Living with Less: Organization for Small Spaces

Living with Less: Organization for Small Spaces

Sustainability is a mainstream concept that many people are embracing with open arms. Reusing, recycling, buying less and living in smaller homes are becoming the norm. The question is: how does a family live in a smaller space with the pressure to buy more?  These tips can help you live a fuller life with less.

Some overall tricks for making a space look larger: use the right paint colors. Choosing sharp colors can trick the eye and create more space than is actually there.  In addition, using smaller furniture in smaller spaces ensures that you are maximizing the square footage and gives you more clearance around items. Also, using furniture that is lower to the ground will make the space seem larger.  Finally, using room dividers can help to create the look of defined space without sacrificing the open feeling.

Whenever possible, create spaces that are used for several purposes. A kitchen can be used for cooking, crafts and homework.  Proper organization of these items ensures that you can use this space multiple ways effectively.  Command hooks are great for adding places to keep utensils, towels, coffee mugs, really anything that hangs.  You can also use them to hang wire or plastic baskets, allowing for even more storage.  Additionally, wall space is rarely utilized to its potential.  Hanging things on walls can add more storage, i.e. baskets, bookcases, floating shelving, etc.  There is always an emphasis placed on horizontal square footage, but if you think vertically, you are maximizing each space to its fullest.

For the kitchen, using a wire basket shower caddy can double as a produce rack.   You can glue magnets onto plastic containers to add storage to the10527861_10204480789124283_3906081940314288558_n sides and front of your refrigerator. Adding baskets underneath kitchen cabinets can give you more storage without sacrificing counter space. Placing peg boards inside of cabinets or doors can add ample hanging storage for various sizes and shapes.  Using stacking shelves in cabinets and pantries can help you double your storage space.  No room for an eat-in kitchen? Mount a fold up table to the wall and bring down for meals, then fold back up when done.  This application can be used for any space that needs a table.

For bedrooms, adding bed risers can add more storage space underneath. Then, by using rolling flat bins under the bed, you can dramatically  increase your storage capability. Drawers are usually not used to their potential. If possible, place rarely used items on the bottom of the drawer and place a box lid or flatter plastic organizer to keep items neat on the top. i.e. blanket on the bottom and T-shirts on the top. This will ensure that you are using the maximum amount of drawer space.  It is a good idea to write down the items that are in the drawer and place it on the inside of that drawer. This way, those items not easily seen won’t be forgotten when needed.  Remember that there are tools that you already have in your home that can be used for organizing such as using shoe boxes or cardboard to create your own drawer organizers.  There’s no need to spend money when you can skillfully reuse other items that you already have!

Closets are spaces that are rarely fully used. Using plastic organizers with drawers will help you maximize the bottom of your closet space.  Space under shelving in closets and cabinets are unused real estate. Hang baskets from the top shelf to add more storage. Under the shelf racks can also be used.  Baskets or plastic storage bins with holes are great for storing kids clothes or clothing made of thinner fabrics.  Finally, hanging organizers used on the back of doors and cabinets will add even more storage space.  If by chance you have a closet that is rarely used, transform it into a multiple use space such as an office, craft space or office.
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Living spaces can offer many opportunities for storage as well.  Bookcases are a great way to add storage and display areas in tights spaces. By using baskets or cloth organizers, you can hide items that you do not want to be visible. They can be hung horizontally as well for kids rooms or for use in displaying items.  Furthermore, using corner shelving can help add storage and use maximum space.  Just like under the bed, there is also storage space under sofas. (Those that do not recline)  Flat items such as board games or flat organizers can be used to increase your storage space.  Small ottomans can double as seating and storage.

With the world’s population increasing exponentially, the small home trend is one that will continue to grow. By learning how to maximize your space now, you will ensure that you and your family can meet the growing need to live sustainably and comfortably.

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