Living in a smaller home doesn’t mean you have to give up half of your belongings to make it more livable. The key is to get creative and create space wherever possible. Whether it’s having multipurpose furniture or using over-the-door racks, there are plenty of simple solutions to make the most of your space! Before you get to it, check out these organizing experts’ best tips to create space in a small house.
1. Buy an inexpensive 3-tiered rolling cart. There are so many functional and stylish options for your home and office. This functional cart can be used for things like corralling your files and office supplies, keeping bath products handy, and can even be used in the kitchen for serving purposes or as a functional bar cart. – Perfectly Placed, Susan Carmody
2. Know the limitations of the space. Don’t overstuff, whether it’s drawers, a closet, or the house itself. – Be Neatly Organized, Melissa Ward
3. Designate the most valuable real estate in your home. The most easily accessible and visible surfaces, drawers, and cabinets should be home for only your “A-List” items. Things you use once a week or more often. Then come the “B Listers.” These are things used once a month or more and can be stored in less accessible areas. Finally, anything used less than once or month or seasonally needs to be stored in clearly labeled bins and swapped out or used as needed. – Peaceful Place Organizers, Julie Brooks
4. Lighten Up. Dark spaces are more likely to become and stay disorganized. Light helps to encourage order and makes for easier maintenance. To achieve adequate lighting I recommend using a stick-up LED light like a Promier light-switch. – Pinch-Hitter, Josephine Paige
5. Use double-duty furniture. This allows you to not only maximize your physical space but also the functionality of a space. In other words, it’s not only a nightstand next to your bed – choose a piece that is high enough to hold your lamp and alarm clock but also the right size to pull up a chair so it can double as a small writing desk. Or choose a piece that is not ordinarily seen as a nightstand but can serve as such and also provide you with storage for blankets or off-season clothing.– Organization Lane, Sandra Lane
6. Organizing is about surfaces. If you keep surfaces clear, your home will always look neat and inviting. – Sort-It-Out, Marsha Sims
Using magnetic car phone mounts on walls in your small home frees up space on counters or end tables. The Scosche brand is my favorite. – Organize Simply, Tracy Bowers
7. Incorporate a seasonal closet. Store off-season clothing and shoes in another location, and use the seasonal switch out as an opportunity to purge any items you didn’t wear. This practice will also cut down on visual clutter and streamline your morning routine. – Clean Lines Organizing and Design, Lesley Deyesu
8. Utilizing vertical spaces. One of the best ways to make use of space in a small home is to take advantage of the vertical space. Incorporate shelves or cupboards all the way to the ceiling for added storage to keep things off the ground and countertops. – Organized at Last, Lauren Godfrey
You can also utilize vertical space by using floor to ceiling bookshelves and hooks. Also, using the back of doors for additional storage is key for making the most practical use in a small home. – Organize With Lisa LLC, Lisa Harris
We use pegboards to organize kids’ toys — mostly nerf guns — because they get toys off the floor and insight. They are always a big hit with parents and children — kids love how they look. The boards are also extremely useful in craft rooms and for storing wrapping paper. We find that if your tools and supplies are insight you are more likely to use them and then put them back when you are done. – Blue Pencil Home, Amy Trainum
9. Let go of items that don’t serve us. The best way to maximize space in a small house is to make sure you’re surrounded by the things you love and the best way to find out what we really love is to get rid of everything we don’t. So many times we hold on to things out of fear of the future or an attachment to the past. If we can let go of items that don’t serve us it will free up space in our smaller homes for the things that do. – Sacred Space Organizing, Erin Neumann
10. Create space where it doesn’t exist. Our favorite hack is to add an over-the-door organization unit. This is a perfect solution for bathrooms with minimal storage, pantry doors to hold those sauces and snacks, or even craft rooms to hold wrapping paper and gifting accessories. – RíOrganize, Ría Safford
Build-up & utilize wall space to maximize smaller living areas. Use them as your blank canvas to hang shelves, bookcases, and hooks, etc. This will clear up floor space & add more depth to your living area. – Balance Home Organizing, Megan Mossuto
11. Consider having a closet system installed. Features such as pull out shelves, pant racks, dual hanging rods, and built-in drawers can double or even triple your closet’s storage capacity. – Closets For Life
12. Use “workhorse” possessions. My city rowhouse feels spacious when I’m only storing “workhorses.” These are possessions that are functional, versatile, durable and can take the place of other items with hyper-specific uses. I don’t need to cram plastic party cups, stacks of Tupperware, and bud vases in my prime kitchen real estate when a set of jars can serve all those functions perfectly. – Bmore Minimal, Megan Doyle
13. Upgrade your hangers. Skinny hangers accomplish two actions at once: they unify the look of your closet AND they save you a ton of space. The only exceptions are proper coat hangers for any jacket that needs support, like your suit coats. Don’t skimp on those hangers and you’ll still end up with space to spare. – Andrew Mellen Professional Organizing, Andrew Mellen
