Clever Storage Ideas for Small Apartments

Andreea Draguleasa
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When apartment hunting, it’s easy to be blown away by an apartment’s pool view, central location and awesome amenities and neglect to think about where you’ll store all your stuff once you move in. However, overlooking available storage can be a regrettable mistake. Not much available? You may have to think outside the box and create fresh storage solutions to carve out some extra room.

Here are some compelling reasons why it’s worth mulling over storage ideas for small apartments:

Maximize limited space and create a spacious feel. With a bit of smart storage savvy, your small apartment can transform into an open and functional space that feels surprisingly roomy.

Reduce clutter and improve mental well-being. Having your stuff neatly stashed away makes your area look slick. You know what else it does? It elevates your mood. Notable psychological benefits of living in a well-organized space are reduced stress and improved focus. Who doesn’t want or need those, right?

Enhance accessibility, efficiency and comfort. A well-organized storage system lets everyone in your home quickly find and use stuff without a hitch. Moreover, it lets you mold your limited space to flawlessly sync with your personal habits and distinct necessities, making it feel more comfortable.

Enjoy financial benefits. Smart storage ideas for small apartments can give your wallet a nice little boost. The most notable cost savings come from not having to rent external storage units, but you will also save on furniture and decorations, without necessarily embracing a minimalist lifestyle.

Now, let’s see what these coveted storage ideas for small apartments look like.

Apartment Storage Furniture

Let’s start our small apartment space saving storage path by talking about furniture that does double duty. In a snug apartment, every piece counts, so why not choose multifunctional furniture? They are space-savers AND money-savers as you get two (or more) uses out of one piece.

  • Take sofa beds, for instance. By day, they are comfy couches, but at night, voila, they turn into beds — perfect for guests or even your own bedroom.
  • Then there’s a large variety of storage ottomans. Sure, they are a great spot to rest your feet, but they can hide away your stuff too, plus they can serve as extra seats or, with a tray on top, they become handy coffee tables.
  • And for mealtime, extendable dining tables are the real deal in a small apartment. You can keep them small for everyday use and then stretch them out for dinner parties.

Vertical Storage Solutions

When floor space is limited, the walls and vertical space are your best friends and your secret weapons for space saving storage.

  • Wall-mounted shelves are perfect for books, plants or your knick-knacks, adding style and storage without eating up floor space.
  • In the kitchen, hang a pot rack for frequently used items or mount hooks to the backsplash to keep cooking utensils handy and free up cabinet space.
  • And tall, slender bookshelves? They are storage skyscrapers, ideal for everything from books and framed art to file boxes, bins full of craft supplies, dishes or even shoes.

By going vertical, you create more room to move and breathe in your cozy apartment. As you can see, storage solutions for small spaces can also be about thinking high, not wide.

Black creative ZigZag wooden shafts on the wall – Stock Photo ID: 2371158139 – Photo Credit:

Storage Under-Bed Solutions

Don’t forget the hidden gem of small apartment living — under-bed storage. This often-overlooked area can be a storage goldmine that helps you free up closet space and keep your sleeping area clutter-free.

Under-bed drawers

Built in a wooden box under the bed

Built in a wooden box under the bed – Stock Photo ID: 1684193260 – Photo Credit: Paksongpob Kasempisaisin

Looking to buy a bed? See if you can get one that comes fitted with drawers. No worries if it doesn’t, there are plenty of affordable DIY options out there. Our favorite? Repurposing an old dresser. Remove the drawers, add some decorative handles and low-profile casters and slide them under the bed. This stylish storage option is perfect for clothes or extra bedding.

Storage bins

Taller than drawers, you can stash more stuff in them, but this also means you might have to elevate the bed first for them to fit. You could do that by putting a cinder block under each leg, for instance. The key is to find the balance between maximizing the space underneath while still keeping the bed at a comfortable height.

Now, there are a lot of storage bins to choose from and you should focus on practicality instead of appearance. That’s because even the plainest plastic storage bins can be easily decorated with adhesive paper to match your room’s decor. These are great for toys and seasonal items of all sorts.

Pull-out platforms

Fancy a little carpentry? Build a wooden platform on wheels out of discarded pallets. You will need four wheels per pallet and four screws per wheel and you can tailor it to the size of your bed. This storage solution is ideal for heavier items like books or bulky winter gear. You can also use it to store shoes — out of sight but easily accessible.

Small Apartment Kitchen Storage Solutions

We know the struggle of small apartment kitchens — limited counter space, cramped cabinets and barely enough room to chop an onion. But hey, small can still be mighty with the right storage tricks.

  • Wall-mounted racks for mugs and utensils. Instead of crowding your drawers, hang those mugs and utensils up. It’s practical and adds a touch of personality.
  • Magnetic spice racks and knife holders. Wave goodbye to cluttered counters with something as simple as an adhesive magnetic strip. These little wonders are sleek, easy to install and keep your essentials right at hand.
Modern Wall-Mounted Spice Rack with Chrome Lids

Modern Wall-Mounted Spice Rack with Chrome Lids, featuring a variety of culinary herbs and spices – Stock Photo ID: 2406170771 – Photo Credit: Danielcc

  • Pegboards for everything. Paint a pegboard to match your kitchen or add a splash of contrast and hang pots, pans and all sorts of kitchen utensils. It’s a fun way to display your copper cookware and saves tons of cabinet space.
  • Pull-out pantry organizers. Skinny but efficient, these slim pull-out cabinets can fit in narrow spaces and are perfect for storing canned goods, spices and snacks.
  • Compact kitchen gadgets. Space is at a premium in modern small apartments, so choose kitchen tools that multitask without taking over. A mini food processor or a compact blender can do wonders without hogging space. These are our top picks:
    • Ninja Food Chopper Express — Great for chopping, grinding, mincing and blending. It’s small but packs a punch for easy meal prep.
    • Magic Bullet Blender — Perfect for smoothies, quick sauces, shakes, toppings and creamy desserts.
    • Joseph Joseph Nest™ 9 Plus Bowl Set — Two mixing bowls, a colander, a sieve and five measuring cups all fit neatly into each other, saving drawer and cabinet space.
    • Breville Compact Smart Toaster Oven — From breakfast toast and muffins to small lunch pizzas and roasted chicken for dinner, this small countertop oven does the work of a full-size one without taking up all the space.

