30 Small Apartment Storage Ideas to Maximize Space

Coffee supplies organized in front of a white pegboard

Mirage C / Getty Images

A small apartment can pose a challenge when it comes to storage, but with a little bit of creativity and a helpful organizational system, you can easily maximize space.

Whether you're dealing with small bedroom closets, a tiny bathroom vanity, or minimal kitchen cabinet space, we're sharing 30 clever ideas and tools that will add function and create more storage space in even the tiniest of apartments. From purchasing multi-purpose pieces of furniture to utilizing various types of storage containers, we've compiled these simple and inexpensive tips and tricks to help you maximize your storage space and streamline your home.

  • 01 of 30

    Switch to Slim Hangers

    Jeans hanging on black velvet hangers

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    If your small closet is currently made up of a mix of bulky wood and plastic hangers, make the switch to slim non-slip hangers. Not only will they give your closet a streamlined, professionally organized look, the space-saving velvet hangers will create much more hanging room.

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  • 02 of 30

    Utilize Wall Space

    Hats hanging on a closet wall

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    When organizing a small closet, maximize storage space by hanging what you can on the walls. This includes items such as hats, scarves, jewelry, belts, and more. This method will free up shelf and drawer space and keep your favorite items conveniently on hand.

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  • 03 of 30

    Free Up Cabinet Space

    Pots and pans hanging on a rack above the stove

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Limited cabinet space can make kitchen storage a challenge. If your cabinets are bursting at the seams, prioritize what goes inside them and hang items such as pots and pans on a wall-mounted rack. This will free up cabinet space and keep your cooking pots quickly accessible by the stove.

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  • 04 of 30

    Hide Clutter in Baskets

    Two baskets under an entryway console

    @lemonleafhomeinteriors / Instagram

    Wicker baskets are your best friend when it comes to quick, inexpensive, and flexible storage. They bring in a textural element and are a great way to fill an empty corner or space under a console, but they also serve a functional purpose.

    Use them to quickly clean up clutter, or to hold everyday items such as shoes or seasonal accessories in your entryway.

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  • 05 of 30

    Use a Storage Ottoman

    Storage ottoman in a living room

    @jcdesign1.1 / Instagram

    The key to keeping a small apartment tidy and clutter-free is using versatile furniture pieces that serve multiple purposes. A storage ottoman has hidden space to hold things like blankets, books, or pillows, but it also works as a coffee table and a spot to put up your feet after a long day.

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  • 06 of 30

    Add a Coffee Table With Storage

    Coffee table with basket storage underneath

    @my.bohemian.nest / Instagram

    Instead of using a coffee table that only has a top surface, choose one that doubles as a storage vessel. This can either be a round coffee table with a removable top that has a storage basket as its base or a coffee table with shelves or drawers.

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  • 07 of 30

    Get Cleaning Tools Off the Ground

    Cleaning tools hanging on a closet wall

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Cleaning tools such as vacuums, mops, and brooms can quickly become a tripping hazard that takes up too much room, which is why organizing them properly is key. Mount them on the wall in a closet or laundry room to keep them easily accessible but hidden and out of the way.

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  • 08 of 30

    Make Use of the Pantry Door

    Over-the-door shelves on a pantry door holding condiments and spices

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    If your pantry consists of a small closet with a couple of shelves, instantly add extra space by installing an over-the-door storage rack with tiered shelves. Use them to hold spices, condiments, and other non-refrigerated items.

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  • 09 of 30

    Hang Plants

    Plants hanging from the ceiling in an attic room

    @martinas_cosy_crib / Instagram

    For anyone whose plants have taken over every surface in their small apartment, here's a way to add more plants without running out of space—hang them from the ceiling. Use hanging planters to suspend them from a slanted wall or ceiling and add a cool decorative element to your space at the same time.

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  • 10 of 30

    Bring in Risers

    Risers used for cans in a pantry

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Place plastic or wood risers on pantry shelves to hold cans and other nonperishable goods. You won't have to rummage through an entire shelf to find what you need as it'll be clearly visible, you'll gain extra space, and your pantry will be neater and more organized.

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  • 11 of 30

    Install a Tiered Shower Caddy

    Shower caddy in a bathroom

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Use a tiered corner shower caddy if your bathroom has limited or no storage space at all. This clever storage solution doesn't require any drilling and usually attaches to bathroom tile with strong suction cups, making it the perfect choice for renters.

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  • 12 of 30

    Add a Lazy Susan Turntable

    Lazy Susan turntables in a cabinet with condiments

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Another great trick for keeping pantry items and condiments easily accessible and creating more shelf space is to use a lazy Susan turntable. The wood or plastic round tray turns 360 degrees and works just as well in a pantry or cabinet as it does inside a fridge.

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  • 13 of 30

    Double Closet Hanging Space

    Closet with two hanging rails

    Breathing Room Organization + Styling

    You may think there's no way you can double hanging space in your small closet, but you actually can—simply hang two rails at different heights. Use the top rail for tops and the lower for bottoms and it'll instantly create twice as much storage space as you had before.

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  • 14 of 30

    Store Shoes in an Over-the-Door Rack

    Over-the-door organizer on a closet door

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Hang an over-the-door rack on your closet door to hold shoes so that they don't clutter your entryway. This is an inexpensive storage tool that consists of clear plastic or fabric pockets for each shoe that has two hooks at the top to hang over the door. You can also use it to store other items such as hats and gloves in an entryway closet or toiletries in a small bathroom.

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  • 15 of 30

    Throw Out Bulky Boxes

    Tea bags in a clear organizer

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Chances are, you have some half-empty boxes taking up valuable space in your kitchen cabinets or pantry shelves. Empty out boxes such as those holding tea bags, and organize them in clear plastic containers that make it easy to see what's inside and provide compact storage.

