Lack of storage can be a major bugbear in apartment living. If you don’t have a spare room or lots of built-in storage, what do you do?
Use What You Have More Efficiently
Kitchens are notorious clutter-gathering areas. Maybe you can’t change the layout of the kitchen, but you can change the way you use existing cupboard space. For instance, it’s harder to keep on top of basic chores like doing the dishes if the dishwasher or sink is miles away from where you store crockery or utensils. Take a long hard look at how you’re using your cupboards and see if you can rearrange things to make the kitchen work more efficiently. Bear in mind the work triangle, where the main function is to reduce the number of times you cross the kitchen when you’re working in there.
Store Items You Don’t Use
Having too much furniture, or too many small kitchen appliances, makes any room feel small and closed in. Lots of us have furniture that doesn’t really fit in with our decor or lifestyle, which we keep purely for sentimental reasons. When there’s an item or two you really don’t want to part with, consider the self storage option where you can stow them safely. Self storage units aren’t just for businesses or those moving home. Small units are ideal for apartment dwellers who just want more space without letting go of family heirlooms or other precious treasures. They’re cheap and convenient, and give you some breathing space at home.
Invest in Open Shelving
It’s on trend, easy to install, and comes in all sorts of styles from the decorative to the minimalist. It also allows you to maximise the way you use the vertical space that’s so often ignored. Try installing a long, narrow shelf above a sofa to provide space for lamps, books or decorative objects. Or, as an alternative to traditional ladder shelving, opt for a single shelf at picture rail height that runs around the room. It’s a great idea for artistically displaying sculptural pieces.
Maximise Hidden Storage
Ottoman beds, coffee tables with drawers, end tables with cabinets or seating with built in storage can hide a multitude of sins. Clutter builds up because we either don’t have anywhere to put things or because it’s too much effort to keep belongings organised. By choosing furniture that does double duty, and having at least one such piece in every room, it’s easier and quicker to keep on top of daily tidy-ups.
Make a Feature of a Hobby
Any hobby that involves tools or equipment tends to generate muddle and clutter. Couple shelving with clear plastic storage boxes so you can see what’s inside, or attractive closed boxes for papers or small tools. Decorative ceramic pots make a feature out of pens or paint brushes, and colour coordinated ribbons or jars of buttons make sewing areas inviting and inspirational. The key is to arrange hobby items so they’re easily accessible but look enticing. They’ll tempt your creativity and intrigue visitors in equal measure.
Get Kids Organised
Apartments and kids don’t always walk in harmony, but plenty of families find themselves in an apartment for a variety of reasons. Storage in a child’s room often needs to be compact and at a lower height so they can reach toys and games. Purpose built furniture such as captain beds can reduce the footprint of separate beds and desks while still providing space for a TV or games console. Low book shelves provide space for games or models, and wall hooks at a low height – like you’d see in primary school corridors – help them hang up their own coats, bags or dressing gowns.
It’s human nature to constantly collect personal belongings, but with a little organisation they can all fit snugly into any apartment.