Storage Ideas for Small Apartments

photo by David Engelhardt | architect: Tim Seggerman Design and Building Workshop
photo by David Engelhardt | architect: Tim Seggerman Design and Building Workshop

If you live in a rather small house or apartment, it’s immediately obvious that storage space is at a minimum. If you have a lot of stuff that requires storage, you’re going to have to plan it carefully or you’re going to end up with a lot of boxes all over the place. Having a small home can make storing all your items difficult, but the following are a few tips and suggestions to keep in mind to help keep your stuff in proper order and avoid the inevitable clutter that disorganized storage can cause.

One of the first things you should do before you start putting boxes away is to map out the available storage space in your home. Doing this gives you an immediate idea of how much space you have to work with, and helps you determine where and how each container will be set up. If you don’t have the blueprints of your apartment, a measuring tape and some graph paper will do the job just as well. Make sure to keep fairly accurate measurements as you’ll be comparing them to the length and height of the boxes you need to store.

Speaking of boxes, make sure the ones you’re using can stand being in storage for prolonged periods. Airtight plastic storage bins are usually the best option, as they’re resistant to moisture and are able to keep out pests, but if you don’t have any, make sure the boxes you’re using aren’t made of flimsy material. You’re storing items to keep them out of the way and to keep them safe from damage so it stands to reason that your containers should be able to accomplish the job.

Installing shelves in closets increases the amount of storage space you have, and is thus advisable, especially if you live in a small apartment. Most all home improvement stores sell a variety of do it yourself, or pre fabricated shelves and cabinets that can fit into any size home. Consult the layout you made to determine which size shelves or cabinets would fit perfectly into your available storage areas.

If you find that you’re still running out of space even after filling every nook and cranny of your home with various storage containers, consider letting some stuff go. Whether it be by donation, by recycling, or simply throwing stuff out, don’t be afraid to get rid of things you don’t really think you’ll use. It may have been in your family for years, but if you don’t really have any plans of learning how to play a bagpipe, it may be time to give it to someone else who does.

If you’ve already gotten rid of all the stuff you’re willing to let go, and yet still have boxes you can’t fit anywhere, consider renting a budget self storage unit where you can safely keep all of the items you only use rarely. Not only does this free up a lot of space in your home, this provides you with an additional room to place any future acquisitions in.

Having a small apartment may make it hard to properly store your stuff, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. A bit of planning does go a long way, and if done correctly keeps everything looking nice and tidy.

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vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

After downsizing from a large house to a small efficiency apartment, I can really appreciate this information. Long-term storage can be necessary, although I agree that sometimes it comes down to letting go of some things. Letting go can be hard, but also liberating. Voted up and shared!

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