It won't come as a surprise that apartments generally have less floor space than larger homes. According to recent ONS data, the average floor space for flats is around 43sqm. For reference, this is just under the size of four car parking spaces.

With limited room, space-saving becomes crucial to live comfortably. Nobody wants to have to climb over things to move around your own home. A recent study by UCLA looked at clutter in the home and how it could affect mental health. Clutter showed to contribute to increased stress and anxiety in many subjects. This helps to highlight the importance of keeping spaces clear and clutter-free.

This makes keeping your home free of messes even more important. To help you make the most of the space you have we’ve pulled together 11 space-saving ideas for your apartment. These handy tips can help you combat clutter and keep on top of your wellbeing.


1) Utilise Every Gap


Whether it’s on top of your wardrobe or down the side of a bookcase, look out for even the smallest gaps. They can be great places to store things you need to keep out of the way.

There will often be usable space on top of furniture such as wardrobes and kitchen cabinets. Investing in storage boxes is a great way to keep everything together. In those hard-to-reach places, you'll want to make sure to keep everything together, so a few boxes are ideal.

Even small containers stashed away under a sink or sofa can help you to tidy everything away. This means there will be no need for bulky furniture that takes up valuable floor space.


2) No Damage Shelving


Space Saving Tips - Floating Shelf

Something many renters struggle with is utilising wall space. There will often be rules against drilling or hammering nails into walls. This makes sense from a landlord's perspective, but for renters, it can cut the use of wall space. No-damage hooks have proven to be a renter's best friend over the last few years.

You can now buy no-damage floating shelving which uses the same premise. The tape and hooks used are designed to hold the weight of the shelf and anything you place on it. These look stylish and fit in with a wide range of decor. These shelves can help you use the wall space you have available and avoid marking or damaging the walls.

Getting the shelf off the wall is just as easy and ensures that you don’t make any holes in the wall that you’d need to patch up. It also means that you can take your shelving with you if you move to a new home and reuse them in a brand new space.


3) Use Storage As Architecture


Space Saving Tips - Architecture

This one is especially helpful for those in open-plan or studio apartments. Often, space-saving ideas for apartments focus on utilising wall or door space. But what if your apartment is one simple room? How do you create a flow and structure to the room and create space-saving solutions?

Using furniture as part of your apartment’s architecture is one answer. For example, a basic bookshelf can offer you lots more than shelf space. If you use it as a divider to separate rooms, you can use the back of the shelf as a partition wall.

You would need to be careful with how much weight you attach to the back of any piece of furniture. Even so, hanging some small frames or posters onto it can instantly add more dimension to a room. You can use all different types of furniture in this way. From headboards to wardrobes or even standing drawers and TV units.


4) Embrace Windowsills


Space Saving Tips - WIndowsill

No matter how little floor space you have, there will always be window space waiting to be used. Adding storage to windowsills is a renter's favourite way to use up space. You could make it the home of your plants in your sitting room. Or grab some stylish jars to hold items like small kitchen utensils.

You could even create DIY shelving to sit in your window spaces. Use the parallel walls to hold a shelf in place and opt for the no-damage hooks mentioned earlier. Or find a collapsible desk that fits on your windowsill and folds out to give you a sunlit space to work.


5) Seek Out Multipurpose Furniture


Space Saving Tips - Ikea shopping

Furniture comes with a specific purpose, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative and find new ways of using it. For example, use a square shelving unit as a seating space by turning it on its side and adorning it with cushions. You can then use baskets to slot into the spaces and create instant storage for your living room.

Exploring online IKEA hacks is a great way to get storage solution inspiration. Flatpack furniture tends to be designed to fit any type of decor. This makes it customisable, so you can play around with its purpose in your own space. With a lick of paint, you can have a stylish DIY custom bit of furniture that fits your needs and space perfectly.


6) Secret Shoe Storage


Shoe storage is always an issue no matter how much floor space you have. They always appear where they're not supposed to be to trip you up. This is why shoe storage is a number one priority, especially in small spaces.

Investing in secret shoe holders is ideal. You can use stacked shoe racks that fit under other furniture. Utilise small shelves under side tables, or grab fold-out shoe racks.

