Studio apartment storage ideas to make the most of your tiny space

Neat & tidy ✨

Living room with plants and white sofa
(Image credit: Getty)

Living in a studio apartment or even a one-bedroom rental can be stressful, as it's difficult to find places to store all of your bits and bobs in such little space.

At times, you may even question yourself about keeping certain items that are near and dear to your heart because there just isn’t room in your studio for them. 

Have no fear because Eve Mitchell, a professional organizer managing the Washington D.C. and Virginia regions for Reset Your Nest, took the time to provide us with her top storage ideas for studios or small one-bedroom apartments. 

Create Shoe Storage 

Finding a way to store shoes can help keep cluttered pairs from taking up space in your entryways or piles at the bottom of your closets. Keeping them put away and organized will keep your space clear and also make it easy to quickly find the exact pair you are looking for as you head out the door.  

What to use

Look for slim storage shoe cabinets that double as an entryway table or a bench seat with storage for shoes that could also be used as extra seating. If you are lucky enough to have a small coat closet, a tiered shoe rack can help use vertical space for several pairs under your hanging coats.

Create Food Storage 

A kitchen cupboard with multiple jars on the door and inside it

(Image credit: @thehomediary_)

Finding ways to better store food items is really important, especially if your kitchen is lacking adequate space.

What to use

If you have a small pantry or food storage cabinet, use stackable food containers such as and decant your items like cereal and crackers. Packaging can take up so much extra space in a small pantry. Therefore, decanting makes it easy to see what you have and gives you the liberty to fit more food into a smaller space (and don’t forget to label them). 

If you have an open kitchen shelf, use baskets to contain items like tea bags and coffee. Keep them off the counter so clutter is out of the way. A baker's rack is also a great storage solution if you have wall space. Use bins on the bottom to store larger food items or back stock that doesn’t fit in your cabinets. The top can even be an extra cooking prep or entertaining space. 

Create Under-Bed Storage 

The space under your bed can be a valuable storage area. You can functionally maximize the area, with under-bed storage containers, to organize less used items or seasonal clothing. It keeps them tucked away and out of the prime spots in your closet for year-round items. 

What to use

A thin plastic rolling storage bin with a lid can be great to store seasonal clothing, as this will keep them clean for the months you won’t need them. A wood storage drawer with wheels is also a great way to store items like sweaters, which may be too bulky for your closet. You can roll it out from under the bed and quickly grab what you need. 

Baskets are another great option, which can also look aesthetically beautiful under the bed. You could store extra sets of sheets or blankets in them if you don’t have a designated linen closet. 

Create Under-Counter Storage 

You want to maximize even the smallest under-counter spaces in your kitchen or bathrooms. This is also the best way to keep small clutter items off your counters and keep them clear in small spaces. 

What to use

Acrylic turntables are perfect for taller items such as cleaning products under your kitchen sink or toiletry items under your bathroom sink such as hair sprays and lotions. They hold several items and you can see exactly what you have. A two-tiered pull-out storage drawer can use the vertical space of even a small area, which is great for styling tools. 

Small stackable lidded acrylic or plastic bins are ideal for things you may not need to use every day such as medications. And again, they use the vertical space when you stack them up. 

Create Living Room Storage 

Keeping things contained in a small living room will help make it feel more spacious and put together.

What to use

Lidded ottomans are a great way to create storage for blankets or pillows and could be also used as extra seating. If you add a tray to the top, they can be used as a coffee table to hold books and remotes. In a small space, it’s ideal to have an item that can be used in several ways. 

Baskets, again, are perfect for living room storage. You can use them for anything from books to board games, blankets, and pet items. A lidded basket could also double as a side table. You can try a small side table that has space at the bottom for a basket for smaller items.  

Create Movable Storage 

@rosesspell

♬ august sped up - r & m <33

Storage that is moved to different areas of a room could help keep the flow of a smaller space more functional for different situations

What to use

A rolling kitchen island is perfect to use as a prep area while you are cooking but could then be moved to the side to make more space for entertaining. Try one that has a shelf on the bottom and add baskets or bins to help contain larger pantry items such as potatoes. You can also use it to store extra serving dishes you don’t use often. 

