Living quarters – particularly in the built-up urban areas – seem to be getting smaller. Maybe you’re in a tiny city apartment, have had to downgrade to a smaller space or just don’t seem to have the room you used to. Regardless, you have to learn to utilize the space you have available in the best way possible. Here’s how.
1. Eliminate clutter
Clutter instantly makes a place look smaller than it already is. Aside from the fact you don’t need unnecessary stuff taking up all your space, clutter makes an area look unattractive.
Go through your stuff and see what you can get rid of. Only keep what you absolutely need so you have as much space in the room as possible.
2. Get organized
Organization keeps your space looking nice and neat. After you get rid of your clutter, create a system to organize everything you have left.
Shelving, hooks and other organizational tools can really open up an area. You’ll have everything neatly packed away rather than taking up valuable counter or floor space.
3. Find furniture that does more than one task
Double-duty furniture is an absolute must when you have a small space. Get a bed that has drawers under it, a coffee table with storage inside or an expandable table for when you need extra seating. You have to utilize your space in the best way possible.
Stools and ottomans can be used as decoration or seating when things get tight. Shelving is always useful, whether it’s used as a media stand, a bookcase or even for clothes. A dresser can be your nightstand, and a small fold up table can serve as extra dining space or an end table.
4. Use the insides of cabinet doors
Mounting some racks on the inside of cabinet doors in your kitchen creates a lot of extra space. Use it as a spice rack or for hanging spoons, spatulas or extra tea towels.
If you can fit a rack that’s deep enough, you can store reusable bags, small pots and pans and other miscellaneous items. So much can hide behind closed doors!
5. Be careful with color
Painting a small room in dark colors can make it feel even more like a cave. It’s also really easy to be overwhelmed by an obnoxious color in a tiny space.
Look at what certain colors can do for your small space. You don’t have to stick with boring white walls if you don’t want to. Some colors can make your room look a lot bigger than it really is if you apply them correctly.
6. Use those walls
Wall space is there to be used. Shelves and cabinets on the walls are great for storage, and simple things like a pegboard or hooks are good for smaller stuff to hang.
A great way to utilize these is by putting them right by your main door. That way, you can hang keys and other necessities, and you’ll always know where they’re at.
7. Keep things clean
Dirt has nowhere to go in a smaller space, so it’s definitely more noticeable. Get yourself on a cleaning schedule so you don’t get overwhelmed when it starts to build up.
Plus, keeping things clean will just make you feel better about everything. You don’t have to worry about people seeing the dust bunnies in your corners!
8. Move the things that are taking up space
Your coffeemaker or toaster might have its home on the counter, but what if you don’t use it every day? Then it’s just there taking up usable counter space.
Find a cabinet or closet you can put those smaller appliances in, or even throw them in the oven if you don’t use it that much. Eliminate anything that’s taking up space if you know you don’t use it often enough – countertop locations are prime real estate!
9. Be particular about every piece
Every piece of furniture matters when you’re in a tiny space. Decide if you need all of the furniture you have. If you not, sell it or donate to charity.
You should also determine whether you want to make a statement — with something like a big, bright couch or a large art piece on the wall. Balance that out with subtler touches.
For example, try a couple smaller tables instead of one giant coffee table. Get smaller foldable chairs or stools you can store away instead of trying to cram some more lounge chairs in your living room for entertaining.
8. Use all available unused space if you need to
If you’re putting in new cabinets or bookshelves, take them all the way to the ceiling. If you can’t do that, use the space on top of those things to store stuff. Too many people don’t utilize all of the space they have.
Look for other unused space as well. You can put magnet hooks on the side of your fridge to hang big spoons and other utensils. Use that space behind the couch to put extra chairs or storage blocks. If you need more places to store things, make sure you haven’t overlooked a little place that could be used.
9. Open up walls
If you have the option, take out some walls to open up your space. Even if you have a smaller house, you’d be surprised with how much bigger your place looks with a wall taken out.
10. Get outside a bit
Living in a smaller place can make you stir crazy, especially if you’re in a small apartment with roommates. Your house might be cozy and you love it, but get outside every once in awhile.
Do some reading at the library or get your fair-trade organic coffee at that cute café down the street. Everyone could use a break every now and then, no matter how hard you work on your living space.
Your tiny place doesn’t have to feel cramped. Use these tips to make use of every foot available, and you won’t even notice how small the space is.
Do you live in an apartment or unit? Have any other minimalist living tips? Please share in the comment section below.