034: IKEA Hacks for Your Apartment

Apartment living most often means limited space — and although that might sound like a disadvantage, it helps free you from the “too much stuff” curse while also teaching you to be clever about what you keep and buy. And that very cleverness is where IKEA products can come into play for apartment dwellers — the pieces are so versatile that a little customization can make them feel entirely unique.

Here are our favorite IKEA hacks to help you make the smartest use of your space:

Faux Built-Ins

Built-in bookcases are on pretty much everyone’s wish list, but not many apartments come with such a luxury. IKEA cabinets to the rescue! The hack pictured above involves disassembling and reassembling cabinets, such as the HEMNES or BILLY sets. The job requires some sweat, but it can be completed by a novice. Skip calling a carpenter and paying thousands of dollars for built-ins; do it yourself instead!

Shoe Holder as a Craft Supply Station

Let’s face it: Most apartments don’t have a spare room that can be used as a craft paradise. And since craft supplies aren’t necessarily crucial to everyday life, you may end up shoving them to the top corner of the closet. At that point, it’s such an ordeal to retrieve them that it’s tempting to buy new supplies rather than dig the old ones out. But don’t despair; you can use the BISSA shoe cabinet and PLUGGIS container set to keep yarn, thread, craft paper, paint, buttons, etc. within reach — and well-organized. Check out the hack here.

Clear Counters

Kitchen storage is absolutely crucial. When you don’t have much cabinet and pantry space, you have to get vertically creative. The wall space above counters is often wasted space in most apartments — but not with this clever fix: Use one of IKEA’s rail systems to hang cooking utensils, paper towels and spices in order to clear up cabinets and countertops. And if you need even more heavy-duty storage, transform the GRUNDTAL drying rack into overhead pot and pan storage. Check out other kitchen storage options to make your space even more ideal.

DIY Bar Cart

Bar carts are the perfect entertaining solution for apartment dwellers. If you’re already having to create more storage for your cooking utensils, you definitely don’t have the space to spare for cocktail, martini, wine or Moscow Mule glasses, much less the stock of alcohol and necessary fixings. But before you go drop a couple hundred bucks on such a piece, consider this DIY: Make a colorful bar cart out of the VITTSJO laptop table. It’s small enough to hide in a corner when not in use, but its tiered storage allows for much more storage room than pre-made models you would find for three or four times the price. Or paint it for a pop of pretty color you won’t ever want to roll out of sight.

Wardrobe Storage

Out of closet room? Of course you are. But instead of continuing to jam things in an overstuffed closet, buy a simple luggage rack and hang a bright and friendly SKUBB organizer from the rod. Use it to store seasonal clothes and shoes that you find yourself wearing most often. That way you have convenient access to your favorite and most versatile pieces.

Credit: For Rent