Small spaces are great because they force us to edit, organize, and reduce our accumulation of stuff. But most of all, we love them! The upkeep can be simple and less time consuming, not to mention lower costs to run it. However before you go out and buy what you think you need read this. Some of these tips should be considered before you move into a condo while other tips can make life much simpler afterwards. Whether you are purging, organizing or storing, take these tips to heart. You’ll thank us later.
1. Conquer Clutter – De-clutter that is! Let’s not get too sentimental when doing this. Keep only what you need. And the stuff you can’t part with, box it, store it or organize it. Be ruthless! Throw out or donate and think like a pauper – less is more. Furthermore, if you don’t love it or need it, get rid of it! Quickly adopt the one in, one out strategy. This is a must do before you run out and buy pretty bins and baskets or order expensive shelving.
2. Timing is Everything – Don’t bite off more than you can chew by wanting to organize everything and all rooms all at once. Pace yourself. Take 2-3 hours at a time so you won’t become irritated and tired. The longer you spend the less productive you’ll be. Rome wasn’t built in a day so take your time. You’ll be motivated to do more in less time. Bear in mind that this is an ongoing task, taking things out and returning them to their rightful place in the world takes practice before perfecting it.
3. Multi-Function Furniture – When buying furniture for a condo, smart and efficient furniture that serves a dual purpose is king! Whether it’s a bed with storage for seasonal clothing or a sofa that’s a pull-out for an overnight guest, think multi-purpose. You’ll be able to do more with less. If you haven’t thought about a coffee table that doubles as storage for blankets or toys, or an ottoman that holds TV gadgets, think again. Trust me it gets easier with practice.
4. Install Wall Shelves – Go vertical. Eliminate clutter and open up your space with built in shelves, vertical shelving or wire racks hung behind doors for shoes, or cleaning supplies. Add shelving in corners or in the kitchen making it easy to access plates, cutlery and glasses. Think out of the box. Be unconventional. Not all things need be stored in cupboards and drawers, especially when you don’t have enough of them.
5. Install Hooks – An inexpensive way to get things off the floor, counters and tables are hooks. Hooks at your front door for coats and jackets, umbrellas, even pots and pans. Use a pot rack and create more space in your cupboards. Hope you get hooked on this idea (wink). It’s simple and inexpensive.
6. Doors – What’s behind that door? No one needs to know that behind each of your doors except the front door have more things stored away. It’s quite genius when you think about it. Store shoes on the other side of your closet doors, store bathroom products on the other side of your linen closet if space allows it or on the back of your bathroom door. Add hooks here too for robes and towels, or add shallow shelving for toilet paper and rolled face towels. The ideas are endless! Once you find your groove organizing, it will become second nature.
7. Closet Organizers – One of the best investments from the get go is installing a closet organizer. Ikea has some fabulous ideas and some great DIY projects. You can easily double your storage capacity by adding double hanging, a bank of drawers and additional shelving. You can take the low end route with wire shelving and hanging or go for a more polished higher end product but either way, you will be surprised at how much more storage space you’ll have. Be sure to store shoes in containers (very inexpensive) so shoes don’t collect dust or carry dirt into your closet.
8. Kitchen – The central hub of any home requires ongoing attention but there are so many organizing solutions that will keep it functioning like a well-oiled machine. From shelving in cupboards to stem racks for glasses, you can keep everything in it’s place and have a place for everything. Secret is, don’t over buy, keep food items small and get rid of expired product. You can install a slide out pantry shelf, use drawer organizers, or if you need more room for utensils you can install a pegboard with S hooks to hang them. Raise items off the counters by installing shelves. You can create a simple yet organized kitchen no matter how small.
9. Baskets & Bins – Baskets come in handy when you have too many of one thing and instead of scattering them here and there, find a home for them. Use baskets for office supplies, stackable plastic bins can be great for video games, DVDs etc. while baskets can be used as laundry bins, magazines, books and so much more. They’re great for the laundry room – to store clothes under the bed, for hats, gloves and scarves – the possibilities are endless. Group 3 or 5 baskets on a wall shelf adding a touch of style and décor. A great spot for baskets and bins is also on the top shelf of your closet where seldom-used items can be stored.
10. Do it now, and complete it now. The worst thing you can do is invest a few hours and not finish the task. Organizing something and leaving it unfinished does not make for a finished project. Making a box of giveaways or donations and not taking it to where it needs to go defeats the purpose. Whether it’s clothes to donate to a friend, a shelter, recycling or throwing stuff out, do it that day or put it in your car to deliver it while you’re out. Once you’ve done all this work, complete it. You’ll reap the rewards that much faster.