Size Doesn't Matter: The Benefits of Living Small Cool

This past month we have seen some truly inspiring submissions for Small Cool 2012, in everything from Teeny Tiny to Small Spaces. Now it's time to break down why living large doesn't always have to come in big packages...I have lived in my fair share of small dwellings over the years and there is no doubt that square-foot challenged homes force you to rethink how you live in your space. I have gathered some of the tips about making the most of a Small Cool space that I and many of our contestants have learned over the years.

Double-Duty: Every space has a vital purpose (if not two), and that goes for furniture and surfaces as well. Always continue to look for new, unique, and quirky solutions.

Storage Sympathies: Storage is always an issue, so finding any space that can be utilized is important. Under the bed storage, floor to ceiling shelving, building temporary closets, and furniture choices are all things that will help keep your belongings where they belong.

Keeping Clean: Every home strives to stay tidy and clean, but it is an absolutely necessity in a smaller home. You don't have the extra closet or drawer space to shove things in for one, and any mess that has accumulated is seen from everywhere and is often taking up valuable space. One of the best things about smaller homes is that they are quicker to clean, so it's that much easier to stick to a cleaning regimen.

Creative Decorating: You have to think a bit outside of the box in order to create the style and atmosphere you want without it getting overwhelming. Furniture choices, textures, colors, lighting, flow and layout are that much more important in a space where everything is reflected in each other so closely.

Keeping What Counts: Getting rid of your possessions because of the confines of your space is really quite liberating. You don't end up with a closet full of clothes you haven't touched in years or tchotchkes that are just gathering dust. Everything you have in your home is something you decided was worth it, and you start to love it in a whole new way.

Stop Before You Shop: When you don't have anywhere to store new goodies, you have to really think how important that impulse buy really is. It helps put a completely new pecking order on what you purchase and can ultimately save you loads of money.

Controlling Clutter: Everything should have a home. Finding ways to keep your stuff and your routine organized will keep your space from looking like you're a hoarder.

Let's Entertain: It can be daunting to entertain in a small space and make sure that people are comfortable, but don't let that deter you. Just keep it in mind when you are arranging your home and choosing furniture.

Healthy Communication: Sharing your itty bity living space with another person can definitely make you work on your communication skills. Additionally, finding ways to have your own private retreat areas when you need alone time is of utmost importance.

(Image: Ricardo's Little Details)

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