Few of us have the amount of living space we’d really like to have, if cost (utilities, furnishings, rent, etc.) were no object. And those of us in apartments – especially one-bedroom and studio apartments – have to work a little harder to arrange and store all our belongings comfortably. With a little organization, some quick thinking and creative use of space, though, you can pack a whole lot into any apartment – here’s how!
Use spaces and storage in unconventional ways
A friend of mine uses a large wall-mounted wine rack in her bedroom to store some of her vast shoe collection. That’s probably not an extreme most of us need to go to, but there are plenty of “assigned” spaces that can be used to put “other” things.
Use empty space
Two of the most underutilized spaces in apartments are under the bed and under the sofa. Use these to store flat items you don’t need to access on a regular basis, like spare blankets, boots, and seasonal decor like wreaths and wall hangings. Sealed in a large Ziploc™ type bag (they store up to 22-gallons) they’ll stay clean and dust-free.
For more unique storage and organizing ideas, check out these past posts: “Discover Your Apartment’s ‘Hidden’ Storage Space” and “12 of Our Favorite Organizing Tips.”
Arrange your furniture wisely
While decorators will tell you not to put all your furniture up against the walls, in smaller spaces that actually gives you more room to move around and creates a nice flow when you have company. You’ll want to create conversation spaces, though, so not all furniture should be relegated to the wall; a chair at a right angle to the sofa works well in most apartments.
Choose right-sized furniture
Avoid oversized chairs and deep sofas; they aren’t always more comfortable than smaller versions and take up a lot more room. The same goes for your bed – tall headboards and footboards, while they don’t take up any more floor space, will make your room feel smaller.
Pare down to the essentials
Too many decorative “extras,” like tall potted plants, big vases, too many throw rugs, and accent tables, tend to suffocate a room, even if they don’t reduce floor space.
Use décor to store
Here are some common items that can also be used for storage:
Here’s a clever tip we heard from a resident who moved from a cold to a warm climate and had little use for her winter coats: double up the clothes on your hangers. Hang coats or heavier items over lighter ones; leave the top item open so you can easily see what’s underneath. This works best with wood or metal (not wire) hangers and can expand your closet capacity significantly.
While these tips will be especially helpful to those in studios and one-bedroom apartments, they’re practical for everyone – even homeowners. Take a look around your apartment; is there space you’re not using that could be put to good use?
We’d love to hear any tips you use to optimize your space. Why not share with us?
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