Storage Tricks for Small Spaces

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Storage Tricks for Small Spaces

When your apartment is short on space, every storage hack counts. The key to a clean apartment is to plan ahead and design according to your lifestyle. When every possession has a home, each square inch, bin, and box you use in your home helps set you up for success. We’re all too familiar with NYC’s cramped apartment lifestyle, and we’ve learned a few hacks to staying organized in the smallest, weirdest layouts known to man. Here are some achievable storage tricks for small spaces.

Be Realistic

Put rarely used items in the most difficult to reach storage spots. For example, you wouldn’t want to dig to the back of your closet frequently, pulling out bins and boxes and creating a bigger mess. Be conscious of how often you use your items, and design storage systems accordingly. 

You’ll also want to create “drop” spaces. Strategically placed bins or baskets in high traffic places of your home can collect items when you’re in a hurry. For example, your baskets can catch clothes you don’t feel like hanging back up, unopened mail, keys, and other clutter. Try finding bins, like this decorative wire one from Target, that can fit under your existing furniture or can be placed on a shelf. That way, it won’t take up unnecessary square footage of floor space. 

Be realistic about how often you are able to re-organize your space, and carve out time to empty your drop baskets. If you can dedicate an hour each weekend to reorganizing, your home will be able to function in top shape during the weekdays and be easier to clean when you have visiting guests.

Bed Risers, Underbed Storage, and Lofts

If you’re not using the space under your bed, you’re missing a great hiding spot for all sorts of items. For a traditional bed frame, use shallow under-bed storage bins like these. If you can, add bed risers, you can add several more inches for bins and boxes to hide underneath. Ikea makes some excellent bins with lift tops for ample storage and easy access that can stack on top of each other.

Lofted beds are not just for teenagers and dorm rooms. You can find full-sized bed lofts to help create additional space in your apartment. With a loft, you can add a full desk and workspace, or place your couch. This is an especially good solution for studio apartments to help you divide your living space and bed space, and to make the most of every inch of that apartment. Click here for 12 of the best loft beds you can buy on Amazon.

Offsite Storage

Simplify Storage is a great resource for New Yorkers, including those in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens. Our team takes the transportation considerations out of storing items offsite by picking up and dropping off items right at your home or office. 


When you sign up, our team will set up a time to drop off our signature blue bins at your apartment that you can pack at your leisure. Then, request a pickup where we’ll take the bins to a secure, climate-controlled facility. When you’re ready, just submit a request for delivery. You will never need to take bulky items to a storage unit using public transportation again. Our affordable service starts at just $30 per month. Get started today.

Vertical and Wall Space

We’re big advocates for adding vertical storage to your home. These are probably our favorite storage tricks for small spaces! You can double or triple the amount of storage you have, simply by adding taller bookshelves and wall hooks. For a full list of Command Strip hacks, read more here

When you add taller storage, you may not be able to easily reach every item. If you’re a shorter person, get a step stool to help you reach these hard-to-reach places.  If you get a decorative step stool, you can use it as a plant holder or shelf when not using it. Or, try a foldable step stool and hide it in a gap between the fridge and cabinets, behind a couch, or other underutilized space.

Storage Under the Stairs

If you have a staircase in your apartment, use the space underneath to its fullest. If it becomes a dumping ground for piling boxes and bins, use a tension rod and hang a curtain or use a room divider to hide the mess. It’s like creating an extra closet where you can keep unsightly clutter from the view of visitors.

Window Ledges

Window ledges aren’t just for plants. Adding a basket or bin to empty ledge space can give just a little extra storage for odds and ends. You can also decorate with books, candles, framed photos, trinkets, and more to give these spaces a personal touch. For a full list of window ledge storage ideas, read more here via Apartment Therapy.

Clear and Minimalist Furniture

Purchasing lightweight or clear furniture is a great trick and optical illusion to make it feel like your space is larger than it is. When you avoid heavy and bulky furniture, you can see more of the apartment, making it feel lighter and more spacious. For example, check out this affordable clear chair that makes a great dining chair, as well as a living room piece for entertaining. 

Adding mirrors are also a classic trick to make your space look larger. Place these on open walls that will reflect the maximum amount of the apartment. Even if you’re living in a small apartment, it doesn’t have to feel like it when you choose the right furniture and decor. Here are a few ideas on how to use mirrors effectively.

Magnetic Fridge Space

Use the magnetic surface of your fridge to store spices or other kitchen odds and ends. For example, these magnetic storage tins are a great way to store spices without taking up precious cabinet or counter space. You can also attach magnets to your existing bins, or purchase a set like these affordable fridge baskets.

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