Expert-approved apartment organization ideas and products to tidy up your space

Yes, even those impossible-to-organize spots

An organized pantry with food and goods in baskets
(Image credit: The Styled Stories)

When you live in an apartment, it’s not always easy to organize your space. But that doesn’t mean that organization is impossible. While you can always hire a professional organizer, that may not be in your budget. Fortunately, you can use the same organizer-approved products to achieve a similar look anywhere. 

Whether you’re trying to fit your entire spice collection in your pantry, get a better idea of your snack inventory, or simply figure out what to do with all of your makeup, here are the best apartment organization ideas along with the essential products to help you get started.

1. CONQUER MAKEUP DRAWER MADNESS WITH COSMETIC DRAWERS

A makeup drawer divided up with organizers

(Image credit: @doneanddonehome)

From lipsticks to pencils to foundations — cosmetic drawers can easily become cluttered and messy, making it hard to find what you’re looking for. Done and Done (opens in new tab) has found a solution to this problem by using different-sized plastic organizers.

Whether you need a long and narrow container to fit brushes, wider options to house palettes, or smaller containers for eyeshadows, just arrange the organizers in a drawer for a custom fit. There are sets available with enough containers to fit small (opens in new tab), medium (opens in new tab), or large (opens in new tab) makeup collections.  

2. DECANT AND RE-ORGANIZE

A pantry cabinet organized with food containers and storage

(Image credit: @shantaeizeyourspace)

Professional organizer Shantae Duckworth (opens in new tab) proves you can makeover your pantry with a few key products. For example, a tea sorter (opens in new tab) can help you eliminate excess boxes as well as get a handle on your tea inventory.

Mason jars (opens in new tab) are also a practical way to organize all kinds of things from dry foods like beans to leftover pesto sauce in the fridge. However, opting for airtight containers (opens in new tab) is ideal for foods such as nuts, cereal, and rice. 

However, if you need help sorting snacks and condiments, you can’t go wrong with a classic clear bin (opens in new tab). They can also be used to organize the inside of the refrigerator. 

3. ORGANIZE YOUR SPICES 

An open pantry with dried foodstuffs including pasta and assortment of spices with framed wall art

(Image credit: Katie Jane Watson)

Spices can become disorganized real quick, especially if you're a fan of cooking. Duckworth (opens in new tab) has found that multiple-tiered spice racks (opens in new tab) are a good solution to this problem. Better yet, you can keep everything you need for tonight's dinner within reach. Then, add on a Lazy Susan (opens in new tab) to hold extra spices or anything that doesn't fit on the rack.

4. EASILY GRAB SNACKS WITH BASKETS IN THE PANTRY

A well-organized pantry utilizing woven baskets

(Image credit: _thestyledstories)

Maintaining a pantry is always a challenge for roomies (or families) who often need to keep lots of packages of food on hand. From bread loaves to rice to snacks — professional organizer Alia Adel of The Styled Stories (opens in new tab) has found a fantastic solution with chic baskets. Whether it’s a tall basket (opens in new tab) or a set of medium-sized baskets, (opens in new tab) they can be used in your pantry, bathroom, or any shelf or closet.

5. OPT FOR CUBBY STORAGE

A neutral room with a brick wall,

(Image credit: @_thestyledstories)

Basket and cubby systems are an ideal way to store extra T-shirts, bedding, craft and hobby supplies, and other miscellaneous items. These units can also add a stylish touch to home work spaces or living rooms. The way Adel (opens in new tab) took the opportunity to organize her client's space looks just as stylish as a far more expensive storage unit or piece of furniture would. Re-creating this look at home is easy. Just find a cubby shelving system (opens in new tab) that fits your space, add baskets (opens in new tab), and fill. 

6. PLASTIC BINS WITH TOPS CAN ORGANIZE JUST ABOUT ANYTHING

A closet organized with clear storage bins

(Image credit: @put_together_place)

Keeping small items like kids’ toys, craft supplies, papers, and manuals organized is a chore. But Kendall Wilson of Put Together Place (opens in new tab) streamlines the process using a variety of organizers from The Container Store. This includes shoe boxes (opens in new tab), bins with clear lids (opens in new tab), and magazine holders (opens in new tab).

7. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT TINY SPACE UNDER THE SINK

A tidy Lazy Susan used for under sink storage

(Image credit: @morganizewithme)

You might think you can’t store anything in that tiny space under the bathroom or kitchen sink, but Morgan Tyree of Morganize With Me (opens in new tab) proves otherwise by using a divided turntable (opens in new tab) to store beauty and personal care items. Similar turntables or Lazy Susans are also available with two (opens in new tab) or three tiers (opens in new tab) allowing you to take advantage of every extra inch.

8. ORGANIZE CLOSETS WITH MATCHING HANGERS 

A walk in closet with curtain with LED light-up mirror in background

(Image credit: Ikea)

Do you wish your closet looked like a clothing boutique? Then recycle those mismatched hangers and use only wooden or matching velvet hangers (opens in new tab) instead as seen in this closet (opens in new tab) organized by Carrie Kauffman of Carrie’s Essential Services (opens in new tab)

Then opt for hampers (opens in new tab) that easily fit under a closet bar. Be sure to have three — one for darks, one for whites, and one for bright colors or delicates. Then take advantage of the top shelf space with storage bins (opens in new tab)

9. MAKEOVER YOUR LINEN CLOSET WITH LABELED BASKETS

A linen closet organized with storage baskets and folded towels

(Image credit: @gridandglam)

Whether you have a linen closet or stuff your sheets and towels in or on top of a dresser, it rarely looks neat. Corinne Morahan of Grid & Glam (opens in new tab) has a beautifully visual solution. Fold or roll bedding, towels, and other linens, then store them in baskets (opens in new tab). Don’t forget to label each basket for easy access. Morahan created beautiful labels using a Cricut (opens in new tab) machine, but you can easily write a label on an index card (opens in new tab) or paper and tape it on instead.

Amanda Lauren
Contributor

Hi, I’m Amanda Lauren. I’m a design expert and interior stylist who writes for Real Homes, Forbes, Real Simple among other publications. I live in Los Angeles in the historic neighborhood of Hancock Park with my husband, and two dogs, Lulu and Milo. We also have a baby coming in spring 2023. I’m a big believer in finding beautiful things at all price points. There are so many places to find affordable things, you just have to look for them. If you don't find it at first, look harder!

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