Apartments can be difficult to organize due to their size. When an apartment or any small space is well organized, the space seems larger. This is a guide about organizing an apartment.
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I have two pretty, sturdy tote bags hanging on decorative hooks on my bedroom wall. You'd be surprised how much they hold. I have wallets, extra pairs of glasses, etc. Things that I don't want to get rid of, but don't want taking up room elsewhere. I found one of the pretty totes at a thrift store for $2.70 after my senior discount.
By Betty from Lubbock, TX
If you live in a small apartment, you might find that organizing it and keeping it free of clutter can be difficult. Where do you put all of your stuff when you don't have enough room to store it in? The following a list of rooms and 5 organization tips that can potentially keep the clutter from taking over in them.
Use a dinnerware organizer in your kitchen cabinets. These space savers can separate your plates from your bowls or coffee mugs and give you a place to keep them safe, without taking up a lot of room.
If you don't have a medicine cabinet or a closet then use baskets to keep your bathroom materials organized. Wash cloths can easily be rolled up and placed in a basket that you can either place on the floor, on the sink, or on the back of the toilet.
If you have a lot of shoes and nowhere to put them then a flat box, or one of those fabric shoe organizers, that can easily slide under the bed can be a great way to store your shoes and keep them organized so that when you need them you'll be able to find both feet.
Kids need lots of shelf space. For something a little different from a regular book shelf, consider using an old entertainment center. Take the door off (or not) and paint it a fun color. Use clear shoe boxes or other plastic tubs for loose toys, puzzles, stuffed animals, and balls.
If you have the tendency to kick off your shoes when you first walk in the door then place a large tote or bin near the door. As you and your family enter the apartment, take the shoes off and place them in the container. That way, you won't be searching around the house for them and they won't take up space in the middle of the floor.
A flat basket in the living room works well for a lot of things. It can hold magazines or pieces of mail that are important.
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Here are questions related to Organizing an Apartment.
Anyone have an idea how to keep a small apartment organized? I have crafts everywhere, in containers, on the floor in Walmart bags, and I can't seem to keep it clean and up off the floor. Any suggestions please? I need this done by November (Thanksgiving).
By Kelly from Medina, OH
By Louise B.10/09/2010
Art is a messy business if you don't actually have a space devoted just to it! I would suggest Rubbermaid tubs and shelving. If you can't afford a bunch of tubs, you could get boxes that paper comes in from an office. If you can't afford the shelving, just stack the tubs/boxes in an out of the way corner. Label the boxes so you know what you have stowed in each.
Shelving is a solution I have used many years, along with making furniture and other objects do "double-duty", since I also have a small living space. For example, use a decorative basket for storing craft supplies. There are ottomans that have a storage compartment, as well as furniture that has that same option, so blankets could be stored, perhaps leaving needed shelf space free for other things. Think "outside the box" for storage needs. In my kitchen, I have a large metal display rack for my pots and pans, since I have very little cupboard or counter space.
A spice rack can be mounted on the wall and used to store small craft supplies. A wire bicycle basket can be mounted on the wall to store larger items. A three tiered wire basket hanger can be used for things like yarn or fabrics, as well as other bulky items like pine cones, silk flowers, etc. I hope this helps a bit. I am re-configuring space in our home at the moment, and I have some space challenges too!
I bought bed risers (those plastic things that make your bed stand taller) and I store boxes of craft stuff under my bed. I use copy paper boxes from work, they are the perfect size and they are the same size. You do need to have a master list of what is in which box (label boxes "1", "2" or "A" "B" = Box 1: jewelry crafts, Box 2: knitting stuff, or Box A: Scrapbooking, etc.). It's not the best solution, in that it's not at your fingertips, but it's otherwise wasted space and you can have upwards of a dozen boxes under a bed. I have a bed skirt also, which hides the boxes.
I have a large apartment. The problem is it is over cluttered, mostly with clothes. I want to declutter the whole apartment from top to bottom. Most of the things are brand new items from birthdays and Christmas. Any suggestions on how to start? I am overwhelmed as to where to put anything.