When it comes to saving floor space, storage solutions that are stackable are perfect. They can fit into small corners and keep walkways nice and clear.


7) Choose Stackable Items


We’ve mentioned this idea a few times already, but we can’t stress it enough. Whether it’s tubs, boxes, or baskets, stackable items are the ultimate space-savers.

You can find stackable storage for rooms such as the bathroom and the kitchen. Usually the rooms that have the least floor space in an apartment. In the kitchen, why not opt for some clear plastic stackable storage? These help store dry items that you use most such as pasta, rice or even coffee, tea and sugar.

Wire baskets are great for the bathroom as they are stackable. They also look stylish and make it easy to find what you're searching for. Each one can house your towels and toiletries. Plus, this is a much more affordable alternative than purpose-built bathroom storage.


8) Make The Most of Under-bed Space


[caption id="attachment_12850" align="alignnone" width="900"]Space Saving Tips - Underbed Storage Bedroom interior, wooden bed at modern room. Furniture design with open wood drawer, white pillow decoration object in box. Brown comfortable storage for bedding cushion.[/caption]

The bed is the biggest piece of furniture in your home so make it work in favour of your space instead of against it. Utilise any space you have under the bed by investing in under-bed storage boxes. You can also find shallow draws that slide in and out from under your bed on wheels. These make it super easy to access anything you want to store under there.

If you are moving into an unfurnished apartment you may be looking for a bed of your own. In this case, opt for a bed that raises off the floor, or a divan that has storage built-in, either withdraws or with a base that you can lift up.

Divan beds usually have storage built-in, making them perfect for bedroom storage. You can find divan beds with draws or liftable bases, giving you storage space under the mattress.


9) Get Creative With Your Headboard


Space Saving Tips - Headboard Shelf

If you don’t have the luxury of having space under the bed, then you can still make the most out of your headboard. You can make a quick and easy shelf by pulling your bed forward to create a gap between the headboard and the wall. In this space, add shelving which acts as storage and offers a space on top of the headboard.

For this, you could use the floating shelves we mentioned earlier or grab some wooden planks. Sanding them down and painting them can be a more affordable option.

Or, you can buy a headboard with built-in storage, again IKEA is the best place to find these. They will often act as cupboard space and a headboard in one.


10) Stylish Storage Options


[caption id="attachment_12848" align="alignnone" width="900"]Space Saving Tips - Stylish Storage Modern furniture, white shelves, cozzy home interior[/caption]

Remember that storage doesn’t have to be bland or clinical. There are plenty of ways to keep your storage aligned with your decor. If you prefer a more rustic style then look for distressed wooden boxes, chests or shelving. For a more boho feel, then baskets and rattan will be the perfect option.

For a clean and contemporary home office, look for wire baskets. Block-coloured filing storage and narrow cupboards also make stylish solutions. Keep the colour palette bright and neutral to create the illusion of a bigger space. The IKEA Kallax is a firm favourite for those that work from home. It not only comes in neutral colours but also offers a stylish look and versatility.


11) Over Door Racks and Holders


If you want to avoid placing anything on your walls then your doors are your next best storage device. There are plenty of over-door hangers for clothes, shoes and even magazine racks. Your doors will often get overlooked, but they can be the perfect place for extra storage.

For small kitchens, one cupboard isn't normally enough to house all your items. Adding an over-door shelving unit can add extra shelving and make your existing cupboard space go further. This can help you create a pantry or keep items hidden away that might otherwise take up counter space.


Embracing the storage you already have


At Essential Living, we know that more space means happier tenants. Storage is something that should be essential for any home, big or small. As much as we love a creative storage solution, we love built-in storage more.

These storage solutions can help us out when we’re in a tight spot. There’s nothing quite like having built-in storage to make life that little bit easier!

This is why our apartments offer you floor space and built-in storage solutions. This means you don’t have to get creative with how you use your space, we provide it all for you. We want our residents to feel like they have everything they need as soon as they move in. That's why providing enough storage was top of our list when designing our apartments.

Find out more about our apartments and take a look around for yourself. Head over and check out our apartments page.

Josh Sebastian


Josh is an experienced London resident and stellar local guide. With his finger on the pulse of things to do in London, he's constantly sharing lesser-known tips and recommendations with readers.