How to Organize a Small Apartment

Here are some tips on how to organize  a small apartment.  Before you read any further, we’re talking tiny apartment, as in, less than 500 sq ft.  I’ve got a lot of stuff and I live in a small apartment.  If you follow basic rules, you can have your stuff and your space too.  I can’t take the credit for all the good ideas here.  My hubbie deserves the credit for most of it.

How I organize my small apartment

We love coffee and tea so we made a special coffee/tea station on the pantry wall of our multipurpose living room. Prioritize!

Here’s how to organize a small apartment, my way:


1. Keep it tidy:

I know.  It’s a no-brainer really.  Living in a small apartment forces you to be tidy.  Do things like:

  • Make your bed
  • If you use something, put it back
  • Hang up your clothes, don’t leave them in a pile on the chair
  • Wash the dishes, dry them and put them away

2. Keep it simple:

Don’t buy or keep more stuff than you need or have room to store.  I don’t have the space for more than the basics.  Oh my apartment is far from perfect, but if I had my way, I would have a LOT less stuff.  Every once in awhile, it gets a bit hairy around here and it forces me to do some serious deep cleaning.  It usually happens when I’m in gardening mode and there are bags of soil around everywhere.

3. Storage:

  • Go upward!  I have shelves up to the ceiling loaded with books and paraphernalia that I like to look at.  I have things that people have given me, things I’ve collected on trips from all over the world, and things that were my mother’s.  It’s all “important” stuff to me.


  •  Box it up.  I have shelves full of boxes full of things that I don’t really need on a daily basis.  I store them on the top shelf.  Boxes are great for storing papers and stationary.


  • File it.  Ikea has great, cheap file boxes.  I use them to organize my few magazines, my music, and my business files.  If you need ideas on how to organize a small apartment, just spend a day in Ikea.


  • Store your off-season clothes in suitcases.  I store mine under the bed.


  • Plastic Storage containers.  I store my bedding and my vacuum cleaner in plastic storage containers under my bed.  I use these things for a lot of stuff, the stuff I only use once a year, or that my hubbie thinks we ought not to throw out just in case…

4. Get rid of the stove:

How I organize my small apartment

My tiny kitchen.

“What!?!?” you say.  Yes!  I have a tiny, tiny kitchen.  It’s so tiny only two people can stand in at one time, and there is only room for one to work.  I have only about 2 ft of work space.  This is weird, I know, but my washing machine lives in the place where a kitchen range would normally live.  This is Hong Kong.  That’s how it is here for most apartment dwellers.

Instead of a stove and oven, I have two induction cookers that I bring out when I want to cook and I put them away when I’m finished.  I only have about 6 inches of counter space left when they’re both in use.  The beauty is that I can put them away and use the space for other things when I’m not cooking dinner.

My stove lives on a shelf unit outside the kitchen door.

5. Multipurpose rooms and furniture:

In our apartment, we have a square central area.  We call it our living room.  But in reality, it is our music room, my office, our library, our dining room and our kitchen extension.  Seriously.  One wall is office, one wall is music related, one wall is like the pantry and tea/coffee station, fridge and kitchen storage area, and the other is dining room and reading area.  How’s that for a multipurpose room?

The other multipurpose rooms in our house include the bedroom/clothes drying room, and my hubbie’s man cave/storage room.

We have a tiny dining room table for two that unfolds and swings around to seat 6 very comfortably.  It’s our favorite piece of furniture.

These are just a few suggestions to help you figure out how to organize a small apartment.  This is what works for us.

It’s not easy to organize a small apartment.  How do you organize your space?  Please leave a comment below!

Leave a Reply