Without noticing, you've amassed quite the clutter in your apartment. But that's OK! After a good spring cleaning and multiple bags donated to your local Goodwill, it's time to organize what's left.
You could be tempted to go the Instagram route of beautiful organized clear boxes and impeccable shelves, but there's no need for you to bust your budget. We compiled 15 affordable storage ideas for you to spend the weekend organizing the clutter and enjoy your new clean place as summer approaches.
A pegboard can easily be hung in your home office, entryway, kitchen or in the kids' room to hold important notes, meal planning, photos, keys and more. When doing so, make sure you use removable wall hooks so you don't have to worry about damage during move-out inspection.
You can easily customize the pegboard by painting it different colors and add small shelves to it to hold plants and more. Or if you're feeling extra do-it-yourself, you can pick up a few wood slabs and make a handmade pegboard.
Wine racks aren't just for bottles of wine, they're also clever storage for towels, magazines and even small shoes. Roll up each towel and put it in the rack.
It saves space if your bathroom doesn't come with a towel rack already and it gives easy access to guests.
A paper towel basket holder can easily store garbage bags, craft supplies and kitchen rags if you're looking to cut back on paper waste.
And the regular holder can also be used to store ribbon, ties, tapes and even bracelets.
When thinking of storage spaces, don't forget about your closet door. An expanding hanger can easily add a few more spots to hang your coats, belts or purses. The over the door hook adds four more hanging slots.
Our brains often procrastinate when there's clutter around our desks, so clear it out and start with a clean slate. Add a few pen cups to store your pens, pencils and other office supplies and start your work day with a new setup.
Keep your desk tiny with a colorful cord organizer. No more tangled USB cords with your headphones or mouse cord.
Maximize your closet shelves by using clothing storage cubes and store off-season items in an efficient manner. You can also use the cubes in big drawers to keep items in place and organized.
If you don't have any more door space for a purse rack, you can use a few shower curtain rings to hang your purses. Add two or three purses per ring and they will hang side by side, saving you space in your closet.
When your closet doors are already occupied with other racks and you're running out of room for your shoes, pick up a shoe holder for under the bed. It's a great option to separate shoes by season, as well.
For only a couple of bucks, you can pick up a few magazine racks and use them to store your purses and clutches in your closet. You can easily see them and grab the one you want as you run out the door.
In the kitchen, you can use a magazine rack to store aluminum foil and plastic wrap boxes on your counter.
The smaller the bathroom, the bigger the mess it seems. Pick up a magnetic strip roll from your local home improvement store to help store bobby pins, small scissors and tweezers.
Measure the inside of your medicine cabinet door, cut them to size and press them firmly. Add bobby pins and any other metal items you want to them.
If you don't have space for full nightstands and need a spot to place your phone, an affordable picture ledge is the right solution. You can easily attach it to the wall next to the bed.
You can also add a picture ledge or two to your pantry if there's room, so you're able to add extra storage and see everything you have in stock at once.
Use different size baskets to store extra linens, craft supplies, photo albums and more.
Good closet space can be hard to come by in small apartments. If you have space in your bedroom to add an anchored, wall-mounted shelf, consider adding a metal rail below it to add even more wardrobe space.
Are your necklaces a tangled mess in your jewelry drawer? Add a small shelf to your wall with small hooks below it to hang each necklace individually and never see tangles again.
Most people feel like they could use more space and almost everyone can create some in their home simply by moving a few extra items. Simultaneously, no one likes to simply throw things out or waste things they could be recouping value on.
When you move, you need to maximize the space of your moving truck, as well as maximize the space in your new home. To do so, you have two main options – get rid of your stuff or get better storage.
The most foolproof way to create more space in your home is to get rid of the stuff that takes up that space and that you no longer use. No one wants to waste something they can put to better use, though. Two great options that are available to prospective home organizers are donating or selling items they don't use.
Certain things are much easier and much more rewarding to donate rather than sell. One of the most obvious examples is clothes. In cities with cold climates, winter clothing like coats, sweaters and warm pants can be especially valuable to those in need.
Socks are also great to donate. They help prevent frostbite in cold weather climates and are so seldom donated to most charities and shelters that they're always in demand. Surplus blankets can take up plenty of closet space and would make a great charitable donation as well.
Donating excess items is a great option for anyone with a busy schedule. Giving certain things to charity is usually much simpler and quicker than selling them. Many charities like the Salvation Army even offer free pickup of certain donations. Depending on where you live, a local charity might offer similar pickup services. No matter where you live, though, there's likely to be a Habitat for Humanity ReStore which would be happy to accept your donations. And of course, don't forget to ask if you can use the donation for tax credits.
Donating excess items feels great, but turning those items into cash isn't a bad idea, either. Some of that cash could help cover moving (or storage) expenses!
