Apartment Advice

Your 13-Step Studio Organization Process for a Better Year

It can be tough to cram all of your belongings into one small space and still keep everything neat and tidy. These studio organization secrets will help you!

In theory, living in a studio apartment is the epitome of urban sophistication on a budget.

In reality, that’s true. But it can also be tough to live in a space with minimal square footage.

A studio apartment is often the most affordable option for people who want to live on their own. You have a reasonable rent and your own private home. What’s not to love about it?

There’s a downfall that can come with studio living if you’re not careful:

Organization quickly falls victim to chaotic clutter.

It can be difficult to cram all of your belongings into one small space and still keep everything neat and tidy. But with these studio organization secrets, you can have your affordable apartment and keep it clean, too!

1. Put Together a Basic Cleaning Kit to Get Your Studio Organized


One advantage of living in a studio is the newfound free time. When you have less to clean, you’ll have more time to do the things you love.

But, while you don’t need to clean as often, you do need to use the same supplies. Instead of having to run to the store when you are out of an item, put together a basic cleaning kit and refill it regularly.

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In a supply tote or cupboard, store your cleaning chemicals, a mop, broom, and duster. When your supplies start to run low, add them to your list for your next shopping trip.

In addition to your basic kit, you’ll need some special cleaning supplies for each room. You need a plunger in your bathroom, for example, and you might even want a squeegee if you have a glass shower door. A bottle of mold and mildew spray is also necessary to prevent the buildup of germs.

Since chores are done less frequently, they’ll be less stressful. Cleaning will be a breeze, and you’ll have a spotless living space.

2. Think Minimalistic

Using lamps for better studio organization

In a studio apartment, downsizing is key. Minimalism should be your goal as you design your layout, choose your decorations, and buy furnishings.

You can still have stuff. But, make sure everything you own has a purpose and is worth the room it takes up.

If a California King bed is something you refuse to do without, then get one! Just understand it takes up a lot of space, and you won’t have room for other things.

Multifunctional Furniture

Streamlined, double-use furniture will help you go small while providing extra storage space.

Look for items that are strategically designed to save room or tuck away when they’re not being used, like:

  • Folding and rolling kitchen tables
  • Daybeds with storage instead of a couch or guest bed
  • Extendable coffee tables
  • Narrow side tables

With the help of these multifunctional furnishings, you’ll have more than enough room for your belongings.

3. Use the Mantra, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

Clutter adds extra stress to your brain, which can hinder your productivity.

In bigger homes, you can spread clutter out amongst multiple rooms, so it’s not so bad. In a studio, though, it all converges into visible chaos.

Living in a cluttered environment makes it difficult to be productive. It’s a research-based fact that procrastination and clutter are directly linked.

If you have a large amount of “stuff” creating disorganization in your studio, it’s time to declutter.

Let’s get one thing straight, though:

Decluttering doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything.

Rather, you have to get it organized and under control. The “out of sight, out of mind” mantra can help you achieve this.

Make a rule for yourself that all of your countertops and other flat surfaces stay empty. You might have a few specific exceptions for things you use daily, like your coffee pot and toaster.

For everything else, hidden storage is the answer. Under-the-cabinet extenders or pull-out drawers limit clutter and keep everything tidy.

Armchair organizers hold your remote, phone charger, and other frequently used items. Drawer dividers separate the little things that would otherwise end up scattered around your “junk drawer.”

No matter which area of your home is cluttered, there’s an organizer designed to help you.

Related: How to Organize Odds and Ends

4. Invest in Studio-Friendly Furniture

When it comes to choosing the furniture for your new place, small and strategic are the adjectives you must keep in mind.

Unless it’s an absolute necessity for you, a king bed (or even a queen) isn’t going to be the best use of space. Neither is a giant sofa or kitchen table.

This doesn’t mean that you have to settle for whatever fits. You don’t have to choose space over quality; you just have to make sure your furniture is studio-friendly.

This means that each item should either serve more than one purpose or fold up when not in use. For example:

  • Murphy beds that can be tucked into the wall during the day
  • Pull-out sofas that serve as a couch during the day and extra bed at night
  • Bookshelves with drawer and shelf space for things besides books
  • TV stands with lots of storage space for your belongings
  • Storage ottomans that hide your clutter but also serve as an extra seat or footrest

Once you have the right furniture, the next step is to use it to your advantage.

You may only have one room in your apartment, but by arranging your furniture carefully, you can create the illusion of multiple rooms.

Use tall furniture, like bookshelves or room dividers to separate your “bedroom” and “living room.” This will make your apartment feel bigger than it really is.

5. Buy Some Storage Solutions for Your Studio

Since you don’t have a lot of space in your studio, you have to use what you do have to its maximum potential. To do this, you should invest in some savvy storage solutions.

There are plenty of standalone products that don’t require hardware or holes in the wall, such as:

  • Shelving racks for dishes
  • Spice racks
  • Food wrap organizers
  • Slide-out drawers
  • Pot and lid organizers

Use these products to increase your storage space. They’ll help you keep your apartment surfaces clear, which will make your home look much better.

6. Focus on The Doorway of Your Studio

Your apartment doesn’t have the typical break between the door and your personal space. This transition area in a home serves as a stopgap between the outside world and the inside domain.

But since you don’t have one, you have to create one.

This artificial foyer serves as a stopping point where you let go of your outer garments and shoes. The mud and dirt stop there.

If you want to keep your apartment clean, you need to set your doorway up to collect all the debris before it makes it into your house.

