This Tidy Toronto Condo is Packed with Organizing Ideas You’ll Want to Steal
Name: Vaishali Sahni (Mom), Kiran Krishnamurthy (Dad), Isha Krishnamurthy (5 year old), Kian Krishnamurthy (3 year old) and Josh Krishnamurthy (1 year old)
Location: Downtown Toronto
Size: 850 square feet
Years Lived In: 4.5 years, renting
This house tour is the second in a handful of organizing experts’ homes we’ll be touring this month. January is a great time for a fresh start (speaking of which, have you joined our January Cure yet?) and seeing inside the homes of organizing experts—and reading their advice—will hopefully inspire your home in 2020.
Vaishali has lived in a few small spaces in her life, and has experience finding room in space-challenged homes. Expertise she shares with others through “Tiny and Tidy,” where she specializes in teaching folks how to declutter, clean, and even meal plan (her videos on YouTube take on topics like organizing under the sink, freezer organization, and more). She also incorporates minimalism into her work and life, and it’s this philosophy—plus her serious organizing and labeling skills—that has helped her family of five fit comfortably (and orderly!) in this modestly sized two-bedroom Toronto condo.
Living on the smaller side was originally only temporary for Vaishali and her family, though. They were fortunate to purchase a house-to-triplex conversion in Toronto’s Bloordale Village, and in 2014 when they had their first child, Isha, they were living in a one-bedroom unit in the triplex, while renting out the other units… with plans to renovate the triplex back into a single family home in the future.
“We had a smaller than average crib on wheels and would wheel her crib out of our bedroom and into the living room so that we wouldn’t disturb her sleep. By the time she turned 10 months old, we decided that we needed a second bedroom and that was when we started renting the condo we currently live in. We didn’t put much thought into the rental, we thought it would just be a temporary solution and then we’d eventually renovate the triplex and convert it into our family home. Almost five years and three kids later, we’re still in the condo. We ended up loving our cozy 850-square-foot unit and didn’t want to take on a huge renovation project. Our kids are still young, so they always want to be around us and don’t need the extra space yet.”
Every room of this family’s condo is meticulously arranged to function well for two adults and three young children. Instead of a rug or coffee table in the living room, an extra large yoga mat serves as a soft play space and exercise spot. Subtle storage hides kids’ toys out of sight. Vaishali’s pantry and refrigerator are a label fan’s dream. Every drawer and closet has been divided and conquered. Even the condo’s entryway has been transformed into a “mud room.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Child-friendly, minimalist in progress, tiny and tidy
Inspiration: IKEA, minimalist, and Scandinavian interiors
Favorite Element: Our extra-large yoga mat has to be the most used and practical element in this condo. It’s great for the kids to play on and easy to clean. Kiran also works out on it when the kids are in bed. It’s not colorful like most playmats, which makes the space look less cluttered. We used this mat so much that it wore out on one side, so we flipped it over, used the other side. We then recently replaced it with a new one.
Biggest Challenge: Finding storage space for all of our stuff was definitely our biggest challenge. Discovering minimalism is what has helped us overcome this. We now purge regularly and only keep what we value in our home. If we don’t use it or love it, it gets donated.
Proudest DIY: Our “mudroom” makes me pretty happy because I figured out a way to create it without having a lot of space. It’s more of a mud hallway than a room, but it serves the same purpose. Each child now has their own coat rack. I also created a family schedule board for this space that helps Kiran and I keep track of everyone’s activities and reminders.
Biggest Indulgence: The restaurant scene that Toronto has to offer is definitely our biggest indulgence. Choosing to live in the city allows us to walk to a variety of restaurants down the street. We also spend way too much money ordering everything from Japanese, Italian, Jamaican, to Thai and Chinese food.
Best Advice: People often think that getting organized takes too much time. In reality, it takes a lot less time than you think. Simply break it down into smaller tasks and start with one area and then move on to another once it’s complete. Eventually, you will end up saving time once everything has been decluttered and organized. Time won’t be wasted managing and cleaning things you don’t value. You also won’t waste time looking for things anymore, since everything will be organized and have a home.
Thanks (Insert Name Here)!
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*Correction: We added a link to the under-sofa storage containers.