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7 Super Surprising Small Apartment Storage Ideas

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Are you looking to find unique storage spaces in your tiny house? These 7 Super Surprising Small Apartment Storage Ideas will work in any type of home, small or large!


Today, I’m sharing with you some unique storage spaces in your tiny home that you may have never thought of!

surprising apartment storage ideas

Living in an apartment or rental home can be a challenge when trying to find storage space that is practical, helpful, and still looks good (or at least looks ‘deceiving’).

These seven (plus) small apartment storage ideas are ones that I (mostly) use in My Wee Abode, but there is one that I’m still planning to incorporate! I’ll tell you which one at the end of my post.

Or, maybe you can figure out which space I haven’t used before the end of the post! Don’t you just love a good mystery?!

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How Can I Get More Storage in My Apartment?

It’s pretty easy to get extra space in an apartment, dorm, or tiny house! Just think outside the box. Think: behind, below, above, on the side, and literally outside (the box)!

How Can I Live in an Apartment with No Storage?

For almost six years, I lived in a studio apartment that had ONE, let me repeat that, ONE closet!

Believe me, there are all sorts of creative storage ideas to be found in your small apartment and quite a few unique storage spaces for your home that you may not have even thought of! Read on!

Small Apartments Storage Ideas – Under Sofas

Have you ever thought about storing items under the sofa in your living room?

Whether you have a sofa on high legs, or a sofa with low-profile legs, there is precious storage real estate under that wonderful piece of furniture!

surprising apartment storage ideas bottom of white sofa on gray and white rug

You might think, “You’ll be able to SEE what’s under the sofa!” However, it really depends on what you store under the sofa.

A low profile sofa, like mine, is a great place to store pieces of wood, wrapping paper, even vacuum seal bagged blankets!

If you have a sofa that has high legs, you can store even more! Just purchase some decorative storage boxes or baskets and fill them with linens, books, seasonal decor items, or whatever floats-your-boat!

By the way, if you are in the market for a new sofa, take a look at these best modular sofas from Whimsy Soul.

Pro-Tip: My Wee Abode is surrounded with lush gardens including LOTS of palm trees. Be sure to check for mice in the couch before storing anything under it!

Small Space Storage Hacks – Under and Behind Furniture

Not only is your sofa the perfect place to add storage to your home or apartment, but storing items under other pieces of other home furniture works, too!

furniture piece with bag underneath on carpet
No… that’s not dust-bunnies. That’s a vacuum-sealed bag with pillows inside under our baker’s cabinet!

You can get these vacuum sealed storage bags on Amazon. They are a no-brainer!

Of course, don’t forget to slide things behind furniture, too!

surprising apartment storage ideas shelf with stored items adn basket with pillows
Extra furniture wood and my cutting mat are stored behind a bookshelf. The shelf is pulled out for the picture, but when the shelf is against the wall, you don’t notice the flat items stored behind it.

And don’t forget unique bedroom storage ideas. Even if you have a small bedroom, be sure to remember to use the space under YOUR bed, as well as beds in other rooms!

bed with blue and white spread with boxes underneath bed
Of course, my bed skirt covers all the containers when I’m not taking pictures!

I JUST remembered that I hadn’t used the area under my mom’s bed, so of course, I immediately took care of THAT issue! 🙂

There are all sorts of under-bed storage boxes available online and in stores!

Remember, if the bed is too low to fit boxes underneath, you can get bed risers and lift the bed anywhere from 1-4 inches or more!

Additional small-space storage hacks under and behind furniture would be:

  • Cabinets on legs (like a baker’s cabinet), both under and behind
  • A media console
  • Benches
  • Side tables and coffee tables (underneath is probably best… 😉 )
  • Beds
  • and, behind sofas, bookshelves, dressers, and more!

When storing in open areas, ‘disguise’ the storage spaces using woven baskets, pretty storage boxes, as well as decorative wire baskets!

Unique Storage for a Small Space – Over the Door

A perfect and pretty storage area in your apartment or dorm is over a door, or even around the ceiling!

surprising apartment storage ideas back of bathroom door with robe and shelves over door
Source: DecorAid

You can add a pretty shelf with decorative brackets or corbels over a bathroom or bedroom door and then add linens, glass jars with practical items inside, or even just some pretty decor you can’t find a place for!

And, you can even install shelving as ‘wall border’ around any room to store books and create an instant library!

What’s more… you can add shelving around the ceiling in a garage to store LOTS more! Take a look at the tutorial from my sweet friend Diane from South House Designs… Brilliant!

surprising apartment storage ideas containers on shelf around ceiling of garage

How Do You Hide Clutter in a Small Apartment? Add a Closet!

This is one of my favorite storage solutions hacks!

If you have an extra corner in a room, or even some wall space, you can use a pretty room divider to create a closet without any power tools!

apartment decor hacks free standing closet using a room divider basket with pillow and bed

This option is perfect for a utility closet, covering shelves that may harbor your craft supplies, or even just hiding that extra clutter!

Think Vertical and Look Up for Home Storage Solutions

If you can’t add a temporary closet to your home, think about maximizing the space of the closets you already have!

Don’t let the sides of your closets go to waste! Install a dress hanger like the one below, or add hooks down the side of your closet wall and hang whatever you like.

how to get the most from a small closet organized closet

And don’t stop there! Add hooks to the ceiling of your closet to store purses, backpacks, and totes!

Think About Narrow Spaces for Small Apartment Storage Hacks

Many people like to store their brooms and mops on the side of the refrigerator (that’s a freebie hack if you didn’t know about that).