By Linda from Fall River, MA
By Diane Flynn05/05/2010
The easiest way to not be overwhelmed with the task is to start by working one room at a time. Put everything "cluttering" that room in a large box or container. Do that in every room. Get each room set the way you want it to look and then gradually take things out of the clutter containers and slowly put it away. A really good place to first start organizing is your closet. Hanging shelves from Wal-Mart work really great for things that don't hang well and don't fit in the bureau and aren't too expensive. Over door shoe organizers can be used for tons of things from makeup to hair care to shoe/socks, etc. Take a little at a time - you'll be surprised how fast it all gets put away.
I have the rule when we get something new, we get rid of something. My developmentally disabled adult daughter is real good about going through her clothes and sorting out what has to go, etc. I then go through to make sure she isn't getting rid of something she shouldn't. When her dresser drawers or closet starts to get too full, she starts going through things.
If everything is everywhere, you might need to get some bins for the various rooms (plus bins for donations and trash), and just start sorting. I have a handled basket-thing (like you might use to take things to the beach) that I use for my daughter. We toss in all her stuff that migrates into the living room, and she gets to take it back to her room (and hopefully put it away!).
Some people want to plow through the job until everything is done. Others get burned out and it's better for them to set aside some time every day to devote to completing a specific area or task. You're going to have to figure out what works best for you.
My problem is maintenance. I can get it nice looking, but it doesn't seem to last. I'm still working on that . . .
By Marjorie C. Woodworth05/04/2010
Move an extra dresser into one of your clothes closets to make for extra storage space.
Also de-clutter your life and donate clothing and household items that you won't use.
When you have limited space where can you store the ironing board? I have a small apartment and we have to iron everyday. Now we leave the ironing board in the narrow hallway which is in the way of traffic. Do you have any suggestions?
I bought an old fashioned "country looking" ironing board at an auction. I lean it against a wall in the livingroom so it looks like country decor.It is cute and it is available anytime, I can iron and watch tv or have a conversation all at the same time.
I live in a one bedroom house. I store mine in a closet in the bathroom/dressing room. I iron my clothes once a week on Sunday usually. Takes me about 45 minutes. Then I hang my clothes that I just ironed over the bathroom door so they don't get wrinkled in the closet. Why would you iron everyday? What a pain.
There are hooks to hang an ironing board on the back of a door, available in home centers and hardware stores. You could also slide it under a bed.
By Pam T09/03/2010
How about an over the door one, that could be stored on a closet door, or even a bedroom door? Wouldn't have to be down all the time, only when you need it!
I would like some tips for orgarizing for very small apartment.
By Joyce K. from Fall River, MA
I would purchase small apt. size furniture such as a love seat versus sofa to prevent overcrowding of room/floor space. An end/side table with drawer and/or shelf cabinet provides more storage space; is concealed and also serves as a coffee table. A bookcase is also an option and a tv cabinet for storing DVDs and music CDs besides holding the tv. A two drawer file cabinet can also hold valuables as it has a lock/key and the drawers are deep, so you can store larger items in and use the top of the filing cabinet to put your printer, a lamp or use as a phone stand or a side table next to a chair. It really is a multifunctional item besides using as its intended purpose. Utilize open wall space with a corner shelf or straight shelf.
With a small apartment and a bathroom you literally have to close the door before you (ahem) sit down, I needed more space. Cornelius needed some space, too. Since space is something we both needed, I decided to revamp the whole "hot water heater room".
The first thing I did was make a trash can bag a liner, using it cut down and elastic to keep it in place. The board in front is to keep the "kicking litter" inside the room and easy to vacuum.
A storage unit was worth the $14.00 to store the things I didn't have room for: tools, towels, cleaning supplies, candles and matches, flashlights, batteries, and hardware.
Finishing up the project was the lace curtain to cover it all up.
This is a real coup for me as I was trying to keep the things I needed in the house in cabinets, drawers, under the sink and even in the tub to take out when I need it. I think this is much better!
Hope this inspires someone to clean, organize or decorate for whatever need they have!
By Poor But Proud from Salem, OR
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Picture a one-bedroom apartment, three dogs, one husband, and a frazzled newlywed wife. We have a lot of stuff that we stuffed into our apartment, and I need advice on how to organize, simplify, and decorate.
