One of the biggest shortcomings of many small apartments is the amount of storage space they offer. Or rather, the lack of storage space. In fact, in many cases, it’s not uncommon for small apartments to have a single storage closet for everything from clothes to shoes, cleaning supplies, luggage and more– especially in single-room studios.
For people with numerous belongings, small storage makes for a big problem. However, if you’re planning on moving into a place with a single closet, there are a few practical ways to handle the matter. Here’s how to fit everything you own into a single storage closet:
Organize, Organize, Organize
Even in apartments with multiple closets, organization is the key to maximizing your storage. This means you should do two things: downsize and consolidate. Start by getting rid of stuff you don’t need anymore or items you’re simply hanging onto because you’ve had them forever (you know, like the CDs from your favorite band in middle school or your class notebooks from college).
Then, with the items you have left, categorize them and decide the best way to store each group. Use similar containers when you can to eliminate as much dead space as possible– rectangular containers will stack together better than a mixture of square and round boxes and baskets.
Find Storage Elsewhere
Remember that even if you have one storage closet, it’s not the only place in your apartment where you can tuck extra stuff out of sight. Utilize other storage options to make more room in the closet. Try under-the-bed containers or drawers, for instance. You can even place bed risers underneath the legs of your bed to give yourself more room for bins and drawers.
Or, buy double-duty furniture, like an ottoman with built-in storage or a dresser you can use as a TV stand. And don’t forget to use your bathroom and kitchen cabinets for as many items as you can– the more you use these other storage spots, the less you’ll have to worry about fitting into your closet.
Use Every Inch
Make practical use of the top shelves as much as you can by keeping items you don’t need very often on them. Opt for tall containers that will fit plenty of your things and maximize that often unused space at the very top (you may need to keep a step ladder on hand to get to these items).
If you can, utilize floor and wall space, too. Hanging hooks and baskets on the back of the door or on the wall will provide an extra place for stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else.
Store By Ease of Access
The best way to organize your belongings in a stuffed storage closet (or anywhere in your apartment) is by how often you’ll need them. Keep little-used items in places you can’t access as easily, like on the top shelf, in the back of your bathroom cabinet or under the bed.
You don’t want to have to move around piles of boxes to get to items you’ll need regularly! Stuff you’ll need to access daily should be in drawers, shelves, or hanging in spots where you’ll be able to access them as easily as possible.
If you’ve ever watched late-night infomercials, you’ve likely seen those vacuum-sealed bags that claim to turn stuffed and untidy closets into amazingly organized spaces that even have plenty of extra room for storage.
These vacuum-sealed bags really do work to consolidate soft items like linens and out-of-season clothes you won’t need for awhile. They’re certainly worth a try– you may find yourself with more storage than you anticipated!