Since we’ve all been spending more time at home, you’ve likely invested in new items for your apartment. Perhaps you’ve built out a home gym during the lockdown, or you’ve expanded your home office during this extended work-from-home period.

Upgrading your apartment can make sheltering-in-place a lot more productive and enjoyable. But with purchasing these new items comes the tricky process of finding room for all of these new things. That’s where clever space maximizing hacks come in handy. Here are tips for getting the most out of the space in your apartment, organized by room:

How to Begin Organizing your Apartment:

As you embark on your organization journey, begin by creating a list of where you’re storing your items. This will help prevent you from misplacing an item and going crazy when trying to find it down the line.

The Bedroom

1. Consider What Can be Taken Off the Floor

If you don’t have space on your closet floor because it is filled with shoes, consider getting a hanging shoe rack such as this one to make floor space for suitcases and other large items. Hanging racks can also double as an area to hang board games, towels, and other items. If you have space for a piece of furniture in your bedroom, consider the Hemnes Shoe Closet from IKEA, which can be used to store shoes, towels, jewelry, and other items.

Additionally, rather than focusing on where to store items at eye-level, try to utilize space all the way up to the ceiling. Invest in bookcases or shelves that extend several feet high to maximize as much space as possible.

3. Use a Wine Rack to Store Weights

If you’re like many people who invested in weights this year after gyms closed, consider using a wine rack to stack them alongside wine bottles.

4. Hang Accessories on the Wall

Accessories don’t have to be out of sight. If you own hats, necklaces, scarves, and other accessories, consider hanging them on hooks directly on the wall to add to the décor of the room. You can also buy a wooden silverware organizer, paint it a color that blends with your room, and hang it in your closet or on your wall (with your landlord’s permission) to store jewelry and other small items.

5. Store Linens Directly under the Mattress

Rather than stuffing linens in random places throughout the apartment, fold them wide and thin and place them directly under your mattress. Not only will they be out of sight, but they’re also in an easy-to-grab place when you’re changing the sheets on your bed.

6. Use your Bed as Storage

If you’re in the market for a new headboard, consider buying one with storage, such as the BRIMNES headboard from IKEA. If you’re interested in buying a new bed altogether, try an ottoman storage bed such as this one from Amazon or these storage beds from IKEA which keep items organized and out of sight.

If you prefer to store items under your bed, try to opt for pretty under-bed storage containers such as these Farmhouse-inspired boxes from The Container Store, these woven basket containers, or these storage boxes that look like drawers rather than plastic bins that can be an eyesore.

7. Use Shower Curtain Rings to Hang Clothing

Clip plastic shower curtain rings to hangers to hang scarves, tank tops, and other clothing items to help free up space in your closet. In addition to hangers, consider investing in simple metal hooks such as these to hang pants which take up far less space than regular hangers. If you prefer to use hangers, try using thin fabric hangers such as these or slim tubular metal hangers, which don’t cling to clothing as much as felt hangers.A bedroom with queen sized bed flanked by two curtained windows. A bookcase is filled on the left. A caption reads, "Invest in bookcases or shelves that extend several feet high to maximize as much space as possible."

The Bathroom

1. Store Cleaning Supplies in Closet Organizers

Purchase a hanging rack or closet organizer and install it on your bathroom door to store cleaning supplies and toilet paper. This option from Amazon includes hooks for robes and towels, while this one includes deep pockets for toiletries.

2. Purchase a Plastic Bag Dispenser to Store Bathroom Items

Plastic bag dispensers, like IKEA’s VARIERA, are affordable storage options with a myriad of uses, from hanging wrapping paper to yoga mats to grocery bags. They can also be used to hold cleaning products, dusters, brushes, and an array of other items.

3. Add Storage in the Bathroom

The area above the toilet is often the most under-used real estate in an apartment. If the space above the toilet is clear, consider installing an additional medicine cabinet such as this Farmhouse-inspired cabinet, this mirrored cabinet, this white cabinet, or this espresso-colored cabinet. Shelving units such as this one with cabinets or this one with shelves are also an ideal way to separate a couple’s toiletries or divide storage space between roommates, without having to drill into the walls.

The Kitchen

1. Hang Chip Bags from Plastic Pants Hangers

Rather than stacking bags of chips on top of one another, repurpose pant hangers as chip clips and hang them from the shelves instead. With the chip bags suspended, you’ll have more space to store other items on the shelves.

2. Use a Lazy Susan for Spices and Cooking Supplies

Spices, jars, and boxes of food can easily get lost when pushed all the way to the back of a pantry. Transform your pantry by putting all of your spices on a Lazy Susan. Doing so not only helps to consolidate space, it also makes it far easier to quickly find the spices and items you’re looking for.

3. Install a Rolling Drawer in the Kitchen

Prior to implementing this storage hack, be sure to check with your landlord to ensure they’re comfortable with you installing rolling shelves. With their approval, installing a rolling shelf such as these options from Home Depot can help create additional space while saving you the frustration of having to stack pots and pans on top of one another in your cabinet.

What to Do if You’re Still Out of Space

While there are several ways to maximize space in an apartment, storage hacks can only go so far. If your items take up more space than your apartment can fit, it may be worth investing in an apartment with a second bedroom or renting in a building that offers additional storage units.

Draper and Kramer offers several apartments with storage space in the building that is either included with the apartment or is available to rent. For example, Draper and Kramer’s Aspire Residences in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood offers additional storage space that is included with every apartment. If you are preparing to move and would like to schedule a tour of Draper and Kramer’s properties, contact us today.

A work-from-home space with a white desk on the right, computer open and ready, and a blue couch in the background on the left.

Upgrading your apartment can make sheltering-in-place a lot more productive and enjoyable. But with purchasing these new items comes the tricky process of finding room for all of these new things. That's where clever space maximizing hacks come in handy.

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