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With these five tips, you can make the most of any space, no matter how small.


Small spaces are cozy, comfortable and practical in many ways. But to keep a home feeling as spacious and streamlined as possible, you will likely need to pay more careful attention to what you keep and how you store those items.

Any home, either big or small, can become overly cluttered and disorganized if you aren’t committed to the process of evaluating what you keep and how you organize the space you have.

Here are five smart tips that will help you make the most of any small space—or a small space within a larger home.

Streamline the visual impact.

Too much stuff in a small space makes a small house look and feel crowded. What could be hidden away behind closed doors to allow your room to feel more spacious and airy? How could you pare down or consolidate what you have to store so you have more breathing room in cabinets, drawers and closets? Streamlining each space will make your home feel more comfortable.

Focus on the vertical.

If you have limited floor space, it makes sense to make the most of every square foot you have available. Look around at what pieces are taking up that valuable floor space. If you have a basket on the floor for dog leashes or shoes, it could be providing useful storage but may not be as effective for a small space as a vertical storage piece or even a few hooks mounted on the wall instead.

Downsize your containers.

If you use containers or storage pieces that are larger than you actually need, you may be wasting precious space. Start organizing by grouping together items in categories first; that way you can see what you have. When you evaluate how much physical space each category requires, you might find you could be using a smaller drawer, bin, cabinet or storage box and therefore maximizing space.

Make it pleasant.

If you are feeling cramped in your space, consider what might change the overall experience of living in your home. Think about how well everything functions and how you feel when you are in the space.

In a small home you might feel like you have no other choice when organizing but to cram as much as possible into limited closet space. Yet, if you’re frustrated every time you need to find something in the closet, it is time to rethink why, where and how you store items.

Don’t forget, less is more.

Organizing a small space often means you have to streamline what you keep to maximize the space you have. Decluttering might seem like an obvious first step, but it can be hard to know where to begin in a small space.

A good place to start might be to consider whether you have multiples of items in a space. Keeping six pots you don’t use regularly will take up more space than having three you love and use all the time. Instead of four small kitchen appliances you don’t often use, keep one that offers several functions you use the most.

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Do you have lesser-used things that could be pared down? Perhaps you tend to reach for a favorite knife for chopping more often than the food processor because it is easier to clean or completes the task more quickly than wrestling an appliance out from a dark or hard-to-reach cupboard.

Have you experienced any frustration with getting organized in a small space? What solutions have you found?

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About the Author

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels is the author and creator of one of the top home decorating blogs on the web, The Inspired Room. She has been featured on such sites and publications as, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal.

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  • sandyc

    Again, Melissa, perfect timing. Just checked the Challenge assignment for the day and it’s Less Is More with you question about the worst clutter magnet in your home. For me, by far, it’s my lack of work surface in my open office with lack of convenient storage (the lack of kitchen work surface is next). Because I have multiple business things to do today, sorting through the clutter was going to be my first assignment anyway. I’ll never move my office into an enclosed guest bedroom as I’ve tried in the past – I just realized it’s never worked for me and I’ve been converting another area in my apartment for years. While I was married and we bought a house, my office was a partially walled area off the open entry/LR/DR and that worked well and life was perfect with tons of work surface and tons of convenient storage. My current D’office is the former dining room area of my open foyer/DR/LR arrangement with only two short walls (one to the kitchen entry and the other with two slightly angled windows which end below desk height and don’t allow for placement of a desk. I’ve come up with a good arrangement for the desk and placement of my monitor and keyboard to accommodate a chronic vision/focusing defect but unfortunately it needs to be to my left and the room layout favors the right. It’s been a work in progress for way too long and I haven’t found the perfect inspiration solution yet but I will certainly work on today’s assignment and at least put all the papers in appropriate stacks, get my work done and then tonight work on temporary storage places for each of those work areas while I press on.

    • melissa @ the inspired room

      Yay, that’s great Sandy! I’m glad you’ll be working on the assignment. I hope it all comes together for you!

  • Joie Mojica

    One of the considerations that you should have in mind when streamlining small spaces is moving space. That is why it is advisable to get wood blinds or curtains instead of actual wall dividers to separate one area from the other. You can easily draw them open to make the room look bigger or when you require the extra space. And yes, I agree with you, less is definitely more when it comes to decorating a functional space. More ideas can be read from this post.

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