Life hacks: Apartment storage
Living in inner-city Sydney (and many other big cities) means one thing: no storage. Seriously, whoever built these apartments and terrace houses didn’t believe in built in wardrobes, or even cupboards under the bathroom sink. Most inner-city dwellers struggle with space and storage, including myself, and most of us don’t have a garage or shed, which is why I’ve resolved to just all round get better at storage – especially in my bedroom! Check it out:
My bedroom, post make over
This list is all rental-friendly, because what’s the point in suggesting you hang pegboards (oh how I wish for a pegboard) and drill in new shelves if you are going to risk losing your bond at the end of it?
Storing things under your bed
My biggest regret is not buying a bed frame that doubles as a storage unit. I have an ensemble which, yes, is the far superior option for my back, but it does nothing for my storage troubles! Every so often I get annoyed at said ensemble, as I think of all the things I could tuck away under my bed, but just because I only have a couple of inches of space, doesn’t mean they need to go to waste: vacuum seal bags are nifty as and slip right under that narrow gap between the floor and your ensemble.
One of my best buys was this little jewelry hanger from Diva, which no longer exists, but you can buy one on eBay for about $4 or Kmart for $6. You just pop them on a hanger and they slip inside your wardrobe like a dress. Just a note though, don’t hang these on plastic hangers, they get very heavy very quickly and plastic hangers will snap under the weight. Go for your most heavy-duty metal one, if you can.
I have one junk drawer. That’s it. A single drawer full of odds and ends, including pens, spare lip balms (I stock up on Carmex when it’s on sale), notepads and other nick-nacks. That’s all I’m allowed. If it doesn’t fit in the junk drawer, then it has to go. This keeps my clutter to a minimum and makes me think twice before spending money.
Got a hallway? What a great place for a coat/hat rack or your bookcase that doesn’t fit in your bedroom. Hallways are also awesome for setting up indoor drying racks for your clothes when it’s bucketing with rain outside.
If you’re lacking on the storage, put suitcases inside one another (if they fit) and then place it ontop of a cupboard, if you have a cupboard with room ontop of it. I also keep all my travel necessities inside my suitcases, so I can find them at short notice when I’m scrambling to pack for a trip.
Make up and other personal products
If you have only one shelf on which to store EVERY SINGLE EYELINER you’ve ever purchased, you have to get nifty. I picked up a set of mini drawers at the Reject Shop, it’s similar to this Officeworks one. It allows me to have one drawer for eyes, one for face, one for hair ties/ribbons and one for ‘misc’ and I just love it – it makes my morning routine so much easier.
This is where I just splurged a little. Ok, actually, I wouldn’t even call it a splurge. A rack from Bunnings is about $50, but if you’re willing to spend a LITTLE more you can get one of these awesome floor-to-ceiling racks from Princes Hanger that I just had delivered to my house last week (you can see mine in the photo above). It even comes with a sweet-as “reacher” for shorties like me who can’t reach the top railing.
Bookshelf in the kitchen
I have a bookshelf in my kitchen. No seriously, it holds all my pots and pans because we only have a couple of actual cupboards. If you have a spare wall in your kitchen, pick up a cheap or second-hand bookshelf. Not only does it create stacks of storage, it’s also easier to see all your pots and pants so you don’t duplicate or get frustrated looking for lids.
Plastic bag storage
If you have a mess of plastic bags like I do, why not shove them all in an empty tissue box? Pulling a bag out couldn’t be easier and this stores well under the kitchen sink.
Use your window sills
Most older houses have pretty decent window sills. I use the one in the kitchen as a spice rack and the one in my bedroom for trinkets that I don’t have space for in my wardrobe jewelry organiser and things I like to keep ‘handy’ like my lint roller and measuring tape.
Get thee an over the door shoe organiser
Not everyone has room for a cute shoe rack, especially when their bedroom barely fits their bed in it! Enter over-the-door shoe organisers! Mine was $6 from Kmart and I love it. Yeah it only holds 10 pairs of shoes, but that’s 10 less pairs of shoes that aren’t on my floor…. leaving only my boots, thongs and runners to line up under my clothes rack.
Are your best friend. Nuff said.
Perform regular clean outs
This is the real kicker. You tend to struggle with storage when you have too much stuff! I just gave away three boxes of stuff in an attempt to make space. Mostly clothes, but there was also a vacuum, a lamp and a couple other things I just don’t need anymore. My new goal is to do a proper annual Spring clean, even if I don’t perform it in Spring (Winter is a good time, because who wants to go outside when it’s raining anyways?). I’ve already opened up so much space in my room and it has allowed me to condense two of my drawers into one. Winning!
Living in a small space is awesome, they’re easier to clean (as in actual cleaning) and with a little creative thinking, you can still have a neat, tidy space that leaves you with enough floor space for improptu dance routines. Because that’s what life’s all about.
What are your favourite storage hacks?