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  • 16 of 30

    Give Floating Shelves Double Function

    Kitchen with a long floating shelf

    @martinas_cosy_crib / Instagram

    Floating shelves provide both a storage and display surface, but give them an extra function by attaching a hanging rack from the bottom of the shelf. Place hooks on the rack and hang pots, pans, cooking utensils, and dish towels off of them.

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  • 17 of 30

    Bring in a Decorative Ladder

    Wood ladder with towel on it in a bathroom

    @lemonleafhomeinteriors / Instagram

    Add style and function with a decorative ladder that can be used to hold towels in the bathroom or store blankets and quilts in the bedroom. It adds a touch of farmhouse charm as well as extra portable storage space.

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  • 18 of 30

    Organize Cabinets With Dividers

    Pots and lids organized in dividers

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    The more organized your cabinets are, the more you can fit inside. Incorporate organizational tools such as dividers to hold pots, pans, and lids and they'll be easier to access and store. You'll be surprised by how much more your cabinet will be able to hold.

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  • 19 of 30

    Hang an Entryway Shelf

    Entryway with a floating shelf and mirror

    @houseofchais / Instagram

    No matter how tiny the entryway in your small apartment is, mount a shelf on the wall to create a small surface area where you can drop your keys and other essentials when you get home. Hang a mirror above it to create a decorative vignette and you instantly have a makeshift entryway even if it's just a wall in your living room.

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  • 20 of 30

    Make Use of Wardrobe Doors

    Wardrobe with hooks and shoe rack on the doors

    Laura Cattano Organizational Design

    Just like you can hang an over-the-door storage rack on a closet door, make use of wardrobe doors. Hang hooks and storage organizers from the inside of the door for small accessories, shoes, and a small mirror.

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  • 21 of 30

    Install Floor-to-Ceiling Shelves

    Floor-to-ceiling floating shelves with plants on them

    @thetravellingapartment / Instagram

    When trying to maximize every inch of limited square footage, think vertically and make sure to hang floating shelves all the way up to the ceiling. Keep more frequently used items that you need regularly on lower shelves and things that are purely decorative or only used occasionally on upper shelves for practicality.

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  • 22 of 30

    Use Multiple Organizational Containers

    Cleaning supplies in clear containers under the sink

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    There is a wide variety of organizational containers available, and using multiple different kinds gives you the benefit of squeezing as much out of your cabinets and shelves as you possibly can. Incorporate a lazy Susan, tiered organizers, and stacking bins and baskets so that each cleaning supply and item needed to be stored has its own designated spot.

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  • 23 of 30

    Use a Radiator Cover

    White radiator cover with decorative items on it

    @luckyplot13 / Instagram

    If you live in an old apartment with bulky radiators that take up way too much space, give them function by hiding them under covers. It'll conceal the old and often unsightly radiators and create a storage surface on the top to be used during the warmer months when the heaters are not on.

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  • 24 of 30

    Roll in a Tiered Cart

    Rattan cart in a kitchen

    @jcdesign1.1 / Instagram

    A tiered storage cart is a compact, multi-purpose home accessory that can be used in so many ways to create extra storage. Place it in the kitchen to hold fruit and additional pantry items, in your home office to store WFH supplies, or in the bathroom to stash away extra toiletries and towels.

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  • 25 of 30

    Corral Things in a Tray

    Kitchen with floating shelves and a tray on the butcher block countertop

    @houseofchais / Instagram

    Trays are versatile decorative accents whose practical role is to corral items by function. For example, use a wicker tray to store coffee essentials such as a container of beans, a sugar bowl, and mugs. Or go with a decorative tray on your bathroom vanity to hold makeup and skincare in an organized way.

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  • 26 of 30

    Don't Forget the Tops of the Cabinets

    Cookbooks and plants on the top of upper kitchen cabinets

    @homebypolly / Instagram

    Upper cabinets that extend all the way up to the ceiling provide maximum storage, but if there is a space between the tops of the cabinets and the ceiling, treat it as additional storage space. Use it for cookbooks, vases, and less frequently used cookware—keep a step stool in the kitchen so you can easily access the items.

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  • 27 of 30

    Purchase Multi-Purpose Furniture

    Gold nesting coffee table in a colorful living room

    @nudeandthenovice / Instagram

    To keep your small apartment as clutter-free as possible, purchase multi-purpose pieces that serve more than one function and double as storage. One such piece is a nesting coffee table—it can be separated into a coffee table and a side table. It also has a bottom shelf that's perfect for holding books, magazines, and storage baskets.

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  • 28 of 30

    Use Slim-Profile Shelves

    Tiered storage hanger on the wall holding a stuffed toy

    @homebypolly / Instagram

    Don't leave a wall in a small room or narrow hallway empty just because there isn't enough space for a full-sized bookcase. Hang a slim-profile shelf or picture ledge to hold books or frames, and add function and a decorative feature to the wall without blocking the walking path.

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  • 29 of 30

    Place Towels in a Basket

    Wire basket with towels on a toilet

    Casa Watkins Living

    Wire, wicker, and plastic baskets are excellent tools when it comes to storing extra towels in the bathroom. Place one on top of the toilet or vanity and fill it with folded or rolled hand towels so there are always clean ones readily available without needing to walk to the linen closet.

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  • 30 of 30

    Go Clear

    Closet organized with clear plastic bins

    Breathing Room Organization + Styling

    Clear plastic containers provide practical storage, allow you to neatly divide various supplies, and make storage easy to look through since everything is clearly visible. They are also visually light, making a small closet appear larger and less cluttered.