Whether you’ve got a rustic cabin in the country or a streamlined pad in the big city, your current living situation may not involve lots of square footage. If that’s the case, becoming super savvy about storage is a must. Here are six organizational solutions for your small space that will help house your belongings without making your environment feel cramped or cluttered.
1. Buy containers that double as furniture, such as storage ottomans that can be tucked under a table when not in use then pulled out for extra seating when needed, or a vintage steamer trunk or wooden crate that also stands in as a cool coffee table.
2. Think outside the box and place a piece of strategically selected furniture in the bathroom, such as a small chest of drawers or a tall, but not too deep, shelving unit. Use the piece to house towels, bed linens, shower supplies, cosmetics and any other items appropriate for the bath and boudoir.
3. Fill up a large bookcase with books, photographs, your record collection, a lamp, etc., then use it as a boundary to divide spaces in your small home—for example, to separate the living room from the sleeping area in a studio apartment, or the dining room from a messy kitchen. Pro tip: paint the shelving unit the same color as your walls. The monochromatic look will make your home feel larger.
4. Instead of space-consuming nightstands, use shelving as the headboard for your bed to house your nighttime reading materials, personal accessories, jewelry, medicines, and more. Small items can be contained in attractive baskets and bins to avoid knocking around during sleep.
5. In the kitchen, place spice racks and/or small suction-cup receptacles on the insides of cabinet doors to hold cooking utensils, receipts and coupons, and other odds and ends. Use peg board on the wall near the stove, paint it the same color as your walls, and use hooks to hang your pots.
6. Use behind-the-door shoe holders on closet doors for way more than shoes. Fill the pockets with office supplies, hats and gloves, socks and underwear, arts and crafts supplies, and anything else that you’ve run out of room to fit in a drawer.
Once you start thinking in a small-space frame of mind, the ideas will keep flowing.