Mass-produced, “one size fits all" items like CDs, DVDs, books and video games are some of the easiest things to sell. Most of these items can be listed on eBay, Amazon, Half.com or other similar sites and quickly receive attention from prospective buyers. Busier prospective sellers can get rid of items in bulk on sites like DeCluttr or SecondSpin.
For more valuable and more unique items like furniture, a simple Craigslist post can often garner a significant amount of attention, but more specific sites like AptDeco are around that help out with some other parts of selling furniture. A virtual Craigslist “garage sale" can help you get rid of other things in your home, some you might not have even known would interest people.
As good as “getting rid of everything" sounds, it's not the best option for every item. Certain things have sentimental value and letting go can be difficult. But there's almost always an opportunity to get more out of the space you have or find additional space that works for you.
Organizational systems and the right containers go a long way. Keeping your moving boxes (or buying new ones) can help you maximize all the volume in the storage space in your home.
One great way to create more space in your home is to buy furniture with built-in storage. A coffee table with storage space inside can create space in the living room, and a Murphy bed can do the same in the bedroom.
Outside storage may seem too expensive or too time-consuming to use, but there are plenty of options available for whatever your unique needs may be. From self-storage and full-service storage to startups like MakeSpace and hybrid solutions like PODS, there's any number of ways you can safely and affordably store your items until you're ready to use them again.
The bathroom is one of the rooms in our apartments where clutter is most likely to accumulate. Different bathroom organizers on the market today seek to eliminate this problem but often fall short.
While storage is tricky in small spaces in general, the bathroom can be particularly troublesome. But, there are practical steps you can take to make your bathroom tidier. If the bathroom is a problem area in your apartment, follow along with our list of bathroom organization ideas for some inspiration.
If you were to open your linen closet right now, what do you think would be taking up the most space? Likely, for many, that would be towels as they are quite bulky. Just a few towels alone can end up taking more than one shelf.
If shelf space is in high demand, taking towels out of the equation can be huge. Try repurposing a hanging wine rack, instead.
Rolled towels tend to fit perfectly into cubbies originally intended for wine bottles. Plus, many hanging wine racks will have additional storage for other items you’d like to get out of the way.
And, if you “accidentally” leave a single bottle of wine where a towel could go, then you’re ready for your bubble bath complete with a glass of your favorite vino!
An option for storage in small places that’s often overlooked are hooks or hanging baskets. For items that don’t really fit on the countertop, hanging them on the wall out of the way can help declutter your space in a big way.
This is especially useful for small appliances that have long cords like hair straighteners, electric shavers or blow dryers. There are even adhesive hooks made specifically for hair dryers.
Hanging these bulky items not only helps your space appear more organized, but it can also help you avoid accidental burns by keeping hot tools out of your way.
Do you have a catch-all place for small items in your bathroom or do they find a home scattered across your countertop? If the latter is the case, you might want to consider this “attractive” option for bathroom storage: a magnetic strip.
Magnetic strips can be found in many sizes and easily attached to a flat surface in your bathroom. You could place one below your vanity mirror, inside a cabinet or next to your shower.
Magnetic strips are fantastic for storing virtually any small, metal bathroom product like scissors, tweezers, bobby pins, nail clippers berets and more.
There are several other easy, inexpensive storage solutions for a small space – layered baskets for bottles and toiletries, trays for makeup, jars for cotton balls and q-tips and organizers for brushes and combs. Look at your stuff and your space and pick out what’s best for you. Your countertop will be clutter free in no time.
Get a jump on cold weather season and tackle your coat closet organization, easily and quickly. To get started, assess the contents of the closet and the state of your winter gear. Take soiled coats to the dry cleaners and donate or discard any outgrown or damaged outerwear. Group similar items and remove any contents that don’t belong in this storage closet. You should also consider what is missing, and gather those items to store here so that heading out the door is easier.
Here are the essential tips you need to organize your coat closet now:
Consider the closet size, shelving system, and organizers already in place. Think about what works and doesn’t work with this current system. Are there structural organizers like shelves you could add to improve the function of the closet? Does the space need a new coat of paint?
The goal is to create order out of chaos, and you will need an organization system to achieve this. After grouping like items, think about their order and arrangement within the closet space. You could hang each family members’ coats together and then group winter gear by type: hats, gloves, boots, etc. No kids? Try color coordinating your coats and gear.
Put frequently used items at eye level where they're easy to reach. Less frequently used items or extras can go up high in the coat closet. Got kids? Hang or place their gear lower, so they can get it themselves.
Storage bins are great, and you will probably use a few to organize your coat closet, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Hooks, hanging organizers, baskets, trays, and shelf dividers are great for maximizing storage capacity and accessibility.
