10 Easy IKEA Hacks for Small Spaces

IKEA drop leaf table small kitchen

Faced with ever-shrinking apartments, inventive renters are treating their lack of space as a creative challenge, and sharing their decorating and storage solutions to help the rest of us maximize our square footage. They’ve found that when it comes to small-space furniture, IKEA has an abundance of solutions that can be applied and repurposed in a variety of ways, from clever storage ideas for small bedrooms to kitchen organization. Whether you’re moving into a dorm room or making the most of a tiny home, you can make it all work on a budget with these IKEA hacks for small spaces.

1. Hang Small Storage Containers

The PLUGGIS containers from IKEA offer a budget-friendly option for adding storage to any nook or cranny. Use a couple of Velcro strips to secure it to the inside of a cabinet or on the side of the wall for easy storage. In a dorm room, these containers are a great way to add storage to the inside of your wardrobe for socks and shoes, or on the wall beside your desk to organize pencils and notepads. Running low on counter space in your kitchen? Put your sponges and dish soap in a PLUGGIS container attached to the inside of your lower cabinet.

2. Repurpose a Picture Rail

If you’ve got a bathroom that’s not much bigger than a postage stamp and a matching pedestal sink that offers absolutely no storage or counter space, install an IKEA picture rail. You can fit it right above the sink and… Voilá! You’ve got a stylish spot for keeping toiletries, makeup, and other essentials where they’re easy to see, grab and use.

@ ikeahackersofficial via Instagram

3. Convert Bed Slats into Wall Storage

If you’ve got an old IKEA bed or futon that’s ready for the dumpster, try this ingenious IKEA hack that uses the wooden bed slats as a wall storage solution that can work in your office, living area, or even the kitchen. Add a few S-hooks to attach baskets and bins for plants and corralling odds and ends. You can also display magazines, organizing clipboards, and notebooks where you won’t be so likely to forget about them. Wondering where you’ll get your hands on an old IKEA bed? No worries – you can just order the slats.

4. Transform a Towel Bar

IKEA towel bars are like the ninjas of Transformer toys – ready for all kinds of action. Save counter or cabinet space by mounting a bar to the inside of a cabinet or on the wall to hold all the lids for your pots and pans. Need to tame all those spice jars? Install multiple towel bars on the wall a few inches apart, and you’ve got a spot to keep all those spices in line, right where you can see ‘em.

@ goodmoodwoo

5. Mount a drop-leaf table on the wall

This idea doesn’t require any hacking, just taking advantage of a great design. IKEA’s BJURSTA wall-mounted drop-leaf table can seat two for dining and work double-duty as a desk. When not in use, it keeps a low profile against the wall when you need the room. If you’re feeling handy and want to get more creative, here’s a bunch more ideas for DIY wall-mounted desks and tables.

6. Upgrade a Plain Wardrobe

If your small bedroom lacks a closet – or the one you have was designed for a bygone era – you can add storage space with a free-standing wardrobe. Give a standard IKEA wardrobe like the BRIMNES an upgrade just by adding some additional wood detail and new hardware. Then, it feels like a piece that can bring style to any room, whether it’s acting as your bedroom closet or a catch-all cabinet in your main living space.

7. DIY a Platform Bed with Cabinets

When the footprint of your bedroom is small, it’s best to maximize space wherever you can. Consider mounting your bed on top of IKEA kitchen cabinets for added storage — this DIY article shows how to create a platform with steps to reach your bed. The project is no small undertaking, but it makes a clever way to save space, while turning your bed into a conversation piece.  

8. Use a Slim Desk as an Entryway Table

Turn an IKEA laptop desk like the VITTSJO into a sleek and elegant solution for a small entryway space. It’s slim enough to fit in even a small entry or hall, or it can provide separation to define areas in a small apartment. As a desk, we like how it’s got a small shelf to stash your laptop, and even comes with self-adhesive cable clips to keep your cords in place and out of sight. Plus, you can upgrade your IKEA piece with removable contact paper on the top for an elevated look that’s easy to swap out.

@ ikeaie via Instagram

9. Add Vertical Shoe Storage

The worst part about having a small entryway is not having space for all your shoes. IKEA’s shoe cabinets from HEMNES and TRONES are ultra slim, so they take less room than most shoe racks. The cabinets tilt open so you can tuck your shoes neatly away and out of sight, yet  still handy when you need them. Bonus: There’s enough area on the top for keeping small items like your keys, wallet, and phone close at hand.

10. Convert a Shelf into a Closet

If you need more space to hang your clothes (and who doesn’t?!), mount one of the EKBY HEMNES shelves to your wall, then add a metal rail from one of the IKEA hanging systems like FINTORP. It gives you a bit more real estate for hanging clothes, plus you can still use the shelf space for folded tops and sweaters, hats, and accessories.

While living in a small space often requires streamlining your stuff, it can be fun to get creative with your storage solutions. Make the most of your floor space and maximize your small home with just a few tools, DIY ideas, and IKEA basics.

Looking for more space-saving solutions? Check out our tips for small spaces or learn about storing your stuff in a PODS container at one of our secure Storage Centers.