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Organizing Your Apartment: Making the Most of Your Space

Posted by South Dakota Housing Authority on Feb 5, 2016 11:06:12 AM

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When it comes to apartment living, making room for your belongings and new additions to your furniture can get tricky. Space is finite, and it's not always easy to master the organizational skills it takes to make the most of your space. But here are a few tricks that can free up some room for improvement.

Find Unused Space

You'd be surprised how much of your space goes unused in your rental property. Sure, a studio apartment might not offer a lot by way of closet space or storage areas, but your furniture, it turns out, does. For example, does your bed or coffee table stand up off of the ground on legs? Consider purchasing shorter, wider storage bins that can easily slide under a raised piece of furniture.

And what about those high cupboards in your kitchen or bathroom that sit empty because they're inaccessible for regular use? Consider placing long-term-storage items in those inaccessible areas and free up space in lower cupboards for items you use on a daily basis.

Strategize Seasonally

In an apartment, your closet space can be limited. So when it comes to storing your clothes, it can get difficult to cram everything into the available space. But if you strategize, you can avoid opening a closet and being buried in a big pile of clothes. Think about which clothes you wear only in specific seasons - sweaters in the fall, shorts in the summer - and put them toward the back of the closet or store them in alternate locations (see "Find Unused Space" above).

And the same goes for other household items, like seasonal decorations and outdoor equipment; give the prime storage real estate only to items you'll need in the present or immediate future.

Play "Keep or Donate"

One foolproof way to free up some space is to simply purge. Sure, we all have sentimental attachments to our belongings, but you'd be surprised how many items you simply move from place to place without ever actually using them with any degree of frequency.

Go through your closets, your boxes and your shelving units - lay out all the items inside and determine when the last time you used them was. If an item hasn't been used for six months, a year or even multiple years, it's time to consider donating it. If there's no particular sentimental attachment, it might be an easy decision to let it go and create some more space in your living areas. (Plus, if you discover enough items you feel comfortable purging, you can make a few extra bucks and host a yard sale or sell items online.)

Go Vertical

You've used up all your floor space, so there's nowhere else to go but up. One of the most forgotten areas of apartment space is above your head - the upper portions of your walls and your ceilings can prove to be useful when creating storage space.

Pick up some floating shelves (or better yet, make them yourself) and utilize the high-up areas on your walls that are going unused. You can store shorter, smaller items that you perhaps don't use very often or create more room to decorate and show your personality. And potted plants that are taking up space on the floor or on shelves can be moved to the ceiling - invest in hanging plants to suspend them and free up room below.

Buy Furniture with Function

When it comes to buying new apartment furniture, you have a lot of spatial restrictions. Luckily, furniture can serve more than one purpose. Multi-functional furniture can be a great way to add more storage opportunities to your rental property. Consider buying couches or end tables or TV stands that have cabinets or rolling shelves included.

And when it comes to furniture that you don't use every day, collapsible units can be helpful. Consider purchasing furniture that can break down when not actively being used, such as kitchen islands or tables, to make your daily living space more, well, livable.

Just Remember

Don't give up - just when you think you're bursting at the seams in your current apartment, there are tips and tricks to add some more breathing room to your living situation.

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Topics: Renting