Small Space Living: 4 Tips for Fighting Common Small Space Frustrations

Small Space Living: 4 Tips for Fighting Common Small Space Frustrations

Adrienne Breaux
Nov 15, 2014

Even when you've managed to master every small-space living tip there is, living in a small space can still be frustrating sometimes. But, there are a few ways you can fight common frustrations and enjoy more of your small home more of the time. Here are four common small space frustrations and their solutions.

(Image credit: Balingslov)

1. Frustration: You're sick of having to do so much work to get to things

Solution: Simplify (and smarten) storage
There are a lot of clever ways to maximize the space you do have in a small home, but not all of them may work for your lifestyle, especially if the storage solutions take three or more steps to get to what you need. First make sure that the stuff you need and use most frequently isn't the stuff that takes 5 boxes to go through to get to. Consider just displaying your daily items on shelves or hanging from storage solutions (works especially well in kitchens).

(Image credit: Ailine Liefeld)
Organizing everything into smaller boxes in one larger basket may have seemed like a great idea at the time, but if getting to something is like going through a set of Matryoshka nesting dolls, try cutting down. Don't be afraid to rearrange where you store things if it makes more sense for how you use your space. Consider a function makeover of your home to see where you might need to make these storage adjustments.

(Image credit: Better Homes & Gardens)

2. Frustration: It feels like you're drowning in stuff

Solution: Get creative to hide stuff you're storing
Or you could have the complete opposite problem of the frustration above: You might have too much of your stuff too accessible all the time, making it feel like you live in a store rather than a home. So do the opposite as the above suggestion, and take down or store creatively stuff you hardly ever use. Make use of baskets, boxes, and other closet and cabinet tools to effectively tuck away the things you need, you just don't need all the time.

And then of course, you're going to want to keep the flood of stuff from drowning you by keeping to a declutter schedule — make actual dates with yourself to regularly go through your home to pare down your stuff — and make it fun when you do declutter with music or some other treat so you don't end up dreading it. And, you'll want to make sure you keep things in balance and don't find yourself sliding into frustration number one by simply checking in regularly to see how you're using your space and being aware of when something you've tucked away is something you're using more often than you thought you would.

3. Frustration: You don't enjoy any of the compact furniture pieces you bought

Solution: Pick the furniture that's comfortable for you

There are lots of tricks you can try when it comes to maximizing space or decreasing the visual heaviness in a small home. Like going for furniture that is compact or small-sized. Like fold-able chairs, or small ottomans with extra storage. Installing a standing cafe bar for eating instead of a small table. All these ideas are great for maximizing space — but only if they work for how you use the space. If you find yourself not using or enjoying a room you've tried some of these tricks in, make a change! Even if your changes don't follow specific space maximizing "rules."

4. Frustration: You feel like you don't have enough room to entertain

Solution: Entertain anyway
Even if you can't fit a 12-top dining table in a dedicated dining room doesn't mean you shouldn't ever invite folks over. You can get smart with fitting dining solutions in your small space, whatever the size. Or you could DIY a bunch of floor pillows for a cocktail party around a coffee table. Hold a board game night. Sprinkle snacks around the home and let folks perch anywhere they please. There are options, and the best way to not feel frustrated is to simply take the leap, accept your home's small imperfections and enjoy some company anyway!

What are the small space frustrations you're looking for solutions to?

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