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Small spaces have never been about the American style of living, but they have been the need of the hour lately. The growing population has resulted in people living in micro loft apartments or tiny homes. But it’s not all that bad to live in smaller spaces. Perhaps they offer a minimalistic approach to your lifestyle.
But accommodating stuff and making full use of a small apartment space isn’t something Americans have learned inherently. That’s something the Japanese have learned over the years.
They have perfected the art of making full use of a small space. It includes finding the best ways to store items as well as creating a room look bigger than it actually is. It’s time we take a leaf out of their notebook and learn some intelligent ways to apply in your small apartment. We have listed 30 of these, and each one offers something unique.
30 Genius Japanese Small Space Hacks You’ll Want to Copy Right Now
1. Roll and Fold your Towels in a Drawer
If you’re always struggling to make your closet organized, here is a quick fix straight from Japan. You don’t need to restrict your clothing options and refrain from buying more clothes. Instead, remove your collection of towels that are occupying valuable space in the closet. Having them rolled in a drawer will also help keep them organized in an attractive fashion.
2. Add Racks to save Laundry Room Space
With the growing population, homes are decreasing in size every year. It’s no more practically possible to have a large laundry space in a 2BHK apartment. So how do you keep basic laundry stuff? Look at this smart idea to put a shelf rack just over the washing machine. It just solved the problem without displacing anything.
3. Add Shelves and Towel Bars around the stove area
The accessories, cutlery, and cooking tools just never end in the cooking area. You news so much around you that space naturally gets short. You need to have the spoons of ALL sizes, whisker, blender, pans, clutches, lighters, and whatnot. That apart from the spice jars and more. Use the space around the walls by adding towel bars and hanging shelves to increase the space by multiple folds.
4. Store Kitchen and Bathroom items in bins
Declutter two of the busiest and messiest spaces in your house- the kitchen and the bathroom by storing accessories in bins. You would not need to waste time finding items in the kitchen anymore. Store them in labeled containers, and you can avoid burning your food while you struggle with searching for cutlery and other tools.
5. Add a towel bar behind the entrance door
Storing shoes can be challenging in small spaces. Many of the times, we are left placing shoes randomly on the entrance that looks quite messy. Get yourself organized with this quick hack. Just add a towel bar behind your entrance door that will help you store your slippers and shoes just outside it. It won’t be visible to the outsiders, and you’ll find the perfect pair right on the entrance.
6. Put Recipe Books in a hook and wire stand under the sink
Managing space is not about accommodating everything in the little shelf space you have got. Instead, you would need to find extra space like this brilliant idea where the Japanese use the dead space under the sink to put recipe books and other sleek items. All you’d need is a wire and hook stand, and you suddenly have a lot of extra space.
7. Add hooks to cupboards
You can increase the space inside your cramped up cupboard by adding a few hooks under the shelves. This way, you’ll be able to place the plates and pans on the rack while hanging other hangable items like plates, cutlery, and more on the hook. It’s a cost-effective idea that makes your space well organized and clutter-free too.
8. Transform wall box into a dryer holder
Save some space on your bathroom shelf by hanging the wall box and making it a convenient dryer holder. Your wires won’t be tangled anymore. Adding a bit of green around would make it subtly blend in and make your bathroom decor beautiful too.
9. Hang a linen mat on the wall for a decorative hanging space
Raise your style quotient by hanging linen mat on your bedroom or living room walls. You can use it as a smart hanging space for regular use items like scissors, notepads while also adding a calendar or such items to it. It enhances the aesthetic and makes for a stylish interior accessory.
10. Remake the dish stand to hang ties
Storing ties is a challenging task for people with cramped cupboards since some ties can’t be folded. Retain the crispness of your ties by hanging them on a dish stand. You can use long dish stands depending upon your collection of ties. It will also make it easier to find them when you need to rush to the office in the morning.
11. Hang planters to store kids toys
Your kid’s toy collection never ends since he would get bored by each of them in a couple of weeks. Where do you store in the increasing number of toys when you’re already short of space? Think about hanging planters on the walls of your kid’s bedroom. It’s an excellent way to organize your child’s toys, and you can also make him learn how to keep them in separate baskets.
12. Clip your cable outlets to keep them organized
Scattered cables are an ungainly sight to watch. Moreover, they might get broken when you accidentally step upon them. Tangling is another major issue. But all those will still happen when you keep them in a drawer. Instead, add clips around your outlets and keep you LAN, headphones, and charger wires in separate clips. They would last longer, and you’d also be able to find them comfortable.
13. Store magazines on a caster stand
If you use 100s of magazines to find out new designs, you’d know how difficult it is to store them. You don’t want to look for your daily use magazines in a bookshelf either. Instead, buy a caster stand and keep your magazines there. The wheels also enable you to move them around quickly when you want to switch rooms to study.
14. Put a wire rack under the shelf
Here is another quick hack to store your tangling cables scattered around. It’s wise to put the wire rack under the shelf instead of the store. This way, you won’t have trouble cleaning up the floor while you’d also find the cable every time you need it. It also makes the process a lot neater and trouble-free.