Improper storage of your wool coats and winter accessories during the summer months can damage these pricey items. Be sure you hang wool coats on wooden or padded hangers and fasten all zippers and buttons. Then place them in garment bags. Use cedar blocks to protect from moth holes. Insert boot forms in tall leather boots to prevent misshaping.
These tips will help you organize your coat closet in no time. It may be tempting to postpone this task, but just think about how great it will feel come fall when temperatures cool down and you can easily access a clean, fresh jacket or coat. Happy organizing!
Related: How to Declutter Toys
If you've ever lived in an apartment that was lacking in storage space, you'll never again take closets for granted. Trying to fit all of your possessions into small closets (or no closets at all) is difficult and frustrating, especially for those who like their living spaces neat, clean and well-organized.
Not having a bedroom closet is perhaps the most challenging storage situation. I once lived with two others in a two-bedroom apartment that also had a large office, which was my bedroom. Lucky for me, the office had its own bathroom attached. Not so lucky: the closet was nonexistent.
If you're living in a bedroom that doesn't have a closet, it can seem inconvenient at best, but you do have options. Take a look at this survival guide for creating clothes storage when you don't have a closet:
One of the most obvious solutions is to buy a large armoire or dresser to store clothes in. What's great about armoires over dressers is that they offer a place to hang any clothing that you'd rather not fold.
Dresses, blouses, and easily wrinkled items won't have to be shoved into a dresser drawer, which could potentially save you from having to pull out the iron every day before work.
Dressers, on the other hand, are great for people with a lot of foldable clothes. Either piece of furniture comes in various sizes, so those who live in a small space will be able to easily find something that fits their room.
Stores like Target and Ikea sell clothing racks of all different shapes and sizes. You'll easily be able to find smaller standing clothing racks that have a single bar on which to hang your clothes.
There are also full closet organizers that you can mount to a wall with multiple shelves and rods great for holding an entire wardrobe. Though not as affordable, these are a one-and-done solution to not having a closet, and they're pretty easy to install on the wall.
The variety of bookshelves available in stores and online is truly amazing, so they're a great organization option for bedrooms with nonexistent closets. The bookshelves with cube-shaped cubbies are particularly useful for organizing different types of clothing and accessories.
If you're planning on using bookshelves in place of a closet, be sure to buy plenty of baskets and bins that will help you keep the shelves neat and uncluttered.
Floating shelves are another useful storage option, and they're especially great because they can fit onto walls of any size. Hang floating shelves across the width of an entire wall, or stack them from floor to ceiling. You can even install dividers on your shelves to keep all of your clothing items separated.
Installing drawers under the bed is both practical and unobtrusive, so it's a perfect solution for people who live in a small space. You can also inexpensively lift your bed to create even more storage space under it, using store-bought bed risers.
Consider storing shoes, handbags, and other less-often-used items under the bed so you don't have to get down on the floor every time you change clothes.
For a storage solution that's part decorative and part amazingly effective, find an antique or vintage trunk to keep at the foot of your bed.
Trunks are very spacious, so you'll be able to store a lot of your wardrobe in it. Use it for bulky items like sweaters, sweatshirts, and sweatpants that don't stack as easily on shelves.
Some of the prettiest and most colorful items in a person's apartment can be found in their closet, like shoes, handbags, scarves, and jewelry. Instead of tucking those items away into storage, find creative ways to display them around the room and apartment.
Buy a small coat rack just for your scarves and hang them by the front door. Line pretty high heels and handbags along the bookshelves in your living room or entryway. Hang your statement necklaces from pretty hooks on the wall above your toilet, rather than using that space for a piece of art.
Many of the solutions in this survival guide leave your clothing out in the open or on display, but simply hanging a curtain can help you tuck your wardrobe out of sight. Attach it to your bookshelves or simply hang one from the ceiling in front of your shelves to hide your clothing.
If you have one particular wall that would work well for a "closet," mix and match the ideas to create exactly what you need for storing your own personal belongings. Hang floating shelves across the entire wall, then attach a closet rod to the wall beneath them. Or, find two small armoires and put them on either side of a short bookshelf.
So you've found the perfect apartment, but you aren't sure how to make the space work for you. For many renters, the relief that comes after finding a budget-friendly apartment is swiftly followed by the feeling that there is a lack of storage space. If you feel a little cramped in your small apartment, don't despair. Check out these effective organization ideas that can help you settle into your apartment more comfortably. All you need are some shoeboxes!
Drawers are one of the saving graces of a small apartment—especially if they're extra-long! The problem is, if you have a set of dark, long drawers under the bed or in the closet, it's tough to find what you're looking for inside.
