I'm a New York City apartment dweller, which means storage space is kind of like solid gold. It's why I'm also perpetually on the hunt for sneaky tips and hacks for small living spaces. If I don't get creative and actually find relatively neat-looking places for my stuff to go, I basically living in a cluttered and disorganized pile of clothes and Tupperware (i.e: I go insane).
For those of you who don't live in a small space, think of it like this: You know all that stuff you store in your basement, your attic, your random big hallway closet, your spare bedroom? Now imagine your basement, attic, hallway closet, and spare bedroom disappeared, and you were left with figuring out how to fit all your belongings into about three rooms. Are you starting to see what us apartment people are up against?
And sure, on some level living in a small space means you get really good at downsizing and parting ways with things you don't really need or use. But at the end of the day, there's no getting around the fact that you need somewhere to put your winter clothes, your extra sheets, and all your various pots and pans.
So the name of the game becomes getting creative with storage and — perhaps most importantly — investing in pieces that have multiple uses. If you live in a small space, or are getting ready to downsize, here are nine creative storage solutions for your space:
1. Under The Bed
Wheeled Under-Bed Storage, $108, Uline.com
OK, so you're probably thinking this one is obvious. But a lot of people don't utilize their under-bed storage space as much as they could, nor do they make under-bed storage as convenient for themselves as possible. For example, you can use bed risers to elevate your bed and give yourself more space underneath, and purchase plastic tubs on wheels to make actually accessing your stuff super easy.
2. Magnetic Wall Storage
perch by Urbio Starter Kit, $39.99, OfficeDepot.com
I've been using magnetized wall organizers in my home office space for about a year (and by "office space" I mean the desk I keep in my bedroom). The magnetized compartments take up unused wall space instead of desk or drawer space, and the fact that there are multiple shapes and sizes means you can customize your compartments to what you need — whether it's for pencils, loose-leaf papers, paintbrushes, etc.
Safavieh Joanie Berry Storage Polyester Ottoman, $142.64, Overstock.com
If you're in the market for an ottoman or footrest, don't forget that they can double as an awesome source of extra storage. I find they're the perfect size to store extra linens and blankets, and also always end up getting used for extra seating when I have people over.
Harper X-Back Storage Bench, $151.43, Hayneedle.com
If you're looking at ottomans, don't forget that benches double as a great source of extra storage as well! You can keep them at the foot of your bed, or in your entryway for a place to throw your stuff down when you come home at night.
5. Tables With Shelves
Cottage Dining Table, $190.99, Wayfair.com
A kitchen table with under area shelves is also a solid place to sneak in some extra storage for things like pots and pans, or ingredients you don't use a ton, like flour or confectioners sugar. And if you don't like the way it looks, use a table cloth to cover the shelves from site.
6. Mirror With Built-In Cabinet
White Mirrored Jewelry Cabinet Armoire, $119.95, Walmart.com
This super useful piece is great for storing jewelry and accessories, and also frees up the back of your door for more space-saving tools, like a hanging shoe rack. The only downside is that it can take up real estate on your floor, but it could also be totally worth it if you have a lot of jewelry.
7. Use Your Door
Lynk 36 Pair Over Door Shoe Rack, $23.99, Jet.com
I recommend these to people all the time — seriously, if you live in a small place and don't have one, get one now! Never again will you find yourself on your hands and knees, digging through a pile of shoes for that other sneaker.
8. Coffee Table Storage
Sauder Carson Forge Lift-top Coffee Table, $136.58, Jet.com
Much like with the kitchen table storage, coffee tables are also an awesome opportunity for some extra drawer space. And this one from Jet.com also can serve as a work station, which it pretty clutch.
9. Hang Your Pots And Pans
Kitchen Organizer Pots & Pans Pegboard Pack, $74.99, Wayfair.com
If you have limited kitchen storage, you may want to consider hanging your pots and pans on a wall wrack. Not only does this utilize otherwise unused vertical space, but if you have a nice set of pots and pans it can look really cool.
Keeping your life organized in a small living space can definitely be a challenge, but with a few creative hacks and storage devices it can get infinitely easier. So go forth and store!
Images: Courtesy Brands