To do this, start by setting a small table or storage bench next to the doorway. This is a little convenience that gives you a place to set down your things, sit, and remove your shoes. The storage bench can also hold your shoes.

Some people prefer a small doormat in their entryway, but if you have the layout, a stylish carpet runner adds the perception of added space. Near the rug of your choice, keep a hook or a coat rack nearby to hang your jacket, purse, and umbrella.

Other items to consider are hanging racks for your keys and sorting bins for mail, depending on the room available.

7. Create an Entryway Area

Every home, even a studio, has a transitional entryway. Yours just isn’t as visible as those in a typical apartment.

But with a bit of creativity and the studio-friendly furniture you bought, you can make one!

Use a baker’s rack or storage bench to mimic the idea of a mudroom. Hang some hooks on the wall for jackets, hats, scarves, and keys. If you’d like, you can even get a wall-mounted basket for your mail.

This sets the area apart as the place to take off shoes, drop mail, and hang coats.

In short, it keeps the mess at the door (and the dirt off your clean floors).

8. Upgrade Your Studio Closet

If you have a closet at all in your studio, it’s probably small. You may find yourself shoving your clothing and accessories wherever they fit instead.

By upgrading your closet to go beyond that small storage room, you’ll enjoy better organization, and your clothes will stay cleaner.

No, we’re not talking about major renovations here. A few simple storage additions are all you need to get your closet organized and your clothes less wrinkled, such as:

  • Floating shelves
  • Space-saving hangers
  • Short, standalone drawers that slide below your hanging clothes
  • Shoe racks that sit on the floor
  • Over-the-door organizers


With these handy dandy storage tools and a few baskets, your closet’s overhaul will give you more room than you thought possible!

Related: Five Bedroom Closet Organization Tactics to Stay More Organized

9. Make Your Own Rooms in the Studio

Having visitors in a studio apartment can be awkward if all your personal items are on display. But just because there are no extra walls doesn’t mean you can’t split your home into separate rooms.

The basic layout of a studio invites your guests to intrude into your private life. By adding layers to your home, you’re showing visitors where the hands-off area is.

You can do this by adding long curtains and drapes that hang via shower rods across the space you want to enclose. Room dividers also give you privacy, and you can easily take them down when you don’t need them.

10. Designate an Office Area (And Keep it Sacred!)

Everyone needs an office area, or at least a desk. It’s especially important if you work from home.

You may want to work on your bed or couch, but this is bad for many reasons. Aside from the temptation to relax instead of work, research shows that it can have negative effects on your life.

Here are a few downsides to working on your bed or couch:

  • Your relaxing space becomes a place of potential stress.
  • You may find yourself working until you fall asleep, messing up your sleep quality.
  • Sitting in a bent-over position for long hours is bad for your back.
  • When you’re comfortable, you’re more apt to sit longer, decreasing your overall health.

Set up an organized office area instead. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of space. Floating fold-down desks hang on your wall and can easily be tucked away when you’re done for the day.

Your health is more important than a cozy workspace. Opt for a comfortable, ergonomically-friendly chair instead.

11. Give Yourself Some Privacy

Everyone needs their own private space, even inside their home. Creating the illusion of an enclosed wall around your bedroom area will give you privacy, even when guests are over.

Ideally, your bedroom nook will be out of sight to someone sitting on your couch. But it’s difficult to make that happen with just furniture. You may not be able to build new walls in your apartment, but you can use room dividers.

These standalone accessories separate one area from the rest of the studio. They’re available in lots of styles, so you should be able to find something that matches your home design.

You just need to decide if you want a folding divider (like this one from IKEA), or a semi-permanent choice that stays standing.

One of the benefits of a freestanding room divider is that it not only acts as a wall, but you can use it like one. Depending on how sturdy it is, you may be able to mount shelving to your divider or hang a shoe organizer on it.

Looking for blackout curtains to increase your privacy? Check out our article about the best blinds that block the sun.

12. Create a Cleaning Checklist

When little tasks slide in a large house, they are easy to ignore. But those same tasks in a studio apartment quickly become evident.

It’s best to do daily chores when every little crumb is visible. Take a few minutes to devise a cleaning checklist where you list out daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.

Jobs to do daily include straightening up and wiping off surfaces.

Anything that makes a visible mess — such as dishes — qualifies as a daily job.

Weekly chores keep the germs at bay. These tasks would consist of deeper cleaning. Scrubbing the toilet, dusting, and disinfecting would be in this category.

Monthly and spring cleaning focuses on organization. Think tidying up your closets and straightening your drawers. It would also include cleaning fans and windows and changing air filters as needed.

Once your checklist is complete, hang it somewhere easily seen or add the chores into your phone’s calendar to remind you to do them.

Need help with cleaning on a regular basis? See how Handy can help you to get your home in order.

13. Adjust Your Style

Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary.

It’s a place where you can get away from the rest of the world and surround yourself with things that make you feel good. It’s where you get to decorate with things that match your style.

While your personality may be exuberant and large, your studio might not be the best place to show it off.

Smaller apartments call for a more minimalistic approach, with streamlined furniture and sleek appliances. You don’t have to give up your style completely, but in order to fit everything you need, you may have to downsize a bit.

You can more than makeup for a minimal style with accents. Hang some art on the wall. Lay a few colorful rugs on the floor. Throw in items with splashes of bold color if your personality calls for it.

In Conclusion

There are many benefits to living in a studio. They’re quaint, cozy, and, most of all, affordable.

But in order to reap all of the benefits of studio living, you must keep your place orderly.

Stay organized and clean with these secrets, and your little home will be a place you’ll go to for big enjoyment!

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