16 Clever Small Space Ideas to Steal from IKEA

updated Jan 14, 2023
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Primary bedroom with newborn crib in room
Credit: IKEA

IKEA isn’t just a goldmine for affordable, functional furniture, it’s also one of our editors’ go-to sources for decorating inspiration. Many of its products are designed with small homes in mind, and there are dozens of products available to maximize storage space and keep even the tiniest rooms streamlined. We’re sharing 16 of our favorite storage ideas for small apartments from IKEA to inspire your next weekend project and get you one step closer to a happier, more organized abode with little money and effort.

Credit: IKEA

1. Transform a seating area into extra storage space.

Be it a child’s bedroom or a mini mudroom in your entryway, adding one or two of IKEA’s SMÅSTED storage benches can make a major difference in fending off clutter. Use them to store shoes, seasonal accessories, books, or just about anything else. 

Credit: IKEA

2. Try out this nifty shelf-dining table for a tiny kitchen.

Just because there’s no room for a formal dining table in your apartment doesn’t mean you have to nix one entirely. Enter the brilliant NORBERG wall-mount drop leaf table with storage that you can simply install into an open kitchen wall. This one piece can act as a coffee bar, dinner table, home office, and even meal prep space. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. 

Credit: IKEA

3. Invest in a medicine cabinet with extra shelf space.

Sometimes all a bathroom needs is a few more rows of shelving. Installing a medicine cabinet with maximal storage space can make all the difference in keeping your skincare routine streamlined or your cosmetic goodies away from sight. We love IKEA’s HEMNES cabinet that offers an extra open shelf for creating a pretty display and a bit of extra storage space. 

Credit: IKEA

4. Turn a hallway into your home’s storage hero.

It’s time to rethink our hallways to maximize space for coats, shoes, athletic gear, school supplies, and more. While we may not all have ample room to create this amazing set up, adding one or two of these pieces, such as the HAUGA wardrobe can make a major difference in managing clutter. 

(Image credit: IKEA)

5. Close curtains on your clutter

Instead of worrying about maintaining a perfectly-styled scene on top of cabinets, try hiding your kitchen essentials behind a set of cafe-style curtains. All you need is a ceiling-mounted curtain rod and some fabric to execute this cute, above-cabinet solution. Now you have the perfect place to house your cookbooks, air fryer, and more.

(Image credit: IKEA)

6. Work your walls for storage

Looking for extra places to store books and display decorative accessories? Wall-mounted shelves can go pretty much anywhere, even above the TV. Just make sure they’re securely affixed to the wall. Not only does adding this kind of open shelving provide more storage, but it can also make your television look like less of an eyesore.

(Image credit: IKEA)

7. Go vertical with your nightstand

IKEA’s LACK shelf makes a great nightstand in a tiny bedroom. Its footprint is basically a few inches wide and deep, but it packs in multiple shelves for all kinds of storage. Place one in a corner to optimize your bedroom’s vertical space. 

(Image credit: Livet Hemma)

8. Floating furniture is your best friend

Floating furniture is an excellent choice for small interiors. These kinds of pieces help to open up a space visually, and in a pinch, plus you can always store other things underneath them. Above, an IVAR cabinet from IKEA sports a fancy paint job, making it a bold yet functional focal point in this catalog living room.

(Image credit: Wooninspiratie)

9. Squeeze a desk into a small space

Looking to create a workspace in a small space? A wall-mounted desk takes up far less space than a traditional one and can fit neatly into a tight corner, closet, or the space under the stairs.

(Image credit: IKEA)

10. Don’t forget about door storage

Behind the door is a gold mine for sneaking in extra storage space, especially in oddly shaped rooms like laundry nooks and tiny bathrooms. In a rental, use stick-on hooks or over-the-door racks to stash supplies and accessories. For a more long-term solution, mount a hook rack with s-hooks, as seen above.

A very generous DIY closet setup from Livet Hemma. (Image credit: Livet Hemma)

11. An empty corner or crevice can be a closet

No closet? No problem! You can create a generous storage space for your wardrobe in the space behind your bed, using clothing racks and wall-mounted shelves. Then cover your setup with a curtain. It’s the walk-in closet that’s been hiding in your bedroom all along.

Credit: IKEA

12. Make mirror magic

If you have a blank stretch of wall space, use it to your advantage with a full-length mirror. These looking glasses will bounce natural light around, making even the teeniest corners appear bigger and brighter.

Credit: IKEA

13. Extend your countertops with a cart

Small space dwellers can never get enough cabinet space. If you’ve run out of storage—and prep space—in your kitchen, add a cart to a bank of cabinets. If you choose something that’s similar in color and size to your cabinetry, it’ll almost blend right in seamlessly.

Credit: IKEA

14. Divide and conquer on a dresser

If you run out of space for your stuff inside of your dresser drawers, take over the tabletop. Instead of placing things haphazardly though, it’s best to add felt bins or decorative trays to corral your clutter. That way, your decision to decant different things in containers or bins will look deliberate.

Credit: IKEA

15. Grow a vertical garden

Windowsills are great for herb gardens but so are ladders! This IKEA planter turns a tiny sliver of kitchen counter space into a fully functional container garden. By setting this piece up near the sink, it’s also super easy to water each plant.

Credit: IKEA

16. Pick trim that works harder for you

Why go for plain molding when you can use a pretty peg rail  instead? Painted in white, this Shaker-style feature adds visual contrast and a place to hang things on a soothing blue bed wall. For even more storage spots, you could continue this kind of trim work around the perimeter of a room.