10 storage hacks for small apartments that you haven't thought of

Can you hack it?

Blue cabinet with colorful blankets
(Image credit: @picsfromcandice)

We all seem to have more stuff these days. Whether it's the latest kitchen appliance, a lot of clothing and accessories, or a collection of makeup that could easily rival a department store — we all tend to buy too much stuff. 

Then there’s the question of where to put it all. Small apartments and homes often don’t have enough storage space. You can buy drawers as well as other types of organizers to keep everything neat and easy to find. But whether you live in a studio apartment or a spacious mansion, every home is simply limited by its square footage and overall floorplan.

Still, it isn’t too challenging to find room for all of your stuff with good planning and thought. You just need to know how to hack it to maximize every inch you have. Here are ten storage hacks ideal for smaller apartments, condos, and perhaps even dorm rooms.

1) Buy storage furniture

Buying storage furniture is one of the smartest moves you can make when you live in a small apartment. There are so many different ways to do this and types of furniture out there. Consider a storage ottoman in your living room for stashing extra pillows, blankets, and even towels. Not into ottomans? A storage coffee table can work just as well.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can even use an old trunk as a coffee table. Hit up your local flea market or estate sale to find something unique or vintage. 

In the bedroom, go with a storage bed that has built-in drawers underneath. This is particularly helpful if your bedroom isn’t spacious enough for a dresser or the dresser you have isn’t quite large enough for all of your clothing.

2) Buy a desk with a hutch

Whether your home office is in a living room, breakfast nook, or even a bedroom, opting for a desk with a hutch is a smart move. Hutches are great for storing everything from extra books to displaying knicknacks. 

3) Consider a Murphy bed

If you own your apartment or condo, you may want to consider buying a Murphy bed. There are so many different types out there. From simple bed/desk combos that look like chic cabinets to fancy custom units — Murphy beds are worth the money if your apartment is extra small or you live in a studio apartment without a separate bedroom. 

4) Hack under your bed for maximum storage

Start by getting bed risers to make the space under your bed more accessible. Then buy storage drawers, preferably on wheels. Use this space to store things you need to keep but rarely need to access like paperwork, off-season clothing, and old books.

5) Use the space between kitchen cabinets and the ceiling

Most apartments aren’t designed efficiently. So the kitchen cabinets rarely meet the ceiling. Take advantage of the empty space with decorative storage bins that complement the overall look of your home. This is ideal for stashing paper towels, toilet paper, dishwasher tabs, and other extra kitchen supplies. Just be sure to measure before clicking “add to cart.”

6) Hang pots and pans

If your kitchen doesn’t have an abundance of cabinets, it might be challenging to find room to fit all of your pots and pans. Don’t fret. Buy a hanging pot rack and store them on hooks above the stove. 

7) Use an entertainment center with cabinet doors

From luggage to extra linens, choosing a closed entertainment center that has doors is a great way to store just about anything. Remember to adjust the shelves for a custom fit. You can also remove the shelves to fit bigger items. 

8) Store things behind the door

Behind-the-door storage can be very helpful when space is tight. In the bedroom, use your closet and entryway doors to store shoes, handbags, or other accessories. In the bathroom, use this space to keep extra beauty and personal care items. 

9) Take advantage of nightstand drawers

Nightstand drawers often go unused, but they’re great for keeping remote controls and jewelry, as well as lip balms and hand creams to apply before going to bed. You can even get a nightstand with multiple drawers and use it to supplement your dresser. 

10) Consider renting a storage unit

If all else fails and you have more stuff than you can store in your apartment, consider renting a storage unit. If you live in a larger building, there may even be some available on-site. While this certainly won’t be free, it’s often cheaper than renting a different apartment or larger unit. 

Storage is certainly important in any space but it's absolutely essential in a small apartment. Check out our fave storage baskets for even more solutions. 

Amanda Lauren

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!