When you’re short on space, keeping your home neat and tidy can feel like an impossible struggle. You want to be able to put things away and have clear worktops, but there’s just not enough room…
If this sounds like you, we’ve got you covered!
Generally speaking, the principles behind organising a small apartment are the same as they are for any space. But with a small space, there is less room for error. Every inch has to work hard and be carefully considered to make the very most of it.
Read on to learn our 10 top tips for organising your small home.
Always, always, always start with decluttering. And be ruthless! Let go of absolutely everything that you don’t need, use or love and create physical space in your cupboards, drawers and surfaces.
2. Space v. the thing
In a small space it’s more important than ever to balance the number of things with the storage you have. Every item you own takes up space and you need to be realistic about the capacity of your home to house all of these things. If you have more than you can store you will always, unfortunately, end up with a messy home. If you haven’t quite found this balance, double back to point number one!
3. Go up
Where floor space is limited, you have to be more creative. We often add more shelving to small rooms. Using the walls can give you valuable extra storage space, but it needs to be considered thoughtfully. Open shelving stuffed full of a mish-mash of things will feel overwhelming in a small space, but you could contain things in baskets on the shelves to reduce the visual overwhelm. Or even something as simple as adding more hooks for coats or tennis rackets, or the kids’ school bags can make a room feel clearer. Keep the floor clear as much as possible to make the room feel bigger and more composed.
4. Create zones
In any space, no matter what the size, we create zones. Grouping like with like helps you to manage what you have in your home. There’s no more searching for the keys in the morning if you have a grab-and-go zone by the door with everything you need when you’re rushing out. Keeping track of things in a small apartment is particularly important as you don’t have the luxury of space to store the items you rebuy when you can’t find the originals.
5. Don’t bulk buy
Unfortunately, when you’re short on space and want to keep a clear and organised home, bulk buying is not often a sensible choice. The price might be great, but is it worth having an overflowing kitchen or utility cupboard? If you really want to take advantage of the bargains and keep your home organised, you need to decide where you will find the space. What will you sacrifice to create the space you need? It might be swapping the space used to store items for a hobby, or taking a bit of garden and installing extra storage there.
6. Regular donations
Keep a basket in a cupboard or other easily accessible space and everytime you notice one of the children has grown out of something, or you’ve finished a book you won’t read again, or put it straight into the donation basket. When the basket is full, go straight to the charity shop!
We all know we don’t need these items, but it’s easy to let them pile up and create clutter if you don’t have a plan for getting them out of the house regularly.
7. Little and often
Keep decluttering. When you’re waiting for the pasta to cook, declutter the kitchen drawer. When you’re running the bath, check the expiration dates on the medicines. When you’re changing the sheets, scan through the linen cupboard for anything that is past its best. These small, regular actions will keep you connected to what you have in your home, and you’ll be able to fully understand what you have and what you need.
8. Managing paperwork
Our clients often have problems with organising paperwork and, without a robust filing system, paperwork can easily get out of control. One of the best ways to keep on top of it is to manage what comes into your home. Unsubscribe to any catalogues that you don’t read. Think before you buy a new magazine and ask yourself if you have time to read it. Scan the mail as it comes through the door and toss any junk mail immediately.
9. Say no to hand-me-downs
Friends and family will often kindly offer us items that they no longer want or need. Some of these items might be expensive or fun and it’s so tempting to say yes please! But before you do, think about the space in your home. Do you have room for whatever this thing is? If you don’t, are you prepared to get rid of something else (or things!) to create the space? Remember that you can only have the thing or the space and in a small apartment your storage space is limited. If you don’t want to have things on the floor or covering the worktops and surfaces, you need to make sure you a) REALLY want that thing before you say yes and b) know exactly how you’re going to store it.
10. One touch rule
One way to keep things organised in a small home is to implement the one touch rule. If you pick up an item, whether it’s a piece of junk mail or folded laundry, once you touch it, you put it away. And that means away, away. Not just in the right room, but in the right drawer or shelf or container where that thing goes. The more you can get into this habit, the more you’ll find that you’re able to keep on top of clutter.
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If you would like a bit more help, or to chat about what we can do, feel free to contact us or email [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help you turn your home into a place you love.