Keeping Small Living Places Clean and Tidy
Clutter! I have spoken this word repeatedly in my posts on small space organizing. In order to live small you must alleviate clutter and stay tidy at all times. Procrastination has no place in small space living and organization. This is especially important when you want to talk about cleanliness. It is very hard to keep a small space clean if you can’t get to it through the clutter to clean it.
Every inch of an apartment counts when the floor space is limited. When an entire apartment or even just a few rooms are smaller than the last living space, it can feel cramped and cluttered.
I now write this from experience as I have just down-sized from 3500 sq ft. to 500 sq ft.
Here are some of my suggestions:
-Use your vertical space. For example, go with a bookcase that goes floor to ceiling instead of a shorter one that just catches clutter on top.
-Multipurpose furniture; for example, an ottoman that opens for storage or a trunk or chest doubling as a coffee table or side table.
-Hang a set of hooks on the backs of room doors and the insides of cabinet doors.
-Use the perimeter of the room. Install shelves eighteen inches below the ceiling on all or some of the walls.
-Store items under the bed. There are lots of bed frames with 2 to 4 drawers attached.
-Hang items like pots and pans. There are also hanging cutlery and spoodle tins – both of which free up drawer space.
-A decorator table with a floor length tablecloth disguises storage area underneath.
-Use a closet as your makeshift mudroom
-Try placing an Armour in or near the entryway. The doors can still hold hooks and the shelving and hanging space will be much appreciated. (If adding an Armour would make the walkway too narrow, see if it is possible to recess the armoire into the wall.) An armoire can also be used as a craft area, as a home office, as a work and tool area, as a bar, as a gardening area, as a laundry station etc. Many can be found in second hand stores with just a bit of refinishing needed.
-Place a baker’s rack in the entryway. The shelves and cabinets should do the trick.
-Use a small chest of drawers works well as an end table.
-Roll all house hold towels so you can fit more on the shelf. Store rolled towels in a wall-mounted towel rack or a wine rack. You can also purchase a towel stand, which fits about ten folded towels, or stand rolled towels on end in a basket.
-Buy small furniture or trading in overstuffed chairs and couches for sleek, minimalist designs.
-Set a flat panel television above a fireplace or on the largest wall. Mount it with written permission from the landlord.
-Hang lightweight brackets and use shelves on the wall to store DVDs, CDs and even small stereo systems.
-Get a coffee table that has a bottom shelf and store items like magazines, books and children’s toys in baskets.
-Buy an end table that features a built-in lamp and magazine rack.
-A rolling cart with various sized baskets is a great solution for items that may move from room to room. For example, keep art supplies, sewing materials, laptop on this rack. It easily rolls from the living room to the kitchen table and hides away in a bedroom when company visits.
-Get rid of appliances that are rarely used or are not multi-purpose. Hard I know but a must do!
-Use a folding card table and chairs if there is no room for a stationary dining table, as they can be stored anywhere there is some wall space, such as the back of a closet or underneath a bed. Dress them up with a nice tablecloth and chair covers.
-Use tall wire racks that stand above the toilet provide shelving for towels, toiletries and other necessities.
-Increase the sink space by getting a small shelf that sits on the back of the counter, going over the faucet.
Tips to Stay Organized
Get Rid of Clutter!!!!!
Getting the right furniture, shelving and storage units is essential to organizing a small space. However, maintaining that organization requires constant attention. Follow these tips to stay organized in a small apartment:
-Upon entering, immediately put shoes and coats in their rightful place.
-Discard any junk mail immediately, filing the rest in their appropriate spot.
-Have children pick up their toys before bedtime every night.
-Think twice before purchasing a knickknack or other decorative item.
-For every decoration purchased, get rid of a current decor piece.
-Follow a weekly checklist for house cleaning that helps keep things looking neat and tidy.
-Hold a yard sale a month after moving in, to help fund storage solutions and get rid of items that do not fit in the apartment.
Staying organized in a small apartment is a process. Purchasing solutions can get expensive, so tackle one room at a time. Keep it organized by doing weekly room maintenance and cleaning.
Take it from me – this is the hardest thing I have had to do. I love to keep everything – just in case!!
Good Luck! I know I need it now more than ever.