The 8 Best Organizing Ideas We Learned from Studio Apartments

updated Feb 28, 2020
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In a studio apartment, every square inch matters, especially in the kitchen. So when it comes to organization, it pays to be a little strategic. Whether you live in a studio or just want to organize more efficiently in a smaller space, here are some of the most creative, real-life kitchen organization ideas we found.

Credit: Elissa Crowe

1. Use the space on top of cabinets.

If you’re short on storage space, stash anything you don’t use on a daily basis — kitchen gadgets, extra paper towels, cookbooks, etc.! — in the area between your cabinets and the ceiling. These homeowners in Canada made their cabinets look like a purposeful library.

Credit: Nancy Knight

2. Create more counter space with a cutting board.

Here’s a brilliant counter space hack from a renter in NYC: In a tiny kitchen that’s probably short on cabinet AND counter space, do yourself two favors and create extra work space by putting a cutting board over your sink. Now your cabinets are freed up a bit and you have more room to prep dinner!

3. Store food unconventionally.

This NYC couple has a super-smart bit of advice for other studio renters: Don’t be afraid to store things in unconventional places. For example, If you have less pantry space but a roomier fridge, you can put dry items in the refrigerator, even if they don’t need to be cold.

4. Put your dishes on display.

If lack of cabinet space is your main complaint, steal a page from this food stylist in California and just make more! Use a freestanding shelf or bookcase (ideally one that’s tall so that you don’t need to give up a lot of floor space for it) to hold some of your platters, small electrics, and even some ingredients. No room in your kitchen area? Steal space from the living area instead.

5. Use the bottoms of your cabinets.

This Chicago apartment helped us realize that the bottoms of our cabinets offer a ton of underutilized space! Add magnetic strips to make a floating spice rack or add hooks to hold mugs and small tools.

Credit: Andrew Bui

6. Get a small table that you can move around.

Just because you don’t have a designated space for a dining table, doesn’t mean you can’t have a dining table. This Brooklyn renter carved out some space for a round one (round is going to be your best bet in a small space) right in front of her stove and it can easily be moved when it’s time for a baking project.

Credit: Minette Hand

7. Store folding chairs on the wall.

To save even more floor space, get folding chairs instead of regular ones and hang them on the wall when you’re not using them. This Brooklyn renter did just that and she can pull it down when she needs it. Also note the clever folding table mounted on the wall next to the closet.

8. Use the sides of your cabinets.

This spice rack was probably meant for the back of a pantry door, but a brilliant renter hung it on the side of her cabinet instead. (No pantry door? No problem!) We also love that she hung her utensils on the wall, freeing up drawer space and creating a fun area of makeshift art.

Do you live in a studio? Got any smart tips to share with us? Leave them in the comments below!