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Friday, November 30, 2012

Organizing Small Spaces

Some of the small spaces I’m thinking of are studio apartments, small condos, small eco-friendly homes – those kind of small spaces.

Spaces where you might need to get a little creative in how you think about what you buy and how it can be used.

Here is a list of items you may find useful in your small space. The more creative you get, the more original and unique your space will be.

Storage Ideas

Shelving Units

Shelves can be bought with three, six, nine, and twelve cubbies. Storage can be used for shoes, books, photos, knick knacks (if you must), dishware, clothes, purses, keys, food, and you can even add small hooks and use one for jewelry.

Re-purposing Items for Shelves

If you are someone, like me, that likes to recycle and re-purpose items, look to apple crates. I love these especially if you can find the old ones in good condition. Stack them as high as you need them and connect them with brackets.

These can be used anywhere in the home and are great for getting your things looking neat and organized.


An ottoman with storage is great for an extra place to put things. Many come with flip tops with a tray on one side, these are great when entertaining. These come in all shapes, sizes, and colors to suit your needs.

Old Suitcases

I like old suitcases because they have a character all their own. If they could tell us stories, I’m sure we’d be captivated. I use old suitcases to store linens, blankets, sweaters, shoes and so on.

Then you can stack the suitcases and use them as a side table or night stand.

Small Jars with Lids

If your shelf space is limited, get creative. Baby food jars or other small jars with lids can be affixed to the underside of shelves for storing herbs, candies, craft items, makeup, etc.


Coat Racks, Wall Hooks

If you don’t have a closet or you have a small closet and need more room for hanging clothes, look for wall hooks or a coat rack. You can hang hats, coats, umbrellas, scarves, etc.

An antique hall tree might work for you. They have hooks for hanging your hangables, a seat, and some have storage and a mirror. You could even put a little table in front of the seat for eating - if you are really limited on space.

You can also make your own by using old door knobs and hooks on an old piece of barn wood or something.

Hanging Organizers

There are hanging organizers for shoes and clothes. These can hang in closets when there is no room for a dresser or behind a door for storing shoes.

Hanging organizers also work great for your personal paperwork, crafts, office supplies, and so many other things when you’re limited on space.

Sleeping Arrangements

Loft Bunks

If you are truly limited on space, one option is to think about loft bunks. With these you have a top bunk for sleeping and space below for a couch, dresser, table and chairs, or even a closet area.

Transforming Sofas

There are sofas made that transform in seconds into bunk beds with ladder and guard rail. The downfall with these is they can be a bit spendy, but definitely a great idea!

Sleeper Sofa/Futon

Futons fold out in seconds from sofa to bed, same with the sleeper sofa. What’s nice about the sleeper sofa is you can get them with storage for extra bedding materials.

These are just some ideas for you to run with. Take a look in thrift stores and don't be afraid to re-purpose items to make them your own. 

Image courtesy of Michael Coghlan

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