Small kitchen organized with wall-mounted shelves, drawers, and pegs

Small homes or apartments can make storing all of your belongings a difficult task. Sometimes you have to think unconventionally and make use of the unused space in your home to come up with storage solutions. Here are some tips on how to find more storage in a small space.

Step 1: Small Kitchens

Proper organization and storage is essential in the kitchen to make preparing and cooking food efficient. You can make up for a small amount of cabinet and drawer space by using organizers in them. Lift-out trays allow you to store more cutlery and other kitchen tools in your drawers while organizing and prioritizing what you use most often. Rollout, pullout or stationary cabinet organizers give you the convenience of better organization and ease in getting items out when you need them.

Kitchen utensil organizer

Add shelving to your kitchen walls to complement your cabinet storage. You can store your dishware and glassware on these shelves to free up space inside your cabinets or drawers. Not only will these items be organized and out of the way, they can also add a design element to your kitchen by showing off your finest dishes and glasses. Measure your wall space to determine how much room you have for additional shelving. Determine the length you need. Use a pencil to mark the ends of the shelves on the wall. A level will help you keep your marks aligned. Don’t forget to note where your wall studs are. Use a stud finder to locate them and mark the location with a pencil. You want to position your shelving so that the support hardware can be installed into the wall studs. Cut wood with a circular saw to fit the required measurements, or buy pre-cut shelving boards. Remember that your shelving should be at least 10” deep in order to hold dishes. Sand the shelves with fine-grit sandpaper and then apply a wood finish to them, if desired. Attach support hardware to wall studs using 1” screws and a cordless screwdriver or drill. You can also invest in ready-made shelving and install it the same way.

Safety Alert!

Always wear safety glasses when working with a saw and follow all other safety precautions for the power tools you’re using.

Wall-mounted shelves holding mugs and utensils

To maximize pantry space, use wire organizers on the walls, or even on both sides of the door, to store spices and other items. Some cabinetry will also allow room for these to be installed on the inside of cabinet doors. Stackable containers can be beneficial in freeing up shelf space and consolidating dry goods and smaller items that need to be organized.

Helpful Tips

Use caddies or baskets to store kitchen tools and gadgets for quick, easy and organized access.

Kitchen utensils and food organized in baskets

Hang pots and pans from a ceiling rack to free up cabinet space.

Use adhesive hooks to hang coffee cups inside cabinet doors, the wall or on the sides of cabinets. You can also use these to hang towels, oven mitts and potholders.

Installing magnetic knife racks on your wall can be useful in storing knives outside of drawers, but within easy reach.

Kitchen utensils hanging from magnetic bars and hooks

Gain more counter space by using a rolling kitchen island. These can also be used as a location for microwaves, toasters or other appliances, to free up your countertops. The island shelves can also be used to store items.

Shelving can be installed over doorways and windows to gain extra storage area.

Pots and pans hanging from hooks in front of kitchen window

Step 2: Small Bathrooms

Small bathrooms can make storing necessary items difficult because most of the space is taken up by the toilet, sink and bathtub/shower. It doesn’t often leave a lot of space for extra accoutrements. As with the kitchen, though, there are ways around your space limitations. Installing shelves is one solution, as is adding organizers to small closets or vanity cabinets, if you have those features. Extra shelving can be affixed to walls—any place where there is dead space. This can be over the toilet, above the shower enclosure or even above the door. This out-of-the-way space can be used to store extra towels, toilet paper rolls, soaps or other necessary items.

Toilet with overhead cabinet

Helpful Tips

Combine shelved items with decorative touches to work your storage solutions into the overall look of the room.

Be sure not to install shelves where they will have contact with opening doors or any other area that might be problematic.

Install a cabinet over the toilet to store extra toilet paper, hand towels, soap and other items.

Consider installing a mirrored medicine cabinet instead of a plain mirror.

You can also attach basket-type containers to walls to hold items you use often, such as hand soap, dental care products and hand towels.

Suction cup rack shelf for holding bathroom toiletries

Bathroom hooks for towels, robes, and accessories

Install hooks on the inside of the bathroom door to hang robes and towels. Add extra hooks to the shower rod to affix net bags to store shampoo and other shower/bath-related items. You can also add an extra shower rod to hang needed items.

If your bathroom has a pedestal sink with no storage, install a circular towel rack around the base of the sink, below the basin. These can be attached to the wall behind the sink with screws and drywall anchors. Adding a pedestal sink organizer is another good way to gain storage space. These give you some extra shelf space and can be placed around the base of the pedestal sink to hold soaps, towels or other needed bathroom items.

Step 3: Small Living Rooms and Bedrooms

Small living room with adjustable shelves

When space is at a premium in your living areas, storing items can be tricky, but like the kitchen and bathroom, there are ways around your space limitations. The first step you should take is to make sure your space isn’t cluttered or filled with items you don’t need or use anymore. Go through closets, drawers and cabinets to see what you no longer use. The less stuff you have taking up space, the easier it is to organize and stow items away correctly. When going through clothes and other items, start a donation box to throw in clothes that don’t fit or haven’t been worn for a year.

Helpful Tip

Hold a garage or yard sale to sell items you no longer need and make some extra cash.

Wall-mounted shoe cabinets in hallway

Small bedroom with bookshelf headboard

In the bedroom, consider buying a new headboard with storage solutions, or adding storage shelves to your existing headboard, to stow books, lamps, bedding and other items. Store items under your bed in flat plastic storage bins. Under-bed storage bins allow easy access to stored goods and create a lot of space in the room. Measure how much space you have under your bed between the floor and your bed frame. If the space is not enough, you can buy bed lifts to raise your bed and make space underneath for storage bins.

Helpful Tips

Combine shelved items with vases or picture frames to work your storage solutions into the overall look of the room.

Hang your flat-screen television on the wall instead of resting it on a TV stand.

Use multifunctional items such as a daybed instead of a standard couch or use ottomans and other furniture pieces with hidden storage.

Bed with buit-in storage

That’s it! These storage solutions for your small space will maximize your living areas and keep your things organized.

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