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How to Organize Your Small Apartment

The biggest problem with living in a small apartment is finding enough space to store your belongings. When renting a storage unit isn’t an option, you need to get creative about how you can fit everything in a small space without having it look cluttered or messy. While your method will vary depending on the layout of your apartment, these tips are a good place to start.

Wall Displays
Anything small and decorative, like jewelry or your shell collection, can be turned into a display. An easy way to display jewelry is to hang a cheap bamboo sushi roller either on a wall or in a window and store your studs and dangly earrings in the spaces. Larger items can be placed in hanging shadow boxes. If you aren’t allowed to drill holes in the wall, there are a number of non-permanent adhesive hooks that can hold weight surprisingly well with no damage to the wall paint.

Hallway Storage
You can relegate tall, thin home furniture like bookshelves or hat racks to the hallway. Yes, this can make hallways seem cramped, but the extra space you’ll have in the living room and bedroom will be worth it. Still, exercise caution—you don’t want your hallway to turn into a fire hazard.

Downsize Appliances
Some appliances, like egg beaters, fit neatly in the utensils drawer, while others, like microwaves, can take up all of your counter space. If your appliances are large or outdated, sell them or donate them. Then buy home appliances that are sized to match your kitchen.

Storage Oven
If you don’t have enough room for them in your cabinets, remember that you can always store pots, pans, and baking implements in the oven or the dishwasher. Just remember to remove them before you use the oven.

Color Scheme
White and other pale colors automatically make a room look larger and better-lit. Check your landlord to see if you are allowed to paint your apartment a different color. If the apartment was already painted white but has gone dingy with time (often the case in older buildings), your security deposit may even cover a free paint job.

Space-Saver Bags
Separate your clothing by season, leaving “crossover” items like jeans, business attire, and socks where they are. If you can, you should also use this as an opportunity to get rid of any clothing you haven’t worn in the past year. Place any clothing you won’t be wearing for the next several months in space-saver bag, which can reduce in volume by at least 50% once you’ve vacuumed the air out. You may do this with any extra bedding or towels (i.e. beach towels during the winter) as well. This should allow you more storage space in your bedroom and linen closets.