Three-tiered rolling carts can be used in several areas such as bathrooms where you can use it for towels and toiletries if you don’t have a linen closet. It’s also great as a mobile office option to hold books and office supplies, as it can easily be rolled away and stored. 

A fit-anywhere narrow rolling cart can fit into small spaces such as between your washer and dryer or smaller bathrooms. It will be narrow and won’t take up valuable space in small spots, which will be great for kitchens since you can store items like spices and cooking oils by rolling them out when using them and then putting them back in their space when not needed. 

Create Hanging Storage 

In small areas getting things off the floor or surface areas can help a space feel more put together. It also serves the purpose of easy access to grabbing things when you need them. 

What to use

Try hanging your kitchen cutting boards on the wall on a rail with hooks. Not only does this make a beautiful design for the kitchen, but it stores your cutting boards and other items where you can easily see and grab them, in addition to keeping them off the counters. 

Use an accordion hook rack in your closet to hang purses and hats. This takes advantage of the vertical space on your walls as well. Use any sort of decorative hook or even renter-friendly Command strip hooks to make everyday items like brooms, pet leashes, and coats easily accessible. You can hang baskets from the hooks to contain items like keys and mail by the front door. 

Creating Clothing Storage 

A pastel styled clothing rack

(Image credit: @cupofsar)

If you don’t have a designated bedroom closet, finding ways to store your clothes can be challenging. You want to keep them contained and stored so that your space feels put together. 

What to use

Hanging garment racks could be a great way for keeping all your hanging clothes together. Find one with wheels so you could push the rack aside when you need to maximize the space and incorporate some shelves that you can add baskets or bins to store shoes or handbags. 

If you are lucky enough to have a closet but it’s small, add tension rods to use all the vertical space and hang items higher that you don’t wear as often or are seasonal. Again, Mitchell suggests baskets, as they are so versatile in adding storage. Use baskets for hats, handbags, belts, socks, and more. Add them to a wall shelf to keep them out of the way or at the top of a closet. They double as decor! 

Create Hidden Storage 

The smallest organizational item can make a big difference in helping keep a space functional. 

What to use

Try an adhesive paper towel holder on the inside of your under-the-sink cabinet to store your paper towels and keep your counters clear. Also, add Command strip hooks to the inside of your cabinets to hang kitchen utensils such as measuring cups and spoons. 

A closet door rack on the inside of small closets or wardrobes can double the space you have which is ideal in apartments and keeps the items behind closed doors and out of sight. 

Create Kitchen Storage 

 In a kitchen, you want to use every inch of space available. 

What to use

Use tension rods under the sink to hold cleaning items or in lower cabinets to hang pans, which gives you some extra space for other items underneath. Cabinet storage shelf racks are perfect for stacking different dish sizes, using each shelf’s vertical space. 

Under-cabinet mug hooks can be used inside a cabinet to hang mugs or you can put them under cabinets over your counter to easily grab your daily mug while still keeping counters clear. 

Aida M. Toro
Freelance Writer

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aida M. Toro and I am a freelance writer that loves cultivating stories about amazing people, fashion, interiors, art, and food. I currently write for The House Magazine, Hobnob Magazine, The C-Word, and Real Homes. I live in West New York, New Jersey, which is literally a 10-minute ferry ride or 20-minute bus ride away from New York City. Although I was born and raised in West New York, I consider NYC my home, as I believe it to be the place where all dreams come to fruition, and of course, spend most of my time in. When I’m not writing, I love perusing the city streets and taking snaps with my iPhone of street art along with random things, scoping out new restaurants as well as their spaces, shopping at some of my favorite stores, spending time with family and friends, walking my cockapoodle Benji, and working out at Equinox or DOGPOUND, which are some of the top fitness spaces in Manhattan and overall the U.S. 

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