One of the natural consequences of growth in your personal life is growth in your belongings. If you move in with someone, get married, adopt a pet, have kids, or bring your aging parents to live with you, your belongings will naturally grow as a result. This is fine—unless you live in a tiny apartment!
“Over the years, houses have gotten larger and the average household size has shrunk – yet we still seem to think we need bigger homes,” an article from the Houston property management team at Green Residential astutely points out. “What if the real solution to the need for more room is to maximize the space you already have?”
When a family outgrows their apartment, the natural solution is to move to a bigger place. However, that’s not always practical or possible, and there are many ways you can save space without changing your surroundings.
Here are some space-saving tips to try before you up and move.
1. Get Rid of Things
The first and probably most effective thing you can do to improve the space issue in your apartment is decluttering. You probably own more than you really need, and you probably haven’t used everything in a while.
Do yourself a favor and go through your stuff, selecting items that you haven’t used in the last year. Place them in piles to donate or throw away. You’ll be amazed at the amount of junk you’ve collected that you never use.
2. Build Vertical Storage
Most small apartment owners aren’t fully utilizing the wall space for storage. You can hang shelves, baskets, and cubes all over the walls to store your belongings. You can also use tall bookshelves and cube or basket organizers to store things out of sight.
3. Use Shoe Organizers
You can purchase shoe organizers at the dollar store and use them for many things. Hang them over the door in your closet to store your shoes, place them over the bathroom door to store towels and toiletries, or hang them over your linen closet door to be used as a first-aid kit organizer.
The applications of a good shoe organizer are limitless, and you can easily shave the organizer to whatever size you need.
4. Utilize Dead Cupboard Space
If you look inside any given cupboard, you’ll likely see plenty of dead cupboard space on the side walls. If there’s room, install small shelves to use as spice racks or to hang measuring cups. You can also hang organizers, hooks, or small baskets to the interior doors of cupboards.
Another idea is to turn the panels underneath a kitchen or bathroom sink into small storage baskets. With a simple kit, you can pop out the fake drawer face and install a storage basket for your sponges, soap, makeup, etc.
5. Try Space-Saving Hangers in Your Closet
You can get about five times as much space in your tiny closets by using space-saving hangers. You hang them on your closet rod-like normal, but they have five or more holes hanging down for you to hang more hangers inside. They take up a fraction of the space of side-by-side hangers, so you can fit more into your cramped closet.
6. Buy Space-Saving Furniture
If you have the funds, consider replacing some of your existing furniture for space-saving alternates. There are so many creative furniture options that have storage and functionality built right in.
A great example is a hollow ottoman for your living room. You could also buy tables or desks that are drilled into the wall and have hinges, so they lay flat against the wall when not in use. An over-the-arm table or narrow sofa table can replace your coffee table, and your bed frame can have drawers built underneath to save on space.
7. Hang Your Kitchen Items
Pegboards, hooks, and hanging racks in the kitchen will be a lifesaver! Tiny apartments usually don’t have enough drawer and cupboard space to fit all of your kitchen items, so you can hang your pots and pans, measuring cups, and towels underneath cabinets or on unused wall space.
8. Use Tension Rods
You might be surprised just how many uses there are for tension rods, and they’re all a space-savers dream! You can install a hanging herb garden in your kitchen, keep tub toys organized, separate sheet pans in your kitchen, arrange bathroom accessories, and so much more.
Don’t let your tiny space and abundant stuff run your life! You can control your space by decluttering and applying space-saving tactics to maximize your quality of life.
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