You don't the permission to view this video

When you live in an apartment, you have to make the most of every square inch of space you have, especially closet and storage areas. Watch this video to get some tips and pointers on how to organize your space, even if there’s not much of it.

Read Video Transcript

One of the biggest benefits of apartment living is that if the refrigerator stops working or the toilet continues to run, a simple phone call to the super and they come and fix it ... on their dime. One of the biggest drawbacks to apartment living, however, is there’s not always a lot of storage room for all your stuff.

Today we’re going to give you some tips on how to maximize the storage space you have in your apartment. We’ll give you pointers on how and where to start the process and how to keep it that way with some helpful products and advice from your local independent home improvement retailer. So let’s get started.

If your place is so cluttered that you don’t know where to start, start with the areas that that are prone to collecting the most clutter. That’s generally the bedroom closet. Most people have a problem getting rid of clothes they don’t wear. But what that does, especially in a closet, is it takes up space preventing you from easily finding the things you do wear.

Start by removing everything from the closet. As you do this, separate all your clothes into three piles: the stuff you wear regularly and want to keep; the stuff you need to donate to charity; and the stuff that needs to be stored in a plastic bin somewhere else.

When the closet is completely empty, now is the time to assess your closet’s components, such as shelves and brackets. Maybe it could use some new wire racking or some special organizing compartments for things like your shoes, belts and even hats. Make a list of what you think will help you get organized and then head to your local independent home improvement retailer to see what they have available. You should also pick up some storage totes while you are there.

When you get back, first give your empty closet a good cleaning and vacuum the carpet if your closet is carpeted. With a clean slate, now we can install the new closet components following the manufacturer’s instructions. Most closet shelves and components come with all the necessary mounting hardware. But check first before you leave the store to ensure you have everything you need.

With everything installed, now it’s time to bring the clothes from your "Keep" pile back in and hang or place them in an organized fashion, by season, by color, by every day and formal wear. However you choose, a well thought-out system will help keep your closet organized, at least for a little while longer. If you purchased a shoe organizer, do the same with your shoes.For the stuff you don’t wear, but want to keep, fold these items carefully and place them in a storage tote. For your "donate" pile, fold them neatly and place in a moving box.

Now it’s time to find a place for those storage totes. Whatever you do, don’t place them back in your closet. That defeats the whole purpose of what you just accomplished. The place for these storage totes is in your storage compartment or storage closet, which most apartments have.

We’ve already taken the opportunity of cleaning out our storage closet so we’re ready to make the most of it. As you can see, there is plenty of room for our storage totes. This particular storage closet also came with some pegboard, which we’re going to take full advantage of.

Ever since move in day, our tools have been scattered throughout the apartment, and it’s always a chore to find the tool we need when we need it. With some peg hooks purchased from our local independent home improvement retailer, we’re going to hang our tools up so they are easy to find. It’s as easy 1, 2, 3.

If you don’t have tools and are ready to assemble your collection, see our video "Assembling a DIY Toolkit."

One last thing to address before we’re done ... the bike. This bike rack that I picked up at my local independent home improvement retailer will do just the trick. First we’ll find some wall studs, then we’ll predrill the pilot holes and screw them into the studs. For more information on the correct procedure for finding studs and hanging things on walls, like a bike rack, see our video, "Wall Hanging Basics." Just getting the bike off the floor so it won’t get knocked over when accessing your tools is good for the bike, and good for you your peace of mind.

There you have it. Now you can find everything from your clothes to your tools much easier since we took a little time to help you organize your apartment.

Read Video Transcript


  1. 1.empty

    Empty out your closet.

  2. 2.separate

    Separate clothes into three groups: ones you wear regularly, stuff you want to donate, and clothes that can be stored away. These are usually bulky winter clothes.

  3. 3.assess closet

    Assess the layout of your closet. Make a list of types of shelving and storage you'll need to buy.

  4. 4.clean

    Wipe down any existing shelves and clean the floor.

  5. 5.install shelves

    Install any new shelving following manufacturer's instructions.

  6. 6.return clothes

    Place clothes, shoes, etc. back into the closet in an organization that works for you.

  7. bins

    Place storage bins in a storage closet.

  8. 8.insert pegs

    Adding a peg board for tools in your storage closet is a great way to easily find tools.

  9. 9.insert pegs

    You can also install a bike rack in your storage closet. See our video Wall Hanging Basics.


Project Faqs « back to project

What type of storage tote should I buy to store my clothes to store in my apartment?

Buy one that is clear or somewhat clear so you can see the content of what’s inside. This will help you easily locate that special sweater this... More »

In my apartment, I share a walk-in closet. What’s the best way to share this space?

While you’re sharing the closet, the best way to keep the peace in the closet is to keep everything separate. Each of you should get one of the... More »

I live in an apartment and don't have room for a workbench or saw horses, but I still need a work surface to do projects from time to time. What do you recommend?

A folding workbench is ideal for general household projects, especially when you don’t have much work or storage space. Folding sawhorses can also... More »

I’m installing some wire closet shelving as storage. Do I need to secure the brackets into wall studs?

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but it probably depends on the total weight that you’ll be placing on the shelves. See our... More »

All my hand tools are in toolboxes and drawers scattered throughout the house. What’s the best storage method and where I can find them easily?

Installing pegboard on a garage wall is an excellent way to keep your tools in sight so you can easily get them when you need them. Some people even... More »

I am building a storage box. What type of hinge should I use so that the top can be opened?

A piano hinge is a good... More »

I want to put some shelves in my garage, what kind should I buy?

It’s always a good idea to keep things off the floor if possible, so invest in some shelves and brackets that you can hang on the... More »

« back to project

Comments (0)