space-saving tips for small apartments

Whether you live in a "charming" (aka tiny) L-shaped studio or a sizable one-bedroom apartment with an eat-in kitchen, there are probably times when you wish you had a bit more space (or knew how to make better use of yours). Fear not: we've got handy tips for saving space on any budget.

One of the toughest parts about living in a small or disappointingly designed apartment is the lack of storage — not necessarily a lack of space. By making use of your negative space a bit more creatively, you can enhance your living area and increase your storage options.

repurpose your space

A key component for creating extra storage in your bedroom — whether it fits little more than a full-size mattress and a lamp or a California king and matching armoires — is a set of bed risers, which you can attach to the 4 corners of your frame. Costing as little as $10, they're an affordable, labor-light way to create or increase storage under your bed.

Once elevated, you can use plastic bins, wicker baskets, or hat boxes to stash things beneath the bed (dust-free!) for easy access.

how to de-clutter your closet

Shoe racks do a similar job of streamlining clutter. If you've got floor space in your closet, a shoe rack (even just a simple 2-tier one) or cubby is always a better option than piling your shoes on top of each other.

While you're cleaning out your closet, consider ditching your old plastic hangers for velvety tiered hangers. Most home stores sell these, even with add-on clips for skirts and pants and various no-slip materials. Layering can actually free up your closet without forcing you to overhaul your wardrobe.

And if you live in a state with diverse seasons, it might be worthwhile to invest in space bags: vacuum-sealed storage bags that are airtight, waterproof, and give you tons of closet space when those heavy sweaters and jackets aren't in rotation.

divide a room

Another smart way to save space is to divide a room. Room dividers allow you to use a single room for multiple purposes, rather than requiring separate rooms for separate needs. They offer privacy, provide a backdrop, or bluntly halve a room when you need them to. Plus, most room dividers allow light to pass through, so they allow you to create a multi-purpose area without robbing the room of its overall brightness.

be detail-oriented

Apartments aren't known for their extensive kitchen counter space or gigantic bathrooms. But that doesn't mean yours is a lost cause.

Space-saving ideas for small kitchens

Kitchen appliances are notorious counter hogs, which is why it's a good idea to consider double-duty appliances, like a food processor-blender combo (rather than wasting valuable space on 2 separate appliances). Smaller gadgets have a lot of trendy new fixes, too. Lots of home stores sell things like collapsible cheese graters and colanders, and cutting boards that fit over your sink so you don't have to struggle with limited counter space.

Lacking in cabinet space? You'll free some up if you stack pot lids in a dish drying rack instead of piling them. Slide-in spice racks can be especially handy for making room in a cabinet. Plus, because you're not piling them, slide-in racks allow you to see (and reach) every container. Lazy Susans work well, too, by helping you reach things that would otherwise be lost in the back of a cabinet.

Space-saving tips for small bathrooms

When it comes to counter space, no room is more lacking than the bathroom. It's great to have an over-the-faucet shelf (like a caddy for soaps and toothpaste), especially if you have a petite pedestal-style sink. And if you have a cabinet beneath your sink, you might try a small wastebasket that hooks over the door, so you can keep your bathroom trash hidden while saving floor space.

Certain bathtubs, like clawfoot tubs, look nice, but don't typically have anywhere to put your stuff. A helpful, inexpensive fix is a shower curtain with pockets; the bulky pockets aren't visible from the outside, and it's a lot nicer than leaving your shampoo bottles on the side of the tub.

protect your belongings with renters insurance

Saving space is just one of the challenges you face in an apartment. Because the things you keep at home are precious to you, it's important to get the best protection possible for them. With renters insurance, your everyday items could be covered if they're stolen or a disaster leaves them damaged or destroyed. It's much easier to focus on saving space when you're not worried about the security of your stuff.

How to take a home inventory
Take stock of what you've got with these helpful tips on taking an inventory.

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