Getting organized while living in an apartment can be difficult.
You can’t tear down any walls, replace main features of the apartment that you’re not the biggest fan of, and budgeting always comes into play.
In this article we hope we can shed light on some of the affordable ways to make use of your space; here are our TOP 10 WAYS to get organized in an apartment:
- White curtains bring more light in.
If you’re feeling like you don’t have room in your apartment, one of the first things you should do is improve your lighting situation.
Natural light makes an apartment feel bigger - the more light, the better! - this is an easy first step that can make a big difference.
Translucent white curtains let in more natural light when they’re closed, and many interior designs include white features in their designs to make spaces appear larger.
You can invest in some nice white curtains at your local home decor shop.
- Pay attention to your light fixtures.
This is a bonus on top of point #1. Light is not something to tread lightly about!
There are a few different types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent.
Ambient lighting is what you’re probably using right now. It’s the type of basic lighting that most use in their home: ceiling lights, tabletop lamps, and floor lamps. The amount of ambient lighting you have in your home can contribute to your mood, so it might be worth getting more ambient lighting fixtures into your home (especially as winter approaches). Most apartments don’t come with many ceiling lights and adding a few lamps can make a difference.
Task lighting is what you probably assume it is: light intended to help complete tasks.The most common and practical example is a desk lamp! This light is useful in certain situations but not as useful in other ways in an apartment.
Accent lighting really brings style and makes you look organized, but it’s the most challenging of the three to accomplish in an apartment setting. Accent lighting is dim light that is only meant to highlight a certain “accent” in the room, intended for style. If you can nail this (light on wall art, LED strips behind your desk, etc) it could give you a strong sense of accomplishment on the way to feeling organized.
- Use a rolling pantry to make use of nooks and crannies.
Pantries get filled quickly. Some kitchens don’t even include a designated pantry space, which requires you to get creative - and that’s when the clever idea of a rolling pantry comes into play.
There are usually crevices in between your appliances that we take for granted. Who knew there was a fun use for this space? Rolling pantries come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. We’re sure that you’ll find one that matches your storage and design needs.
Check out this popular rolling pantry.
- Over-the-door shoe racks can help you save floor space.
Your floor space is limited in an apartment and if you love your style, you might have a lot of shoes. You only have so much space, so putting your shoes under the bed might not be your favorite option! Scattered and stacked by the door is also a no-go.
Investing in an over-the-door shoe rack to put on your closet door can be efficient. Pick one from the list here.
Bonus: over-the-door shoe racks can also be used for storing winter accessories such as hats and gloves, to organize cosmetics and toiletries, or to store snacks and cans in the kitchen. An over-the-door shoe rack is probably our top item to creating more storage space in multiple areas of your home.
- Get an elevated bed, or utilize your under-the-bed storage.
Going vertical with your storage is a great way to get organized. Not only is under-the-bed a convenient storage place, but it’s also something that can be maximized if you do it right!
Some people don’t mind climbing a ladder to get to their bed if they get extra space for a desk or a loveseat in return. Others might opt for a bed frame with drawers underneath. Either way, you get the oh-so extra convenient storage space.
You can also use bed-risers to create extra inches under your bed. There are many “under bed” storage containers you can use to store items and maximize this space.
- Shelves, baskets and drawers, oh my!
This is another amazing method of incorporating vertical storage into your lifestyle.
If you want the satisfaction of labeling and sorting everything, shelves and drawers will be your friend. Storing your odds and ends can be a tough task if you don’t have anywhere to put them, but having a labeled drawer or basket is perfect. Ikea makes some good shelf/drawer combinations.
- Pantry containers are practical, but they can also look good.
Just like baskets and drawers, containers accomplish the same thing: they are labeled or distinct spaces intended to store a certain thing.
Containers are especially useful in your pantry. Make a list of the pantry staples you keep using (flour, sugar, etc) and buy multiple of the same containers at your local home store.
You may or may not be the best cook, but every time you enter the pantry you’ll at least know you’re really good at organizing!
- Negative space is important for looks. Mirrors are second best.
Moving into a new apartment is the easiest way to incorporate negative space into your apartment (if you’re moving soon, read this article to hear some tips for making the journey easier).
It’s easy to fill empty space in your apartment, but it’s not quite as easy to get back your empty pace!
Just like light can make a place look larger, having an empty wall or space in your apartment can have the same effect. Look around at your living space and see how you can rearrange to bring out some wall space.
If you can’t afford to move anything around, look into putting a decorative mirror against your wall or on top of a shelf to make your room look bigger (or see tip 10 to downsize).
- Utilize your hard-to-reach spots by investing in a stepstool.
Sometimes we don’t think about high places (especially the shorter of us!).
Even if we’ve already used hard-to-reach storage spaces to store things, we usually just use it for things we don’t touch much.
But you can change that.
Your higher spaces can become a more practical use if you invest in a good stepstool. The stepstool itself can fold up and fit in the side of your closet, and when you need something up there, you can get it out easily whenever you need to get up there.
The top of your bookshelf is a common example of this: Why oh why have we not thought more often to put books on top of the bookshelf?!
- Use an app and start selling!
When it comes down to the wire, it might just be time to start selling things you don’t need to invest in things that will help you organize.
Buying and selling used items on apps has increased significantly over the years (we like to think of it as the new yard sale). Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Poshmark, and OfferUp are good options for selling things. Just be sure to have safe meeting practices and meet somewhere in public (and bring a friend if you can)!
There are many TV shows and books that can help you declutter and organize your belongings. Our favorites include The Home Edit, Hot Mess House, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. These professional organizers use their knowledge and experience to bring organization to clients’ lives.
Many companies sell organizing materials. Looking for a local retailer? Check out iDesign, based out of New Kensington (northeast of the city).
Whatever you choose to do, we hope we’ve been able to spark some ideas for you in this article.