But if you have a small kitchen (or any size kitchen, for that matter), have you thought of adding a sliding pantry to the side of your fridge?

surprising apartment storage ideas slide in pantry next to stainless refrigerator
One of the best small apartment storage spaces!

This little (and super affordable) kitchen-assistant slides right into that space between a wall and refrigerator (remember to measure and take into consideration the floor molding). And it holds A LOT! It’s the perfect solution when you lack cabinet space, or just need a bit more room for food! (But, you might think of different items to store in this super-duper space saver!)

Outside Space Savers for Your Small Apartment

When I lived in the original My Wee Abode, I only had a 3 x 3′ landing for my outside space, just outside the front door. That’s loft apartment living for ya.

NOW, we have a nice sized balcony, that not only has a closet that is home to our stacked washer/dryer, but I also have a utility cabinet that stores decor and patio items!

cabinet outside on balcony against yellow wall

This HDX Plastic freestanding cabinet is super affordable, and I plan on giving it a pretty update in the future (*looks at long list of projects*). Could you use this type of cabinet on your balcony or in your outdoor living area?

Tell Me… What Are Your Surprising Small Apartment Storage Ideas?

Do you have a fave extra storage idea that you would like to share in the comments? What are you doing to utilize the small spaces in your home? We’d love to about it!

What is your favorite hack that was shared today? Be sure to share about that, too! Did you guess which hack I still need/want to implement at My Wee Abode?

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  1. I love your decorating style (that color scheme of mint /soft green! Am slowly switching from navy blue) and take inspiration from it since I, too, live in a tiny 800 sq ft senior apartment. I’m a master at storage! If something happens to me and my kids have to clean out, they’re going to find such surprises – under, over, behind, beside each piece of furniture- it’ll be like an Easter egg hunt!

    1. LOL! That is too funny about the Easter egg hunt, Muriel! But, if we are organized and not cluttered, they will thank us!

  2. I have tall book shelves and I use the very top for storage. I just arrange my things in a visually pleasing manner so that it looks like I’m displaying my stuff rather than storing it. I also love to wear hats and I like to have them handy so that I can put one on as I’m leaving my apartment. I keep knit winter hats in a pretty basket inside my entryway. I have my fedoras and cowboy hats hanging on the walls of the entryway and an over the door hat rack for hanging/displaying my hat collection on the outside of my entryway coat closet.

  3. I also live in a small apartment with storage challenges, so your post was very interesting! I had to laugh because I also put things under the loveseat (door mats)and things behind it as well and behind my amiore (sp). I would love your outside utility cabinet! We all joke that our places are “jigsaw puzzle places” because of trying to fit everything.

    1. Yes… I get the ‘jigsaw’ reference! My ToteScan app helps with finding things that I have scattered in unique storage space. 😉 Thanks for dropping in and commenting, Kare!

  4. I am blessed with an actual storage room in our basement. BUT its nice to have things closer to where you need them. A cutting mat behind a bookshelf in the craft room is one example. Great ideas Julie, but making a closet is still my favorite.

    1. Thanks, Leanna! I WISH I had a basement! I know so many that have little personalized ‘stores’ to update their seasonal decor. What a dream!

    1. Yep… this is a great help for when you downsize. This post helps with all home-lifestyle transitions! Thanks for visiting AND commenting, Pamela!

  5. I had to smile when I saw you stored things behind furniture. When my kids were in school, I always kept extra poster boards behind a tall bureau. When they said, “Mom I need to make a poster for tomorrow,” I didn’t need to make a special trip into town for 1 item! I have storage units to hide my stuff; I just need to declutter BADLY! A friend suggested I ask friends to help me with a yard sale; she is limited by poor balance, arthritis, and travels in a wheelchair. Guess it won’t be her, huh? When I come across some treasures, I don’t remember where/when I got it–or even what I paid for it! Like Christmas morning sometimes!

    1. Kathy! It’s so good to hear from you! Yes… decluttering can be a hard one for me, too! I have a box that has been untouched since we moved into the new MWA… It’s been almost a year, can you believe it? I think I should probably throw the box and it’s content away since I haven’t used it in a year, right? 😉

  6. So many good ideas! I love the sliding pantry on the side of the fridge. For many years, I too lived in a really small condo with limited storage. I wish I had incorporated some of your suggestions. I found that hooks helped to create much needed storage – in the back of doors, in closets, on the wall in an entryway etc. Thanks for all the great ideas.

  7. These are such great ideas, Julie! Until 5 years ago, when we moved to our current house, I had VERY little storage space. We used some of these same tricks there, but I could have definitely used more of these ideas, then! It funny, even though we now have a big storage room in the basement, I still tend to store things under furniture!

    1. Ohhhh how I would love a basement! But, I could see storing things within reach, too… like under the sofa. It’s probably a bit easier to get to! Thanks for sharing, Pam!

  8. Julie, these are all great suggestions! I’ve helped my kids pack in all their stuff for dorm rooms and small apartments multiple times over the years. I am the ninja of gracefully packing things into a space! I’ve had a lot of practice because I have a wee bit of an obsession with dishes and baking supplies and have waaaay too much of it packed into my little house!

    1. LOL! That’s great, Janet. You’ve definitely got motivation for being organized and finding space! Before Mom’s Alzheimer’s, she was also the queen of packing! She had a mind that thought ‘outside the box’… literally! LOL!

    1. Yes, Tanya… these storage spaces really work for just about any home! I just realized that I’ve missed the storage space under my mom’s dresser! Woot!

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