Storage space problems aren’t unique to people and families with small spaces. On the contrary, big spaces often look the messiest! So the problem isn’t so much the space, but rather the fact that we don’t know how to efficiently organize those spaces. From my own experience, I’ve laid out five things that you can do today to optimize your small storage space!
1. Don’t Be a Hoarder
It’s hard to let go of things. You might think you’ll need something at some point later in time. I understand that completely. But what is more important to you, that old umbrella holder that you never really use, or the serenity and calmth of an organized workspace? And, more importantly, the added productivity that comes with it?
Trust me on this. I’ve been having these ‘dilemmas’ often, and in the end, I never regretted throwing any of those ‘I might need them later’-things at all.
There’s a cliché saying that goes: ‘the more you have, the less you have’. No truer word has ever been uttered!
An easy way to go about this is to go through every item you’re considering throwing away, and ask yourself: ‘Have I used this item in the last 4 weeks?’ If the answer is no, bin it! Well, there might be a few obvious exceptions to this, think Christmas decoration for example. But you get my point.
And who says you can’t make some money out of this? Organize a garage sale or put all your previously hoarded items on eBay!
At some point, I actually let go of this nightstand that we took out of my husband’s mother’s bedroom when she moved into the nursing home. To me, that was an ugly, old thing that was best of being dumped on a container park belt. (The nightstand, not the mother).
A friend passed by and told me she saw a similar nightstand at an antique shop selling for $580! We went and bought some varnish, took some great pics (my hubby is an amateur photographer) and put the thing online for $220. We eventually sold it for $265 one week later. I kid you not!
2. Create Different Compartments in Your Room
In small houses, rooms often have double functionalities. Rather than putting all your stuff together, make dedicated spaces for each functionality. If you use your room for sewing, put all your sewing supplies in the same corner. If you also use this room to do the laundry, place your iron, drying rack and detergent together in a cupboard on the opposite side of the room.
It’s no fun having to desperately find things. setting up some sort of structured system might take a few hours, but will save you hundreds of hours in the long run. Not to mention frustration!
3. Think Vertically
Unless you’re Shaquille O’Neal, there’s probably some space between your head and the ceiling. Have you ever considered using that space?
On Amazon or big box stores such as home depot, you can find a lot of overhead storage solutions. They’re usually simple racks that you attach to the ceiling, and can be used to store suitcases, bicycles, chairs, etc.
Most solutions found online are pretty industrious looking, but with some creativity, you can actually make some nice-looking overhead storage space solutions yourself.
And if one of your ‘room-uses’ is sleeping, then why not consider a bunk-bed and use the space under the top bed as an office? Super convenient for taking power naps during your work breaks too!
4. Use a Foldable Wall Mount Table
Tables take a lot of space. There’s no way around it. Or is there?
If your space requires a table – but not at all times, you can easily save a few square feet by hanging your table or desktop from two hinges on the wall.
5. Use Space Creatively
Think of alternative storage methods such as slatwall or pegboard. These are particularly interesting in small spaces, because they allow objects to hang from them, using less ‘depth’. Just compare the space saved in your room by hanging a cooking pan from a pegboard, opposed to reserving cupboard space to horizontally place your cooking pan. If you want to take this to the next level, you can turn the inside of a cupboard into pegboard space.
Pegboard shouldn’t be limited to the garage. With some creativity, you can create some awesome pegboard storage solutions that complement their environment.
The big plus is that pegboard shows you immediately where your supplies are. No need to go searching in drawers. Pegboard will also motivate you to put back your supplies after using them, as a blank space on the board just looks… off. And if you’re just a tiny bit OCD like I am, you won’t leave the room before filling that space up again with the correct item.
Some people seem to dislike pegboard because they’re frustrated by hooks falling out of the board. This is just the case with flimsy pegboard hooks though, and can easily be prevented by selecting the correct, bigger pegboard hooks that fit your board snugly.
Let’s wrap things up. Save space in your small rooms by:
- Not hoarding and throwing out / selling stuff that you haven’t used in the last month.
- Dividing your room into different storage sections so every supply has a clear home.
- Use overhead space to really maximize storage options.
- Opt for a foldable table instead of a non-foldable one.
- Use alternative space-saving storage methods like pegboard.