Book Storage in Seattle: 10 Ideas for Your Tiny Apartment

book storage in tiny Seattle apartment

You’ve recently moved into your first apartment, and things look quite challenging space-wise. Yes, we all know Seattle rentals are rather small, with average square footage ranging around 711 sq.ft., even lower than that of Manhattan or Chicago. Fitting your possessions into a studio or a 1-bedroom would probably not be an easy feat – but it can be done, with a little creativity.

For all those bookworms out there wishing to bring that large book collection with them as they transition to Seattle living, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help them organize their books with style and functionality. Check them out below!

1. Make Use of Narrow Hallway Storage

Think your narrow hallway space can’t possibly help with storage? Think again. You can install a thin wall-long shelf for book storage. We are sure this DIY project shouldn’t be too challenging, but if you don’t feel up to the task, a carpenter would be your best bet. More than just a practical solution, your book collection can also serve as a decorative item without overcrowding the small space.

2. Frame Doorways With Bookshelves

Your doorway is untapped real estate that can be put to good use. Extend the ledge above the doorway to allow for book storage. You can sort books by color for a gorgeous decorative effect. This storage idea will surely impress your guests!

3. Incorporate Books Into Your Décor

Your home already has pieces of furniture that could house other objects, so why not use that space to showcase your book collection. Add books under your coffee table or even under your couch if you have room. What’s more, you can bring some titles from your reading list onto the coffee table. Having your favorite reading matter under your nose will spark joy in your everyday life all the while adding a personal touch to your décor. It’s actually the same principle that led many bookstores in Seattle to add coffee shops to their services, as often reading and coffee breaks are complementary.

books incorporated in decor

4. Turn Your Space Divider Into Book Central

If you’re already using a space divider so that the living room doesn’t abruptly turn into your bedroom, why not add some books to this storage space? You can place the divider behind the couch to create the illusion of privacy without compromising too much space.

5. Keep Your Favorite Stories Close

There’s no reason why you can’t go to sleep surrounded by your favorite books, be they mysteries, love stories, or fantasy tales. Your bed is probably one of the biggest pieces of furniture in your home, which is why it’s the ideal spot to squeeze in some extra storage. Instead of the traditional foot-of-bed bench, add shelves to create a mini-library or store books above the headboard. Additionally, if there is enough room, you can install small shelves in the space under your bed, which allows you to spread out your book collection even more.

book storage above bed headboard

6. Turn Nooks Into Bookshelves

Sure, tiny apartments might be less than spacious, but you can still find some unused space that can house books. Look for a niche in the wall or a nook where otherwise a small piece of furniture like a chair wouldn’t fit – that’s where a makeshift bookshelf could be placed. Your home will be cozier and, let’s face it, we do feel better when we can turn a practical home décor solution into an aesthetically pleasing one!

7. Befriend Book Storage on Floating Shelves

We get it, you’ve tried to fit all of your books into all the nooks and crannies of your tiny apartment, but there just isn’t enough room for your growing pile of books, right? Instead of letting your apartment sink into chaos with books strewn all over the place, think of using floating shelves to store some of them. For an elegant and functional look, install them above a sofa, the window, or even your bed.

8. Take Your Books a Notch Higher

When living in constricted quarters, you might need to make even more use of that vertical space. Go beyond floating shelves if those aren’t enough to house your books and add a shelf in the space closest to the ceiling area. Your books will thank you for this design choice: They can neatly stay there organized, safe, and out of the way. Additionally, higher shelving invites the eye upward and creates the illusion of a roomier space. As some of us are true bookworms, even this storage solution will not suffice to make all those novels fit. Tiny apartment renters in the Emerald City can look into self storage units in Seattle to store those extra books or simply to move other items into storage if books are closer to their hearts.

book storage on tall shelving unit

9. Turn the Back of a Staircase Into a Library

Some tiny apartments come with a loft accessible by stairs. Take advantage of that unused space in the back of the staircase to decorate it with books. It’s definitely a storage idea that hasn’t been explored much, and it can help you hold on to more stories you love in the already limited space in your apartment.

10. Go for Wheeled Cart Storage

You can choose a metal or wooden wheeled cart to store some of your books. This storage solution is appealing because you can move it around as you see fit. Besides, think of your little wheeled library as a temporary placement station for all those books you’ve just taken down from the ceiling shelf.

Did we help you store your books in your tiny apartment? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About the author

Mirela Mohan

Mirela is a creative writer for STORAGECafé. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, lifestyle and economy. Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading, but also hiking and creating art. You can contact Mirela via email

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