14. Use unexpected areas for storage. When organizing your home, don’t forget about the obscure spaces like the side of your refrigerator, the side of your cabinets/oven, behind doors, and under beds. To avoid your space looking cluttered and unorganized, we recommend you use acrylic containers, baskets, or folding baskets to hide and beautify. – LifeSquire
15. Use an Elfa door rack from The Container Store. I use them in almost all of my clients’ Manhattan apartments. They’re extremely versatile, modular and basically create an entire closet out of the inside of almost any door! I’ve created entryways, pantries, shoe storage and more from them! Super easy to install, no drilling and you can barely see them from the outside of the door. – Shelfie, Sara Losonci
16. Cut out visual clutter in your bathroom by keeping counters cleared and having all daily used items in easy-to-reach spots. For small bathrooms, organize your extra/back stock products in stackable bins for a clutter-free bathroom. – Organizational Logistics, Abby Cone
17. Remove smaller food items from their original packaging. Packaging can be bulky and take up a lot of extra space in your kitchen or pantry, so remove the individual granola bars/snacks from their original box and put them into a bin/container/jar where you keep all of those like items together. – Serene Spaces Professional Organizing and Consulting, Cassie Thompson
18. Built-ins are your BFF’s. Built-in bookcases or cabinets may be more expensive than a piece of furniture but it’s the best way to take advantage of every inch. When you consider a built-in for an office or a playroom, you can build out wall to wall and floor to ceiling. You can also customize the layout to be shelves, drawers, cabinets, or all three! – Organized Life Design, Meggie Mangione
Don’t be afraid of using your homes built-in storage in new and unconventional ways. Think outside the box. For example, we recently used a linen closet as storage for planner supplies and podcast equipment, that was otherwise creating havoc in the living room.- Sensational Organizing, Elva Fonseca
19. Opt for love seats in place of couches. Rarely do more than 2 people sit on a couch when there are other seating options available. Love seats take up less space, making the room seem larger. – A Decluttered Life, Mindy Doyle
20. Only keep essentials. Having fewer items to store and manage allows the space to feel calmer and less cluttered. Cull your quantity of bed and bath linens and small kitchen appliances. Only keep the essentials, the ones that you use frequently. – Start Somewhere Organizing & Coaching, Erin Morper
21. Making your small kitchen function at it’s best. Use an under cabinet mounted paper towel dispenser to save counter space. Use tiered spice racks for finding your favorite spices easier. Increase the use of vertical cabinet space with shelf risers. – Functional Spaces, Melanie Higuchi
22. Sort mail as it comes through the doors will have many benefits. Invest in a small organizing system, such as a small bin with dividers, and place it in an accessible location (near the door or where the pile of mail usually sits). Each day, take 1 minute to sort the mail by priority or type. You don’t need to read it all, just decide to which category it belongs. Then, once a week grab each stack and thoroughly file each item. – Sarasota Home Organizer, Elizabeth Harrison
23. Place items that aren’t used as often on higher shelves. While it is great to place items you utilize daily at arm’s length, there are other items that can be on a higher shelf. The benefit is that you have room for the items you need daily and space is not cluttered. People often leave the higher space empty and cram everything into below, then think they have no space. They do, just need to look up and devise a system that works for them to utilize all of the vertical space. – Lock and Key Home, Kim Jones
24. Reduce household paper clutter. A few tips for doing so include: canceling subscriptions for newspapers/magazines/newsletters that you never read (research whether these periodicals are available online). Avoid printing documents that can be accessed online. Sign up to receive paperless bills/financial statements and take advantage of online bill pay services whenever possible. – Refined Rooms, Natalie Gallagher
25. Make more room on your shoe racks by alternating the direction that the shoe faces. It makes a huge difference for clunky boots. – Organized Sanctuaries, Elise Hay
By Emily Huddleston
Originally published by Redfin
I hope you all enjoyed this article especially tip #17 from yours truly!
Let’s talk kids…It's never too early to start having your kids participate in the organizing process. It teaches them so many skills that will pay off in the long run when they are able to attack their own messes independently.
Start by letting them sort their toys into different bins (i.e. cars, play dough items, etc). Yes they will probably start playing during this process, but small steps can lead to big changes. Believe it or not, kids crave organized spaces and structure. If their bedrooms and playrooms are disorganized and chaotic they are less likely to spend a decent amount of time playing in there, which is a waste of these toys and activities you have invested in! A cluttered playroom makes it harder for the child to focus on one activity, which leads them to be done "playing" fairly quick.
Another great habit to start is helping them choose toys to pass along to other kids who may enjoy the toy more. It teaches her the spirit of giving as well as the ability to let go and not hold onto toys just because they once loved them.
Let's all find our Serene Spaces!
One of the most important parts of any organization project (whether you are organizing on your own or with help) is finding places to donate and/or recycle the items you no longer want and/or need. This list includes places to donate (with links) as well as recycling info and how to dispose of the really hard to dispose of items. To see the resource list click this link here: St. Augustine/St. Johns County Resources.
