Organize & Clean

10 Tips For Small Space Living

updated Jun 8, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

As we leave kitchen and bathroom month we’ll be diving headfirst into our 5th Annual Smallest Coolest Contest and a month full of inspiration and tips for small spaces. Lots of people are choosing to downsize or are just tackling some spring cleaning in their small spaces. So to kick off April we’ve compiled a top ten list for living large in a small or just smaller space:

Double duty. We try to find and highlight furniture that does more than one thing: an ottoman that also provides storage, a bench to sit on, put your tv on or store baskets underneath, etc.

Regular edits. We run the Cure each spring and Fall and even if you don’t want to commit to the whole thing, it’s a great way to make sure you’re reviewing your possessions twice a year to keep them to only the things you use and/or love. Sell your extra stuff on craigslist, use freecycle or just donate it at the local goodwill, get that stuff out of your house so that you have more space for living! Check out the Spring Cure in its 3rd week.

Convert a closet. A friend recently moved into a small studio and had too much furniture to fit into the room so we figured out that since she doesn’t have that many clothes, the bookshelf (and later possibly her desk) can fit easily in half the closet without cluttering things up.

Go vertical. All those waist high shelves you have are great, but if you really want to maximize storage, have those shelves go all the way up. If you keep them tidy and just have one wall of shelving it won’t overwhelm or clutter the space.

Digitize media. We ripped all of our cd’s onto a hard drive and made some extra cash and freed up a ton of space. Next we tackling our record collection.

Have a landing strip. This will keep clutter from overwhelming a small space. It could be as simple as a hook for you coat and a shair for your bag and mail. Just something so that when you walk in the door everything in your arms doesn’t end up on the bed or the floor.

Have a space for everything. If something doesn’t have a home, it’s not going to get put away and will likely be sitting around for months. Use some small space shelving ideas to make sure that you have enough room for the things you own.

Put your apartment on a diet. This is good for your space and your pocketbook. Only bring things in if you’re taking something out. This way more stuff isn’t accumulating and it gives you a chance to really consider your purchases and whether you’re willing to give something up for it.

And finally, we asked you what you’re best tips are and here they are ranging from using furniture with legs because they feel lighter in a space to taking your time when purchasing furniture. Our favorite quote from reader, marigael:

stop designing for who people expect you to be. find out who you are & what you need. then, start to edit.”


For more check out our archives or one of these posts:
15 Design Tips from Jonathan Adler
Top Ten Organizing Tips from Chez Larsson
6 tips for Sustainable Living That are Easy To Do
Finding Space for a Home Office
Look! Small Space Living in a Garbage Truck
How Having Less is Having More