How To Live in a Small Space: The Best Tips!

Reader Intelligence Report

All this month we've been culling small space design ideas from you, our expert readers. And you didn't disappoint! Your tips and strategies prove that small space living is totally doable with a little planning, ingenuity, and discipline. Check out some of the best tips below:

Design for small spaces should be treated like packing a suitcase. Decide what you need/want and then remove half. Monochromatic colors with interesting pops of color. Nothing heavy to the eye. Remove "clutter" and search for conversation objects ie vases, small sculptures, textural objects that give you joy. - Aligal
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Make sure your storage is stackable, and can double as a display table. Make sure that storage is also attractive - metal and glass, not plastic. Install a ton of hooks. Look around the house for spare stuff that can also be used in an emergency: coats, flashlights, tools, etc. Put them in buckets, and store them in the trunk of your car. - Emmi
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Organization and storage! This is the key to living in a small space. Only keep what you actually use. Give everything an assigned spot in your home and keep those items there. It's so much easier living in a small space when you know where things are, and when items are out of sight. Might I add that it's much easier to clean when you live with less! - SewTrashy
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Try not to move every year. I know what some will argue: moving helps you edit. While that's true, I think it's common to make a purchase that solves a problem in your current apartment, but that purchase may be obsolete in your next space. The more you move, the more you'll buy (or invest time DIYing) to fix the quirks of your new space. - Akay
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Don't buy new things but reconsider the possibilities of the stuff you already own. You'll be surprised to see what a vase can do, besides holding flowers. - Sooso
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If you entertain, try to use things that can break down and store or tuck into a corner. TV tray tables make good laptop stands or a place to spread out with homework or paperwork. Folding chairs, as always, store quickly and easily - they don't always have to be the gross steel ones either. - ElectricKatie
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Smart spending. Less space = less items = more quality for the same cost. Plus high end items are generally more durable. Buy large pieces in classic styles and accent with smaller, cheaper items so when you get tired of them you won't feel so bad donating and buying new ones. - LovieDovie
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Have some big pieces instead a lot of small ones. Sounds crazy, but big pieces will make it look less like a miniature apartment and will help to make the place look bigger. A large painting or large carpet are a good example... Keep it down, not to many crazy patterns everywhere. Solid colors on the walls and couch/bedding makes the place look bigger then it is, really! If you want an accent wall, paint the one that elongates the place in the right direction. Usually this is the shortest wall. Also, the 60-30-10 rule works well for colors; too many colors/patterns/items will make the place look crammed. - YB
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My advice is to try to expose the floor as much as possible so get furnitures with legs; pedestal table seems ideal because it only has 1 leg. I paid extra $$$ to get my TV professional wall mounted and the wires threaded behind the wall and into a closet where the dvd player, cable box, IR receiver, wi-fi, and landline phone (for emergency) are hidden. This way I don't need a media console and it free up floor space and therefore exposing the floors and making my space appear bigger. - Zenezie
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Want more tips? Check out 2010's Reader Intelligence Report on small spaces: 25 Easy Tips, Strategies, and Ideas for Small Space Living

(Image: Liz Vidyarthi/Re-Nest)

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