Interior Love

Storage Wars!

Storage in Small Spaces

Since moving as become more like a hobby for us in our 5 years of marriage, Andy (my husband) and I have had to downsize several times. We joke about how even though we are “growing” up, our living situations seem to be going backward. We went from a 3 story house in Colorado to a much smaller house in West Virginia to now a teeny tiny apartment here in DC, see our home tour here.

Needless to say, learning how to store our things has become almost like a game. Not to mention, it gives me a fun way to decorate our apartment. Check out some of our tricks to store our things while not have to break the bank on a storage space.


Fabric is a great way to help add a dash of color but also give you a way to store some things that you don’t want to be seen on an everyday basis. We have found in our apartment, we don’t have a lot of closet space and so things that we can usually store in closets or in a basement need to be placed somewhere else. What we have done is store things under tables and have hung decorative fabric in front to cover the mess but still have it look nice.


Storage5And when you pull back the curtain, you find… no, not the Wizard but most of my crafting supplies. Please excuse the cat hair.

Storage4Ikea has these great hooks that slide on a line. For less than $20, you can hang a line under a table and it makes it easy to slide the fabric curtain back and forth. We sure do love Ikea.

Ottomans/ Benches:

We love these nifty little guys. We have about 4 different styles, but we have so many for a reason. Ottomans and benches play so many different parts. Storage, seating, decor and a great place to rest your feet. We store everything from our sheets, blankets, old financial information, and more in each ottoman.

Storage8 Storage9 Storage10

Boxes and Baskets:

One of my favorite things to use to decorate that also serve a dual purpose of storage are baskets and boxes. We use these to store our records, papers, TV remotes and all the other junk which I have titled: Clutter. It is the perfect catch all box for all those silly things that we can’t get rid of but we don’t have a place for it.

Storage18 Storage19 Storage20


Storage Accessories:

This may seem like a no brainer but they make great storage things for a reason. They work. And no better place to find them than my favorite store: IKEA. * No we aren’t being paid to write this post, We¬†genuinely¬†love the Swedish Mega Store.

Storage Bins:

We have two pets, a dog and a cat and we used to store their food in our garage in Colorado and then in the basement in West Virginia. We had no idea where to store their food in DC until we came across these magic bins that roll out. They fit under our bathroom sink and we can roll them out to refill them.

Storage22While it may not really be a “bin”, these pull out shelves/bins are an excellent place to store shoes, magazines, gloves, mail… I could go on. We use them primarily for shoes but it is the perfect size for our small hallway and on the top, we store our keys and mail. It is perfect for small spaces.

Storage6 Storage7Shelving, Wall Racks and Hangers:

We use a lot of shelving and hangers to keep our closet from overflowing. We went from a a walk-in closet to having two separate closets to now having to share a closet. It has been challenging to say the least. Learning to downsize is something I always struggle with when it comes to clothing, but I am learning…

We were very lucky that our closet came with some awesome shelving. I don’t know what we would have done without it. Every closet should have good shelving. It helps us store more of our, ok, mostly my shoes and pants along with t-shirts and anything else we can cram into our tiny closet.

Storage12Slim Hangers:

These are life savers. You can find them at the container store, Target, T.J Maxx and more. These babies are thinner so you can fit more clothes in a closet, they are usually velvet wrapped so straps stay on the hanger and they don’t leave shoulder bumps! They are amazing. If you need more closet space. I highly recommend these.

Storage13 Storage11Wall Racks and Shelves:

Andy, the hubby, loves ties, bow ties and hats. He wears them every day. Tie and Bow Tie for work and then one of his trusty Baseball Hats after work. I would say he has a collection, but I would be modest. It’s more like an obsession. And where do you store these guys? Well, on the wall.

Instead of just jamming them into the closet or having them just on top of his dresser, we decided to hang them on the wall to give them a more organized look.

Storage14 Storage17Eventually, these will go in a closet… but until then.

And lastly, Use what you got!

We have been blessed with some very deep window wells. These guys are great for Tron, the cat, to sleep in and for me to be able to store more of our stuff in. Being a girl, I have an assortment of purses, scarves and belts. Rather than stuff them away, I used the window well in our bedroom to store my accessories and some more of my books. It’s always easy to find what I am looking for now! Add some cute paper lanterns and now it’s a chic accessory space.

Storage15 Storage16It’s never easy to fit the storage wars, especially if you have to downsize but have to hold one to those important mementos (like shoes and purses) but I hope these tricks that we have found help you too!

Do you have any great storage solutions? I would love to hear them!

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8 Comment

  1. Reply
    April 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I didnt know Andy was so into bow ties! Makes me like him even more ; )

    1. Reply
      emilie marian
      April 23, 2013 at 11:33 am

      He is obsessed! It kind of happened over night too….

  2. Reply
    Amy B.
    April 29, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Love this post! Casey and I live in a small apartment too. We have lived here for years and love our little place, but we’ve accumulated so much STUFF over those years that storage and organization is becoming an issue. This Summer is about streamlining and organization and this post is a great inspiration! LOVE the way you’ve decorated your place!

    1. Reply
      emilie marian
      August 9, 2013 at 9:31 am

      Amy, I just saw this post. Sorry for the late reply. Thank you dear. It’s amazing how much you can accumulate even in a short period of time and in a small place too. I hope you have been able to organize. I would love to hear what you did!

  3. Reply
    August 9, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Emilie!! Where did you get the shoe bin/drawers?? I want to add it to the potential “new home” items!

    1. Reply
      emilie marian
      August 9, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Hey Linds! IKEA! I love those things. They come in different sizes as well and fit so many pairs of shoes. I can fit about 5 pairs of flats in one bin. Andy has huge feet, size 14 and can fit about 2 pairs per bin.

      1. Reply
        August 9, 2013 at 11:45 am

        Woo! Thanks so much!! I appreciate it!

        1. Reply
          emilie marian
          August 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

          Of course!!

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