10 Fun and Cheap Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments


One of the most frustrating parts of living in an apartment is lack of space. And even if you have ample room, organization can present other challenges. Of course, cleaning out your belongings is always a useful activity when maximizing square footage. (See also: 10 Ways To Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit)

For those items you just can't part with, try some of these smart storage solutions.

1. Custom Shelving

You can configure pipes and plywood boards in any way that pleases your aesthetic (and function) with this DIY shelving project. Check out your local hardware store's plumbing section to find pipes, connections, and flanges that will make the framework for your boards to rest upon. If you can't find boards the size you need, you can get them cut for free or a nominal fee in the lumber section.

2. Hanging Baskets

Small bathrooms and kitchens can benefit greatly from the addition of hanging fruit baskets. The benefit here is that there's little required for installation — so even if you have a picky landlord, you should be able to do this project and get your deposit back. The photo shows bath toys stashed in the baskets, but you can put in anything you need off your counters.

3. Clothing Rack

Closets are another issue in apartments large and small. Heck, my first house hardly had any closets — so it's an epidemic, if you ask me. The solution: Get yourself a sturdy garment rack! You can buy one for as little as $10 at Ikea. Making one — here's a tutorial using more pipes and boards — might cost a bit more but give you some flexibility with regard to design.

4. Corner Storage

If the industrial look isn't your cup of tea, this corner shelving nook might be more what you're after. Just head to the organization section at your home improvement store to find the basic shelving brackets. They most often come in plain white, but you can spray paint them to match any decor. The author suggests saving money by purchasing narrow boards for top shelves that might house lighter, smaller items.

5. Hooks

If you look around, you can probably find a million purposes for hooks in your space. And the good news is that hooks are cheap. Use adhesive hooks anywhere you need to hang something. In the kitchen, for example, that might mean stowing pot covers on a cabinet door.

6. Ottoman

Most of us like to prop our feet up after a long, hard day. And this DIY Storage Ottoman is perfect for this purpose — all while providing some extra hidden space to toss belongings. The instructions include directions for adding wheels, but you can skip that if you want your cube to remain stationary. Total cost is around $40, which is much cheaper than store ottomans I've seen. (See also: 10 Super Cool Ways to Hide Storage in Your Home)

7. Bookcases

When I was living in apartments, the most useful piece of furniture I owned was my large bookcase. I used it for books, of course, but it was most useful for other items I needed to organize in my everyday life, like dishes, records, craft supplies, and — eventually — my child's toys. You can find bookcases at thrift shops for a dime. Making them work for non-book items is easy with some baskets, hooks, and bins tossed in the mix.

8. Door Racks

You know those over-door storage solutions for shoes, makeup, and other items? Forget the advertised purpose and use them for whatever you need up and out of the way. The shoe organizers can be great for cleaning supplies, cooking utensils, or bathroom items. You can even use them to organize art supplies and small toys in your child's room.

9. Book Gutters

Though I most often see this project for children, I think a rain gutter bookshelf would work equally well for adult books (and other smaller items, like craft supplies). Stock up on plastic rain gutters in the exterior section by all the roofing materials. Spray paint them to your desired shade. Hang them on the wall. It's that simple!

10. Laundry Dresser

When I lived in my small studio, the biggest problem I had was keeping my clothing off the floors. This DIY Laundry Dresser is a smart, stylish solution. If you are working on a minimalist wardrobe or don't have many clothes, you can also use this type of dresser to organize a large number of things from kitchen gadgets to office supplies.

How do you create storage in a tiny space? Please share in comments — we'll make room!

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