Clever Storage Ideas for Small Apartments

When you live in a small space, you have to think big. 

A 500-square-foot apartment can be charming and meticulously organized—or it can be a hot mess with stuff everywhere. The difference? A little bit of effort and a lot of ingenuity (and maybe some decorative baskets). 

NYC Apartment Storage Ideas

New York City is known for a multitude of things and having some of the world’s smallest apartments is one of them. The tiny studio with a shared bathroom down the hall is a NYC staple. But no matter how small your space is, we have some suggestions to spiff up your studio. 

If you’re curious about what causes clutter in apartments, here is a handy infographic on what things NYC residents needed space for in 2020. 

1. Declutter Your Apartment

Before we get to it, look around your space. You really don’t have the luxury of keeping clothes that you don’t wear. This is also probably not the best time in your life to begin collecting anything other than stamps. 

Once you’ve gone through your things, you’re ready to organize. 

2. Remove Your Closet Door

Losing your door creates a few different opportunities, including better furniture placement. Replace your closet door with a curtain and you won’t have to worry about your door hitting your bed. 

If you don’t need the closet in question for hanging clothes, install shelves (or place an affordable shelving unit inside). You’ll be amazed by how much more you’ll be able to fit in the space by making use of all the vertical space. 

Lastly, consider turning a closet into a mini office or vanity by placing a desk inside. If you have a new baby (and the closet is off your bedroom and the door is removed) it can also function as a mini nursery. 

3. Add Shelves and Baskets

Ikea has become almost synonymous with apartment living and with good reason. They produce affordable furniture that maximizes storage, including many kinds of sleek shelving units. 

Ikea estimates that one of these Billy bookcases is sold every five seconds somewhere around the world. Imagine two of these placed side-by-side along a wall and filled with baskets, books, paperwork, picture frames, or even folded clothing or dishes. It would add both storage and style. 

If you want to make it DIY, check out our tips on how to make a crate bookshelf. 

4. Use the Backs of Doors

Every square foot counts in an apartment, including the backs of doors. The Container Store is a great place to find door hangers that can be configured in a few different ways to store whatever it is you may need. 

Even easier, you could pick up a 24-pocket bag that hangs over the door and creates an organized wall of storage spaces. You could stash anything from cleaning products to underwear to shoes in your newfound space. 

In a studio apartment, the back of your front door is really your only option without a closet door. Make the most of it, but make sure to properly secure the door hanger so your things don’t fly across the room every time you leave your apartment. 

5. Think Vertical

There’s only so much floor and counter space in a small apartment, but your walls offer a whole new opportunity—and not just for pictures and art. 

There is almost no end to what you can hang on walls, including decorative baskets, pots and pans, jewelry, coats, scarves, handbags, and even things like whisks and ladles. (Use Command hooks for damage-free hanging if necessary.) 

Will this approach land your home on the pages of Architectural Digest? No. But your space can still look stylish and fun, while also being neat and organized. 

You can also hang vertical gardens outside of your window and grow some fresh herbs or vegetables.  

How Do I Make More Space In My Apartment?

Sometimes, you just need a bigger place. But if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and move to a new home, self storage can be an affordable and easy alternative. 

We offer clean, well-lit storage units in a variety of sizes—all of which can be rented on a month-to-month basis. Check out our Self Storage Calculator to find the perfect size for you and rent a unit online today. 

It’s nice to be organized, but it’s also nice to keep your rent low. We can help you accomplish both!