Remember, small spaces benefit most from smart ideas. With these kitchen appliance storage solutions, your tiny kitchen can be just as functional and stylish as any large one.

Renter Friendly Closet Organization

Can you transform a cramped closet into an efficient, well-organized space? With the right mix of small apartment storage ideas, anything is possible. Here’s what you can try:

  • Slim non-slip hangers. Replace mixed, bulky hangers with ultra-thin, non-slip velvet hangers. They take up less room, plus your closet will look neater.
  • Wall hooks and racks. Hang them inside your closet door or on the wall and use them for hats, scarves and belts.
  • Double hanging rails. Install a second rail beneath the existing one, perfect for shorter items like shirts and skirts. This trick doubles your hanging space without any major renovations.
  • Over-the-door shoe racks. They hold lots of shoes in their pockets, keeping your floor clear. They’re also great for storing small accessories like gloves or scarves.
  • Door-mounted storage. Add hooks or small racks inside your wardrobe doors. Great for hanging jewelry, small purses or even a lightweight mirror.
  • Portable closet systems. No built-in closet? No problem. just get a portable system with shelves and a hanging rod. This way, you have a structured place for both folded and hanging clothes
  • Cascading hanger organizers. These hangers can hold multiple items in the space of one — usually five. When hung vertically, they maximize wardrobe space by up to 80%. You can also hang them horizontally when planning outfits or drying clothes.

Apartment Bathroom Storage Ideas

In a tiny bathroom, every inch counts. Aside from the clever storage hacks coming right up, it’s important to also take time to periodically declutter toiletries. Just go through your products once a month and keep only what you use. You save space and simplify your daily routine while also making sure you don’t have any expired products lying around.

Nice white bathroom. Wooden shelves. Towels, stacked towels and baskets.

Nice white bathroom. Wooden shelves. Towels, stacked towels and baskets. Soap, washcloths, toilet paper and toothbrushes. – Photo Credit: Kostikova Natalia

  • Over-the-door organizers and towel racks. Great for towels and toiletries, they reclaim unused space and keep things off counters.
  • Floating shelves. Install them above the toilet or sink — they don’t take up floor space and can make your bathroom look bigger. Your everyday items are out of the way but still handy.
  • Wall-mounted cabinets. A mirrored medicine cabinet is your first go-to for storing toiletries out of sight. Really small bathroom with not much need for storage? Consider a stylish mirror with a built-in shelf instead. It can be both practical and decorative.
  • Corner shower caddies. With no drilling needed, these caddies stick to tiles with suction cups and are the perfect spot for shampoo and soap.
  • Decorative trays. Organize your makeup and skincare on the vanity. It looks neat and keeps everything in one place.
  • Baskets for towels. Wire or wicker baskets can store extra towels on the toilet or vanity.

When everything has its place, from your face cream in an over-the-door organizer to your towels on floating shelves and the shampoo in the shower caddy, your bathroom turns into a clutter-free zone where you can relax and rejuvenate. These ideas help make your bathroom functional and clutter-free, no matter its size.

Floating Furniture and Shelves for Small Apartments

In small apartments, floating furniture and shelves are a very smart move. They attach directly to the wall, creating a clean, uncluttered look and giving the illusion of more space. Here’s how you can transform your home and give it a modern, airy feel with these practical small apartment storage ideas:

Floating desks. Made for particularly tight spaces, you can mount them at your preferred height for a custom fit. They can be cheaper than traditional desks as they use less material and cleaning underneath is no hassle. Need some inspiration? Here are 14 floating desk ideas.

Floating TV consoles. Wanna keep electronics and accessories organized without taking up floor space? Choose a floating TV console with good cable management that mixes open shelves with closed cabinets. You get a sleek look and practical storage.

Floating bedside tables. While these nightstands save floor space and offer a modern, minimalist look, you should know that they have less storage than traditional models.

Floating shelves. Suitable for every room,  consider hanging them up to the ceiling for maximum use — lower shelves for more frequently used items and upper ones for those that are just decorative or rarely used.

Storage Solutions for Small Space Living

And there you have it! From multi-tasking furniture magic to getting savvy with your wall space and maxing out the untapped storage potential under your bed, we’ve walked you through it all. Each of the suggestions above is meant to maximize your space and infuse it with style. Living in a tiny house? Check out our tiny house storage ideas

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 10, 2024 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Andreea Draguleasa

Andreea Draguleasa showed an affinity for foreign languages and literature at an early age and started writing when she was 6. She studied journalism, advertising, and public relations at the University of Bucharest and worked as a content writer for a tourism agency and as a journalist for a magazine in the hospitality industry until 2010. After seven years as marketing manager for a Home & Deco online shop, she realized that learning something new every day brings her the most joy, so she went back to researching and writing informative articles. Through her experience traveling the world, she's picked up tips and resources she now shares on self storage solutions. When not writing about home organizing and storage, Andreea spends most of her time reading, playing video games, and spoiling her cat.
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The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
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