The solution? Transparent shoe boxes! Organize the contents of your drawers into different types of items; then put those into clear shoeboxes to make finding everything much simpler. Pens, papers, and crayons might take up one box, electronic devices another. It all depends on what you need to store! Just make sure that each shoebox is filled with similar items so that you don't need to search through more than one when the time comes.
If your socks are falling out of the shelves or dresser drawers, you aren't alone. Underwear not staying where it should? Again, this is a common problem.
To keep everything in your closet neatly in place, try designating 2 or 3 shoe boxes into your dresser drawers or closet space. Once paired, throw your clean socks into 1 one the boxes; underwear into another; bras into the third. Are you a swimsuit hoarder? Toss those suits into their own shoebox and keep them from mixing with the rest of your clothing.
This way, you won't have to search through an entire drawer full of undergarments to find what you're looking for. Keeping small clothing items in shoeboxes will also stop them from migrating into other parts of your wardrobe. This kind of organizational system gives you an ideal place to toss popped buttons, zippers and other clothing items for later repair.
There are so many tiny items floating around in most people's kitchen cabinets, some only get found before moving house. Between loose tea bags, packets of juice crystals and gravy, stock cubes and the odd Hershey's Kiss, the kitchen cabinets can become littered with stray items.
For those non-perishable cupboard dwelling packets, introduce a couple of clear or color-coded shoeboxes. Keep it simple, but not too strict: 1 box for savory; 1 box for sweets. Another for all those tricky little bits and pieces that get used only a couple of times a year, say for cake decorating.
Your spice collection can also benefit from the use of a spare plastic shoebox, preferably one that has a solid color. Dried herbs and spices do get stale over time, so it's best to keep them stored carefully in a dark, cool place.
Depending on the climate where you live, the ideal place for a shoebox full of herbs and spices may be the corner of your pantry, a top shelf in the cabinet or even inside the refrigerator. Make sure that the lids of each bottle are tightly closed to ensure the longevity of their contents.
Nearly anything is possible in a rental apartment, no matter what the size—especially when shoeboxes are plentiful! If you're worried that plain shoeboxes aren't going to fit into your decor scheme, why not fancy them up a bit?
All it takes is a bit of measuring, glue, and some wallpaper or gift paper that you like. Wrap the boxes up neatly in the paper, and you've got an attractive theme piece that can be added to every room in the apartment!
Once you've prettied-up your shoebox collection, you can use some boxes to hold useful daily items that have no real home elsewhere. Batteries, spare remote controllers, unmatched socks or gaming controllers can all sit comfortably in their own shoebox, completely anonymous until you need them. It's a great way to conceal unattractive items within a cute, decorative box!
How do you make the most out of your apartment space? Are shoeboxes a regular part of your routine? Share your ideas with us on Twitter!
Photo Credit: New Africa / Shutterstock
For many people, a bicycle is a treasured possession, for daily commuting, exercise, or purely recreational purposes. But trying to keep your bike in a small apartment can be difficult.
If this sounds like you – maybe you live in one of the Top 10 Bikeable Cities? – and your residence is a small apartment, you know the challenges of bike storage. When you’re short on space, even something as small as a bike can create an obstacle in a room.
Cycling is on the rise — the number of people who commute to work via bike has gone up by about 60 percent over the past decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If you’re lucky cyclist, your apartment community has anticipated this growth and built a bike storage room for residents, like this:
But if you’re not so fortunate, what to do? Get creative. Here are some out-of-the-way spots to store your bike at home.
If you're in serious need of a storage solution in your apartment, you only need a few wooden crates, some paint and hardware to build your own bookshelf!
What's great about this project is that you can customize it, making it as small or as large as you like. Since I have no bookcases in my place, I decided to fill my entire wall. Four stacked crates would also work just as well.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, hand soap – everything you keep in an apartment bathroom is small, but lots of small things add up to one big storage challenge. Finding a place to keep all that stuff can force small-space dwellers to adopt creative solutions, particularly women who have to think about makeup and hair styling tools on top of everything else.
If your apartment bathroom is small enough to make you claustrophobic, no one blames you. Surveys show that ample storage space is one of the top features people look for in an apartment. But don’t tear your hair out just yet – there are many ways to store all the things you need in your little loo; you just have to get creative.
Shoes: We’ve all got them, some of us always want more of them, and we all need a system to store them.
Organizing your shoe collection can be a challenge, especially if you live in a small apartment – but even if you hoard footwear of all shapes, sizes and colors a la Carrie Bradshaw, there’s a storage solution out there for you.[find-an-apartment]
And we’re not just looking at you, ladies – men love their shoes, too. So how can you make your shoe collection walk the line instead of two-step out of control? Read on:
Do you have an idea for a topic you’d like to learn more about?