As more millennials pack themselves into urban apartments & townhomes, the need to get creative with modest living spaces has become paramount. Even with limited square footage, there are plenty of design hacks to maximize the space you’ve got.
But as design experts will tell you, smart storage should be one of your biggest concerns as you furnish and accessorize a small space home like an apartment. From taking inventory of your belongings to tricking out the closets with organizers of every description, here’s a few tips to make use of your small storage spaces.
· Take Stock Of Personal Belongings And Your Living Space - Before investing in new furniture, assess how much of your existing stuff you are going to keep. If you buy new items, let go of something old that will become redundant or useless. Then determine how much that purchase will impact your space requirements.
· Look For Multi-Purpose Furniture - There’s no shortage of smart, space-saving furniture on the market to help maximize a room’s comfort and utility. Clever, ready-made items are good investments, as they improve functionality. Stick with tried-and-true combinations like kitchen tables that double as desks, or an ottoman with storage space inside.
· Maximize Closet Space - If your apartment has closets, be prepared to utilize them to the fullest. Install a “second tier” hanging rod inside the closet for items like pants or shorter sweaters. If your closet has high ceilings, take out the existing rod and move it further up to maximize space below. And, purchase an organization system, that can be moved when you do, to help sort and store every type of personal effect.
· Shred Old Paperwork - Not every form, statement, and tax record needs to stay in your filing cabinet or kitchen drawer forever. Review your paperwork every month and purge yourself of old bank statements, pointless receipts, magazines you thought were interesting, junk mail that seemed vaguely relevant at the time and all those many other disposable documents that clutter up your kitchen or master suite. Shred any documents with key personal information to avoid identity theft when throwing out personal documents.
· Pare Down Utensils - You’ve accumulated several dozen kitchen utensils in your culinary career: can openers, corkscrews, pans and more. Pare down the collection and use drawer dividers to keep the remainder in order. Say “NO” to a million fun and frivolous coffee mugs and glasses. And, you likely don’t need to take grandma’s hand me down plates and cups when she downsizes unless you are willing to get rid of something else to accommodate them. Keep one or two mugs for every coffee or tea drinker, and donate the rest to Goodwill.
· Think Vertically - Walls do a lot more than hold the ceiling up. You can add storage by hanging bicycles from the ceiling and installing shelves higher up along the perimeter of a room. In the kitchen, free up drawer and counter space by hanging pegboards for utensils and magnetic strips for knives.
· When You Buy Something, Toss Out Something - In addition to ruthlessly pruning your belongings, keep an eye on how much you buy in the first place by always getting rid of something before you buy. You’ll save space and a lot of money using this process.
· Get Rid of Mystery Electronics - Admit it. You’ve got a drawer where black mystery cords, chargers, and oddball electronic bits go to die. Free that drawer up for better uses, or at least get rid of the ones you know for sure are “dead” or have become obsolete.