I am always looking for new places that accept donations or offer recycling. Let me know if you would like your business/organization to be added to the list.
Due to a wonderful opportunity for our family it is with a heavy heart to announce our move from Savannah to St. Augustine, FL. I will be forever grateful for the dear friends and clients who helped Serene Spaces grow in the past 3 years. Thank you for your support as Serene Spaces begins to service the St. Augustine, Florida metro area. We look forward to this new chapter in our lives and seeing the doors that God continues to open for us.
Serene Spaces Professional Organizing
Everyone is bound to have some wire hangers around their home at some point, the question is....
What do I do with them if I don't want them???
1. You can check with your local recycling center but many do not accept wire hangers. You can remove the cardboard and/or paper from the hangers and recycle that at least.
2. Many thrift stores will gladly take them off of your hands such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army. Be sure to call your local branch before you head there with all your hangers because not all locations accept them and we don't want them to end up in the landfill :-)
Some local thrift stores in Savannah, GA that accept wire hangers are Blessingdales, Thrift, Gift, and Furniture, and The Old Savannah City Mission.
If there is a thrift or consignment store that you frequent, don't be afraid to ask them if they would like your wire hangers (provided they sell clothes).
3. Check with the dry cleaners in your area, lets face it many of them probably came from the dry cleaners anyways. Many dry cleaners will welcome them so just drop them off with your dry cleaning the next time you go.
Any other ideas that I may have missed....please feel free to leave a comment below
In light of a new school year coming up...
This project is what turned my dreams of being a Professional Organizer in Savannah, GA a reality.
This was a total of 2 rooms used for storage by this preschool in Savannah, GA. Everything was completely rearranged so that all like items were stored in the same room.
The smaller of the 2 rooms became the "teacher supply and work room" and the other much larger room was designated for "classroom supplies."
Shelving units and bins were purchased for this project some items such as the filing cabinets were re purposed.
In the larger room isles were created from the shelving units to create space and a flow for all the items stored. Everything used with and for the children in the classroom were stored in this room.
Items included: classroom manipulatives, puzzles, items for classroom stations, school library, craft supplies (from paint to coffee filters), educational toys, dress-up clothes, outdoor toys, indoor recess toys, and even a computer station where teachers could check out computers to be used during centers.
Everything was sorted and placed in a bin (mostly clear bins but some opaque bins were re purposed) with a label of what was inside and where it belonged in the room (example: bristle blocks unit 2 shelf 4). All of the shelving units were labeled as well as each shelf. All of the books in the classroom library were separated into categories and labeled according to their category.
The smaller room housed all the teacher materials such as: bulletin board items, staples, tape, trash bags, and construction paper. This room also contained a workstation where there were laminating machines, a cricut, and an Ellison Press to be used by teachers outside of classroom time.
Again everything was placed in bins or in a drawer/cabinet with a label so everyone knew where to find what they were looking for.
The school was also provided with an inventory spreadsheet that listed everything in each of the rooms by unit and shelf location.
Everything had a home and was labeled with it's location for ease in finding it and putting it away. Labeling everything was key and it helped teachers and teachers aids out immensely so they could quickly find what they needed when they needed it :-)
Hey everyone and welcome to my blog. I wanted to share with you a special I am offering to all of you who are local to me. Who is local you ask, well....I am a Professional Organizer serving the Greater Savannah, GA area. I serve areas including but not limited to: Savannah, Tybee Island, Pooler, Bloomingdale, Richmond Hill, Statesboro, Claxton, Pembroke, Palmetto Bluff, Beaufort, Bluffton, Hilton Head, and Effingham County.
Are you drowning in piles of paperwork and don’t know where to begin? Are your closets busting at the seams but you can’t seem to find anything to wear? Are your cars parked in the driveway because you don't have room in the garage?
Clutter can be paralyzing. The first step is to release any fear, shame, or embarrassment and know that you are not alone! Life is full of transitions and it is important to consistently evaluate your systems in order to adapt to changes and maintain organization. I can help you sort through your things and teach you specific techniques to keep the piles away.
To put it plain and simple, I LOVE to help people. I feel fortunate to be able to say that I have loved all of my previous jobs because even though I faced difficult situations at times I was able to help make a difference in peoples lives. My past work experience has revolved around helping others, I have worked in mental health case management, social work, foster care, and medical office management.
I have always found myself organizing at each of my previous jobs whether it was a co-workers desk, files, storage closets, or closets it didn't matter I loved doing it. After many years of helping others get organized I realized that God had given me the gift of helping others reclaim their spaces and their lives by getting organized, so Serene Spaces Professional Organizing was born :-)
To learn more about me click here /about.html
To hear what people are saying about me click here /testimonials.html
To see some of my work click here /beforeafter-photos.html
If you’re ready to regain control of your home, your office, your business,
and your life, contact me today! The first 10 people who schedule an in-home consultation will receive this 60 minute appointment absolutely FREE! I’m ready, are you?
Professional Organizer, mother, wife, friend, and lover of Jesus.