25 Creative Storage Ideas for Small Spaces

Storage coffee table

Stocksy / Lauren Miller

Small-space living isn’t without its advantages—it’s cozy, easy to clean, and makes finding anything that’s gone missing a whole lot easier. Anyone who’s in tight quarters knows that living in a little nest has its disadvantages too, especially when it comes to storage.

Fortunately, there are all kinds of genius storage ideas for small spaces that you can incorporate to make the most of your square footage. From art to ottomans, so much in your home can be transformed into additional storage with a little time and creativity.

  • 01 of 25

    Stow Stuff in an Ottoman

    Storage ottoman in a living room

    Jakob Owens / Unsplash

    Investing in a good storage ottoman or revamping an old one is a no-fail way to store the miscellaneous items floating around your living room that can never seem to find a good home.

    And because it’s equal parts function and form, it’ll do double-duty, functioning to warm up your aesthetic and increase your comfort at the same time, it keeps your clutter out of sight.

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  • 02 of 25

    Get Artistic

    Using branches to display jewelry pieces

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    Another beautiful blend of form and function is turning wall space into jewelry storage as an art piece. Keep your precious stones safe (and tangle-free!) without taking up any of the surface real estate that’s so valuable to small-space living.

    Get some ready-made shadow boxes, or you can create them yourself with a little elbow grease and DIY magic. Either way, you and your home will look better for it.

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  • 03 of 25

    Keep Things Under the Bed

    Under-the-bed storage space

    The Spruce / Candace Madonna

    Under-the-bed storage is often one of the first options people turn to when in need of storage solutions, but shoving things under there without a structure in place that keeps them organized can quickly turn into a big chaotic mess.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable pull-out drawers, customizable containers, and dividers specifically made to store your items neatly under the bed. Deciding to invest in one is one of those organizational decisions you would wish you had made it years ago.

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  • 04 of 25

    Store Items in the Coffee Table

    Coffee table with drawers

    Melpomenem / Getty Images

    Living rooms have a knack for overflowing with remotes, magazines, crafts, etc. until you feel like you’re drowning in clutter. If this sounds familiar, consider this super easy storage option. When it comes to hiding items in plain sight, little rivals the power of coffee table storage.

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  • 05 of 25

    Make a Makeshift Closet

    Makeshift DIY closet

    A Beautiful Mess

    A small-space dweller is all too aware of the struggle that comes from a lack of closet space. If you’re among those who wished you had a bigger closet, try this idea on for size. A makeshift closet like this one can be painted and polished and can keep your clothes organized and look great while doing it. Even better, it can also function as a clever room divider if you’re in a studio apartment.

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  • 06 of 25

    Try Sassy Shelving

    Fun wire mesh floating shelves

    Jean-Philippe Delberghe / Unsplash

    With a bit of time and ingenuity, floating shelves can be more than just organizational. They’re super easy to install and, if you take just a few minutes to arrange everything, the display can look all kinds of beautiful.

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  • 07 of 25

    Float Some Cabinets

    Floating nightstand

    Sugar & Cloth

    Speaking of cabinets, if you can make yours float, it is a genius way to maximize your storage tenfold. It's better than filling up an already cramped space with tables and dressers for additional storage. Floating cabinets can store nearly anything you can imagine without taking up any floor space or overwhelming your aesthetic.

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  • 08 of 25

    Tuck Away Shoes

    Fold out shoe cabinet

    All Day Chic

    Due to their bulk and abundance, shoes can be a significant headache for cramped quarter organization. But with some creativity, tucking them away in even the tiniest of spaces is doable.

    A dresser with pull-out drawers like these is a storage fiend’s dream come true. It’ll look great in your living room, provide extra surface area, and keep the order you’re craving.

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  • 09 of 25

    Give Your Fireplace a Function

    Using a non-working fireplace for book storage

    Paper & Stitch

    Try this clever idea for those who have a fireplace that doesn’t function or one that’s never used. Fireplaces are a surprisingly chic and effective way to store books and magazines to candles and photos. To take it to the next level and paint the interior for a colorful accent.

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  • 10 of 25

    Tease Space Out of a Teeny Tabletop

    DIY Midcentury side table

    Sugar & Cloth

    Even the teeniest of tables can be made into an uber-effective storage solution. And this Scandinavian-inspired table is a perfect example. Check out how to assemble it at Sugar & Cloth. It is minimal, stylish, and sophisticated, and it’ll keep coasters, cards, and papers neatly tucked away until you want them.

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  • 11 of 25

    Be Open About Your Storage

    Organized snacks in bins

    Breathing Room

    Instead of hiding your storage items, keep your stored items out in the open with wire mesh storage bins or artfully placed jars or canisters. To pretty up the space, get nicer containers or group your items by color in clear containers for an intentional look.

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  • 12 of 25

    Micro-Size Your Furniture

    Small sofa that has storage drawers

    Jelena Mirkovic / Unsplash

    You have finite space, so if you have a lot of stuff, think about getting smaller furniture to accommodate more storage options or even, find furniture that serves double duty—functional and storage-worthy. So, instead of getting a free-standing desk that takes up a big footprint, think about getting a bookcase that has a tabletop extension, accommodating a workspace. Give yourself bonus points if your furniture has storage compartments too.

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  • 13 of 25

    Use Your Doors for More

    Using over the door caddies for handbags

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    Your room doors or cabinet doors are perfect out-of-sight places to hang hooks for bathrobes, towels, or even shoe caddies. Washroom vanity cabinets often have hooks or holders for hair dryers or other caddies for your bathroom essentials. Kitchen pantry or cabinet doors are famous for holding spices, lids, plastic wraps, and foil. What do you need to store? Think it, and guaranteed, a door shelf or caddy has been designed for being screwed on or hanging up from the door.

