Finding enough storage space is tough in an apartment. Sometimes it feels like our belongings are secretly spawning in the night. They have an evil goal in mind to not only make our apartment look cluttered, but also to ensure it is nearly impossible to quickly find anything. There is a way to get back in control and have an apartment that neatly contains all your things in places where you can find them.
If you work from home or even have just a desk with a computer, printer etc. the space can quickly become an eyesore covered in books, bills, paper and more. Consider investing in an armoire. You may need to do some work on it, but taking out a couple of shelves leaves room for your computer, the printer can either go in the cupboard underneath and files can be kept on a shelf above. The best part though is the doors – shut them for an instantaneously tidy space.
Up and under
Up, up, up! Where appropriate install floor to ceiling shelves and don’t think they are only for books. This works well in a bedroom with a too small closet – the shelves can hold sweaters, jeans, and baskets full of socks and underwear. In the kitchen, you can stack dishes, display cups and even leave some space to hang pots and pans. You can save your cupboard space for food and items like Tupperware that don’t display as nicely. If floor space is at a premium, just put shelves on the upper half of the wall – above the kitchen table, above the bed, etc.
Next look under. Under the bed there is a lot of wasted floor space. Either install drawers or simply buy some long low bins to keep not-often-needed items. How high are your kitchen cabinets? Some have enough space to slide under another bin.
And let’s consider your bed. Is it possible to have a day bed? Not only can this double as a seating area, many have built-in storage. Also consider a futon in one room if you tend to have regular overnight guests.
Coat racks are another useful item – stick them in a corner for purses, hats, belts, blankets, towels in the bathroom, just about anything can hang on these handy things. Be careful not to overload them though. If it is in a high-traffic area, too much stuff slung over the rack can look messy and be bulky.
Trunks and benches
Always think ‘what else can it do’ when considering a piece of furniture. Trunks and benches are great at playing double duty as both a sitting and storage place. Put a trunk at the end of the bed to store extra blankets or winter clothes and another one in the living room as a coffee table filled with blankets. Put a bench in the living room as a side seating space and put some rattan baskets underneath for books. A bench also works well in entry ways – a place to store shoes as well as a seat to put them on.
These tend to get messy quickly. The plan is to have lots of bins, buckets and shelves for everything. Walls are even handier in kids’ rooms – their stuff is smaller so it’s great to hang pegs for clothing and colorful buckets filled with stuffed animals.
A good closet storage system will also go a long way in keeping things neat and tidy. It needn’t be a constant battle, you vs. your stuff. Just remember, a place for everything and everything in its place.