8 Organizing & Cleaning Solutions a Small-Space Expert Always Recommends to Clients

updated Jun 14, 2023
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Credit: Sylvie Li

As a small-space expert, I help clients solve all the different dilemmas that come along with living in a home that’s short on square footage. Some issues, like a messy disposition, are difficult to solve and may take time and changes in behavior; Others, like a disorganized junk drawer, are easily solved by buying a product that makes their space an easier, happier place to live.

No small space is exactly the same — and that’s exciting — but over the years I have seen themes and patterns emerge among the problems of my clients. From making the most of kitchen cabinets to organizing out-of-season clothes, there are some universal issues that homeowners deal with regardless of the size of their homes. Below are eight solutions I find myself recommending to clients (and friends!) over and over again.

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In a small space, dust, hair, and other allergens can accumulate really quickly. Unfortunately, many air purifiers are bulky, unattractive, and take up a lot of floor space. This stylish Energy Star-rated HEPA air purifier by Rabbit Air is thin enough to be mounted on the wall and filters up to 815 square feet.

2 / 8

In small homes, the space under the bed is a convenient place to store out-of-season clothing or extra linens. What I like about these plastic storage bins is that the tops flip up from both sides, making them accessible from either side of the bed. That way, you don’t have to pull out the entire container to find that one, elusive item.

3 / 8

Pull-out garbage cans hide your trash from view and help save on precious floor space, but, for some reason, many of my clients believe that pull-out garbages are something only wealthy people have in their homes. I’m happy to report that affordable pullout garbage cans exist! This kit from Rev-A-Shelf is fairly inexpensive and easily installed, even by a novice DIYer.

4 / 8
was $27.55

Many of my clients are renters or DIY shy. And that’s OK! For the folks that don’t want to install shelves or drill into their wall, I always recommend a magnetic shelf for organizing and easily grabbing spices or cooking oils. This shelf requires zero installation, instantly turns your refrigerator into a shelf, and frees up precious counter space.

5 / 8
was $35.99

I constantly find myself recommending rope baskets to clients because they’re inexpensive, fit with a lot of different decor styles, and won’t scratch hardwood floors. Even small messes can look big in a tiny space, and large baskets are perfect for those times when you or your little ones need to pick up a mess quickly and easily. These baskets from Amazon, in particular, are great because they're machine-washable. (After spilling a cup of coffee directly inside my basket, I can attest to it!)

6 / 8

I’ve been recommending space-saving hangers for years, but these "no bump" space-saving hangers from MAWA are a recent discovery for me. They not only take up less space in your closet, but they also protect your clothing from the dreaded hanger shoulder bump. Win-win.

7 / 8
was $29.99

Even though many of my clients try to use reusable grocery bags as much as possible, they still find themselves with a surplus of plastic grocery bags. This wall-mounted dispenser from Simplehuman makes organizing and grabbing plastic bags quick and easy.

8 / 8
was $61.89

Protecting important and precious documents should be a priority in all homes, not just small ones. I recommend Honeywell's Waterproof and Fireproof Chest for my clients because it’s large enough to hold letter size, A4, and legal size documents flat, but it’s also small enough to carry out of your home in an emergency.