Guest Post - Tiny & Tidy: How to Make the Most of Your Small Space

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Small space living is all the rage, and why not? By confining yourself to a small square footage, you’re forced to limit your consumption, which means you save money, live an eco-friendlier life, and have a lot less cleaning to do. But, whether you live in a compact urban apartment, a tightly packed camper van, or a charming tiny house off the grid, adjusting to life in tight quarters can be a challenge if you’re used to wide open spaces. The solution is three-fold: Optimize, Organize, and Omit. Here are the specifics.

Optimize: Making Small Spaces Feel Big

  • Choose Double-Duty Furniture – A coffee table or bed with built-in storage, a stool that also serves as a plant stand, a desk slash dining room table slash console table. All of these are examples of double-duty furniture that helps you make the most out of your small space. Because, let’s face it: When you’re working with a tiny footprint, there’s simply no room for luxuries like guest seating or a table to eat dinner. Addressing that head-on can improve your quality of life without overwhelming your small space.

  • Make Use of “Dead” Space – Scan your environment. Are there spaces throughout the room that could be turned into storage space or otherwise usable areas? One of the best examples of transforming dead space into functional space is the loft bed. By hoisting your sleep sanctuary up high into the air—space that would otherwise sit unused and ignored—you’re opening up a whole bunch of floor area for other applications. The same goes for the space beneath your bed, the back of doors, and the underside of shelving, which could be fitted with hooks.

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  • Stick to Modern and Minimalist Décor – Bad news for diehard fans of Victorian and rococo furniture: Small space living is probably not for you. The reality is that ornamental or highly decorative furniture needs more room to breathe and tends to make small spaces feel crammed. On the other hand, simple, uncomplicated furniture pieces from the Scandinavian or modern movements feel like they take up less space, even if they actually don’t. When it comes to furniture, keep it simple.

Organize: Keeping Everything in Its Right Place

  • Keep the Floor Clear – Having a cluttered floor doesn’t just create clutter, it also creates a hazardous environment where slipping and tripping are inevitable. Get things off the floor by bundling your cables and creating purpose-built storage for everything you own. Having well-thought-out storage throughout your space will help prevent you from being tempted to toss things on the ground when you’re done. You’ll be quite surprised to see how a clear floor space transforms the look and feel of the room. Most likely, it’ll translate into a clearer head for you and a more enjoyable living space to boot.

  • Enhance Your Wall Storage – One great way to keep your main living area neat, clean, and well-organized is by moving things to the walls. Wall shelving, over-the-door hooks, and hanging organizers can help you optimize your space while making it feel extra organized. In the kitchen or office area, consider creating a fabric wall organizer with hook-and-loop tape that lets you hang all sorts of items up and out of the way without the commitment of hooks or permanent shelving. Try to take an essentialist approach: Anything you don’t need must go, or it will create stressful clutter in your space.

Omit: Simplifying Life, Simplifying Your Space

  • Purge Like There’s No Tomorrow – Whether your approach is gentle, loving, and KonMari through and through or more rifle through everything you own and violently purge things you no longer use, there’s no wrong way to get rid of excess stuff. An easy way to shake up your purging protocol is to get into the mindset of constant elimination. Don’t just get rid of stuff once or twice a year during spring cleaning. Instead, think of the getting-rid-of process as an ongoing one that needs perpetual maintenance for success.

  • Work on Depersonalizing What You Own – If you’re a person who tends to have emotional connections to physical objects or who gets sentimental from time to time when getting rid of things, try to learn how to depersonalize objects and let go of the guilt you may have around letting it go. For example, you probably have several items in your home that you’re hanging onto purely because someone gave them to you, not necessarily because you like them. Get through this guilt by donating the items so you know that someone else will get plenty of love and enjoyment from them.

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  • Go for a “Capsule” Wardrobe – Adjusting to small space life takes some reconditioning. Sure, you have to be constantly purging, but you also have to reframe the way you think about consumption. When you’re space-limited, of course, less is more. One of the best examples of minimalism as it pertains to stuff is the capsule wardrobe. These small, cleverly considered wardrobes contain only a few versatile essentials that you can mix and match to create a multitude of different looks, all while lessening clutter and consumption.

Enjoying the Small Space Way of Life

Knowing these handy tips will help you create a space that you enjoy, no matter how compact, challenging, or limited it may be. Those who live in tidy spaces are known to make healthier choices, have better relationships, and even demonstrate lower levels of stress and depression. In the end, all spaces are enjoyable when they make you feel happy, proud, or relaxed, so keep those goals in mind as you’re coming up with your small space strategy.

Author Bio: Halle Summers is a Marketing Coordinator for FASTENation Inc., a premier global manufacturer, technical converter, distributor, and designer of adhesive based fasteners and tapes. She has extensive knowledge of adhesives and fastener solutions, vendors, industry trends, and how they are used across various verticals. When she isn’t writing articles, she enjoys spending time in downtown Charleston, South Carolina and all the amazing food her hometown has to offer.