Christmas is over, the new year has begun and it’s time to regain control of your home!
But how do you do that?
You want a home that is both beautiful and functional but there’s stuff everywhere!
Ahhh, the frustrating and often overwhelming search for more storage space!
Am I alone with the thought that no matter how much space you have it’s never enough? Can I get an amen?
Measuring at almost 2000 square feet, my ranch style home includes five bedrooms and two baths.
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
We’re incredibly blessed by our home, especially considering the fact we’ve needed every single inch as we’ve raised our 5 kids and pets galore here.
We’ve lived a lot of life within these walls!
Unfortunately, the rooms are small and the closets even smaller. The house was built in the 1950’s, and I’ve had to think creatively to make the best use of the space.
Need a few tips and organization ideas for small spaces? I’m here to help!
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1. Decide on open versus closed storage
One of the first things to decide is how you want the storage to function. Do you want open or closed storage? Do you like using woven or plastic baskets or do you prefer tubs with a lid to protect the items inside? There are many inexpensive styles available from the dollar store, yard sales or thrift stores.
You can see here in my craft room I used both! Clear plastic storage tubs can be used for everything from papers to schoolwork to crafting supplies. I added my own DIY chalkboard tags for uniformity and to keep the decor more current. The baskets came from the dollar store.
I updated my room because of the need for scrapbook paper organization and these clear file folder boxes are my favorite for functionality and consistency.
In my laundry room/pantry I used a combination of plastic crates (like these) and tubs without lids to store items that wouldn’t fit in my small kitchen. The see through storage allows me to see at a glance the foods that I’m looking for.
2. Use overlooked spaces
One of the most overlooked spaces? Under the beds! There’s a goldmine of empty space just waiting for you to store wrapping paper, canned goods, out of season clothes or even games and books. Use underbed plastic tubs or save cardboard boxes that will fit the opening.
Another genius idea of my husband’s was this built-in shelving tucked in the sheetrock in our small bathroom. (I told you. Everything in our house is small!) Tim found a place for storage where there was none! I think I’ll keep this guy around!
3. Think outside the box
In the craft room closet I added a wooden shoe organizer, shelves and inexpensive photo boxes and labeled everything for easy access. I even took the door off the closet because the organization looks great and performs even better!
You may not want to use your closet for craft supplies like me, but what about photo albums, books, files, pet supplies and more?
Do you have more “stuff” than clothes? Maybe a closet would be better used for your overflow rather than clothing.
Remember that small bathroom I showed you? Since many older homes come with limited options for bathroom storage, we shopped around to find the best storage solution for the shower. These shower caddies are solid and hold larger sized bottles than most others. They keep us both organized and cleaner!
4. Make your storage beautiful
Storage doesn’t have to be ugly. Take advantage of unused space above doors for both beautiful and clever ways to store your dishes, knick knacks or collections.
Here I’ve mixed in vintage family plates and teapots with yard sale bargains on this above door shelf. Not only is it functional, but it adds an element of personality to our kitchen. (This room is no longer sunshine yellow and you can read all about our kitchen remodel dreams here.)
5. Pare down your possessions
Of course, the best way to organize is have less stuff! A general rule that will help you keep your possessions under control (and not the other way around) is when you bring an item into your home, sell or give away another item. If you tend to be a hoarder, have someone you trust help you weed through the necessities and extras.
Once you get organized, stay organized! Take the necessary time to keep your organization working for you.
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