I have been so excited for this week! I am doing a fun series on living in a small space! Our home is less than 1600 square feet and not all of it is finished. A good chunk of the basement is concrete and exposed ceiling and is currently used as a dumping ground for things that we can’t store in the garage. One day we will turn it into our bedroom but until then, we are working with about 1300 square feet of livable space for 6 people. It can be challenging but we make it work. I have teamed up with 12 other bloggers who have small homes and we will be doing a home tours Thursday and Friday. Even if you don’t live in a small house, the tips and concepts shared this week can apply to you too.
If you live in a smaller space, you know that clutter and lack of storage can be a daily struggle. Here are some of the things that we have done to fight the clutter battle in our house.
This is probably my favorite tip because otherwise, all your things end up on counters and other surfaces. I get twitchy when there are too many things on my desk, kitchen counters, or even dressers. Every room has walls, you might as well make the most of them!
You could hang a large picture or mirror on the wall or you could add shelves! Originally I had a small side table and a large picture in this corner. Now I have floor to ceiling shelves for our books that were in plastic totes in the basement.
Double Duty Furniture
While shopping for furniture, look for pieces that do double duty like an ottoman that the top lifts up to reveal storage, and end table that is also a dog bed, or a shelf that has a hidden drawer like my reclaimed wood shelves.
When we needed a new bed for our oldest we got one with drawers built in since all our boys share a room and clothing storage can be an issue. I am also a fan of benches that have storage like the one that was in our office and is now in our laundry room.
Make Good Use of Wasted Space
Every home has wasted space. Maybe it is the way your floor plan is laid out or it is your empty attic. One place in our home that was wasted was in our laundry room. There was an awkward space between the water heater and the washing machine that wasn’t getting used. On the other side of the wall is the bathroom. I turned the awkward space into recessed shelves for the bathroom.
NEED vs WANT
“We have a small house buddy, we can’t keep everything.” I have to say this to my children almost daily. Most of the time they are literally hoarding junk (as in toilet paper rolls and empty milk cartons) but sometimes it is something that has some value. Unless you want to wade around in pile of stuff, you do have to be selective. We make donations monthly to our local charitable thrift store. Ask yourself “Do I really need this?” If not, toss it out!
I learned this trick from my mom. She is very sentimental and had a hard time getting rid of some items. She would store home decor items in totes and then every so often would rotate out some things and replace them with items that had been in the tote. It was a inexpensive way to refresh a room too. There’s nothing like shopping your own home!
Hide it in Baskets and Bins
Baskets, boxes, bins, and crates are my saving grace! When all else fails, toss it in a basket. You can put them almost anywhere and no one knows what is in there! Baby toys, books, magazines, mail, craft supplies, or anything else that is creating clutter. You put it in a basket and BOOM it’s gone :)
What are you favorite ways to combat clutter? I would love to hear what you do in your home!
You can read part two of this series all about making your space appear larger!
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