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When you live in an apartment, you’re always looking for ways to make your space more neat, stylish and efficient. Most renters have a limited amount of storage, so they have to be creative and smart about the way they decorate and organize their apartment.

This post is the first in our series on life hacks for apartment dwellers. Here are some of our top tips for making the most of your space.

Tips To Make Apartment Life Easier

Living Area Hacks

Choose multipurpose furniture. With limited space, you want to make the most of the furniture in your apartment. A smart way to do this is to choose furniture that serves multiple functions. Some examples include a storage ottoman, sofa bed, or a sofa with a built-in counter that can be used as a desk or eating area. Also consider furniture with efficient users such as a bed frame with storage drawers underneath and an extendable dining table, which saves space when not in use but provides flexibility for when you host company or need a large workspace.

Use small holders or velcro to stick store small items on the side of your desk or coffee table. Sick of your remotes, chargers and other small electronics getting lost in couch cushions, taking up space on your table or ruining your aesthetic? Hide them and make them impossible to lose by using adhesive or velcro to attach them to the side of your table. You can place the adhesive directly on the electronics or on the holders (as seen below) to keep them out of sight while keeping your table looking stylish and organized.

remote holders stuck to side of desk holding items
Image: Amazon

Use binder clips to keep cords around your TV and computer organized. With so many electronics to keep track of, the number of cords around your TV stand and desk can get overwhelming. Keeping them organized will help you quickly figure out what to unplug when moving things around and provide a cleaner, less chaotic look to your space.

Create separation with room dividers. Room dividers can create a feeling of separation and give you privacy within a space. They can also function as storage and decoration–a bookcase or display shelf can be used to organize items and show off artistic bowls, frames or other elements. Choose a divider with open shelving to make the space feel airier and less closed off.

open shelving room divider
Image: Wayfair

Use your phone as a speaker by placing it in a cup. Who needs an expensive surround sound speaker taking up space when you have a smartphone? Placing your phone in a cup can amplify the sound without requiring a large separate speaker. If you live in an apartment, it’s important to be cognizant of sound anyway, so using this cup hack provides a happy medium when you need a little more volume without being so loud as to upset your neighbors. If you’re looking for a little more sound, try this DIY speaker hack using two cups and a foam roller cover.

Bedroom & Bath Ideas

Use a wine holder as a towel rack. No bathroom closet or room for shelves? Hang a wine holder and use it to hold several towels. Not only is it functional, it can look stylish and artistic with the right wine rack.

Wine holder repurposed as bathroom towel holder
Image: Walmart

Use mirrors to make your apartment feel larger and more open. Strategically placing mirrors can make your apartment look bigger by reflecting light and color and creating depth. Hanging a large mirror across from a window will help reflect light throughout the room, making the space feel brighter. Position mirrors lengthwise for the greatest effect.

round mirror in apartment bedroom
Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

Put metal soda tabs on your hangers to save space in your closet. Most apartment closets aren’t huge, but you can double your closet capacity by using soda tabs on your hangers to hang a second layer of clothing below the original item. Place the soda tab around the top hanger hook, then place another hanger in the open hole in the soda tab to hang a second item. We love this creative and smart use of space.

Kitchen Improvements

Install a magnetic knife holder on the wall. Every cook knows a good set of knives is essential. Instead of taking up space on your counter with a bulky knife block, consider installing a magnetic knife strip to store your knives near where you prepare your food in the kitchen. This ensures all of your knives are easily accessible, saves space and extends their life by preventing them from becoming dull and scuffed while shoved in drawers.

magnetic knife holder for kitchen with utensils hanging
Image: Target

Cool beverages quickly in the freezer. Especially in the summer, sometimes you need a cold drink quickly, but the refrigerator can take too long to get your drinks cold enough. A quick hack is to wrap your drink in a wet paper towel and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. By then, the drink should be ice cold and delicious. It also comes in handy when having company over if you haven’t planned ahead or purchased ice.

Store food or cleaning supplies in a hanging shoe rack in the pantry or closet. Don’t have a place for your groceries or under-the-counter storage to hide your cleaning supplies? A hanging shoe rack on the back of a door can be an efficient place to store items you want out of sight and to keep them away from pets and children.

Hanging shoe organizer used to store food in pantry
Image: Amazon

Ways To Save Time & Energy

Change the direction of your ceiling fans with the seasons. In the summer, your ceiling fan should be set to spin clockwise to push cool air down. This will help keep your apartment cool without using air conditioning. In the winter, set the fan to spin counterclockwise at a low speed so that cool air will be pushed up to the ceiling and move the warm air down. This can save you money on utilities, making your apartment greener and more energy efficient.

Use a carabiner to bring multiple bags up flights of stairs. If you live on the high floor of an apartment building, you know the struggle of having to make multiple trips from your car when you have a large grocery or shopping order. Attaching multiple bags to a carabiner can help you carry more bags at once, reducing the number of trips you have to make up and down the stairs. Whether it’s a cold snowy day or a hot sweaty one, it’s definitely a relief to minimize the number of times you have to head out to the car and make your way upstairs.

carabiner being used to carry multiple bags
Image: Amazon

Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. Energy-efficient light bulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs) use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also can last 3-25 times as long as traditional bulbs, so you can replace them less often. Not only is this good for the environment, it will reduce your electricity bill significantly.

Stay tuned for more apartment living hacks, and share yours with us on social media!


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