Small Space Solutions: The Smartest Ways to Stash Your Stuff

Small Space Solutions: The Smartest Ways to Stash Your Stuff

Nancy Mitchell
Apr 13, 2014
(Image credit: Jacqueline's Bright & Airy West Village Studio, photographed by Sherrie U for Apartment Therapy)

If you're short on square footage but not quite a minimalist, one solution is to get rid of everything you own. Another solution is to get smarter about the ways you store things. While we certainly don't discourage carefully considering whether you really need all that stuff, this post is about finding smart ways to store the things you've decided you can't live without, so your little home will be blissfully uncluttered — and the things you need are still right at hand when you need them.

Here are some of our best ideas for places to stow away all that stuff... with accompanying videos for inspiration.

1. Box It Up.

It may seem simple, but if your space is starting to feel overwhelmed by stuff and you're at a loss as to where it should all go, a simple set of boxes can be a real godsend. Organize boxes by content — computer chargers and cords, hair products, cake decorating supplies, what have you — and stack them on shelves in closets, on top of cabinets, or in a corner of the bathroom. Professional organizer Jeni Aron recommends these clear shoes boxes, which make it easy to see what's inside when you need to retrieve it. In the video above, she shares five different ways the trusty shoe box can help you get organized in different spots in your home.

2. Hang It Up.

Going vertical is pretty much the oldest advice in the book for making the most of storage in a small space, but that's because it's the best advice. When trying to decide what you want to hang up and what you want to stash away in boxes, think about which things you use every day. You'll want these to be easily accessible, and not tucked away. Also think about which things you'll want to look at every day. Hanging jewelry, as in the video above, is a great idea because a display of jewelry doubles as a little piece of art.

3. Add a cabinet in an unused nook.

This idea requires a little more commitment than just buying a few boxes or hanging some things on the wall, but the payoff is big. The advantage of adding a whole cabinet is that it cuts down on visual clutter — a white one can hold tons of stuff, and essentially just blends into the wall. The homeowners in the video above installed a shallow IKEA cabinet in the space above their toilet, which has completely transformed their bathroom storage situation.

4. Designate a space for things that don't quite go anywhere else.

You know those little things. Scissors. Phone charger. That one marker that you don't want to throw away, but you have no idea where the box is. Those things need a home too, or they will wind up as restless wanderers on your coffee tables and countertops, cluttering up your house and causing great confusion when you are rushing out the door and just need the scissors and where are the damn scissors.

For these things, there is the junk drawer. In this video, Jeni Aron shows how to make your junk drawer work for you, so it can do what it's supposed to — help you store away those random little things, and help you find them easily whenever you need them.

Thanks for watching, and happy organizing!

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