5 Organization Ideas For Small Apartment Living

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woman considering organization ideas for small apartments

When you’re living in a small apartment, it’s important to keep clutter to a minimum so that your home feels spacious. So, keeping organization ideas in mind for your small space is a must.

The most important idea to hold in your head is that you only want to have things in your home that you use, love, or believe to be beautiful.

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That is paraphrased from a quote by William Morris, a 19th-century English poet and craftsman who said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Here are 5 organization ideas you should consider when living in a small apartment.

1. Look up, and use your vertical space.

This means making good use of your vertical space.

Install shelving. You can install floor-to-ceiling shelving if you have lots of things to store. Use floating shelves if you just need a little extra space to organize books, display items, kitchenware, or office supplies in your small apartment.

If there is room above the washer and dryer, install a drying rack that hangs from the ceiling.

Is there wall space in the kitchen for a pegboard? If so, get some metal clips for the pegboard and use them to hang small kitchen tools. This will save drawer and countertop space.

Another way to organize in a small apartment is to install a tension rod under the kitchen sink. Hang cleaning supplies there. You can also get an S-clip and hang a small broom and dustpan from the tension rod. This saves space in other cupboards.

Install a basket to hold boxes of things like tinfoil, plastic wrap, or sandwich bags. Use the inside of cupboard doors as other places to store things. You can install a lid rack and store your pot lids here.

Hang a cloth shoe holder on the inside of the coat closet door. Use it for small umbrellas, hats, gloves, and scarves.

The trick to organizing in a small apartment is to make use of all available space without making it look crowded. You want the apartment to feel larger than it is.

Using the vertical space on the inside of a door or a cupboard keeps things organized and out of sight.

2. Use space beneath your furniture, as well.

Use the space under furniture to store things you don’t access often.

Use drawers that can fit under the bed to hold extra sheets, towels, and blankets. Use another drawer under the bed for out-of-season clothing.

Store wrapping paper and ribbon in a box that can fit under the living room couch or under the bed.

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3. Buy multi-purpose furniture.

When you’re furnishing your apartment, look for pieces that can serve more than one purpose.

Some coffee tables have shelves underneath which can hold games. Some footstools are hollow and have a lid. Use the space inside to store throw blankets, placemats, napkins, and other odds-and-ends that need to be near the living room.

If you have a walk-in closet, put a chest of drawers inside the closet. This gives you more space in your bedroom. If there is room to hang a mirror above it or room to place a standing mirror on it, the chest of drawers can serve double-duty as a dressing table.

4. Create "zones."

Organize the space even better in a small apartment by creating zones, defined areas that serve specific purposes.

You do everything in your home now, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need a larger home. You just need to define the spaces and determine which activities happen in which zone.

If your dining table is at one end of the family room or living room, divide the space with a couch. If you have room for a chest of drawers near the dining table, use one or more of the drawers for office supplies.

You can use the dining table as a workspace during the day. It's also a great place for children to do their schoolwork.

For instance, the kitchen is the cooking zone. If there is a counter where you can sit and eat, it may also serve as another workspace.

During meal-prep time, the kitchen would be the cooking zone. But during work hours, it would serve as another office if both you and your partner work from home.

5. Enforce buying boundaries.

If you live in a small apartment, there's not a lot of space to store extra things. To make the place feel spacious, set limits on what you bring into the apartment.

Avoid buying things in bulk. Stay away from the warehouse stores. Yes, the price is good, but where will you put all those paper towels or rolls of toilet paper?

If you must get extra paper products, be creative. Put a tablecloth on your dining table, and hide all those extra paper products under the table.

If you're hanging on to some odds-and-ends and don’t know what to do with them, The Minimalists have this advice: If you can replace something in 20 minutes for under $20, then release it from your home if you're not using it. They call this the "Just in Case" rule.

When you go about getting organized in a small apartment, follow the tips as outlined in this article to maximize the space you have and make your home organized and clutter-free!

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Diane N. Quintana is a certified professional organizer who focuses on chronic disorganization. She’s also a master trainer and the owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives.

This article was originally published at DNQ Solutions. Reprinted with permission from the author.