Whether you’ve recently downsized or you’ve been living in a small space for years, the rate at which messes pile up in a small house can be shocking.
But all is not lost! While clutter accumulates quickly, cleaning can be a breeze – especially when you have a strategy and know how to use your space to its fullest potential.
So if you’re wondering how to keep things orderly in tight living quarters, read on for some of the best tips to keep in mind.
Clean up after yourself…
The first step to getting organised is to not let messes happen in the first place.
Think about what happens after you, your spouse, or your kid gets home from work or school –for many, belongings get piled on the nearest possible surface to be dealt with later, a recipe for clutter.
In a small house, though, that surface is probably needed for something – so hang up keys and coats, put shoes in the appropriate place, and put away new items right away.
When something does end up where it’s not supposed to, operate by the one-touch rule – that is, put it in its proper place immediately instead of moving it from one place to another.
These practises alone can help prevent clutter from accumulating and cramping your space.
…and declutter regularly
Inevitably, though, clutter will show up – so declutter periodically, whether that’s every month or with the changing of the seasons.
In a small house, it’s important to get rid of stuff like mad. If something isn’t serving a direct purpose, don’t be afraid to chuck it.
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/theogeo/1990566064
A good rule of thumb is to keep track of how often you use things like clothes, kitchen equipment, and gardening tools. Aside from seasonal items, if you haven’t used or worn something in the last six months, you won’t miss it.
Don’t worry about saving things that you might need later – keep things only if they have a clear functionality in your tiny space, and get rid of redundant or unused items.
Decluttering regularly and mercilessly will prevent clutter from building up.
Search high and low for storage…
While you can’t spread out much in a small living space, you can always spread up and down.
Spaces under beds, sofas, and stairways make great locations for larger storage bins, particularly for things like clothes that you need but that have gone out of season.
Having plenty of vertical storage space becomes especially important in a small space, as the last thing you want is for messes to start spreading across your floors.
When your square footage is already limited, allowing things like toys to creep across your floors – rather than being stowed away on shelves – magnifies the feeling of a cluttered space.
…and equip every location properly
Every space in your house needs to have the right equipment to store your stuff.
You can always maximise space with proper dividers, hangers, and bins. For example, desks often fill with clutter when there’s nowhere to put papers, writing utensils, and other office knick-knacks – so make sure your workspace is accessorised properly.
In that same vein, closet accessories are key to maximising storage space. Rather than just hanging your clothes, dividers can give you extra space to store shoes and other accessories.
Additional closet shelving can also hold bins containing important but clutter-inducing papers.
Get in the zone…
In any small living space, chances are good that you have fewer rooms than you need. Delineating clear and separate zones in larger rooms, though, can give you extra functionality.
A common example is to let your living room be a living room/dining room while using the back of the couch as a buffer between the spaces.
If your house has no true entryway, use a buffet table or small dresser to denote the function of the space.
Zoning in this way serves to make the space look homelier, as your small house won’t be missing rooms that one would expect to find.
What’s more, though, is that separating spaces like this helps keep clutter confined, preventing it from spilling across an entire room.
…and use spaces in multiple ways
Besides zoning, you can also use the same space for multiple functions – freeing up another area for storage or other uses.
For example, an expandable dining room table could be folded up and pushed against a wall to serve as an office desk.
If you already have a storage room, decluttering it can lend you extra functional space for “odd-job” purposes – such as a workout room, guest bedroom, or office.
The key to organisation – small space or otherwise – is to focus on each space one at a time and maximise your storage capabilities.
Give everything a place to go – and don’t be afraid to toss things that have no place at all.
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Article by: Isaac Church