Living in small spaces means that the need to be organised is heightened compared to others who have the luxury of ample room.
Real estate equals dollars and many people are choosing to live with less square metreage to save on the big ticket home purchase.
Also, the demographic of single, couples or ‘partners living separately’ is growing, and coupled with exorbitant rents and interest rate repayments, more people are thinking twice before committing themselves to the stress of owning larger properties.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to pare down your possessions to fit into the storage capacities of your space. You have to be clever and organised. Tidy is great, minimal best.
Living with mess will only cause stress, frustration and angst, turning the feeling of calm we should have returning to our homes into anxiety and nagging concerns. (Image Source Courtesy of alkemie.blogspot.com.au).
Here are some tips to help you get organised for small space living.
· Get rid of clutter. Obvious, I know, but really important. Every single thing that you have in your space should be something that you need or love. Preferably both. No exceptions. Tough love. If you can (when you buy something) buy the best quality, most gorgeous looking and physically streamlined product that you can so that it gives you long life (ultimately saving money), pleasure in using it (meaning it satisfies those pleasure sensors – may save you thoughtless feel-good purchases in the future...) and looks great (so that if you need to have it in view, it only adds to your decor).
· Every time you handle something – decide – do you need/love it? If not, discard or recycle. Great successes come from fast decisions. You can do it!
· Choose products and items which are sleek, see-through, foldable, and stackable or have double uses. Think glass coffee tables (less visual ‘weight’,) boxes that double as seating, bookshelves as room dividers.
· Hide clutter behind doors. Get rid of outdated linen and store winter blankets in well-fitting plastic boxes, with silica bags to prevent damp, or keep the clear plastic, zipped bags that linen often comes in and use the linen cupboard as a bookcase – less visual cacophony and dusting! YAY!
· Use tailor-made products that maximise usefulness of space. Remember the iconic Hills Hoist? Now they make a couple of great products for small space or apartment dwellers a pull-out clothes line that you can attach inside or out - to pull out when you have light washing to dry. The other – we LOVE this one - is a folding clothes rack airer...wait for it...that’s tall enough for sheets, but folds away to hang on the back of a door – out of view! Perfect! Simple google for these products to find a solution near you.
· Choose furniture or cabinets that have legs which elevate them off the floor, so that you can see under the piece. More visual floor space equals more perceived room.
· Invest in storage.
Setting yourself up with quality storage products needn’t cost you a fortune and will last for years. Stackable tubs with well-fitting lids, see-through boxes for convenience, gorgeous decorative boxes which double as ornaments, lateral filing systems
instead of the conventional filing cabinets. I have a classic white cupboard specifically made for lateral files at home and I LOVE it! Double up with books and office supplies.
· Invest in pieces, keep details to a minimum. Avoid ‘ornaments’, opting instead for beautiful bowls and vases, boxes, candle holders etc. for interest.
· Buy CD pocket cases, and banish the endless collections of dust-gathering, space-eating CD cabinets. (This is a toughie for most people!) Better yet, buy your music from iTunes and go digital – how many songs can you store on your iPhone?? Ridiculous! (Back them up, of course!)
· Try the ‘less-is-more’ approach. Only buy what you LOVE, not just what you fancy, or think you ‘should’ like or ‘may’ need. If you are adjusting and fiddling with the blouse that you loved on the hanger before you even leave the shop, leave it at the shop. Do you really need 20 t-shirts?
· I have read about some people who keep their spare sheets between their mattress and box spring! Now that’s inventive – and just a bit scary! Whatever works...
· Use the walls! I am constantly encouraging people to use walls as storage areas – these are hugely under-utilised in most spaces. Install shelves, ledges and hanging cabinets or containers to give you more storage space without taking up floor space. In the kitchen, hang pots and pans from the ceiling.
· Visit places like IKEA
for ideas and products for more storage savvy for home, business and home-office storage ideas.
We always LOVE to get feedback and ideas from our readers, clients and friends. Please post YOUR ideas onto this blog and help other people out with your advice. We’d love to hear from you!