Part Art, Part Storage: 6 Genius Ways to Store Accessories When You Have No Room

When you live in a small home or apartment, figuring out how to store your scarves, handbags, necklaces, sunglasses and other accessories is a challenge. We can’t all have giant walk-in closets full of open shelves, now can we? The secret, folks, is to turn your jewelry, hats and other items into functional decor, especially if you live in a compact space. Here are some ideas for attractive ways to display and store your things in non-cluttery ways.

Above, beautiful vintage jewelry and small bags are displayed on a tray at the foot of a bed. Not only are they beautiful to look at, having them out in the open like this surely encourages you to wear them more often rather than forget about them in a drawer or closet.

Karen Carr is a jewelry designer so you can bet she has some clever ideas for storing it. Here, she uses a pegboard to store and display her goods. You could hang the pegboard on a wall or, as she’s done here, place it on a table leaning against the wall.

Decorative ladders have many virtues, and they even do the trick for necklaces, as seen in this product image from Urban Outfitters, via Domino. Hang your jewelry so it doesn’t get tangled or drape scarves over the rungs. Just like when I worked retail back in college, spacing is key. Try to keep a finger width in between thinner, smaller items and up to three fingers’ width when placing thicker, more substantive things.

This apartment dweller wasn’t about to let the precious real estate above her bed go to waste. Instead of hanging a piece of art, she’s worked that blank wall space by basically turning it into a hat rack. Genius.

If you have lots of sunnies but don’t want to spend a fortune on a custom acrylic shelf, I think this hanger storage trick from Beauty Lab is pretty clever. Get a tiered hanger, and you’ve got even more bang for your buck and space.

This teeny tiny cake stand as seen in Glamour is stacked relatively high with bracelets. Add a glass cloche with a knob, and you now have a handy spot to drape a few longer, less structured pieces.

Have you even seen a vertical shoe organizer actually used for shoes? Heels and boots are pretty much a no go, so I think these guys need a serious rebranding because they are arguably even better for gloves, belts and, as Dani Miller did here, scarves. The little pockets keep everything contained, and a see-through style makes it easy to spot favorite pieces by color or pattern. And again, you’re taking back that underutilized space on the reverse side of a door, which is smart. So, yes, this is a little less pure aesthetic display and more pragmatic, but I still like the end result.

Purses can be a storage catch-22. Designer bags usually come with a box, which is nice for protection but eats up a lot of closet space. And the cheaper ones often come with nothing (sometimes not even a duster), so a storage solution is really a necessity to keep them from getting gross. For everyday bags, I’m loving how Rebecca Minkoff used metal bins as handbag sorters (see on the wall at the left of the image, via InStyle). Or consider a file organizer. Sure beats displaying those manila folders! You could cluster a couple together, so they take up less space on a dresser. Or even better if you can get a wall mount version.

And if all else fails, see what stores are doing. They good ones always find a clever way to merchandise, and you can totally adapt or steal their ideas for your place.

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