If you're hoping to live in a popular city, neighborhood or building while sticking to a budget, considering a studio or efficiency apartment could help make your real estate dreams a reality.
These smaller living spaces are often located in desirable parts of town at a price point that's more affordable to single renters. The downside? Less square footage. The upside? A chance to declutter and less space to keep clean!
With a few organizational skills and a little creativity, moving your belongings into a studio or efficiency apartment doesn't mean you have to give everything up. Here are some creative storage solutions for studio apartments, efficiency apartments and other small spaces.
1. Multipurpose when possible
Because floor space will likely be limited, choose your pieces of furniture carefully and wisely. Opt for furniture that will suit your lifestyle and meet your needs (even better if you can meet multiple needs with one piece.)
Think sofas that pull out into a bed, TV stands that offer ample storage, coffee tables and ottomans with built-in storage and other creative solutions. You may not be able to fit in every piece of furniture you've always wanted, so decide what's the most important and the most functional.
2. Go higher up
You might have limited floor space, but the walls of smaller spaces are often underutilized. Use bookshelves, mounted shelving, hanging fixtures and hooks to give yourself storage options without taking up too much valuable space on the floors.
You can hang pots and pans in the kitchen, use a hanging clothing rack to maximize closet space, display your personal items and more. The key is to be willing to think outside the box. Just be mindful of your security deposit and check with your landlord before installing any serious hardware in the walls or ceiling.
3. Baskets and bins
If storage is lacking, you may find yourself struggling to find places to hide necessary items that aren't so visually pleasing. Today, baskets and bins are available in a wide range of materials to help give you some storage space without sacrificing your design aesthetic.
Store linens, office supplies, small kitchen equipment or clothing accessories in one easy-to-find location.
4. Don't forget doors
Your studio or efficiency space may not have a lot of doors, but you have at least one! Doors are also often underutilized in small and large spaces, alike.
Add a hanging rack or hooks for compact, discreet storage of coats, hats, jewelry, towels or anything else you might be struggling to find a home for. Don't forget about the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, too!
5. Rotate with the seasons
In order to be as efficient as possible, focus on keeping items you'll use on a daily basis in the easiest to reach places. In the winter, store summer linens, shoes and clothing under the bed or in another location you don't need to access often.
In the summer, do the same with heavy blankets, winter coats and boots.
6. Channel Marie Kondo
Stay organized and purge often. Learning to be and stay organized might be the biggest challenge you face in a studio or efficiency apartment, as clutter will become apparent much faster.
Use this as an opportunity to downsize and get rid of items you don't really need — unworn clothing, excess dishware, materials for past hobbies and the like. Make a point to practice decluttering at least once a year to reassess the necessity of items you've collected throughout the year.
Don't let a small space get you down
A small-space apartment can seem intimidating at first glance, especially if you're downsizing or used to living in a larger space. Instead of worrying about the size of your space, use your move as an opportunity to reorganize and restructure your belongings.
If you're willing to get a little unconventional and consider some creative options, you'll find a place to store all of your favorite things.