters with legs that take up space by putting your plants on a dedicated wall with shelves.

Image credit: Architectural Digest

9. Build Shallow Shelving for Slim Items

You can build wall paneling and add shallow shelves to it. This can hold some art pieces like the example below. You can store any type of low-depth item on these types of shelves.

Image credit:

10. Think About Toe-Kick Drawers

And the final one: toe-kick drawers. One of the most unusual ideas in this list, toe-kick drawers can make excellent storage spaces for baking items, cleaning items or tools. You can store your baking sheets, Swiffer, broom, and screwdrivers in these drawers, and once they are closed, they look just like regular toe-kicks.

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