15. Hang your slippers in the cupboard
You can use spaces inside your cupboard on the bottom or add a separate rack for this one. It’s an excellent way to keep your shoes and slippers organized, clean, and presented neatly. All it requires is a towel bar and a few hooks. Your slippers and shoes would also remain in perfect shape as you won’t need to put one upon the other.
16. Use a zip file to store plastic bags
Plastic bags are a necessary evil. But they can spoil the whole interior splattered on your desk. A smart way to store them is in sip files. Zip files look neat kept on the table or the shelf too. They will ensure your room looks neat, and you find your plastic bags and other stuff easily.
17. Add space to the fridge using a cabinet organizer
The outside of the fridge is such a waste of space if all you place, there are reminders and sticky notes. Of course, you can do that if you have a lot of space. But when cramped up for space, you can clear your kitchen shelf by adding a few essentials on these smart cabinet organizers placed on the fridge. Everything looks well organized, and you would have a better time working in a decluttered kitchen.
18. Use Plastic Racks to store noodles and other packets
It’s best to store the items you frequently use around you. But you won’t need to put large containers on your already cramped up kitchen space. Instead, add these space-saving and neat storage spaces where you can keep your most-used items. Such a storage space will also look excellent on a work shelf.
19. Add small container boxes on your kitchen cabinet
Adding partitions to your kitchen cabinet drawers go a long way in keeping your stuff organized as well as adding space to it. You don’t want to open a cabinet with things scattered and using up more space than required. Having such partitions ensures they retain their positions and accommodate in a lesser room than before.
20. Add Floating shelves in each room
If you can’t manage to add a cupboard to your room, consider adding floating shelves. This would save you a lot of space, money, and still help keep things organized. For instance, look at how they have used the area on the wall to keep their gaming consoles, CDs, and more. It’s also a cool way to display your rich collection while keeping the overall decor neat.
21. Understairs Storage
While you’re struggling to store your books, clothes, and stuff, there’s a large dead space being wasted under the stairs. Make it to fair use using this Japanese hack. Add cupboards, stair racks, and more in an organized way, and you suddenly have so much space to play with.
22. Stair Drawers
Here’s an unconventional idea that most of us would never have thought about. The Japanese have already used it, though. These drawers make space out of nowhere, although you’d need a bit of carpentry to incorporate these. Moreover, you would need to have wooden stairs for this to work, although most of us do already have these in our home. It’s a must-try if you have wooden stairs.
23. Add sliding kitchen racks
While we have all been wasting valuable storage space between the fridge and the kitchen sink, the Japanese have already placed a four-inch-wide sliding rack in there. The sliding shelf can be used to keep all the useful items that were otherwise put in the store. You can look for differently sized racks depending upon the space you have in there.
24. Compact Storage between toilet and wall
If all you keep near your toilet is toilet rolls, you are wasting a lot of space. Here’s a compelling idea that places a sliding door cupboard in this area. You can keep all the sanitary and other useful items like bathroom cleaners, brushes, toilet papers, fresheners, and more here. It also adds space to add a bit of decoration around the toilet area.
25. Keep your stuff low to make the room look big
Japanese don’t believe in sitting on higher grounds like the chair or eating on a dinner table. If you have a small living room, you can consider keeping a bed frame, table a tatami mat to sit on. It suddenly increases the room size by multiple folds. Think about how the ceiling looks a lot higher, and your small space would look more welcoming and spacious.
26. Change the way you fold clothes
While you can add tall storage spaces on the wall easily, it’s a challenging task to accommodate everything in them. But modern problems require modern solutions. Here’s a modern technique made by Japenese author Marie Kondo that suggests folding clothes in an upright manner. Apart from accumulating more clothes and stuff, this technique also compartmentalizes your belongings and makes for an aesthetic appearance.
27. Divide the space in tiers
Since small spaces typically are narrower and built like a pathway, Japanese architects suggest making a tier like structure instead of keeping everything on one floor. Creating a mezzanine like discussed above helps provide depth as well as dimension to your small space apartment. You can have a loft space that will double up as a storeroom or a kid’s room to increase its utility.
28. Add a loft bed
Instead of putting everything on the floor, you can try adding a loft bed. Climb a few stairs to sleep while you have sufficient space on the floor to walk around. The biggest issue with small space apartments is fitting your sofa, coffee table, and other furniture. Clearing your bed from the floor will provide sufficient space for everything else.
29. Choose Natural Material for furniture
The Japanese people have a theory that is keeping furniture and stuff made of natural material adds a lot of depth and helps look beyond the confines of a room. It’s true that furniture made of bamboo, red pine, and hinoki takes us beyond the materialistic walls and induces a relaxed feeling.
30. Place bathroom essentials in the dispenser bottles
If you buy large bottles of shampoos, conditioners and so you would know how much space they take up in the bathroom. It all looks so cramped up and like a mess. For a neater look, try pouring these into small dispenser bottles. Label these bottles, and you’ll ensure your bathroom space looks more uniform, and you can accommodate all your essentials on hooks easily.
Managing space is all about trying to find the right balance between creating space and leaving negative spaces intelligently. Taking these decisions and inspiration from the Japanese techniques will help you get the best out of your small apartment.