Organize Your Home With These Space Saving Ideas

by Millie Kay G. on January 20, 2009

We’ve got some affordable space saving ideas to help you organize your home!

When I first moved into my current home, it seemed like a palace compared to the rental unit I left behind. A few years later, I now realize that this same space is shrinking around me! But with the aid of some space-saving products and techniques, I expect to be able to reclaim some territory.

Never Underestimate The Power of Decluttering

A while back, I learned from organizing guru FlyLady that I should declutter on a regular basis. Her book Sink Reflections proved invaluable during my move, and I still refer to it for decluttering ideas. Last week, I went through various desk drawers and found lots of paper to recycle, old packaging for stuff I bought months ago, and enough miscellaneous junk to fill three shopping bags. Tomorrow, I can investigate what’s rattling around in the kitchen drawers. Another helpful resource for decluttering ideas is Peter Walsh’s book It’s All Too Much.

space saving ideas, small room
Image by the awesome Hiroshi Sumiyama.

Space Saving Ideas To Help You Organize Your Home

Would you join me as I go around my house to see what it is I can do about optimizing the space we have?

Living & Breathing Room

As I mentioned earlier, first things first: declutter. Once the clutter’s pared back, I can then focus on specific rooms. Everyone in my family keeps books, DVDs, and CDs in the living room. To keep them under control, I’ve decided that I need a shelf kit like the one offered by Wallscapes — functional, yet easy on the eyes. Each family member could fill his or her own set of shelves; having the shelves mounted on the wall would be easier than trying to fit in more furniture. But be especially careful if you live in earthquake territory!

Instead of a coffee table, we use a rugged footlocker. Our guests never know that we’re hiding our comic books inside it. Nearby, we have a hope chest like Ethan Allen’s blanket chest that stores linens and blankets, but in days past, it has also worked as a coffee table.

With a grand total of two closets in the place, I’m always looking for alternate storage ideas. For instance, I installed a hanging shoe bag (like the ones available from most home and garden stores) over one closet door to hold everything from hairbrushes to spare bars of soap. By placing one by the back door, I could conceivably use it to stash additional items like my sunglasses, scarves, and other on-the-go accessories.

Office Spacious

Since I don’t have a lot of office space, I like to scan certain papers into my computer and store them there, rather than keep my documents in a filing cabinet. I’ve got an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier under my desk, but if I wanted a scanner for travel, the Ambir TravelScan Pro 600 is powered via USB. That’s one less AC power supply to lug along.

Speaking of desks, I swapped a huge desk for a model with a much smaller footprint just like the Empire Mobile Workstation. It keeps my PC off the floor and it was easy to put together; plus, it still has room for my Skype phone, Nintendo DS, and all the antacids I need in a day’s work!

organize your home, tiny room
Image by the awesome Hiroshi Sumiyama.

Kitchen Aides

Before I moved into my home, a previous owner remodeled the kitchen with a lazy susan in one cabinet and a lid rack. These two helpers gave me the ability to store a lot of canned and dry goods as well as enough bakeware to last a century.

Right now, I have a major case of envy for my neighbor’s kitchen cart. She can store things inside it, use its top as extra counter space, and it has wheels if she wants to roll it to another area. A cart definitely helps in a kitchen with limited storage areas.

Bedrooms: Law & Order

If an attractive TV detective had to search for evidence in our bedrooms, I wouldn’t want him or her to get overwhelmed by our belongings. I have baskets to hold the remote controls and a storage headboard similar to the Prepac Black Full/Queen Storage Headboard with a ton of space for my craft books.

A child’s bedroom seems to take more energy to manage, given the influx of toys and other goodies throughout the year. To make a zoo’s worth of stuffed animals accessible, I like a net such as a Stuffed Animal & Toy Organizer. With this net, the toys stay off the floor and don’t wander into the kitchen. Now for sets of toys like LEGOs or fashion dolls, I like plastic drawers. The Iris 5-Drawer Organizer looks like it could hold several armies of little green guys, but wouldn’t take up a large amount of space.

Even though my palace now seems like a country cottage, I know I can find more ways to save space (at least it’s not as tiny as the International Space Station!). So what are your favorite space savers? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Timo July 16, 2010 at 11:30 am

I believe having a “decluttering mindset” is a key to have a home with less stuff. This means that I like to go through all my stuff on regular basis and donate/sell/recycle the stuff I don’t use anymore. By that way I don’t have to do a one huge decluttering project sometime in the future. Also, doing small things right away, like cleaning the kitchen table after eating, are something that prevent the clutter in the first place.

I like also to do “pre-emptive” decluttering as much as possible before it has even entered my home in the first place – like cutting off all the unnecessary magazine subscriptions, turning bills electronic (if possible) and making justified decisions before buying something.

2 Nicolas July 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Looking at your pictures some ideas come to my mind:

1. The shoes: some shoes storage thing really would help there, as they take a big footprint.

2. Chairs: having the eating table close to the desk will save you 1 chair.

3. The eating table: One of those tables that fold on the wall will save you some room, as you are not eating all the time; on the bottom side, the one that shows when folded can have some art like a poster or so.

4. The pile of clothes: there are ways to deal with it.

And that is all, I really enjoy your blog.

3 Kevin February 6, 2011 at 2:30 am

Oh that’s a small room!

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