9 Big Ideas for Small Apartment Organization

Living in a small space has its challenges, but with the right organization strategies, you can turn your cozy abode into a clutter-free oasis. Whether you’re a student or a young professional navigating the expensive housing market, these tips will help you overcome the challenges of a small space while creating a home that’s both functional and beautiful.


1. Declutter what you currently own.


The first step towards learning how to organize a small apartment is to embrace a sense of minimalism. Take stock of your belongings and ask yourself what items are truly essential to your daily life. Let go of things you no longer need or use regularly. Once you’ve decluttered, clean and organize your apartment. Remember, less is more when it comes to living in a small space.


2. Implement a one-in, one-out rule.


In a small apartment, clutter can quickly accumulate and make the space feel cramped. The one-in, one-out rule helps to prevent this excessive accumulation of items. Ensure that for every new item brought into your home, an old one is removed. Whether you’ve thrifted clothing, ordered books, or purchased new small kitchen appliances, make a commitment to donate or sell an older item you no longer need in return.


There are some pretty great benefits to this practice as well. Not only will this rule encourage regular decluttering, but it will make you a more conscious shopper as well. Whenever you’re looking to purchase a new item, you’ll likely consider whether it’s worth replacing an existing piece in your home. The result is more thoughtful purchasing decisions, fewer impulse buys, and a more organized space.


3. Put a rotation system in place for seasonal items.


Maximize storage space by implementing a rotation system for seasonal items such as clothing, decorations, or sports equipment. Store off-season items in vacuum-sealed bags or in under-bed storage containers. Then, swap them out as the seasons change. This prevents overcrowding in closets and keeps clutter to a delightful minimum.


4. Downsize your duplicates.


Downsizing duplicates is especially beneficial in small apartments where every square inch counts. Not only can it help free up valuable storage space and reduce visual clutter, but it can also promote a ‘quality over quantity’ mentality. 


To get started, assess the belongings in your space. Are there any duplicate or redundant items you can get rid of, like multiple sets of dishes, utensils, or household appliances? Whether you’re consolidating kitchen gadgets or paring down clothing, this strategy is sure to make an impact in your small space. 


5. Opt for multipurpose furniture that doubles as storage.


Invest in furniture that serves more than one purpose. Doing so maximizes functionality and minimizes excess clutter. Look for sofas with built-in storage, coffee tables with hidden compartments, and folding tables that can be tucked away when not in use. Other ideas include: 


Beds with Storage


The area under your bed is prime real estate for studio apartment storage ideas. However, if investing in a bed with built-in storage isn’t plausible, consider investing in low-profile storage bins or drawers to keep off-season clothing, shoes, and extra bedding neatly tucked away. You can also use risers to elevate your bed, creating even more space underneath.


Trunks, Ottomans, and Benches


Transform everyday furniture into savvy apartment storage solutions. Stylish trunks, ottomans, and benches with hidden compartments are perfect for stashing away items you don’t use on a daily basis.


Sleeper Sofas


A sleeper sofa serves the dual purpose of providing seating during the day and converting into a comfortable bed at night. This is particularly useful for studio apartments or living rooms that double as guest rooms. By having a sofa bed, you can save space without sacrificing comfort for yourself or your guests.


6. Capitalize on vertical storage.


When floor space is sparse, think vertically. Consider tall bookshelves, overhead storage solutions, and wall-mounted or floating shelves to store items such as books, plants, or kitchen supplies.  Making the most of your vertical wall space can help keep items off the floor and out of the way while ensuring they’re organized and easily accessible.


7. Optimize closet space.


Space is precious in a small apartment, so make the most of it by organizing your closets efficiently. You’ll, of course, want to start by decluttering the closets in your home. Are there items you no longer need? Do you have duplicates you can do away with? 


Once everything is clean and clutter-free, consider a few other closet organization tips, like investing in slimline hangers to maximize hanging space. You might even arrange clothing by length to create room for extra storage options and use stackable storage bins or baskets for folded items. 


No matter how big or small the closets in your home are, there’s always plenty of room for organizational upgrades. 


8. Think outside the box. 


Put the fun in function when organizing your space! Organizing a small apartment doesn’t have to be boring or mundane—in fact, it can be an exciting opportunity to flex your creative muscles. Explore imaginative ways to maximize your space while injecting personality and style into your home. Here are a few tips to get you started.


  • Repurpose Everyday Items: Look around your apartment with fresh eyes and consider how everyday items can serve dual purposes as storage solutions. For instance, mason jars can double as stylish containers for storing kitchen utensils or organizing small office supplies.
  • Use Unexpected Spaces: Don’t limit yourself to traditional storage areas. Get creative with underutilized spaces in your apartment. The area above your kitchen cabinets, for example, can be used to store less frequently used items. Use decorative baskets or bins to add visual interest while keeping clutter out of sight.
  • DIY Your Storage Solutions: Put your DIY skills to the test and create custom storage solutions tailored to your specific needs. For instance, upcycling wooden crates into wall-mounted shelves or shoe racks can provide practical storage for shoes, books, or other decorative items.
  • Repurpose Furniture: Don’t be afraid to repurpose pieces to serve multiple functions. A sturdy ladder, for example, can be transformed into a stylish blanket or towel rack, saving space in your closet while adding a decorative touch to your living room or bathroom. 


9. Clean and declutter your space regularly. 


Maintaining an organized and clutter-free environment requires regular upkeep. Set aside time each week to declutter and reorganize your belongings, putting things back in their designated places. Resist the urge to let clutter accumulate, and regularly purge items you no longer need. You’ll also want to avoid overcrowded surfaces with unnecessary clutter and regularly reassess your storage solutions to ensure they’re still meeting your needs.


Shop Smart at CORT


Organizing a small apartment can feel like putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle – it’s almost an art form! Furnishing your space, on the other hand, can actually be quite simple with CORT. CORT Furniture Rental is a great way to get the basics you need for your space, like a bed and dresser, in addition to necessities like beautiful storage options. Plus, rental gives you the flexibility that purchasing a whole new home’s worth of furnishing doesn’t grant.

With CORT, you can customize your furniture package to fit your small space, without bringing in any pieces you don’t have room for. Get started on a custom CORT Furniture Rental package today in-store or online!

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