Thursday, March 27, 2014

Organizing Small Spaces and Places

A question I get asked often:

I have to say that there are much smaller spaces to live in than what we do. By all means, our 1,000 square foot house is not small - apartments and some houses are much smaller. Especially if you travel out of the country! I realize that some would dream of living in a house that is 1,000 sq. ft. So, I consider myself privileged and blessed.

The unfortunate thing is that we used to live like we had 1,500 sq. ft. house, causing clutter and tight spaces. I used to make the excuse that we didn't have enough closet space, that if we had just ONE more bedroom, or more shelves, that our closets and small spaces wouldn't be as cluttered.

Really? Yes, really. All they were, were excuses. One excuse after another.

It took some realization, some hard times, and a move, to help my husband and I (yes, my husband was all about organizing and simplifying) realize we can't live above the space we have. I wholeheartedly agree with the saying to not live above your means.

But I also firmly believe that one should not live above your SPACE.
If you don't have the space, you shouldn't give it a home in YOUR home!

To answer the question: How do you organized small spaces and places?
  • DECLUTTER! You may be looking for an answer describing everything but. But, this is the place to start! Before you can organize ANY space, you have to declutter and purge of all things unnecessary first. If you don't have enough space, just simply organizing it, isn't going to solve the problem. The problem is that you have too MUCH stuff in that space. So, the only way to solve this problem is to declutter and purge of all things not needed (not just wanted!)
Now that you are done getting rid of the unused, unnecessary, and unknown, now comes the fun part!

You may think you don't have that creative eye - you don't need to! All you have to do is be able to see the fullest potential in something. Here are a few ideas:

  • Hide a bed - if need a place for guests to sleep, consider making your living room or basement a "bedroom" 12 hours. Buy a couch with a hide a bed, to double it up as a couch AND bed! This is an easy solution and add a "second" bedroom in a jiffy!
  • Shelf above the door - looking for a place to store bathroom essentials or even items you don't use all that often? Install a shelf above the door, with 3 bins on top, that could hold extra medication and bathroom essentials!
  • Storage under bed - not enough dresser or closet space? You don't need to make fancy drawers for under your bed. All you need to do is buy a few storage containers or bins that fit under your bed, and store your seasonal clothing, shoes, etc. in these bins
  • Toilet storage - sounds crazy, right? What I mean is install a shelving unit above the toilet, whether it is just a wire rack or DIY shelving. The wall space above the toilet is what I call "dead space" because you can't really do anything with it, except now to add shelving and more storage in your bathroom!
  • Nail jewelry holder - are your earrings, necklaces, and bracelets tangled every morning? On the inside of your cupboard, hammer in a few nails into the side wall - you now have hangers for your necklaces! Use a little cup, dish, or bowl for your earrings and you now can get dressed with less stress in the morning!
  • Hang your pots and utensils - not enough drawer or cupboard space? You may have wall or ceiling space - consider hanging your pans as a practical storage and decorating idea! Same with your utensils - don't hide the beauty (or maybe not so "beauty") of your pans and utensils!
  • Totes and bags - you can't go wrong with totes. If you are unsure where to store your games for example, put them all in a large tote and store them downstairs or in a closet. If guests are over, all you have to do is pull up/out the tote, if you don't have enough space in your living room or den.
  • Coffee tables and end tables - don't underestimate the power of these! Get a coffee table or end table with shelves, that can store items you may not otherwise have room for!
These are just a few examples of how to organize small spaces and places. As my husband says, and with "smiling faces"! It isn't always easy to live in a small space, but living in small spaces also means living more with what you need and less of what you want. Since you don't have the space, you can't always keep what you want. Living small may mean living with the bare essentials, but know that it keeps the mind and home clear of the unnecessary clutter that may take over your life!

How do you organize small spaces and places?


  1. Oh are SO speaking my language! We are currently living in about 900 Sq Ft...and after 4 years I am finally starting to embrace it...I started a Pintrest board called Me and My Small Space...I will add you post there :-) In 22 years of marriage we have never had a HUGE space...and honestly I don't know what we would do with it...oh wait...yes I do...move clutter, more cleaning...more STUFF...I don't need that...I need to Live Life with JOY in my Small Space :-) Have a fabulous weekend!!

    1. I am glad we are thinking on the same wave lengths :). Having that bigger space, does beg to be filled with more stuff. Joy truly can be found in small spaces and that is what I LOVE!

  2. Kristin,
    You have inspired and HUGE declutter fest in our small cozy home this spring and we are loving it. Thank you for all of your great posts and the insperation to live intentionally and rid ourselves of the excess. Both being only children, and only grandchildren, we had inherited A LOT of things over the years that neither of us really care for, or need. It was also taking up valuable space in our small home. Now we are able to enjoy our home that God has given us even more than ever. Thank you again.

    1. Ah, those are the BEST! Declutter fests! I found myself doing that with the food on my shelves this week (items I haven't used in 9 months to a year - going straight to the local food shelf!) Inheriting can really do a number to your home, as you want to keep things for sentimental value, but in reality, you don't have much use for. Being able to step back and be thankful for the space (no matter how little it may be), is humbling and in the end, I think makes us even more grateful, which is what you are :). Thank you for taking the time to send this encouraging comment Kathy! It is much appreciated!



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