Japan’s housing is usually small and requires its occupants to be creative when thinking about how to use that space. The stores that sell housing items know this as well and sell special items with that in mind. There are lots of hidden compartment furniture or secret shelves in the items. Some of them are more expensive than if you decide to do some of them yourself.
How to save space while hanging or storing clothes
The first would be for laundry purposes. Some apartments don’t have much space for laundry and that won’t allow you to always have a laundry pole or string out. A collapsible hanger is a great way to save space as when you are done it folds for closet storage. If you have a set up for a line you can use a retractable line for easy storage. The same can be done for the laundry basket and cloth storage. There are collapsible laundry baskets, multiple shirt hangers, or storage bins for detergent and cleaning items.
Utilize and repurpose existing furniture and spaces
For the living area, there are collapsible tables that are perfect for gaining more storage space. Some apartments come with them installed and they really open up space in a room. Folding chairs pair well with the tables, and they can be stored easily. If you have a patio area, but not much space in your room, there are hanging tables. You can enjoy using your patio for more than just laundry. They give you a lot of room when eating, and fold up for storage. If you are using a western-style raised bed, you can use the space underneath it. Buying spare shelves to slide under the bed for extra clothing storage, or the keep extra sheets. They sell fold-out beds as well, which give it extra uses. It can serve as seating and can take up minimal space. Using futon mats as a bed helps as well, as they can be stored easily in the closet when not in use.
Verticality is a kitchens best friend
Your kitchen will be tough as most places have very little room to do anything. Space conservation is crucial when you are looking to maximize your kitchen area. Try to stack up, buying small shelves can help keep things with reach. 100-yen stores are very helpful, as they sell all kinds of small storage items for you to use. You can buy a counter to put on top of your washer to add more counter space. A secret spice rack is a good idea to put away all of your seasonings. You can hide it next to the fridge, or in the space on the side of the washer.
If you need extra space for cooking your meals, a folding kitchen island can be useful. You will need one if you ever cook anything a little more complicated. Cups and mugs can be arranged using a cup tree. It goes, fits into small spaces, and is cheap to purchase. There are cutting boards that hug the size of your sink, and could also be used for drying. They can also be useful for cooking and extra counter space.
Bathroom and toilet areas benefit from hooks that hold brushes and other toiletries. Suction cup shelves and hooks work well in the bathroom. You can buy multiple shelves and put all of your toiletries out of the way.
The genkan area will usually have some sort of shoe closet, but if it doesn’t you can easily fix it. There are inexpensive shoe towers, and small shoe shelves you can get at any 100-yen store. You can also get small magnet hooks or holders that help you keep track of the small items in your pockets.
The ideas to go with are ease of use, reusability, and space that can be saved. You can buy an expensive item that may have some features built-in, or you can make your own version with a mix of other things put together. It’s essential to make the most of your living space in Japan. Keep an open mind and you might be surprised by what you can come up with.