Living in a small apartment can present a number of challenges in figuring out where to put all of your stuff. When you live in a large home, things disappear because there’s so much space for them to spread out. The problem is you end up accumulating more belongings than you need, not to mention you might end up maintaining and paying for spaces that are essentially storage lockers. Small apartments force you to keep only what’s important. This is great for living a simpler, more essential life–not to mention allowing you to afford costly urban real estate. The problem is that unless you come up with some very clever storage ideas for your small apartment, your spaces can start feeling like junkyards when messy or warehouses when organized.
Well, that’s the point of this post. We want to give you some creative storage ideas for small spaces that will make your small apartment feel like you’re living in a home, not a storage locker.
Storage idea #1: Keep what you love and use, get rid of the rest
While not necessarily a “clever” storage idea for small rooms, the first, and perhaps most important thing to do before finding any storage solutions for small spaces is to do an audit of the stuff you’re storing. We know it sounds obvious, but with less stuff to store, there will be fewer storage solutions to find.
There is no shortage of places to go for inspiration on the topic of paring down and decluttering. Pick up Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” or one of the many other books on the topic. Upon analysis, many of us realize we use a small portion of the stuff we have in our homes. Fewer possessions make the task of organizing your small spaces that much easier.
The benefits of paring down extend beyond easier organization and storage solutions. With less stuff, with fewer things to buy, maintain, and manage, many people report they experience feeling happier, lighter, and freer.
Storage idea #2: Think of your small apartment as a city
Okay, now that you’ve pared down your possessions, you might still be faced with the dilemma of finding a place for all the essentials.
For inspiration, let’s think about cities. More specifically, let’s think about how cities fit more people, homes, and businesses into a limited footprint: by building up, not out.
One of the most creative storage ideas for small spaces is to apply that same logic. Some of the best —and least utilized —spaces in our small apartments are their vertical spaces.
Rather than crowding your small spaces with several low dressers or storage cabinets, invest in a few tall wardrobe and closet units such as our closet systems. Effectively using your vertical spaces makes your apartment more like an ultra-efficient city than a sprawling suburb.
Not only can they swallow large amounts of possessions, but some, like the freestanding X2, act as room dividers, giving your space additional “rooms.”
Storage solution #3: Go multifunctional, add storage
In larger homes, you can afford to have items that serve a single purpose: a couch is just a couch, a dining room is for dining. But in a small apartment, there’s a huge benefit in finding multiple uses for one piece of furniture or room. One way of doing that is using multifunctional and storage furniture for small spaces, which takes furniture you would have anyway and adds alternative purposes and storage elements without additional overall space usage.
In terms of living room storage ideas for small spaces, consider converting existing furniture pieces into ones that include alternative uses and storage options. For example, our Picnic Bellagio is a coffee table that not only includes a storage bin under its top, but also has a top whose two sections raise to create a tabletop and sitting bench.
Storage furniture can be a great way to utilize space in a small bedroom. Our LGM Tavolo is a wall bed with shelving and optional table on its front side. Every one of our wall beds are also available with seamlessly incorporated cabinetry and integrated furniture pieces like sofa or table–creating multifunctional spaces and additional storage; this is especially useful for creating storage for small bedrooms without a closet as the cabinetry has more than enough room to do the duty of a built in closet.
You can also look around for other storage furniture for small bedrooms such as captain’s beds, which have built-in storage under the bed. There are also beds whose mattresses sit on gas piston assisted platforms, allowing them to lift and reveal large storage cavities underneath. These solutions provide additional storage in spaces that would be occupied by beds with or without the additional storage.
Solutions for Kids
You might cry out, “But I have kids!” Kids are one of the best reasons to get organized as their toys and clutter can quickly overwhelm a small apartment.
One of the best storage ideas for small bedrooms for kids is to purchase several catchall canvas bins where the kids can put their toys at the end of the day. They are light and flexible, allowing them to be easily moved and adaptable to the various shapes of your kids’ toys.
The principle of going up applies with children as well. Any bunk bed will help free up precious space in your small apartment, but bunk beds that fold out of the way when not in use such as Kali Duo can free up even more of your small apartment’s precious square feet, creating additional play space for your kids.
Whatever the room, whatever your budget, incorporating these three ideas will go a long way to making your small apartment look and perform great while accommodating your storage needs.