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Whether you live in an apartment with lots of space or in a 1930s house like mine with little space, you should never ignore your home office. We all know your home office’s function is to keep your life organized, as well as allow you to have a place to get your work done, but this can also serve as extra storage for your apartment.

With a few simple steps, you’ll have your place organized in no time. If you’re wondering how to make the most of your space without sacrificing your work area, check out these storage solutions every renter needs to know.

1. Have dedicated shelving from the ceiling down. If you have it, use it. Sometimes your home doesn’t come with a lot of storage. Take advantage of all the vertical space that you can for storage. An easy way to do this is to add floating shelving from above the desk all the way to the ceiling. Find inexpensive shelving units, such as Elfa shelving from the Container Store, which has limited wall damage – a plus for renters! With the shelves, create an organization system so your things don’t look cluttered. Invest in matched boxes for a cohesive look, but remember that not everything has to be in a box.

2. Invest in storage furniture. Storage furniture is functional, as it serves two purposes. This is a must, especially for small spaces. When I pick out furniture for a space, I ask myself, “Is this piece working hard for the right to be here?” For your home office, pick furniture that packs a one-two punch, like coffee tables, ottomans or benches.

Read more:
5 Creative Home Storage Ideas
Save Space in a Small Apartment with These Storage Solutions
How to Optimize Space in a Small Apartment

3. Oz-Style Storage. Create an illusion in your home office while keeping your items stored – behind a curtain just like the Wizard of Oz! Pick a wall in your office and hang a curtain rod from the ceiling, approximately a foot away from the wall. Choose any pattern or color that you want for the curtain. This creates an amazing space solution, as it becomes a “soft” or faux wall that hides an extra foot of space. The possibilities of what you can store behind this curtain are endless; you can store your bike, cleaning supplies and miscellaneous office supplies behind it, and no one will ever have to see it. Not only is this useful for storage, but it’s a great opportunity to get color in your white box of a space.

This article was written by TV host and design expert Kim Myles, who partnered with Apartment Guide for the 2012 “Your Picks. Your Place.” sweepstakes. Kim Myles won the HGTV reality series “Design Star 2” and hosts HGTV’s “Myles of Style.”

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