Storage for Small Spaces

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Whether you’ve just moved into your first (small) home, are living in a very small big city apartment or are downsizing, the challenge of storage for small spaces is real. Rather than being stymied by the limits of storage in a small home, embrace the creative challenge with these simple tips.

bright sunny modern living room

Whether you downsized from a large home filled with over 30 years of accumulated stuff or are just starting out with a few boxes of belongings, you’re excited about your new smaller space, but also not sure how to best utilize small room storage ideas.

How Do You Maximize Storage in a Small Apartment?

  1. Ruthlessly declutter
  2. Think creatively
  3. Use hidden furniture storage
    1. Bed with storage drawers or a headboard with storage
    2. Nightstands with drawers and shelves
    3. Storage ottomans
    4. Bench with storage
  4. Use vertical space
    1. Tall bookshelves
    2. Hooks in closet as high as you can reach
    3. Shelves in kitchen as high as you can reach
    4. Floor-to-ceiling pegboard
    5. Shelves placed over doorways
  5. Use hidden storage opportunities
    1. Behind the couch
    2. Under the bed
    3. Behind the door
    4. Behind an armchair
  6. Use storage that can be furniture
    1. Trunk as a coffee table
    2. Shoe storage and entryway table combo
    3. Kitchen table with storage shelf
  7. Use storage that is decor
    1. Hat boxes
    2. Decorative boxes
    3. Vintage suitcases

Storage for Small Spaces

Off the Floor

First, avoid using the floor for random storage because this will make your new place look cluttered. Keep as much as possible off the floor. Added tip: When deciding about furniture locations, try leaving a three-inch space between the wall and any items as this will definitely create the illusion of space.

Vertical Shelves

You have wall space all the way to the ceiling. When you’re looking for storage in small spaces, be sure to take advantage of that space. Vertical shelving units can be purchased reasonably at many retail outlets and come in a variety of textures, colors and materials. These are awesome for storing clothes, kitchen items and more. You can also make this a DIY project and build these shelves yourselves or hang individual shelves on walls.

Utilize Space with Furniture

When you live in a small apartment or home, it’s necessary to think differently. You need to make all your furniture do double duty for you. Always first consider furniture with built-in storage. Every piece of furniture in your small space needs to function both as its original purpose and as storage. This is one of the easiest storage ideas for small spaces on a budget since you’re getting two uses out of every furniture item.

Skirt That Table

Caterers love table skirts because they create hidden storage for lots of items that they don’t want seen. You can use this same idea in your quest for creating storage for small spaces. Take your kitchen table and add a long, draping tablecloth or even a genuine table skirt and you will have created storage space. Do the same with end tables, nightstands and even benches.

Hide Your Electronics

An important part of storage for small spaces is dealing with clutter and visual clutter.

Electronics, while necessary, can be ugly and all those cords create visual clutter. While every storage space is precious in your small home, consider keeping electronics in drawers or other hidden storage areas.

These cord organizers make it easy to organize cord clutter:

Be careful with items that need space to breathe and cool. Also, consider where to place your router, because you don’t want to hinder your internet strength by blocking the signal.

sunlight coming in 2 large windows in modern apartment

Embrace Windows and Sunlight

Natural light is your friend in a small space. Do everything you can to not block windows and sunlight. Additionally, neutral paint colors and mirrors are your best friend!

clothes storage for bright women's clothes


Small spaces usually mean small closets. We can’t make the closet any larger, but we can maximize every inch with creative clothes storage ideas.

Study those beautiful expensive closet companies’ photos. They put every square inch of closet space to good use and you can, too. You can choose more affordable closet organization products and DIY projects to achieve the same effect.

Small Closet Organizing Products

Small Kitchen Organizing

Safety is a key issue in organizing a small kitchen. In addition to the challenge of having limited space, you need to consider creating a safe and organized space.

Metal kitchen utensils handing in front of blue and white tile wall

I’ve shared many kitchen organizing ideas. Some that are unique to storage in small kitchens are:

It can be a shock to move from a big home to a smaller place. This may be the perfect time for a 5-week organizing challenge. and you may have to think and make serious plans as you find storage for small spaces. When you’re purposeful and creative about the storage in small spaces, it can feel cozy and like home right away.

Pin for later inspiration in your small home.

Find all my best organizing tips, hacks, printables and favorite products in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

Sam Radbil is the lead writer for ABODO Apartments, an online real estate and apartments marketplace with available apartments from small towns like Eugene, Oregon to big cities like Chicago. ABODO’s research and writing has been featured nationally in Curbed, Forbes,, HousingWire and more.

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