Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has twenty years of experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, internet and media, travel and lifestyle, website content, app recommendations, and content for blogs. Visit her online magazine at www.mustardseedsentinel.com.
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How to Maximize Small Spaces with These Organizing Tips
by Joanne Troppello
We recently downsized and moved to a new home. Living in a smaller home, condo, or apartment can be difficult—especially if you previously lived in a larger place. Unless you want to live in a cluttered space, you may need to get creative with how you organize the new place.
I have almost finished unpacking. I tackled the kitchen, linen closet, and bathroom first. I definitely had to get creative. It took a bit longer to get everything unpacked because I had to figure out how to make everything fit into our smaller place. If you need to organize a smaller space—whether your home, office, or other area, consider using some of the following organization tips.
Begin with decluttering. We didn’t want to bring unnecessary items to our new place, so in addition to packing, I needed to do a lot of decluttering. It felt good purging our clothes, furniture, and unwanted items.
Some items like our dresser and clothes we gave to Liberty Thrift Ministries, which is a local thrift store that supports a prison ministry. Other items like our highboy dresser we sold on the Let Go app. We also listed items for sale on various local Facebook yard sale groups.
Decluttering ensured that we moved with less items and didn’t have to waste time unpacking unnecessary things at the new place. Now, maybe you’re not moving, but are dealing with a cluttered home and need to improve your living environment. Decluttering can help you take back control and feel like you have room to breathe again.
Sometimes when you live in smaller places you need to clearly define your living area. For example, maybe your spare bedroom must function as a guest bedroom but also an office. Consider getting a daybed that can function as a sitting area during the day and bed if you have guests over. You can add in a desk and shelf area to keep your office area and equipment like printers neat and organized.
You may only have a living room and not an additional room serving as a family recreation space. You’ll need to maximize the space and create separate areas for entertaining guests, watching television with the family, and an area for your kids to play.
We used to have a large walk-in closet in our other larger townhouse. Now we only have a small closet. We downsized our clothes—giving away clothes we haven’t worn in a while or those that no longer fit and put some in storage that we thought we might wear again in the future.
You must declutter your clothing with a detached eye. Don’t get too attached to your clothing or you won’t be able to have a neutral mindset when deciding what to get rid of and what to keep. We’re using plastic bins and stacking them on the bottom of our closet to maximize space and organize our clothes better.
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If you have the budget, you can get closet organizer kits from Lowes, Home Depot, or Walmart, or hire an organizer from a store like California Closets or The Container Store.
So, the kitchen in our new place is bigger than the kitchen in our condo. However, there is less cabinet space in the new place. I love having a bigger room and area for a kitchen table. However, having less cabinets meant I needed to get creative.
Sure, I had to bring some stuff I packed back to storage. I had overestimated what kitchen items I thought would fit when I was packing. I used a black metal shelf that was previously used in our garage.
After cleaning it up, we put it in the kitchen and added some plastic bins to organize items like jars of tomato sauce, spices, flour, sugar, beans, rice, corn meal, and other pantry items.
It may not look like the closed-door pantry I would want, but that will come in a few years when we build our ranch house. For now, it’s clean and organized and helps me function better in a smaller kitchen.
Of course, I’m not referencing your carpet or rugs. Keeping your floor space uncluttered means using plastic containers or other storage boxes that you can get at stores like Walmart. You can find some great organization ideas from Ikea, which is well-known for helping customers organize small spaces.
When your floor space is clear, it also makes it much easier for you to clean. In our condo, I used to keep some items on a pull-out tray underneath the bottom of a shelving unit. However, that made it awkward and more of a hassle when cleaning the kitchen floor. Now, I leave the floor space under our “pantry” free of stuff. It’s so much easier to keep the floor clean now.
What are some things you have done to maximize small spaces and stay organized?