No matter the size of your home or apartment, you need an organization system in place to help you stay on top of clutter. This is especially vital if you live in an apartment or use an office that is less than 400 square feet in size, as space is at a minimum. If you don’t organize, you end up losing important papers, misplacing objects, or accidentally throwing away something you needed. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can manage storage in your home.
Purge Your Clutter
First thing’s first: Take inventory of your space and eliminate everything you don’t need or want. This goes for everything in the room, including furniture, office supplies, and knickknacks. Are there items you haven’t used in a while? If you notice items that are simply collecting dust, you should think about removing them.
If your space is overflowing with stuff, set aside time and get started on purging. Use three separate containers and label them: Keep, Toss, and Donate. A simple rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it for months and can’t think of a time when you’ll actually use it, eliminate it. Use your judgment if you should simply throw it away or donate it. Shred documents with personal information, and keep the shredder nearby to speed up the process in the future.
Purchase a label maker that’s simple to use, and mark your shelves, bins, or drawers. Not only will this help you stay organized, but if you live or work with others, it can help them organize their own items.
Invest in a color-coded filing system, and label each folder according to specific categories. For instance, you can use green for financial, red for medical, yellow for insurance, and so on. You could even have folders for each family member. Place the folders at a specified mail station, and file the paperwork as soon as the mail arrives.
Create an Office Space
After you clean your tabletop, you need to catch incoming papers. Place a catch-it space in one of the most obvious spots in your office. If you have a door to your office, place it to the right of the door. If you have a cubicle, place it near the entrance. This space should have a tray or shelf for important documents.
If you have a small space, it might be tempting to think of the space as one big room. Maintain separate zones and place specific furniture in the proper area. For example, make a specific eating and working area. For an office, you can take it one step further and define those areas into a work center with a computer, reference center with binders and materials, and supply center with office supplies. Keep items you use daily accessible and within reach.
Utilize Wall Space
Since space is at a premium, why not think vertical and use the walls for extra storage? You can hang a shelf with hinges on a wall and have an instant desk. A good rule of thumb is to keep shelves at least 18 inches below the ceiling. In the kitchen, save premium counter and cupboard space and hang pots and pans from a wall-mounted pot rack or pegboard. Another option is to use a magnetic board or bulletin board to display artwork, school reminders, or other important papers. Any of these options allow you to keep tabs on the papers while also keeping them off the countertops or desk surface.
You can also hang shoe storage racks or over-the-door organizers to make the most out of a cabinet or closet door. Then place in smaller items that might easily get lost or hard to find. You could also place a hook on the back of bathroom doors for towels, robes, and hair dryers.
Embrace Storage Containers
In a small space, you can easily run out of room and have things pile up quickly. Sometimes it’s just easier to embrace the fact that you have stuff and need to have a place for it. Although you might picture bulky plastic containers, storage containers have evolved over the years and come in different shapes and sizes.
Streamline Your Closet
For small space living, closets are a simple option for optimizing your space. Odds are you have unused storage space just hiding out behind closed doors. Closet organizers oftentimes feature ventilated and adjustable shelves and towers as well as ample hanging space. You can purchase organizers dependent upon your needs. For instance, if you have plenty of nicer clothes, invest in more hangers so the clothes don’t wrinkle. If you have more workout clothes, look into more drawers. If there’s room, you could also take advantage of the space between the floor and your hanging clothes and put a small dresser in the closet.
Store Your Linens
This may sound crazy since you’re trying to maximize space, but consider adding furniture to your bathroom for more space. Many times, bathrooms have unused space that you can take advantage of, so why not put in a linen cabinet? These cabinets can take up as little as one extra foot of floor space and can provide extra storage as well as style to your decor. Many cabinets include adjustable shelves to accommodate whatever linens you need to hide away.
Find Double Purposes
Some furniture pieces might offer more than one purpose, especially when it comes to storage. For instance, a coffee table can store remotes or writing utensils while offering a dining option. A bookcase can also store books, house a television, and of course, it can provide a home for books. Another ideal choice is an ottoman, which can store blankets, pillows, or even linens for overnight guests. If the ottoman has casters, you can easily move them around to give extra seating when one of your friends stops by.
The Bottom Line
You may find that smaller spaces tend to get messier and more disorganized faster than larger spaces. This is due to having less space to get organized. But don’t let having less square footage impede your ability to get organized. Once you put some of these tips into place, you can find more of your items easier.
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