Apartment living is fun. Whether you’re a student, young couple saving up for your first home or downsizing, apartments have so much to offer: quiet rural retreats, exciting city living, communities filled with new people to meet and an easy, carefree lifestyle.
There’s just one thing you might be looking for more of – storage.
Some apartments include access to a separate storage unit, but this is where bikes, snow gear, sports equipment, snow tires and the like usually take up residence. So if you’re like most apartment dwellers, you want clever ways to increase the storage space, inside your apartment.
Here’s the good news: The furniture and utility industries have heard you. Today an abundance of units, furniture, bins, racks, hooks and hangers can help you make the most of a small space.
There are many storage ideas that will help you maximize your space with minimum cash outlay. Here are a few to get you started.
Out of Sight and Easy to Reach
Under-bed storage can be a great way to add extra storage in your apartment. Instead of just stashing your stuff out of sight, organize it and keep it dust free and easy to retrieve. For that, you can get a simple storage unit available at major outlets such as Walmart and The Container Store.
Pro Tip: Clear, see-through containers make it easier to identify items when you go searching. Also, adding labels in the front will help you discern what’s inside when you go looking months later.
Furniture that Does Double Duty
Unless you’re renting a furnished apartment, you’ll probably need to buy some furniture. Make the furniture count by having it serve double duty – as a storage unit. There are many ottomans, coffee tables, benches, beds and even sofas that also function as storage bins. Platform beds are available that flip up to give access to hidden storage in the base unit. There are lots of options. Mix and match after doing your own research and see what’s best for you.
Door Hooks and Racks
Behind closed doors are some pretty clever storage spots that are often overlooked. You can find all kinds of simple systems that hook over the top of doors for organizing shoes, hats, pantry items, and anything else you need to keep. One of the nice things about these units is that they are easy to remove, pack and use in your next place. If it requires installation, just make sure it is acceptable under the lease terms before purchasing and installing.
Pro Tip: Some of the units available are attractive enough to display outside the closet. This way you can use both sides of a door for even-more storage space.
Extra Storage under Countertops
If you have open or free-standing countertops in your bathroom, laundry room or kitchen, you can fill the space under the counter with bins … big bins, small bins, rolling bins, colorful bins, wicker bins. Well, you get the point. Bins can hold a wide range of supplies, that you want near at hand but out of sight. Bins may be one of the greatest contributions to human organization ever invented. They are both affordable and easy to transport when you’re ready to move.
Pro Tip: Keep a clothes bin next to your washing machine, so you don’t have to lug your dirty clothes on wash day.
Tall shelving takes advantage of the vertical space that we often forget about. So when in doubt, consider going up. Open shelves are perfect for books, knickknacks and other items. Closed cupboards are generally good for stored food, clothing, extra bedding and more. Many of the things you have to store are items that you don’t need every day. Put them up high. Just make sure the furniture fits before you buy it.
Pro Tip: Don’t overlook the narrow space or corner nook. These are spaces practically screaming for a tall, narrow unit.
Here’s one more apartment storage idea that will come in handy when you have no place else to stash your stuff. Hide it in plain sight. It’s not magic; it’s art. You can store your gear in plain sight when you make it amusing, artistic or a point of conversation. Let your creativity flow…such as an accessory ladder.
Or better yet, make your own accessory ladder. Clean it up, give it a custom paint job then fill it to your heart’s content. The key to storage in plain sight is to make it look neat and fun.
There are lots of other storage ideas, but hopefully these affordable ideas give you a great start, without breaking the bank.