Living in a small home or apartment can be challenging, especially when it comes to storage. And if you have a growing family crammed into a 2-bedroom apartment, finding places to put all your stuff can feel impossible. The clutter of toys, clothes, books, and other household items can quickly take over and make your home feel chaotic. This not only causes stress as you trip over things and search for lost items, but studies show clutter can negatively impact your mental health. It’s been linked to increased anxiety, fatigue and depression.
On the other hand, an organized home provides a sense of peace and control. Knowing exactly where to find things saves time and reduces frustration. Plus, maintaining tidiness helps create a calm environment, which benefits your mindset. For these reasons, maximizing your storage options is important when space is limited. Even if you can’t add more square footage, there are clever ways to utilize every nook and cranny.
The key is finding dual-purpose furniture, using decorative storage containers, and taking advantage of vertical space. You can transform your home into a highly-functional and clutter-free oasis with a little creativity. Following are the eight smart storage solutions to help maximize space in a small home.
1. Freestanding Storage Units
When floor space is limited, portable storage units can provide flexible options. A small bookshelf, cabinet, or shelving unit can often be tucked into a corner. Look for narrow units to fit in tight spaces. Freestanding pantry cabinets or hutches add storage without taking up kitchen counter space.
A rolling utility cart can provide storage and extra counter area anywhere you need. However, if you find you’re still running out of space, consider renting a unit at All Purpose Storage, a reliable storage facility that has a multi-regional presence and might just be close to your place. This way, you can store items you might not need immediate access to, helping you declutter your immediate living space. Small units like these, whether in-home or at a dedicated facility, allow you to create storage wherever you have an empty spot.
2. Decorative Storage Containers
Baskets, boxes, and jars are not only decorative but functional for organizing small items like remote controls, keys, and office supplies. Woven baskets look great on dressers holding jewelry and on bookshelves storing odds and ends. Pretty boxes can corral remotes and coasters on the coffee table. Clear jars show off Q-tips and cotton balls in the bathroom.
Using matching containers creates a uniform look so the storage blends into your decor. Labeling them makes it easy to identify the contents. This is an inexpensive way to add storage that looks good in any room.
3. Use Wasted Space
Look for unused nooks and crannies that can accommodate narrow drawers or shelves. You can install pull-out drawers or slide-out shelving in these spots to hold cleaning supplies, spices, craft materials, and more.
In the closet, wasted space between the door trim and wall is perfect for drop-in shelving or fabric cubbies. Also, check the back of closet doors – hanging fabric storage units with multiple pockets are great for organizing scarves, jewelry, and other small accessories.
4. Under Bed Storage
Lift up your bed skirt, and you’ll likely find an empty, dark space. This is prime real estate for under-bed storage bins. Look for shallow bins on wheels or with pull-out drawers for easy access. Label them to store out-of-season clothes, extra linens, gift wrap supplies, toys, memorabilia, files, and more.
If you don’t have a bed frame, consider one with built-in drawers for even more hidden storage. Just a few inches of under-bed space can make a big difference in keeping clutter contained.
5. Divide Open Shelves
Sometimes, open shelving can turn into a jumbled mess. Baskets, bins, and dividers can help organize all that space into neat sections. Use baskets to corral items such as hair accessories, office supplies, mittens, and hats. Bins are great for sorting toys, craft supplies, and other small items.
Dividers can stand up on shelves to neatly stack folded sweaters, towels, and more. Turntables are useful for corner cabinets – spin to access items in the back. A little organization goes a long way toward tidying shelves.
6. Wall Storage
Empty walls don’t have to be bare – they provide great vertical storage space. Hang wall-mounted cabinets in the kitchen for dishes or spices. Sturdy floating shelves in the bathroom can display towels and toiletries.
Entryways benefit from a wall-mounted rack for keys, bags, and coats. In the bedroom, mount a ledge or shelf for books and lamps. And don’t forget the backs of doors – hang fabric organizers for shoes, accessories, hats, and scarves.
7. Ceiling Storage
You probably don’t utilize the space above your head, but installing racks or hooks on the ceiling can take storage up a level. Hang pots and pans from the kitchen ceiling to free up cabinet space below. In the entry, mount bike hooks overhead to store bikes vertically and out of the way.
8. Multifunctional Furniture
Look for furniture pieces that serve more than one purpose. For example, ottomans with lift-top lids allow you to store blankets and other items inside. Benches and cubes with built-in storage compartments are also great for entryways, bedrooms, and living rooms. You can tuck games, books, and more inside.
For the kitchen, rolling carts or islands provide counter space, shelves, or drawers for organizing cooking tools. In small bedrooms, headboards with shelves are perfect for holding books, clocks, and reading lights. Under-bed storage containers slide out to access seasonal clothes and linens. Even the sofa can pull double duty – many convert into beds for overnight guests, and some have storage space underneath.
Small living spaces present storage challenges, but clever solutions can help maximize every inch. Dual-purpose furniture, decorative containers, underutilized areas, and vertical space provide plenty of options for adding functional storage that looks great. With some creativity and organization, you can take control of clutter and transform any tiny home into a tidy oasis.