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  • Writer's pictureSouth Coast Organizers

7 Tips for Small Space Living

I literally have one closet in my entire home. I live in a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house that has one closet.

When my husband and I purchased our house back in 2018, we actually didn’t notice the lack of storage because we were distracted by the amazing location, backyard, and affordable price of our potential new home. Soon, however, it became abundantly clear how much storage we lacked on move-in day. My clothes wouldn’t fit in the closet, much less my husband’s so we had to make a decision. Are we going to live with clothing and random items everywhere, or are we going to live within our space? We chose the latter and each got rid of half of our wardrobes. Seriously, half. We paired down our kitchen items and utilized what space we had in the laundry room to hang coats. I’m constantly updating and making adjustments to our small space to accommodate new items but it works for us!

The majority of my clients of all ages are striving for simplicity. They all want less stuff. They are thinking of downsizing and I think this is a trend that’s here to stay. If you’re interested in small space living here are some tips to guide you from too much to just enough.

PURGE PURGE PURGE, declutter often

When you live in a small space, the clutter collects quickly! Schedule decluttering time quarterly to keep up with your small spaces. Don’t want to declutter often? Watch your shopping and spending habits. You can prevent clutter from entering your home in the first place.

Purchase double-duty furniture

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to client’s homes and they have furniture with no drawers, cabinets, or shelves. Just a single surface. This simply won’t do in a small space! You need your furniture to function for you. Make sure desks and nightstands have drawers. Get a coffee table with a little shelf or that opens up for blankets or games. And please people buy a damn dresser! Dressers became our lifesaver with such a small closet.

Pro tip: Get a mixture of open and closed storage. Open shelving and cabinets can make small spaces look cluttered so make sure to have both.

Ditch single-use kitchen items

I always find the oddest single use items when reorganizing a client’s kitchen. If a gadget you own has one purpose, you probably shouldn’t keep it. Do you really need an apple slicer? Can’t you just cut it with a knife? If you have something else that can do the job of that utensil, get rid of it!

Top single use items that client’s had in their kitchens:

  1. An olive plate

  2. An asparagus pot

  3. A grapefruit knife

Who’s ever heard of these things?!

Utilize doors, walls, and under your bed

When you live in a small space you need to make sure to use everything wisely. Back of the door hooks and organizers can help keep shoes and clothes off of the floor. Use hooks and shelving to utilize wall space. Store rarely used or out of season items under your bed to open up space in your closet. Just remember, the floor is not a storage space.

Only buy what you need

When you don’t have a lot of storage you can’t buy in bulk. It’s as simple as that. Before the pandemic, I only bought the groceries I needed for the week and kept them in a small cabinet. I started buying for a couple weeks at a time and ended up having to clean out 2 more cabinets in my very small galley kitchen. I made it work but am now realizing that half of my kitchen is food storage. This philosophy applies for cleaning and bath products, paper goods (were you one of the folks bulk buying toilet paper?!) and office/school supplies. If you don’t have the space to store it, you shouldn’t buy it.

Maximize your closet space

Step back and look at your closet. Is there space to add another rod to double the hanging space? What about shelving? Can you use the vertical space up to the ceiling? Is there space on the floor for a shoe rack? Take inventory of your overall closet space and maximize it. Not sure where to begin? Call in a professional! Invest in a closet system and a designer that will help you to maximize your small space.

Create a home for everything…..and actually put it back

Clutter is just things that have no place and it can accumulate quickly when you live in a smaller home. Designate homes for every item in your house from the dishes to the batteries. This will help you to live within the space you have and know where everything lives. Knowing the layout of your items will make tidying up effective and quick. Want to know the secret to staying organized? Putting items back after you use it. It’s truly that easy! Once you are finished using something, don’t put it down, PUT IT AWAY!

Do you have any tips for smaller space living? Share it with us!

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Aug 04, 2021

The timing of this blog post is perfect! I just moved into a smaller space and have been challenged to find storage / organizational solutions in my new home. Thanks, Sara!

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