Hidden in Plain Sight: Seven Tricks for Adding Storage to Small Spaces

Tiny is in. whether by lifestyle choice or due to financial or location reasons, a lot of people are ditching large houses and living instead in smaller apartments or tiny homes. Those who live in major cities like New York are well familiar with small space living and the rewards and challenges it can bring. The biggest challenge is finding enough storage space. Small apartments are usually accompanied by small closets, and results in things with no place to go. That’s just means it’s time to get creative with storage options. Here are six ways to add storage without sacrificing style.

Find Furniture That Can Pull Double Duty

One of the easiest ways to add storage to your space is to find furniture that has built in storage. If you have room for an ottoman, choose one that opens up to a storage area. You can keep extra blankets and pillows inside, or even some books, magazines, or remotes you don’t use all the time. Anything you’d keep in a box you can keep in your ottoman. Another source of added storage in the living area are coffee or side tables with shelves and/or drawers. Every inch counts in a small apartment, so don’t take up square footage with a table that doesn’t also have some kind of storage space.

You can add storage in the bedroom by purchasing a bed frame that has built in drawers underneath. Under-bed drawers are a great place to store sheets and blankets or shoes. You could also opt for a loft bed which would leave plenty of room under the bed for dressers or even a little home office area. If you live in a studio a sleeper sofa is an ideal option since it takes up less floor space and leaves more room for storage pieces.

Reconsider Lighting Options

Table lamps can be a great way to add light to a room, but guess what? They take up space on your end table that could be used to put other things. If you have the space, a floor lamp with built-in shelves adds not only light but storage space. Best of all they have a cool look that will work well in pretty much any style decor. You could even use one in place of a side table. If you don’t want to take up space with a floor lamp consider adding wall lamps. They’ll free up floor space but still make the room brighter. Most wall lamps are easily adjustable and allow you to direct the light where it’s needed even better than floor or table lamps.

Creative Bookcase Placement

If you’re looking for storage solutions you’ve probably already obtained a bookcase or two. The key is to get creative with where you put them. One option is to place a bookcase behind your sofa or bed kind of like a headboard. It’ll help create a focal point in the room and add storage without taking up much space. Instead of eating up floor space with it’s width, it only adds a little extra depth to the space allotted for the sofa or bed. Another option is to purchase an open, freestanding bookcase and use it to help divide the room into separate areas. You’ll get plenty of shelf space without weighing down the room and making it feel smaller since light will still be able to pass through the shelves.

The Ceiling’s the Limit

Don’t be afraid to use your walls and even your ceiling. If you’re able to drill into your walls, you’ll have no problem finding tons of storage space. If you can’t drill you’ll have to be a bit more creative with methods of anchoring, but it’s still possible to use your walls as storage. By adding shelves alongs your walls you gain valuable storage and display space without taking up precious square footage. You can even hang bikes from walls and ceilings if you need to, creating a practical and eye-catching solution (though you may want to get some expert advice before hanging anything too large or heavy). Hooks and coat racks are also handy for keeping entryways and bedrooms neat and organized. In the kitchen consider hanging pots and pans from the ceiling to save cabinet space for food and plates.

Make Baskets Your Best Friend

If you’re low on storage space, make baskets your best friend. Baskets are one of the best ways to add storage space anywhere. They can go on shelves to store things you don’t want in sight, they can go under beds and end tables to add storage there and they can help organize and make the most of the closet space you do have. If you find a large basket with a lid you can even have it double as a side or coffee table. And with such a wide range of basket sizes available it’s easy to find one to slide anywhere there’s room.

Don’t Forget About Doors

Probably the most overlooked spot for storage is the inside of doors. But simply by adding hooks, shelves, or those fabric shoe holders (which can be used to store way more than just shoes) increases the amount of space you have to put things. This is especially useful in the kitchen where every cabinet door has potential to house more stuff.

Display Instead of Store

If all else fails and you truly run out of storage space, get creative about blending your belongings into your decor. Jewelry hanging from the wall can become a sparkly work of art and other favorite objects can become celebrated tableaus. If you’re careful in your curation you can keep some things proudly out in the open without the room becoming cluttered while freeing up storage space for what needs to be out of sight.

Small space living isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be a storage nightmare. By taking advantage of every possible nook and cranny you can have great style, an uncluttered space, and still keep your most beloved possessions.