Most people start out in life with an apartment, and most times it’s not spacious. The only way to feel open in a smaller apartment is to keep it organized and clutter free, which at times seems impossible. If you’re out on your own for the first time or have to downsize from a house into an apartment, here are 10 tips to organize your new place and make it as roomy and spacious as possible.
Tip #1 Since the floor plan may seem small, the best way to add storage as well as décor to your apartment is through wall shelving. By adding shelves, you’re able to make use of wall space by storing CD’s, books, videos or any other collections on the shelves and off the floor. Wall shelves are also a great way to display framed photographs or other knick-knacks.
Tip #2 As an avid shoe collector, I know that small closet space can be a problem in most apartments. A great way to get shoes off the floor and allow space for other items is to purchase a shoe organizer. They can be found just about anywhere, and are a great low cost alternative to closet clutter. The best ones hang right over your closet door, allowing easy access to your favorite pair of shoes. By organizing your shoes, it also cuts down on time spent looking for them, especially when you’re in a hurry!
Tip #3 Another great way to make the most of limited closet space is to buy adding an additional closet rod. This apparatus is simply hung from both sides of your original rod by ‘hangers’, allowing for a second row of clothing to be added below the first. A great space-saver, this item can be found at Bed, Bath and Beyond for a low price.
Tip #4 Depending on available floor space, a common storage unit can come from the form of a trunk, or chest. These are good for putting away seasonal items or even extra towels for the guests. They’re also a great additive to room décor, and can also provide additional seating in a bedroom or be used as a table for pictures or flowers.
Tip #5 In the living room, store books or games in storage furniture like Ottomans or coffee tables with drawers and shelves. Ottomans are essential for living rooms in that they provide a leg rest instead of the coffee table, and they can store things away from sight. You can also use them to store everyday items like the remote controls, or a TV Guide to reduce clutter in the living space.
Tip #6 Another good space for storing items is under the bed. While most people do hide things under the bed, most often they’re not stored properly and items can get dusty and sometimes damaged. Plastic bins are an easy way to store winter sweaters, extra bedding or items you just don’t know what to do with. There are specially sized plastic bins that are made thin enough to fit right under the bed, allowing for easy accessibility and freshness when particular items are needed.
Tip #7 If you have extra space on your closet floor, adding plastic drawers can organize and reduce clutter from other areas of the house. Organize belts, scarves, ties or anything else in the plastic drawers to make room in your regular drawers for clothing or undergarments. You can also use these drawers to hold gym clothing, extra shoes or slippers, or laundry supplies to keep with the laundry pile. These drawers, as with any size or type of plastic bin, can be found at discount retailers like Target or Wal-Mart for a low price.
Tip #8 Cut down on clutter by adding hanging hooks to the living room, kitchen or bathrooms. These inexpensive items allow for usable wall space to be turned into a storage area for day-to-day items like your cell phone, keys or hats. Use hooks in the bathroom to hang bathrobes or wet towels, or even decorative towels can be used for both display and practicality. In the kitchen, hang dishtowels or spare keys for easy accessibility or organization.
Tip #9 An easy way to store a lot of items is to have a TV entertainment center with lots of drawers and shelves. Since they are usually large, make the most of the space it takes up by storing DVDs, CDs, books or video games. Try to find enough shelves to fit the electronics, and when you’re all finished setting everything up, clip together the electrical cords to make it look more neat and clean. By clipping all the cords together, it’s also easier to vacuum and reduce the amount of dust buildup behind the furniture.
Tip #10 The last tip is to shop around for furniture that has multiple uses. You have a limited amount of space to work with, so make the most of it. Most bedroom sets offer beds with drawers, so this is a great way to attain additional storage. Ikea is a great store to shop for storage solutions for affordable apartment settings. Coffee tables, end tables, and even miniature bars all have shelves or storage space, so use it wisely!
With a few tips, turning a small apartment into a large living space is not that hard. Just keep it organized and clutter free. Hanging mirrors on walls can make the room appear bigger. Also use light colored paint to make the room seem more airy and open, and space out furniture instead of clumping it all together.