By Alex Moore
If you’ve ever lived in a small apartment or a one-bedroom home, the importance of knowing how to organize your belongings can make itself apparent every time you rearrange wild piles of clutter. It’s a vicious cycle, but having a clever storage idea can make the difference when it comes to finding how to best organize your space-conscious living areas.
Organization Can Set You Free
It’s not just a quaint saying: A cluttered living space can literally lead to depression and anxiety. If you feel like the walls are closing in and you just don’t know where to start with your cluttered home, the following five ways to squirrel away your belongings can help you out of any organizational hole you’ve fallen into.
1. Find functional furniture
Some people are content with letting their furniture be furniture, but you can take a bed’s usefulness one step further with a frame that offers built-in drawers, or even recliners and love seats with hidden compartments to store nick-knacks. Not only will this save you space, you can have all of your most commonly used items quickly at hand without being out in plain sight, giving you an edge in making your space appear tidier.
2. Reclaim your vertical space
If you have wide stretches of open wall but nothing to hang there, consider transforming that unused real estate into floor-to-ceiling shelving or corner storage solutions, or even opening up more floor space with a space-saving wall mounted electric fireplace. Traditional floor-based space heaters chew up valuable room that can be easily taken back with some creative handiwork.
Even something as curious as a re-purposed pegboard, suggested by Lucy Dunn, gives you storage options that can be changed on the fly as well as giving your space a unique visual touch that others lack.
3. Thrift stores are practically free storage space
In fact, thrift shops give you more freedom than you might realize. Tsh Oxenreider had this revelation at the hands of a friend who showed her the light of using your local thrift stores as a sort of rent-free storage. It’s not literal, of course, but think about it: When was the last time you desperately needed a new set of shelves, a bookcase, or even something as small as a suitcase?
Instead of running to a big box store, local antique and rummage shops are almost guaranteed to have something to fit your space and budgetary needs. It may not be exactly what you were looking for, but finding fun ways to work an odd piece of furniture into your home’s decor can be an entertaining exercise in home decoration and arrangement.
4. Find a new use for your bathroom
A lot of space in your home is probably chewed up by your bathroom. Up to 45 square feet of space might be going unused, in fact, and there are countless ways to conquer that wastefulness. Laundry sorting and folding areas, stand-alone wardrobes used to hold towels and bathing supplies, or even something as simple as a large wicker basket for your washables can open up valuable closet space elsewhere in your home.
If you’re feeling handy and have some extra fabric just waiting for an imaginative storage idea, why not try something like a cute sink skirt? It’s an uncommon solution for a common storage space problem and you just might impress your friends by brightening up an otherwise plain bathroom.
5. When in doubt, look up
This time, it’s literal. Your vertical space might be taken up, but chances are you have some headroom in several rooms of your house that could be put to clever use with a few small changes.
A kitchen island looks fantastic with a suspended hanging solution for your most commonly-used pots and pans, and with some elbow grease it’s not impossible to make a magnetic board to hold knives and large metal utensils on, too. If you find you can’t place things in the middle of the room, don’t despair: Try the backs of your doors. Multiple storage systems exist solely to be hung from a door for anything from pairs of shoes to jewelry and neckties.
Keeping a small space doesn’t mean giving up your belongings, it just means finding a good storage idea that utilizes your space as efficiently as possible. If you’re willing to trawl through a secondhand store or put together a clever furniture project, you might find that reclaiming your home is easier than you ever thought possible.