When we accumulate too much stuff, it’s easy to think we need a bigger space. But usually the solution isn’t more space, it’s learning how to better utilize the space we already have.
Living in a studio apartment is the ultimate test of how well we’re able to use our space and maintain an organized and well-functioning atmosphere. You don’t even need to be a minimalist to do this successfully.
These studio apartment storage ideas are for those of us who wish we had more space because really, we’ve all been there. A little ingenuity will go a long way in creating a home we love, even when our living quarters are limited to one room.
1. Expand your storage space upwards.
Most studio apartments have unused space right above our heads. When in need of storage, think vertically. Shelves are cheap and easy to mount on the walls if your landlords allow it. They keep your floors open (no moving furniture when you want to clean) and everything on them is visible.
Space saving vertical storage ideas:
- Place a shelf above the door trim in the bathroom to store towels and toilet paper.
- Add an extra pole or shelf in your closet above or below your current clothing setup.
- Take advantage of extra high ceilings by adding a lofted storage space.
- Hang your pots and pans from a vintage ladder that is chained to the ceiling.
- Install open shelving far up a wall and store items in attractive baskets or bins.
2. Incorporate storage into a room divider.
Dividing out space is one of the first studio apartment challenges you’ll face. Before you divide and conquer, consider what you will use to separate the room. Most commonly, implementing a shelving unit or bookshelf will provide much more storage space, especially if you’re an avid reader or collector. Whatever you do, try to get as much light to pass through the divider as possible by using shelves that are open.
More room divider ideas with built-in storage:
- Line up metal clothing racks for added clothing storage.
- Build a vertical plant stand using old pallets.
- Hang a curtain along with a hanging shoe organizer on the bedroom side.
- Hang bikes from the ceiling as a way to divide a space.
3. Use small-scale, double duty furniture with concealed storage space.
There are a few different ways to make the most of your furniture choices in a studio apartment. Most importantly, the furniture needs to fit the space. Don’t purchase anything that is too bulky or oversized.
Secondly, make use of multi-functional furniture with concealed storage space. Some things look great stored out in the open, like books, records or decor. But most of the time, it’s best to keep items concealed in small spaces to avoid the area looking cluttered.
Furniture storage ideas:
- Find an ottoman with built-in storage that can function as a seat or a coffee table.
- Set a bed up on risers and store rolling totes underneath.
- Utilize an island as a kitchen prep area and as a work desk.
- Make sure your TV stand has concealed storage for unsightly items.
4. Have organizational systems in place to control clutter.
People who successfully live in studio apartments do so by having excellent organizational habits. Everything needs a place or else clutter in an otherwise clean home will build up in no time. Think about ways in which you can process your stuff so you can stay organized and so your storage space is utilized to its fullest potential.
Ways to control clutter in a small space:
- Sort through the mail the moment it comes. Recycle and get rid of junk mail and have a spot for bills and other mail you need to process. Empty this area biweekly.
- Clean off your desk area at the end of every day. Have a binder to store office papers and a filing system to prevent paper build up. Keeping paperwork out of sight will help give the illusion of a larger, cleaner space.
- Bring out your recycling daily to prevent a buildup of paper products and recyclables in your kitchen area.
- Have a regular laundry routine, so you don’t have an excess of dirty clothes around the apartment.
5. Don’t forget about the entryway.
Your studio apartment entryway doesn’t have to be grand or large, but it’s essential to create one. Dragging coats and shoes through a studio apartment is not only inconvenient, but it’s also unrealistic. More often than not, these items will get tossed somewhere near the exit every time you enter the apartment.
The best way to make an entry work for your studio space is to build one yourself. Include some hooks and cubbies to keep everything from your coats to your keys organized and at hand.