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  • 14 of 25

    Pare Down Your Quantities

    Minimal amount of dishes in an apartment kitchen

    Callum Hill / Unsplash

    Often people buy in great quantities, for example, table settings for 16 people or 12, because it's a good deal. But, if you're taking up space with all that stuff for that one special day that you might have a giant house party, the extra stuff turns out to be more a nuisance than a benefit. It collects dust and rarely if ever, gets used. Right-size your home to accommodate your household. You can plan on one or two extras, but beyond that, there is no need for two dozen towels or 37 plates.

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  • 15 of 25

    Ditch Cabinets for Shelving

    Open shelving in a kitchen

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    If you live in a smaller home, chances are you probably look to maximize every square inch of space. Having cabinets are great when you have plenty of space, but often, cabinets are poorly used. If you open a cabinet, you might notice that there's plenty of wasted space above plates and cups. Replace a clunky cabinet with a streamlined shelf or two. Hang the shelves by measuring the height you need for your plates, bowls, and cups. You'll likely find you save yourself a lot of space, and it looks nice, too.

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  • 16 of 25

    Invest in Closet and Cabinet Organizers

    Small closet with organizers

    The Spruce / Sarah Lee

    Small homes have small closets in most cases. If this is your reality, getting clever with closet real estate means getting inventive with prefabricated organizers or invest in an assortment of bins, shelving, and door caddies. The same goes with cabinet space. Take inventory of what you have to store, get your cabinet measurements, and you will find many kinds of organizers and caddies that work for your needs.

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  • 17 of 25

    Utilize Counter Space

    Utilizing space between the counter and the lowest shelf

    Katherine Carter

    You often have some extra space in the kitchen between the counter and the bottom of the top-level cabinets or shelves. For the space-savvy, use counter space for spices, cutting boards, lids, glasses, or utensils; these are perfect ways to make your space go further.

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  • 18 of 25

    Hide Your Toilet Paper

    toilet paper hidden in a basket next to the toilet

    Stocksy / Ali Harper

    Oddly shaped spaces often get overlooked as viable storage space, but with a bit of forethought, you can find a way to turn unusual or uneven spots into generous storage. Take a look at the space between a toilet bowl and bathroom sink; it looks too narrow to be viable. But, look again and measure it. An online search will return a plethora of slim cabinets or baskets that work well for storing toilet paper and other bathroom essentials in that uncommon spot.

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  • 19 of 25

    Create an Under-the-Stairs Nook

    Office area below a staircase

    Conor Sexton / Unsplash

    Some homes have staircases with a bunch of wasted space underneath them. If this describes your home, consider making storage shelves that you can access with a door, slide-out, or keep as opening shelving. If you own your home, and you know that your stairs have nothing below them, then you may want to consider getting a contractor to cut through the wall and fashion a storage nook. It may make a perfect place for storing annual holiday decorations that won't need to travel far for set-up each year.

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  • 20 of 25

    Think About Toe-Kick Drawers

    Toe-kick drawers under cabinets

    Shelf Genie

    Kitchen cabinets under the countertops usually have several inches of space between the cabinet bottom and the floor; the room may since insignificant, but it can make all the difference between making space for cookie sheets, cutting boards, lids, or serving platters. Get custom-made or prefabricated toe-kick drawers to maximize kitchen space.

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  • 21 of 25

    Use the Space Around the Fridge

    Slim slide-out kitchen shelf

    Hammacher Schlemmer

    A refrigerator should always have at least 1/2 inch to 1 inch of space all around it to allow for adequate ventilation; however, if you have at least five inches of unused space on either side, you can make a slide-out shelf beside your fridge where you can store spices, condiments, wraps, or foil. The fridge top may also have space for a wicker or mesh wire basket too.

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  • 22 of 25

    Perch Items on Top of Kitchen Cabinets

    Items stored on top of kitchen cabinets

    The Spruce / Candace Madonna

    If your countertops are cluttered with tons of appliances, it's time to prioritize your daily items and store the rest. An underutilized spot is often the top of cabinets, and most people do not use the space because they don't have a tall step stool. If a climbing stool is all that is standing between you and a bunch more storage space, get a higher step stool! If you have a few inches of space on either side of your refrigerator, you can store a flat-folding step stool or ladder there.

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  • 23 of 25

    Repurpose Shoe Organizer Caddies

    Using a hanging shoe organizer for makeup storage

    Salto Quinze

    Shoe organizers with pockets that hang over doors are sneaking their way into pantries, storage rooms, and bedrooms for much more than just shoes. Each pocket or row can group similar items and hold bunches of things from spices and rolls of garbage bags in the kitchen pantry; cleaning supplies in the laundry room; socks, underthings, and other delicates on a bedroom closet door; and even cosmetics and toiletries in the bathroom. The caddies come in many sizes, fitting French doors, full doors, and going floor length if you want. These mesh or clear plastic caddies can help make some storage woes a thing of the past.

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  • 24 of 25

    Bring Back Mirrored Cabinets

    Mirrored bathroom cabinet

    Grace Kelly / Unsplash

    It used to be that behind every bathroom mirror was a medicine cabinet. Bring back this throwback storage idea; in fact, extend the thought and think of any mirrors you get for your house as potential fronts for storage cabinets—full-length ones too.

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  • 25 of 25

    Don't Lose Window Space

    Shelf suspended at the top of a living room window

    Kate Darmody / Unsplash

    A window may take up valuable wall space, but it also brings in light, making your room feel airy and bright. Instead of feeling like the window is a loss of space or only good for its sill, use more of that space by suspending a floating shelf across a window instead of a valance or add a plant stand in front of the window—perfect for your prize-winning petunias.

Watch Now: Great Tips for Maximizing Storage Space