When it comes to small space living, we have a lot of experience. We’ve lived in countless little apartments and we even lived in residence back when we were students, so we’ve tried out all kinds of tricks and tips for maximizing our space and making the most of the home we had without having to pare down our belongings too badly. We always found that finding the best solution for a particular space took a bit of creativity, which is why we’ve been combing DIY blogs and crafting sites for new ideas that we might not have tried before. We certainly don’t live in the smallest space we’ve ever occupied right now, but we still like to save space in the rooms of our modest little house whenever we can!
Just in case you’re used to living in small spaces as well but you still feel like you could use a bit of help getting some additional storage organized, check out these awesomely creative and well thought out DIY ideas for making the most of the space you’ve got!
1. Wall mounted spice rack and grater utensil holder
If you happen to have already lived in a house with a total kitchen enthusiast when you were a kid then mounting your spice rack on the wall might not sound all that unique or ingenious. What we really liked about this kitchen design featured on Captain Walt, however, was that they also mounted some of the other kitchen tools and utensils that they need quick and regular access to while they’re cooking! In particular, the way they used an old cheese grater turned upside down as a spot for mixing spoons and ladles was particularly creative to us. We liked the way it upcycled something and suited a sort of vintage kitchen decor.
2. Small balcony seating area
Are you fortunate enough to have a tiny balcony with your apartment but it really is quite small and you’re looking for ways to make the most of it? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Engineer Your Space created a little seating area fit for at least you and one other person! We’d suggest making the bench on the far side a crate seat that you can store things in, just to give yourself even more places to stash things. Just make sure it’s weather proof so nothing gets damaged if it rains or snows.
3. Wall mounted crate bathroom storage
You’d think by this point in our time as crafters and DIY enthusiasts we’d stop being surprised by the power of crates, but there truly are just so many things you can do with them! Have you ever looked at the shallow kind of crates that you often find in home stores and wondered what they’re used for when their sides are so short? Well, in a small apartment home, we’d suggest using them just like Manual Biz 19 did here! They make great simple bathroom shelves to get your morning routine stuff up off the tiny counter.
4. Space efficient corner shelves
Perhaps you feel as though you’ve already maximized the available space you have on the walls for shelving but you’d still really appreciate at least a few more shelves to hold decor trinkets, crafting supplies, or even just pictures of your loved ones? In that case, we’d suggest looking to the corners of your rooms and considering those as storage space too! Any corner that’s not blocked by furniture can actually make for great extra shelving if you can find or build the right kind of piece. Check the whole idea out in more detail on Sun City Villas!
5. Platform bed with storage underneath
Is your bedroom just a simple, small square with only a foot or so around the bed, leaving very little room for other storage based furniture like bookshelves or dressers? Then we have a feeling you’ll be pretty intrigued by this raised bed and cubby idea from Apartment Therapy. They suggest use pallets or strong particle board shelving to create a platform on which to build your bed, leaving you maximum space underneath for storing things like books!
6. Small space divider shelves
Perhaps you live in a “bachelor” or studio style apartment and you’re not actually too strapped for space per se, but it’s mostly just wide open, empty space with no division or extra shelving? Then we’d suggest considering a layout just like the one Buildipedia features here! By doing something as simple as buying (or building) a couple free standing cubby style shelves or cupboards, you can not only give yourself more room to put things, but you can also piece the space up a little so it feels less like you’re living in one big, half empty room.
7. Storage shelves under the stairs
Perhaps you actually own a house that’s fine for space overall, but you’ve got one or two rooms that could use some strategic organization to give them a little more storage capacity? Well, if you have any hollowed space under the stairs and you’re open to a bit of simple woodworking, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Drinkbaar created this awesome angled shelving piece that fit perfectly custom in a spot that might have otherwise been an awkwardly shaped waste of space. This way, You’ve got plenty of room for toys, clothing, or books, depending on how you’ve decided to use the room.
8. Headboards with shelving
The space above and around your bed might not necessarily seem like the ideal place for added storage at first thought, but we think this headboard storage idea from Manual 17 might change your mind! A shelf like this can easily be customized for buildable, stackable piece like the ones you’d find in IKEA and this feature will show you how to do that. Our only caution is that you don’t want to take the idea too overboard to the point that the area around your bed becomes cramped and stressful. Remember that your sleeping space should be a place of relaxation! Organization can help you hit that careful balance.
9. Cubby shelving with insert drawers
As long as the smallest bedroom in your house has at least one blank wall, then you have a whole world of possibilities when it comes to shelving! Our favourite option to really maximize storage space, especially when it comes to our kids’ rooms, is to build a cubby shelf like this one featured on No Home Design. Fill some of the cubbies with sliding insert boxes for loose pieces that need a home and leave others open to stack things like books!
10. Drawers under the bed
Were you a pretty big fan of the idea of building storage underneath your bed but you’d rather leave at least a little bit of free floor space instead of filling the whole room like we showed you before? That might work in a very square room, but rooms with thinner, rectangular shapes wouldn’t necessarily fare so well with that setup. That’s why we were glad to find this more compact alternative of the same idea from Apartment Therapy! They guide you through the process of putting drawers under the bed so you have additional dresser space.
11. Shelving over the toilet
Building some simple shelving over your toilet’s tank isn’t precisely a new idea but we’re here to remind you that, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, it’s still ingenious. It just creates so much more space for bathroom products and supplies than you’d probably have otherwise! It sounds simple enough but sometimes even with the “easy” ideas, we find we could still use a bit of guidance, so here’s an awesome setup tutorial from Rent.com!
12. Hanging hair appliance baskets
We’ll be the first to admit that we’re kind of guilty of throwing our hair tools underneath the kitchen sink and either wasting all the space that’s under there or knocking over whatever we had been using the cupboard space for. Our home definitely doesn’t have room to leave blowdryers and straighteners sitting out, however, so they have to go somewhere, right? Well, imagine our excitement when we found this insanely simple tutorial from Apartment Therapy for hanging a wire filing basket on the bathroom so the hair appliances have a new permanent home. We followed the instructions for hanging our basket on the side of the counter because we have lots of space next to our toilet, but you could also easily go with the wall option too. Whatever works!
13. Kitchen peg board
We have always felt frustrated over the way our pots and pans take up so much space in our kitchen. Were tried storing them in the cupboards above the counters, in the cupboards underneath, and in separate shelving, but we’ve never been happy with any of these options. That’s why we were so pleased to discover this peg board idea and tutorial from The Décor Guru! We recreated their setup exactly, giving ourselves an extra little table to set things and do meal prep on, and we’ve never been happier with our tiny kitchen.
14. Drawers in the stairs
Have you actually already taken steps to design a raised bed setup so you can put cupboards underneath the mattress and increase close space? Well, before you get started, we’d like to suggest taking a look at this additional awesome feature outlined on Life Edited! They built their closet bed just high enough to warrant a very small staircase to get up to the mattress and then, to give themselves even more space to put things, they transformed every single one of those stairs into a drawer. We can’t help thinking about just how much stuff we’d be able to organize!
15. Standing shelves in the dish cupboards
Does your kitchen feature cupboards that are nice and high, but they’re also either narrow or shallow and you don’t have very many of them? In that case, we’d definitely suggest at least considering this dish platform idea outlined on Bark Time. By building a little standing shelf inside the cupboards, you double the “stackability” and take advantage of that height without having to actually stack your nice dishes on top of one another too high and precariously.
Do you know a few other awesomely effective DIY storage solutions for small apartments that you don’t see on our list? Tell us all about them or show us photos of what you made in the comments section!