8 Clever Storage Ideas for Small Apartments

Do you feel like your apartment is overflowing with stuff, with nowhere to put it all? We’ve all been through the experience of living in a small apartment with very few options when it comes to viable storage. But that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with your floors covered in clutter. We believe that with a little bit of creativity and a few unique storage ideas for small spaces, even the smallest and most overstuffed apartment can become a well-organized living space with plenty of storage for all your needs.

At McKinley Apartments, we believe the key is to approach your space with new eyes, considering spaces that might never have occurred to you as options for storage with a fresh perspective. In this brief guide, we’ll give you some useful storage solutions for small apartments, and make sure your living space looks good doing it. By the end, we think you’ll have everything you need to turn your apartment into a storage masterpiece.

How Do You Create Storage in a Small Space?

1. Embrace Multipurpose Storage

One of the hardest facts to face about a small apartment is that anything you add to provide storage will subtract from your total floor space. And in studio apartments or small one-bedrooms, that floor space can be as precious as oxygen. So how do you add storage options without feeling like you have no room to breathe?

The key is to look at essential furniture pieces in a new way. Rather than adding a new cabinet, consider choosing a sofa that features a pull-up storage area underneath the cushions. Or how about a bench in your dining space that features storage cubes underneath, rather than standard chairs? Consider swapping out your coffee table with an ottoman that can open up to provide storage inside.

You can apply this mindset to a lot of the furniture you already have in your home. Once you start looking at each item of furniture as a potential for storage, you’ll be able to maximize your use of space with both form and function.

storage ideas for small spaces bedroom

2. Let Your Storage Hang Out

The average apartment is absolutely filled with unused space just waiting to be taken advantage of—the many small vertical spaces in your kitchen, sides of cabinets, and inside of cupboards. By adding a few simple hanging hooks to these areas, you can free up storage space where things would otherwise be cluttered on the floor—such as inside of a cupboard beneath the sink.

Another great hanging option is mounted pegboard, which provides a flexible way of hanging lots of items like cooking utensils or pans in a single area. You can also hang pots and pans from the underside of high cabinets, giving your home a fun farmhouse look while freeing up space as well. This same approach can be applied to towels, washcloths, cooking tools, and even cleaning supplies like brooms, dustpans, and spray bottles. Use your imagination and making your hanging space areas work for you.

unique storage ideas for small spaces

3. Those Doors Were Made For Storing

The doors of your home are often very underused, especially when it comes to the inside of closet doors. We’re talking about three feet by eight feet of storage space that’s wasted in most apartments. One of our favorite storage space ideas is to maximize your doors. You can add some hooks, lightweight soft storage, and all kinds of other options to the insides of your closet doors.

One great solution is a hanging shoe rack, which features lots of individual pouches arranged in rows and hung on the inside of a door. These are great for shoes, sure, but they’re also excellent for storing any number of other items as well.

You can also hang up your broom, mop, and other cleaning tools, and even other items like dog leashes, towels, keys, charging cables, and more. You’ll be amazed at how much clutter you’re able to remove simply by using the prime decluttering real estate that your closet doors provide.

unique storage ideas for small spaces

4. Shelves, Shelves, Shelves

For some reason, many people are afraid to add shelving to their apartments. But in most cases, adding shelves isn’t any more complicated or scary than hanging up pictures—and people have no problem doing that.

Shelves are a huge advantage when it comes to adding space. Your walls are filled with unused storage opportunities, and you can free up tons of cabinet space by making them work for you.

Beautiful shelving that’s put out on display is great, but you can also add more basic shelving for utility—inside of closets, bathrooms, and linen closet spaces.

diy storage ideas for small spaces

5. Mount What You Never Thought You Could Mount

We promise that we’re not crazy, but it’s time to look at the things you own and ask yourself—why isn’t this mounted on the wall? After all, creative storage ideas for small spaces require you to get, well, creative. If you want to really maximize your storage space, and do it in a way that’s visually dramatic and sure to turn heads, you can mount some things on your walls that most wouldn’t necessarily consider ‘wall ornaments.’ Your bicycle, for example, A little bit of careful hook placement in your wall studs and you can safely hang up a bike, foldable chairs and tables, and even a canoe or kayak. How’s that for a conversation piece?

storage ideas for small spaces on a budget

6. Folding is Your Friend

With more and more people living in small spaces, more furniture is being designed specifically to accommodate people’s small homes. You can quickly turn a crowded dining area with a table and four chairs into an open space for entertaining by using foldable furniture. Folding chairs, folding tables, and even benches or sofas designed to change their shape and size are now available in a wide range of stores and retailers. And the good news is that they don’t look like cheap, utility pieces—they’re stylishly designed and fold flat for quick and easy storage. You can even hang them up on your walls if you’re feeling bold.

clever storage ideas for small apartments

7. Use Unexpected Spaces

Overall, one of the best ways of maximizing your storage is by utilizing spaces you might not normally think about. That doesn’t just apply to storage, either. When you maximize the way you use space for essential items like a dining area or work desk, you free up other space for storage.

One example is the space behind your sofa. If the back of your sofa isn’t against a wall, you can create a narrow table along the backside of the sofa that’s both stylish and functional. You can use it as a work desk, breakfast bar, or display storage.

Another way to be creative with your space is by opening up a closet by taking the door off. You can then place a small desk in the closet space and make a cozy nook for yourself. You then free up space in your home for other storage.

unique storage ideas for small spaces

8. Reduce the Need for Storage

One final tip—the best way to have more storage space available is to get rid of things that need storing. Decluttering and getting rid of possessions that you don’t need isn’t just good for your mental health, it will make your home less cramped and filled with stuff to get in your way. If you can find a way to choose a few items that you no longer need, you’ll be rewarded with a more organized, less stressful home.

There are definitely lots more decluttering and storage tips that can help you manage the space in a small apartment, but we hope these ideas have helped you get started on the path to a more organized home.

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