My boyfriend and I recently moved into a 500 square foot, one bedroom apartment and we couldn’t be happier with our decision to choose a smaller place. We’ve been here just under a month, but our storage/organization solutions are truly what allows us to enjoy and make the most of our space.
Before moving in, I watched tons of organization videos on Youtube and pinned a bunch of organization hacks on Pinterest…I know, I’m a little crazy! The key I learned to having a livable space is investing in some good storage solutions that hide all the little things away, while still having easy access to what you need.
Here are some of my tips with inspiration from our space:
Maximized closet space.
My dream someday is to have a beautiful closet with built in storage, but since we are living in a rental and don’t want to invest a ton of money, I found some solutions to maximize every inch of our shared closet. Our closet isn’t huge, but it certainly has enough space for both of us.
At the top, we keep clothing items we don’t reach for on a regular basis like bathing suits, old t-shirts, and ugly Christmas sweaters. To keep these items organized I used cube storage bins from Ikea. I’ve had these the past four years of university and they’ve held up so well.
In the middle, we use our hanging space for items like Brad’s nice shirts and jerseys, and my blouses and dresses. I like to use all the same hangers just to keep things looking uniform. The ones we use are white plastic and come in a pack of 30 from Walmart.
At the bottom, we each have plastic drawers that we keep our underwear and socks in. I bought these at Walmart – mine is a large size and Brad’s is a medium. These drawers are the perfect size to fit below clothes hanging in the closet and they have lots of drawer space to use for different items.
On the other side of the closet we have shelves where we store our luggage, scrubs, and shirts we reach for on a regular basis.
To keep my drawers functional, I use these organizers which I repurposed from some decorative boxes I picked up at Michael’s years ago.
Hidden under bed storage.
Since our room didn’t have space for a dresser, we opted to keep the clothes we fold under our bed. Luckily Brad already had a bed with drawers from Ikea, which was perfect to maximize our clothing storage. In my drawers, I keep items like scrubs, pants, t-shirts, workout clothes, and bulkier items like big knit sweaters and hoodies.
The bed has four drawers that are super deep and really make good use of otherwise wasted space under the bed. The bed looks sleek when they are closed, but they are super easy to open and access the clothes you need.
These bedside tables from Walmart (only online) are amazing! Perfect to keep things close by like books and electronics when relaxing in bed. The lamps we have on either side are from HomeSense and provide great light.
We got super lucky with our bathroom in this place, although pretty tiny, it has amazing storage. We like to keep the counter pretty clean, so we use the cabinet space to keep our toiletries out of the way and organized. Not going to lie, I have about 4x as much stuff as Brad, but honestly what do boys even use anyways.
Under sink organization.
I purchased shelves from Bed Bath and Beyond to organize under the sink. They are meant to be drawers, but they are unfortunately too deep to fit in our cabinets that direction so I use them more as shelves.
In these shelves I keep hair products, creams, nail polish, and first aid/medications all easy to reach for and organized. I bought this over cabinet door hair tool organizer from Winners and I love having my tools easy to reach for and untangled.
Beside the under sink cabinet we have two more cabinets, which conveniently already had shelves installed. In these cabinets, we keep Brad’s toiletries, extra towels, feminine products, toilet paper, travel bags, etc. I have q-tips, makeup sponges, and cotton pads in these jars I bought from the dollar store – a little nicer looking than the bags they originally came in!
To keep some of products we use in the shower organized and out of the way we use this caddy that hangs from our shower head. I bought this from Walmart a few years ago and I love how it is adjustable based on the items you are storing in it and has deep holders to make sure the products don’t fall when you put them back.
Counter-top makeup organizer.
I’m pretty simple when it comes to makeup, so my products fit in this acrylic organizer I bought from HomeSense. It’s nice when I’m getting ready in the morning to have my makeup and brushes out and easy to reach for and put back when I’m done with them.
Front entry + living room.
Coat + shoe storage.
We are lucky our place has a front closet to keep our winter coats and boots in. Just like the bedroom closet, I made sure to maximize every inch of space in that closet. We keep most of our shoes and boots in here, so I bought a tall shoe shelves to go under the boats, and a shelf to keep our boots up top. In the front entry we have a small shoe rack for the shoes we wear everyday.
Although a pain to put together we love our bar cabinet from Wayfair. I love wine and he loves whisky so it’s nice to have a place to display our collections. The bar cabinet has great drawers and a cabinet to keep other mixers as well.
To save space in our living room we opted for bar stools instead of a table and so far since it’s just the two of us, the bar stools are working out great for us.
Couch + tv stand.
Under our couch we keep a clothes drying rack and our tool box, which are awkward items but you would never know they are there. We love this TV stand we bought from Wayfair to match our bar cabinet. We finished the room off with a coffee table and a floating shelf from Ikea, both very inexpensive but match our other furniture well.
We found this cute armchair at Structube and thought it would be the perfect addition to our living space!
Since I am finished university and Brad never studies at a desk, we opted to buy a cheap shelf from Walmart to keep our laptops charging and printer on. We keep our office supplies hidden in the cupboards of the TV stand to minimize clutter.
We got lucky that our kitchen was brand new when we moved in and although it’s very small, the cabinet space is so functional! Since it is a small kitchen we try to keep most things put away to maximize the counter space we have to cook on.
Our kitchen has lovely cabinets for a pantry, so to keep things organized I labeled them based on what we should keep on each shelf.
Easily accessible cooking tools.
We like to keep our cookware, cooking utensils, oils, vinegars, and spices easy to reach. We are lucky to have some quality cabinet space with shelves to maximize space and keep things organized.
Larger items off the counter.
We love our instant pot, but we don’t use it every day and it takes up a lot of valuable counter space. Luckily we had some larger cabinets that were perfect to keep some of our appliances stowed away.
We love the dish rack we found a HomeSense. Similar to our laundry basket, our disk rack folds up nice and small when we are not using it, so it is not wasting our counter space.
In a small space it is so important to keep things clean! We had an extra cabinet in the kitchen, so I used it for our cleaning supplies to keep them easy to reach for,
I hope you find some of these tips helpful to better organize and maximize your space! Decorating and organization are some of my passions, so I really enjoyed working with our smaller space to make sure it was functional and clutter free!