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Living in a small apartment can present a number of challenges in figuring out where to put all of your stuff. When you live in a large home, things disappear because there’s so much space for them to spread out. The problem is you end up accumulating more belongings than you need, not to mention you might end up maintaining and paying for spaces that are essentially storage lockers. Small apartments force you to keep only what’s important. This is great for living a simpler, more essential life–not to mention allowing you to afford costly urban real estate. The problem is that unless you come up with some very clever storage ideas for your small apartment, your spaces can start feeling like junkyards when messy or warehouses when organized.

Well, that’s the point of this post. We want to give you some creative storage ideas for small spaces that will make your small apartment feel like you’re living in a home, not a storage locker.

Storage idea #1: Keep what you love and use, get rid of the rest

While not necessarily a “clever” storage idea for small rooms, the first, and perhaps most important thing to do before finding any storage solutions for small spaces is to do an audit of the stuff you’re storing. We know it sounds obvious, but with less stuff to store, there will be fewer storage solutions to find.

There is no shortage of places to go for inspiration on the topic of paring down and decluttering. Pick up Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” or one of the many other books on the topic. Upon analysis, many of us realize we use a small portion of the stuff we have in our homes. Fewer possessions make the task of organizing your small spaces that much easier.

The benefits of paring down extend beyond easier organization and storage solutions. With less stuff, with fewer things to buy, maintain, and manage, many people report they experience feeling happier, lighter, and freer.

Storage idea #2: Think of your small apartment as a city

Okay, now that you’ve pared down your possessions, you might still be faced with the dilemma of finding a place for all the essentials.

For inspiration, let’s think about cities. More specifically, let’s think about how cities fit more people, homes, and businesses into a limited footprint: by building up, not out.

One of the most creative storage ideas for small spaces is to apply that same logic. Some of the best —and least utilized —spaces in our small apartments are their vertical spaces.

Rather than crowding your small spaces with several low dressers or storage cabinets, invest in a few tall wardrobe and closet units such as our closet systems. Effectively using your vertical spaces makes your apartment more like an ultra-efficient city than a sprawling suburb.

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