How To Stay Organized When You Are Lacking In Space

Do you ever scroll Pinterest and drool over the meticulously labeled and color-coordinated organization some homes have? I mean, my home could look like that too if I also had a walk-in pantry and an extra bedroom just for my clothes, right? Since that’s not quite the case here in our tiny 800-square-foot home, I’ve had to get creative. If you live in a smaller space, or maybe your layout doesn’t include any space for dedicated storage, you’ll also have to employ some creative techniques to stay organized.

Wall space is your BFF

Now, there’s a balance here because once you start adding stuff to the walls, the space starts to feel smaller. But you can strategically use all of your wall space as extra storage. Go vertical whenever you can to get stuff up off the floor and out of drawers. Utilize pocket organizers, floating shelves, wall systems and mounted storage solutions to help maximize your square footage.

via our home tour with Jimmy + Damien


But magnets are a close second

Kitchen utensils and cooking appliances are huge space-suckers when you live in a smaller space. Magnetic solutions are a super helpful and functional way to keep your kitchen must-haves easily accessible. Try adding a magnetic spice rack to the side of your refrigerator, or a paper towel rack. You can even utilize a magnetic knife holder rather than taking up precious counter space with a cumbersome knife block.


Opt for furniture that doubles as storage

via our home tour with Crystal Ann

This is kind of a no-brainer, right? But truthfully, storage ottomans are my best friend. You can also opt for bedroom furniture with built-in storage or even a simple end table that doubles as a magazine rack. You can even find two-fold uses for singular pieces. For example, if you have a small space, use a cool vintage dresser as a TV stand in the living room or even a computer monitor if the piece is low enough. If your space is truly extra small and you don’t want to add more furniture into the mix, consider functional furniture that can be folded away when not in use, thus clearing the floor for any needed storage.


Go overhead

via our home tour with Alyssa Garrison

Do you have a lot of books? Same. Install shelves over your bed (maybe put your paperbacks on this shelf if your area is prone to earthquakes) and above doorways. We rarely utilize that space above doors, and it’s a perfect place for singular floating shelves that you can use to display books or other décor that could be possibly taking up space. You can even utilize the space above doorways that no one really sees, like the inside of your garage, as a place to store toilet paper and other household items.

One thing in = one thing out

This is a very important rule in our house. Because it’s easy for crap to pile up when you’re busy, especially if you have kids. But when we buy something for our home, we absolutely have to get rid of something already in our house. It’s one thing in…one thing out for us. It also helps us really think through our purchases and decide if we truly need something before taking the leap. It’s a system that really helps keep clutter at bay and also focus on the items you truly love and add value to your home. We like to keep a “helping box” for these types of items. Buy a new sweater? Add one you already own to the “helping box” for someone in need of warm clothes. Did your kid earn a new toy this week? Have them pick one out that they no longer play with and add it to “helping box” for a child who doesn’t have any toys to play with. It helps minimize clutter and also helps people in need. 

via our home tour with Dee Tang

Picture the end result

I’ve a big visualizer, and I think it’s a step a lot of people overlook when working on organizing their small spaces. Take a second, close your eyes and try to picture yourself enjoying the newly organized space. Now, lock it in. What was in that mental picture? Where did all of your stuff live? It’s a simple mental trick that’s especially helpful when you’re having a hard time parting with things you’ve held onto for years. 

via our home tour with Sophie Carpenter

Purge like you’re moving

When you move from one home to another the first thing you do is toss all of the stuff you don’t want to pack and bring along to the next space. Well, if you wouldn’t take it with you when you “move,” why would you hold onto it any longer? If you have ever looked at an item and wondered if you should hang onto it “just in case,” ask yourself: If you had to move tomorrow, would you bother moving it? If the answer is “no,” then out it goes.

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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram