How to stretch organization in small spaces

As an organizer I am often asked how I get from A to B when it comes to choosing the layout of a space and making recommendations on what products should be purchased and what systems should be implemented to make a home more functional.

I will say that organizing comes naturally to me, but I’ve also worked with over 1,000 clients in the last 10 years and each project has been a lesson in stretching my creativity and sharpening my organization skills. When I walk into an awkwardly-shaped room or tiny closet that I know is not functioning best for the client I am forced to get creative with the existing space (especially if it is not an option or within budget to change the layout of the space). So, I maximize the area that is available.

Here are some of the tried-and-true tips that I incorporate into my client’s homes and that would work in any tight space (from dorm rooms and studio apartments to older homes with teeny storage spaces):

  1. Choose quality over quantity in every inch of your home. From your TV stand to the clothes hanging in your closet, I recommend investing in items that are true to your style, your space, and your needs. When dealing with a small space, each inch of the home is valuable real estate and should only be filled with items that add personality and function, not clutter.
  2. Edit regularly. Simply put: there just isn't enough space for it all. Small space dwellers need to sift through the drawers, cabinets, and hidden areas (like under the bed and deep in storage bins) to weed out any items that are no longer needed, wanted, or functioning.
  3. Invest in double-duty pieces. We've previously discussed why it's important to choose versatile pieces in your home, and believe that regardless of your budget, don't be swayed to choose single purpose pieces as the staples of your home. When possible, opt for items that can add value (i.e. extra storage) to your home. For example, choose an entry table with drawers or shelving, and go vertical with your choices to maximize floor space. 
  4. Add color and texture with purpose. Decorative accents can make a room look and feel more finished, but when you're in a small space it can quickly feel like you’re swimming in clutter. Use functional pieces as an opportunity to bring in your personality and  a little more flavor. For example, consider covering your books with patterned paper to add a pop of color and act more as an art statement, or swap out your plain vase for a fun piece that can double as decor in between blooms.
  5. Get creative with your storage. When you’re living in tight quarters, make sure to maximize the the storage in your room. The back of doors, under the bed, and wall space are valuable real estate. Storage bins and boxes come in every design under the sun and price point, so find options that meet your aesthetic and add to the design of your room.

Want some more small space-saving tips? We shared an easy hack in this Women’s Health article recently. Check it out along with many other great (and easy!) tips to try at home.

PRODUCTS WE LOVE

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

We are always trying to improve at Rachel and Company, and we’d like to know what content you want to see us cover. If you have a few minutes, we would love to hear your thoughts. Click here to take our quick, anonymous survey.

Rachel and Company is a professional organizing firm based in Bethesda, MD, serving clients in the Washington, DC area including: Potomac, Maryland Georgetown, the Palisades, McLean, Arlington, and Alexandria, Virginia.