wikiHow to Maximize Space in Your Apartment

Two Methods:Organizing Your SpaceReducing Clutter

Apartments--especials in urban centers--tend to be small. Every square foot needs to work. However, this is an opportunity to focus on what is really important in a living space: functionality, valuing space, and avoiding unnecessary clutter. A small living space can be a great living space, with some thought, tidiness, and ingenuity.

Method 1
Organizing Your Space

  1. 1
    Know how much space you have. If you are going to maximize your space, you need to know how much you have. Measure the height of each room as well. High or low ceilings can affect the amount of space you have. Use a tape measure to find the dimensions of every room you have in feet or meters.
    • Having a floor plan is helpful as well. The layout of a room is often as important as the size.
    • It helps to have these measurements kept in a handy location, such as a purse or binder when furniture-shopping or thrift store browsing.
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    Create multipurpose workspaces. Think about where you spend time in the apartment, and especially where you store your day-to-day work and entertainment. If you're using the whole place but still feeling cramped, try consolidating some of it.[1]
    • Similar tasks can usually be done in the same setting. Your reading corner, computer station, and work desk can all be in the same corner, for example.
    • A bookcase can be a good way to divide a room, creating some division while also providing valuable shelf space.[2]Look for other ways to divide a room that emphasizes these spaces, even without using walls.
    • Consider non-traditional arrangements. For instance, if you do not entertain, and do not need a large table, you likely do not need a traditional dining room. Instead, a small cafe-style table may free up needed room. Or use folding tables if you do have friends over.
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    Think vertically. Make use of every square foot, and think of using space right up to the ceiling. Select tall furniture instead of lower, wider pieces.[3]
    • You can install two rods in your closet, hanging shirts from the top one and longer clothing items from the lower.
    • Try to go "floor to ceiling" with bookshelves, taking up as much space as possible.
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    Consider collapsible furniture. A bed can take up a huge amount of room in a small apartment. If you're willing to replace it with a roll-up sleeping pad, you'll have much more space during the day. Similarly, you can buy chairs that fold up under the table, or footrests that slide under the couch.[4]
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    Use storage furniture. An ottoman with space for storing cushions or books serves two purposes at once. A coffee table or end table with drawers gives you even more space in your living room. A bed with a trundle underneath it lets you use space that would otherwise have nothing but dust and lost socks.[5]
    • Use boxes and urns as decorative storage. They come in all shapes and sizes to match your decor and they are great for concealing a number of necessary items. From baking supplies to TV remotes to loose change, these art pieces can hold all kinds of practical objects.
    • Try putting some bins and boxes underneath your existing tables and beds. You may not need to buy new furniture, depending on what fits.
    • If your bed is too low to put things under it, you can buy a bed lift to raise it up. Just a few inches can create extra space for boxes and containers. There are containers that you can buy specifically made to fit under beds.[6]
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    Use as much wall space as possible. Almost anything can be mounted onto a wall or placed on a newly installed shelf, freeing up floor space. As storage space, bookshelves are a great place to put decorative objects, and more space-efficient than end tables. For example, replace a floor lamp with a smaller lamp on a shelf.
    • You can use shelf dividers as well to help organize your things, or create smaller, as needed shelves, to maximize the space you are using.
    • The inside of closet doors can provide additional space to hang or mount items. A spice rack looks good, and can be very convenient, on the inside of a pantry door.
    • Hanging pots and pans in your kitchen can save cabinet and drawer space, and makes you look like a serious cook.
    • Hang bulletin boards on walls and doors. Reduce paper clutter in the kitchen with bulletin board or fridge magnets. Make use of the space on a closed door by hanging additional bulletin boards or decorations.
    • If you have a flat screen TV, hang it on the wall. Don't get rid of the TV stand, instead use it for more shelf space.[7]
    • A cheap wine rack can be a great place for your bathroom towels. You’ll be surprised to discover that rolled-up bathroom towels fit well in a wine rack, creating extra space in your cupboards.
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    Hang a hook from your ceiling. Use this to hang houseplants or extra storage containers. If you have a high enough ceiling, you can go a step further and replace bulky lamps with a chandelier.
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    Hang a rack in your shower. A rack hanging from the shower head is a space-efficient way to store bathroom supplies.

Method 2
Reducing Clutter

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    Get rid of extra stuff. From clothing to unused kitchen tools to furniture, you can probably find something to throw out. Donate objects in good condition to charity, and throw out the rest. As a rule of thumb, if you haven't used something in a year, you can probably get rid of it.
    • If you have not used an item in 12 months, it is most likely clutter. The same goes for anything that does not really bring you happiness, or does not function well--such as being broken, or too big or small.
    • A garage sale is another good way to give your stuff to people who need it more.
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    Put objects in storage. If you have furniture that simply does not work for the space, consider renting a storage facility. This includes things like Grandma's china cabinet that you will use when you get a larger place. A storage locker is also good for rotating seasonal items, like clothing that you will only wear part of the year.[8]
    • Check with your property owner for nearby storage facilities. He or she may have some tips on the good ones nearby, and might even have a deal with one.
    • If you have a friend or relative with a large house, he or she may let you store these objects in an attic or basement for free.
    • Consider cost of storage, however. Storage units have a cost every month, which while modest, can really add up over time. Is it really worth hundreds of dollars to hold on to your old furniture?
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    Transfer paper records to digital. Scan your files and photographs to make digital copies. A single hard drive can easily store every paper record you have in the apartment. Just make sure to make at least one back up, so you don't lose the files to a technological error.
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    Store odds and ends in empty jars. Spare jars or plastic food containers can store the little, miscellaneous objects that build up. From children's toys to nails and screws, these are good to have around.
    • If you are out of room in your kitchen cupboards, store pasta and other dry food in empty jars. Place these on top of the kitchen cabinets for practicality and ambiance.


  • If you have a couple of kids, a bunk bed is a great way to save space in their room.
  • The stuff that is rubbish either try to recycle it or take a trip to the local tip and throw.
  • Once a month have a day of taking clutter down to your local charity organisation. It helps them and helps you.
  • Remember that a living space has three dimensions: length, width, and height. Try to think about your space in all three dimensions. Using space above the floor and along the walls helps to create space without reducing the floor area.
  • Leave windows unobstructed if you can. Fresh air and a possible fire exit is important. The larger your view, the larger the space feels, even in a small room.
  • If painting, use warm colors for the walls, and white for the ceiling. It will make the room feel less cramped than a room with dark colors on the walls and ceiling. For must have colors that are dark, such as red and blue, dim it with white to make pink or sky blue.

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