Organizing an Apartment

December 14, 2011

Organizing an ApartmentIf 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.

Children's Room

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.


Hallway or Entryway

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.

Living Room

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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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 104 Posts
November 13, 2011

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.


10 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 219 Posts
September 1, 2010

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?

By Onesummer


September 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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!


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 679 Feedbacks
September 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 190 Feedbacks
September 4, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

September 5, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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May 4, 2010

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 M. Gray from Fall River, MA


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
May 4, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

May 4, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

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 . . .


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 186 Feedbacks
May 4, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

May 5, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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October 4, 2010

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


October 4, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 297 Posts
October 7, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

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!


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
October 9, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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December 7, 2013

I would like some tips for orgarizing for very small apartment.

By Joyce K. from Fall River, MA


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
December 2, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have lived in small units before and I found that hanging several wire shelving units really gave me places to store things in places where there was no room for regular shelving.
I bought coated wire units (like Closet Maid) at Walmart and Lowe's. These can be expensive but they can be moved and will last for many years.

There are units that hang over a door or units that that can be attached to walls and come in many sizes and shapes. I like the ones with 4 or 5 shelves that are about 26x20x5". These can hold anything from medicines, cosmetics, socks, underwear, gloves, etc. I also now use one in my kitchen for all sorts of things and you can hang hooks over the wire for holding another large assortment of items.

Take a look around your apartment and record measurements of any space (or door) that might accommodate a unit.

Check out the sizes available within your measurements and don't forget that if a door opens against a wall you will have to leave space for the door to open fully (that means you cannot put the shelf too close to the hinges of the door or the 5" shelf will keep the door from opening fully).

You may be able to hang shelves yourself or you may need a "helper". I am sure others will give you lots of useful suggestions.

December 2, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

Under-the-bed storage totes give a lot of storage space. They can also be used to store belongings out of the way under the couch

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September 21, 2014

My apt. got some new furniture (and a bed) which made the clutter look twice as bad. Now I want/need to get the knick-knacks onto surfaces, and I think shelves are great idea to use as "hanging" areas to put my cuter misc. items. Does that make sense?

By Stacy T.


September 24, 20140 found this helpful

It makes sense but limit the number of knick-knacks.

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Check out these photos.

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
July 4, 2011

With a small apartment and a bathroom you literally have to close the door before you sit down, I needed more space. I decided to revamp the whole "hot water heater room".

A shelf for extra bathroom and cleaning storage, next to the water heater.



ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 4, 2010

I need some good tips for organizing. My husband, myself, our 2 kids, and our 14 week old puppy are currently living in my in-laws apartment attached to their garage. We are cramped with toys, mostly. Any suggestions?


April 21, 2010

Picture a one-bedroom apartment, three dogs, one husband, and a frazzled newlywed wife.

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