When you’re living in a small condo, finding places for your belongings can help you feel at home without cluttering your rooms. Whether you’re looking to add extra shelving to your bedroom, fill nooks that often go empty or find creative storage spaces for your valuables, the tips below can help you make the most of the space you have.

Think vertical

If you need extra storage, the answer may be in the open space above your cabinets, doors and closet racks. Take advantage of these vertical areas by installing shelves and wall hooks to store things you don’t use often. You can also consider purchasing tall bookcases to stay organized and use every inch. Just make sure to properly anchor the bookcase to the wall following manufacturer-provided installation instructions for safety purposes.

Look under the stairs

If your condo is a multi-level unit with open stairs consider utilizing the area beneath the staircase. This nook is an ideal place to add easy-to-access storage without encroaching on your living space. Install bookshelves, a desk or a pantry if you need some extra kitchen storage.

Hide your valuables

Unsure where to store your important papers, jewelry and other valuables? The solution may be right in front of you. There are numerous creative places you can protect your valuables without calling attention to them, including fake air vents and books.1 Other important items can be insured and stored in a bank safe deposit box. Talk to your insurance company to ensure your valuables are properly protected.

Find a bed that does double duty

A bed with built-in storage can make all the difference if you have a small bedroom. Some bed designs incorporate shelving above the headboard or drawers below the mattress, both of which help maximize the space you have.

Consider banquette seating

Too many chairs might crowd your condo and make the space look cramped and uninviting. To prevent this, think about putting in a banquette to add seating options without sacrificing design – or space. Pair the banquette with a few chairs around your kitchen table, which you can move to other rooms as needed.2 As a bonus, many banquettes have storage under the cushions.

If you’re purchasing your first condo, find out everything you need to know before moving in.