Tame clutter and maximize space with these smart, unexpected solutions.
No matter how spacious your apartment, chances are, you could always use more storage. This is especially true during the holidays, when adding festive decorations feels right — until you’re left with nowhere to put ’em come January.
Whether you’re moving into a Boston rental or an apartment in Nashville, TN, here are 10 surprising storage solutions to carve out more space for stuff in every room of your home.
Divide rooms strategically
Partitioning off an open floor plan might seem beside the point. But when you add shelves and cubbies, the right room divider can actually make a space feel bigger while also giving you more places to rein in clutter. Tip: This wheeled version from Ana White is ultraflexible.
Kit out your coffee table
Coffee tables can quickly become catchalls for unopened mail, magazines, and other clutter. That’s why we love this DIY by A Beautiful Mess, with elegant compartments beneath a lift-up, translucent acrylic top. Such a cool way to show off colorful knickknacks while keeping them out of the way.
Boost your bed
Squeeze even more storage out of that prime space under the bed with an inexpensive set of bed risers. You’ll get a full 6 extra inches of height, enough room to stack up two layers of boxes if you play your cards right.
DIY a narrow pantry
While a wall-mounted spice rack works wonders in a small apartment kitchen, this DIY organizer on wheels by Classy Clutter is life-changing! If you have even a 6-inch gap between the fridge and the adjacent wall, you could swing this project and gain a ton of extra space for nonperishables. Roll it out when you need it and slide it back into place (and out of the way) when you’re done.
Exploit the ceiling
Perhaps the most underused space in any home is the closet ceiling, which is exactly where one clever homeowner found space to stow rolls of wrapping paper. A few carefully placed wires keep ’em corralled and out of view. This is a genius trick for the holiday season, of course, but we can picture similar suspended storage working for extra linens and handbags too.
Stack some boxes
Here’s a supersimple way from A Beautiful Mess to squeeze in extra storage in practically any nook, cranny, or corner: Cover small boxes (any size works) with patterned paper or fabric and stack them up. Inside, stash remotes, extra linens, shoes, sweaters, or basically anything you want to keep out of plain sight.
Build a breakfast nook
This deceptively simple breakfast nook designed by Arkin Tilt Architects (photo by Ed Caldwell) beautifully combines hidden storage with open shelving. Dishes and stemware go above the seats, silverware drawers pull out from the seat backs, and the benches flip up to reveal even more storage. If you can find (or build) a similar banquette to fit your apartment’s dining room or kitchen, you’ll be all set for storing culinary wares.
Stuff your stairs
From the “why didn’t we think of this?!” file, handy pullout drawers built into steps make the most of that often overlooked space under the staircase. It could be just the thing you need in a split-level rental (but even if you think your landlord will love the end result, get their signoff before hiring a carpenter).
Put up a pop-up
Does your building or rental home have outdoor or basement space? Take full advantage of it with a pop-up tent to house bikes, skis, or other sports equipment that might not fit inside. (Just be sure to clear it with your landlord before setting up.)
When in doubt, look up
Almost every apartment has vertical wall space prime for the taking. Whether you stack towels atop a wall-mounted cabinet or maximize the area above the toilet like My Fabuless Life, the possibilities for adding creative high-up storage are endless.