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Your First Apartment: 7 Plastic-Free Storage Solutions from Ikea

This fall, after four years of living in dorm rooms and beat-up college houses, I finally moved into my first “adult” apartment.

Of course, like many in the millennial and Gen-Z adjacent set, I’m not living alone—in fact, I have two roommates. This, coupled with the new reality of working remotely, means that my bedroom is both the place where I spend most of my day and the primary outlet for my decorating impulses.

And again, like most young people, I’m on a pretty tight budget. So when it came time to shop for my room, I turned to a trusted source: Ikea. Here are seven storage tips, coupled with wallet-friendly (and plastic-free) products, to transition your small space into a well-organized, grown-up home.

1. Upgrade your laundry hamper.

Discard your mesh laundry sack for a simple basket, and even dirty clothes start to look good. The Insvep basket, woven from Seagrass, at $34.99
Above: Discard your mesh laundry sack for a simple basket, and even dirty clothes start to look good. The Insvep basket, woven from Seagrass, at $34.99

2. Invest in stackable bins.

the Knagglig stacking boxes, made of pine and galvanized steel, are large enough to hold sweaters and other hard-to-store items; $6.99
Above: the Knagglig stacking boxes, made of pine and galvanized steel, are large enough to hold sweaters and other hard-to-store items; $6.99

3. For a shared fridge, opt for glass containers.

Glass storage containers are a pretty solution to a problem that plagues all those with shared fridges: what belongs to who? IKEA 365+ glass jar with bamboo lid, at $10.49
Above: Glass storage containers are a pretty solution to a problem that plagues all those with shared fridges: what belongs to who? IKEA 365+ glass jar with bamboo lid, at $10.49
IKEA 365+ glass food container with bamboo lid, at $9.99
Above: IKEA 365+ glass food container with bamboo lid, at $9.99

4. Don’t underestimate the power of desk storage.

The Moppe mini storage chest is a classic for a reason. Made of birch plywood, the chest has 6 drawers of varying sizes, perfect for holding the various trappings of your workspace; $24.99
Above: The Moppe mini storage chest is a classic for a reason. Made of birch plywood, the chest has 6 drawers of varying sizes, perfect for holding the various trappings of your workspace; $24.99

5. Take charge of your cords.

The Signum cable management trunk is a necessary addition for anyone drowning in cords. Simply attach the rack under a tabletop and lead your cables through the hooks for an instant decluttering. Made of steel, at $17.99
Above: The Signum cable management trunk is a necessary addition for anyone drowning in cords. Simply attach the rack under a tabletop and lead your cables through the hooks for an instant decluttering. Made of steel, at $17.99

6. Add vertical space with a storage cart.

If you have less built-in storage than you’d like but are wary of nailing shelves to the walls of a rental, consider a steel kitchen cart to hold necessities. The Omar shelf unit, constructed of galvanized steel, comes in four sizes; $39.99
Above: If you have less built-in storage than you’d like but are wary of nailing shelves to the walls of a rental, consider a steel kitchen cart to hold necessities. The Omar shelf unit, constructed of galvanized steel, comes in four sizes; $39.99

7. Use hooks to keep your floors clear.

A simple shaker peg rail adds dimension to a room while giving you someplace (other than your bed) to toss your jackets. The Hövolm rack has 6 knobs and is made of oak; $12.99
Above: A simple shaker peg rail adds dimension to a room while giving you someplace (other than your bed) to toss your jackets. The Hövolm rack has 6 knobs and is made of oak; $12.99

For more storage roundups, consider:

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