In the past 10 years, I’ve gone from living in a house, to a townhouse, to an apartment, actually several apartments as we moved across the country and were trying to find the right one. With these series of moves, I’ve become quite the pro at organizing small spaces. And along the way, I’ve picked up some great small space organizing ideas and hacks that have come in quite useful over the years.
Now we live in a 650 sq. foot apartment in the heart of downtown Toronto. Yes, tiny I know, but I love the space we’re in now and the location is immaculate. And while small space living definitely has its perks, organizing small spaces is not one of them.
Even if you’re home isn’t on the small side though, there are still plenty of great take aways here for you as well. Small home or not, we could all use a little help organizing and decluttering every now and again!
Tips & Tricks for Organizing Small Spaces
1. Organizing small spaces to create purpose and utility
If you live in a small space, you’ll know that every little square inch counts. Making small spaces functional that feel open and comfortable requires thoughtfulness and creativity.
Don’t have a closet? Find a slim clothing rack. Don’t have a pantry? Maximize your shelf space, and so on. You’ll have to be creative to create order within the confines of living in a small area.
The key to small space living is about living better with less. You should start by thinking about the activities or purpose you want the space to support first, then set things up accordingly to that.
Even though your space may be small, you should be able to comfortably do what you need to do. This should be the basis of every space, but especially for a small home or apartment, you’ll want things to be multi-functional and have purpose.
For me, that mean my living room has sufficient sitting area, my den has adequate desk space to work in, and my bedroom comfortably fits both my bed and has an area to clothing storage. Organizing my space around these key purposes allows even the small spaces of my home to be functional and useful.
2. Purge, purge, purge!
After several moves and the organizing and re-organizing in our many different homes, I’ve often found that the amount of space isn’t necessarily the problem. The problem is that we have too much stuff.
In this day and age, where we want to have the latest gadgets and the newest fashions, we’re forever buying new things and allowing the clutter to just grow and grow.
Now when it comes to throwing it out, all of a sudden it feels like a much harder thing to do. Many times we think, what if I need this …someday?
Well chances are, you won’t. I’ve lugged old books and old clothes across 3+ moves only to eventually throw them out. Realizing that if I truly wanted an uncluttered and organized home, they would have to go.
And guess what? There hasn’t been one thing that I’ve thrown out while I was decluttering that I absolutely needed later. (And if there was, you can always buy a new one, a better one or more suitable one)
If you can push past that mental block of being afraid to throw things away, it is seriously liberating once you’re done!
3. Maximize closet space – how to organize small closets
Closets are great because they’re the best place to hide clutter away in. The key to maximizing that space is knowing how to organize small closets.
By organizing the closet space you have properly, you can create opportunity to store more things efficiently, and in turn get rid of the clutter that you have in your open space.
Installing closet systems are a great option for creating functional areas in your closet. This divides the closet into smaller functional spaces to keep things organized.
Not able to put in custom shelving? You can still do things like placing a small dresser and shoe rack beneath your hanging clothes. Then you can put your folded items into the dresser and utilize the top of the dresser can hold accessories, or more frequently used items in an easily accessible basket.
Leave no closet space unused by filling any open shelves with small storage bins and baskets. Don’t forget to utilize wall spaces as well with jewelry or accessory hangers and even the unutilized top spaces of closets which leads to my next point below…
4. Utilize vertical space for small space organizing
When you are constrained by small spaces, you may not have a ton of floor space, but usually there’s no shortage of vertical wall space.
When it comes to seeking out storage spaces, go high whenever you can. This pic below is a great example using both vertical space and wall space.
Installing a simple set of brackets and shelving is an easy, affordable way to maximize high areas to help organize small closets and living areas. Add cute boxes and baskets to hide winter clothes, unused toys, and guest linens and keep them dust free.
You can even utilize vertical space on creating a storage wall in your den and living room. Bringing in tall book cases are another great option. And hiding your clutter in decorative boxes looks good while being functional as well.
5. Utilize low spaces for small space organizing
Another easy solution for small space organization is to add storage under your furniture, especially when it comes to ideas on how to organize a small bedroom.
Under the couch and dressers are another great place where you can turn into additional storage space with boxes and containers.
6. Take advantage of wall space
Utilizing bare wall space to hang some of your favorite items on the walls is also a great option for small space organizing.
Instead of taking up valuable closet or floor space. You can a create simple DIY decorative hanging project that’s great for items like all hats, accessories or jewelry.
You also try something like putting up wall hooks with shelving for organizing hanging items, which is great for entrance ways to hang up coats and jackets.
Below is a great example of how to organize a small kitchen using hanging wall storage and shelving.
7. Utilizing the backs of doors
Now that we’ve starting to use walls, why not extend that to doors?
For the bathroom you can hang your bath robes or extra towels there. And in your closet you can hang hoodies or jackets, or even accessories like belts or scarves.
My favorite are these 3M metal hooks, that look polished and don’t require any drilling, so they are easy to remove if you need to move.
The best part of utilizing doors, is that once you close them, you don’t see the clutter.
8. Work in dual-purpose furniture whenever possible.
Living in small space really forces you to rethink the functionality of your living room, bedroom, and kitchen.
These days there are many options for coffee table that turns into a storage unit, a bookshelf that doubles as a desk, or a sofa that can turn into a sleeper.
With tons of multipurpose furniture hacks that’ll make sure you buy smarter, not more, and help you maximize the space you have.
I have a few great examples of dual-purpose furniture above that are both functional and have storage tied in!
10. Be very choosy when it comes to buying things for your home.
This one is so key. I know it’s easy to walk down the aisles at Target or Homesense and want every single thing. I’ve totally been there myself.
But when considering purchasing something new for the home, I try to make sure it can serve multiple functions and isn’t a duplicate of something I already have.
I also try to apply the rule, that when I bring something new into the house, I also try to get rid of something else. This is especially true for clothes and shoes! (And toys if you have little ones!)
Before you buy something, think about where it will go. If you don’t have room for it or it will complicate or ruin one your other organizational systems, it shouldn’t come home with you. Be super picky because the clutter isn’t worth it!
For more great home posts:
- 15 Super Chic Ikea Home Hacks
- DIY Marble and Gold Breakfast Tray
- 20 Creative Sharpie Ideas to Decorate Your Home
- 5 Ways to Cozy Up Your Home
- Getting Your Home Ready For Fall
Hope you enjoyed this post on small space organizing!
If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments below!