We know and have things in our colors (red, olive, and yellow-gold), but we also have two dog kennels, two tall bookcases, lots of books, speakers, and wire stuff, baskets, lamps, childhood memory toys, candles, vases, and until recently three loveseats and a couch. (Now we just have one loveseat and a couch.)
I can paint if I want, but I don't know that a newly colored wall will help. Any advice on where to start? (A bigger place is a great idea, but not possible right now.)
Olivia, a recovering pack rat.
As for the dogs, not much room to run in an apartment, is there. Either give them to someone who has space and time for them or move to the country. Actually moving to the wide open spaces might solve all of the problems. Good luck. (10/01/2005)
Maybe you could get by with 2 small speakers mounted high on a wall and donating the rest to a local, struggling theatre group.
If those dog kennels are the portable kind, turn them into a table by putting a piece of plywood on top and covering the whole schebang with a pretty cloth. If the dogs don't use them much, then viola. You have extra storage in them as well.
Give those books to a rural school that is in dire straits for money and their library hasn't seen a new book in years, nursing homes, and homes for the differently abled would appreciate them as well.
As you probably don't play with the toys anymore, keep one or two favorites, take pics of the rest for a memory album and give them to someone who will love them as much as you did. Toys just hate to be forgotten.
For your walls maybe this will work, get a big flat sheet, a print you like or tie dye it. Soak it in a very heavy starch mixture. Wring it out some, then put it on the wall while it is still damp. The starch will make it stay up and you can redecorate on a whim.
One more thing, its amazing how much you don't need. Your life will become much less cluttered, providing you with more time for your pets and hubby when you break the hold material things have on you. Good luck. (10/01/2005)
By Rawiya Storyteller
The dining room is the library with shelves to the ceiling and a nice big table when you're not eating. In a one bedroom or small dining area place, use a round table. No bar stools. Get upholstered chairs or loveseats only, no full sofas. For example, two or three loveseats, six chairs, and a round coffee table. Remember the desk is the dining table. Computer table stands alone and is very small or folds closed until you have a dedicated room.
Linens go in the room where they're used. Use the linen closet to store other things. Underbed boxes. Closet shelves use labeled boxes.
In the kitchen, keep only those things you actually use. Wire basket separators for flatware and utensils. Line drawers with rubber slip-proof material. Use lid rack in cabinets for pots/pans lids. Store less-often used things higher up, covered with flour-sack dish towel (K-Mart, the only kind to use).
Keep cleaning tools, mops/vacuums, in front/coat closet.
Keep bath supplies, soap, dental, cleaning, tissue, tampons, and towels in each bath under counter or in gorgeously-patterned large gift bag.
Start by making any architectural changes. Build or buy what you need like shelves, drawers, and doors. Put everything in the center of the room. Now put away what you like and need the most neatly. When the room looks the way you like it, stop. Throw or give away the rest. (10/01/2005)
By the Oracle
By Fran Marie
By Kathy K.
When you get tired of going to the shed or paying out the shed bill every month (which, after all, really is cheaper than a shrink), start cleaning out the shed. You may only bring things back after there is a sensible place to store it in your apartment.
Now hear this: If you plan to have children, this is nothing compared to the mess you collect with them. So if you two children can't control your own mess, however will you control the mess of those darling little angels?
When you are cleaning out the house after they've gone to college, you will fondly remember me and what I have said today. If you don't believe me, there are up to four people who will vouch for me: your parents. Call them. I dare you. They'll think you're so cute and funny. (09/05/2006)
By the Oracle
The garage can be a getaway. I suggest mounting a lot of shelves on the walls in the apartment and or garage or getting free standing shelves. I know you love your pets dearly, but in the case of a small space and a lot of pets, could one or all maybe stay with someone you trust? A person with a house and a fenced in yard? You can buy their food and vet care. They can be a play mate for a friend or family member till you get another place. If you have stuff in the garage you discover you don't need, sell it on craigslist and make a little cash.
My old roommate was a home owner and wanted to hang on to everythin, even and old fridge. He stored it for 5 years till he got another house again. I guess if you love your stuff you will store it. I would store stuff that is worth a lot, like couches, a kitchen table and chairs, and child hood possessions are a must to keep. I definitely think storing possessions and not getting rid of them is a wise idea. This way when you buy a larger place you wont have to buy all new furniture to fill it. (03/20/2009)