IKEA organization ideas for small spaces to keep compact homes uncluttered

Compact living doesn't have to cramped with these stylish IKEA organization ideas for small spaces...

Ikea organization ideas for small spaces using boxes on open shelving in the kitchen
(Image credit: IKEA/Ben Robertson)

Maximizing your storage is the key way to make a compact home feel less cluttered. And IKEA organization ideas for small spaces make it really simple - and affordable - to ensure everything has its place in a chic and stylish way. With a little creative flair, you can utilize every last inch of space while maintaining a chic aesthetic so your small space is as effective as possible.

We love brilliant IKEA hacks, but you don't always need to hack to be inventive with IKEA pieces.  From using hooks to hang everything from towels to dining chairs, to using storage boxes as wardrobe drawers, we've rounded up a host of expert tips on IKEA organization ideas below. Get ready to declutter every room...

Clever IKEA organization ideas for small spaces

Your living space may be small,  but there’s always room for creativity. Take inspiration from these top organization ideas to truly make the most of your space. And even if you aren't squeezed for space there's still plenty of creative storage ideas to get you inspired. 

1. Use the Kallax shelving unit in a bijou bathroom

IKEA Kallax storage solution in small bathroom

(Image credit: @hej_zuhause)

The IKEA Kallax unit is a versatile storage piece that comes with a host of sizing options. Anna, of @hej_zuhause, turned hers into a stylish small bathroom storage idea simply by adding hairpin legs from Amazon and IKEA Branas baskets. 

For an extra added yet simple custom touch, she also swapped out the Kallax insert drawer handles to statement wooden alternatives. A slimline organization idea that keeps the bathroom uncluttered without compromising on style.

Top tip for organizing Kallax shelves: 'The IKEA Kallax is awesome and stores a ton,' says Jules of ikeahackers.net. 'However, IKEA storage boxes made for Kallax tend to be rather deep, like the Drona. Great for larger items but not ideal for smaller spaces or items such as stationery or stackable things like craft paper, etc. We may also leave the top part of the deep storage box empty or unfilled - which means wasted space.

Top tip for organizing Kallax shelves: size of the cube. But sometimes that's not enough. You can make custom Kallax shelves to divide the cube into smaller sections. Or buy them off Etsy. This allows for greater flexibility and you can make use of every inch of the cube.'

2. Make the most of the awkward under stairs space

under stairs storage ideas from Ikea

(Image credit: IKEA/Ben Robertson)

Any area - even awkward ones - has the potential to be an organizational hotspot. The space under the stairs is a prime example.

Experts at IKEA advise: 'In a compact home, every corner counts! Make the most of space under the stairs by adding small storage solutions. Baskets and boxes keep paperwork and craft supplies organized, and a low dresser is great for storing things out of sight.'

It could even double up as a small home office, ensuring the space really works hard. A fold-up chair would be ideal, as it can be stored when not in use.

3. Choose clip-on accessories

adjustable spotlight for IKEA organization small space ideas

(Image credit: IKEA/Benjamin Edwards/@rhiannamay_)

If you're a tiny apartment-dweller like @rhiannamay_, take some inspiration from her IKEA organization ideas for small spaces. No room for a bedside table and lamp? No problem.

An IKEA expert says: 'Rhianna’s books are stored below her mezzanine bed frame and, with the addition of a wall/clamp spotlight, she was able to create a late-night reading nook without sacrificing any space.'

'Not only does the light make a big piece of furniture more useful, it can be used anywhere – from desk lamp to kitchen spotlight.'

4. Use the space under a mezzanine bed

IKEA storage boxes and organization ideas for small spaces under a mezzanine bed

(Image credit: IKEA/Nato Welton)

Mezzanine bedroom ideas are clever ways to utilize the space in a small bedroom, as it doesn't take up floor space and creates an area you can use for storage underneath it.

Julia, of @juloxyy, created a wardrobe stylishly hidden behind a curtain and a handy 'drawer' space by using IKEA boxes, including the Kuggis box with lid, and the Stuk storage case.

She says: 'We used the ceiling height to build our mezzanine bed. I love how it feels like a cosy cave. The added benefit is having my wardrobe below without taking up any extra room.'

5. Create wardrobe drawers with IKEA Knagglig boxes

Ikea organization ideas for small spaces with storage boxes as wardrobe drawers

(Image credit: @beautifulhomesinthenorth)

Using storage boxes in place of drawers offers a versatile alternative and a unique aesthetic for bedroom storage ideas. Katie Lee, of @beautifulhomesinthenorth, says: 'I wanted to create a built-in unit in my bedroom from plywood and the small Knagglig boxes from IKEA worked perfectly.  

'Not only did they match the natural wood look I wanted,  they also gave me flexibility with my storage. They are big enough to store smaller items of clothing/underwear/sportswear as well as being ideal for makeup/hair products and accessories. This way, the room stays uncluttered, allowing the space to feel bigger.'

6. Utilise multifunctional furniture

IKEA vilto stool organization ideas for small spaces bathroom

(Image credit: IKEA)

Ensure your furniture is working overtime with multifunctional pieces that offer different uses all at once. The IKEA Vilto stool is ideal to use as a small bathroom idea where cupboard space is at a minimum. You can put reading material in the magazine rack and store your towels and hand towels on the top. 

We also love the idea of using hooks on the wall to hang larger towels and accessories in place of a bulky unit. The Vilto stool would also make a great side table for the living room or bedroom, being the perfect perch for a cuppa and newspapers.

7. Use IKEA bookshelves as living room shelving units

Ikea organization ideas for small spaces using a bookshelf as living room shelving

(Image credit: M Lavender Interiors/Cynthia Lynn Photography)

If you've got a lounge that's short on floor space, using the wall is a great small living room idea. Mark Lavender, of M. Lavender Interiors, says: 'We shop at IKEA a few times a year.  IKEA is one of my go-to places for their bookshelves.  If we need something not built-in, that is where we go.  They are nice looking, durable and hold up well over time.  In fact, we have several in our office that have been with us for over eight years and look as good as when they were assembled.

'The key to successful styling is utilizing both high end and cherished heirlooms and use things that are from places like IKEA as a backdrop to some of these items.  

'A great example of high-low is the design we created for a client above. We used a very high-end Manual Canovas wallcovering and a Ralph Lauren ottoman paired with the Ikea Hemnes bookshelves and rattan chairs from Pier One.'

The bookshelves are slimline and are ideal for narrow rooms as a place to display objets as well as your books.

8. Use IKEA spice racks as wall-mounted shelving

designer ikea hacks

(Image credit: @styletheclutter)

The IKEA spice racks have to be one of the most versatile pieces available. As well as using them for their primary purpose (that's right, storing spices), you can also fix them to the wall to use as storage.

They also make the perfect wall-mounted holders for displaying your house plants; try staggering them at different levels for a visually interesting look.

We love how Leoma @styletheclutter has painted hers in pretty pastel colors and used them as toy storage for her daughter's desk area, keeping that clear for working on.

9. Enhance space in a narrow hallway with a wall of shoe cabinets

IKEA organization ideas for small spaces with a wall of Trones shoe cabinets in a narrow small hallway

(Image credit: IKEA/Benjamin Robertson)

Don’t waste any space in a narrow entryway - a whole wall of Trones shoe cabinets can add heaps of storage and is a unique small hallway idea.

It's a clean-lined and efficient way to store everything from shoes to everyday household items that would otherwise clog up space. It's also a great way to make the most of the otherwise unused wall space.

Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.