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How can I fit the most amount of stuff into a tiny space?
September 9, 2012 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Help me maximize my wall space without having to drill...

I've recently moved into a tiny studio in Hong Kong that has a really narrow kitchen. The kitchen measures just under 3 feet across. There's currently not enough space for me to keep my dishes! The drying rack is overflowing and I usually need to put even clean dishes in the sink and some pots on the stove so I have space everywhere.

I also bought this Bygel Rail, this wire basket, plus hooks with the intention of putting stuff on the walls of my kitchen.

I plan on buying more wall mounted things in the near future to organize my kitchen too. My spice rack is a window ledge and I'd like to put that somewhere safer too.


However, the issue is this: I have sort of a weird renting situation (company is paying for housing--checked with them and they were fine with me drilling, but they're not technically the owner of the apartment) and I'm really reluctant to drill into the tile. My experience with a drill is putting up this wall shelf into a concrete wall, and I'm really afraid it's going to come crashing down any second now since I couldn't get one of the anchors to properly anchor (drill slipped so super big hole but not big enough anchor). I'm not even sure if I was supposed to have drilled into my wall, but if the landlord does find out and care, I'll just have the wall filled in and touched up with paint. Cracked tiles are much harder to fix!

Are there any alternatives I can use besides drilling holes into the kitchen? Would some sort of 3M mounting tape work? I'm afraid that my apartment gets too hot and humid when I'm not around that the tape will cause the entire railing fall rather quickly. I've considered gluing section cups onto the the rail, but I doubt it'll hold the weight I need it to hold. I have a suction cup rail in my bathroom to hold my towel and that still falls down every so often, but towel is not breakable so it's fine.

I'm also open for any general small space organization tips!
posted by astapasta24 to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Could you fit a narrow bookshelf type unit on the empty / tilled wall? Like a Narrow Billy flat against the wall that will only stick out about 28 cm.

It looks like the tiles go all the way to the ceiling so you are going to have to drill through those to anchor anything more substantial. You just can't hang anything substantial on a stick on / sucktion thing.

I would probably go for somethign mroe substantial - like say this wall shelf. and install it properly
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S89892243/

get someone to help you who knows what they are doing. (it sounds like you don't) And just leave it there when you leave - ie pretend it was always there. I think that owners dont'really care if what you install is a genuine 'improvement' on the existing fittings.

That cheap rack you have bought however looks a bit .... well cheap and seems like it would barely solve your existing problems.
posted by mary8nne at 9:05 AM on September 9, 2012


It looks in the photograph like the area where the bookshelf is located now is right next to the kitchen. Can you get a bookcase type unit that will allow you to stow your luggage below and put your kitchen stuff in the top? I just measured my kitchen and it's six feet from the sink to most of the dish/pot/pan storage here, and I don't seem to notice that I am walking a lot to stash and retrieve stuff. (YMMV).

My thinking was that if your luggage hangs out there, you're already using the floor space, so maybe it would better suit your requirements and give you the storage you need.

It does seem odd that they would install two power points on that blank wall, and not any means to utilize them, other than maybe a vacuum cleaner or an iron.

I usually tend to go up in tight spaces for more storage, but then I'm 6'2" and I can reach up eight feet without a step ladder. I understand that this is not an option for some folks.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:36 AM on September 9, 2012


You don't show the ceiling, but if it's regular drywall-type material, then you can probably hang a decent amount of weight ( from the ceiling using toggle bolts, and still have holes that're easily repaired when you move out.

Otherwise, perhaps you could consider constructing a sort of large grid- or trellis-type structure to sit flat against the wall (reaching from floor to ceiling), and hang things from that? I doubt Ikea would have any sort of kit for such a project, but it seems like it'd be fairly easy to:
--assemble precut lengths of plain metal pipe + fittings (or even PVC, if the grid squares were small enough, or I guess lumber if you're handy and have tools) from a hardware store into a big ~6'x8' checkerboard,
--stand the grid up against the blank kitchen wall,
--anchor the top to prevent tipping, either into the ceiling itself or with an upside-down L brace across the ceiling and leaning against the opposite wall,
-- anchor the bottom to prevent sliding outward (not much force needed for that-- even just using rubber feet might do it)
--and either hang your stuff directly from that, or use clamps to affix shelves, etc. for additional storage.

You'd have to do a bit of research to make sure your planned materials would bear the loads you're envisioning, but it'd certainly do the trick of making the wall fully and stably hang-able, top-to-bottom, without requiring lots of crazy ad-hoc stuff like supergluing suction cups and whatnot.
posted by Bardolph at 10:46 AM on September 9, 2012


Those fridge/freezers also don't weigh too much, so you could set it on top of some wire shelving to get some storage underneath as well. Bring it up to a height that makes it much easier to clean than having to get on the floor to reach the veggie bin.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:55 AM on September 9, 2012


It looks in the photograph like the area where the bookshelf is located now is right next to the kitchen. Can you get a bookcase type unit that will allow you to stow your luggage below and put your kitchen stuff in the top? I just measured my kitchen and it's six feet from the sink to most of the dish/pot/pan storage here, and I don't seem to notice that I am walking a lot to stash and retrieve stuff. (YMMV).

My thinking was that if your luggage hangs out there, you're already using the floor space, so maybe it would better suit your requirements and give you the storage you need.


Ooh! That's a good idea! Once the suitcases are empty, I'm pretty sure I can nest them then stick them underneath my bed! I just need a shoe rack and another bookcase of sorts now! Yay!
posted by astapasta24 at 5:52 PM on September 9, 2012


OK, now I'm going to admit I'm dying to know - what's on the left side of the fridge? Does that go further back on the other side of the door frame, or does the long wall just continue to the corner windows? Could you do one more picture, please?
posted by halfbuckaroo at 6:51 PM on September 10, 2012


I use wire baskets designed for CDs & DVDs to create reliable storage on my windowsill. Just get whatever is closest in width and you'll be able to drastically reduce how often things fall off. There's even the potential for stackable storage there.

I would not plan to put the fridge on top of anything weaker than cinderblocks.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 6:59 PM on September 10, 2012


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