Living in small spaces.


marilyn monroe

Photo by J R Eyerman from LIFE photo archive hosted by Google.

Today’s post comes to you from blogger Kristen Costa.

My house is the perfect size for just one person- a great sized living area, decent kitchen, and two bedrooms that have plenty of space for a bed and office. While it’s big on charm and historic touches, it lacks in a big area- closet space.

One of the first tasks for me to figure out in this small house was how to optimize the space that I did have available to me. Organization tools and keeping things tidy is one of my secret strange enjoyments of life, so the task of figuring out how to put towels, household items, cleaning products, blankets, and other random items into one hall closet was a challenge I took on wholeheartedly!

Living in a small space with a lot of stuff is the first issue at hand- how many cleaners does one really need? How many extra facecloths should be clean and available for use at any one time? As I tried to organize the storage spaces, it was clear that I had to cut down a lot of the items that I was trying to fit in. Living on a small scale doe not mean going without, it just means thinking about the necessities and actual needs of day to day living instead of the convenience of having everything you want in one place. Plus, if items are pared down to what only needs to be available on a regular basis, there is much less frustration and time spent looking for something when you really need it. Nothing more frustrating than trying to search through a shelf of random medical supplies to find one Band-Aid while your finger bleeds!

Walking into any home improvement or décor store and going to their organization section can either fill you with glee at the options or make you feel overwhelmed by all the various storage possibilities. It’s important to go with measurements for your space, especially if you are looking for baskets or containers to fit squarely into a shelf space in a closet. It can also be helpful to make a list of what you want from your organizational tools- all the bottles organized in one easy to grab kit? Somewhere to hang towels? Whatever the issue is, there is undoubtedly a storage solution for it. And don’t count out other storage options not originally designed just for bathroom or closet- I use an over-the-door shoe storage hanger on the inside of one of my closets to organize medicines and first aid supplies, and a small pencil box in my kitchen to organize small utensils.

In my opinion, the best tip for organizing a small space is to have things serve a dual purpose. I get a lot of great comments on how much the decorative boxes stand out in my living room; many people say they would never think to use them as a décor element in a room. The best part about them is not that they are pretty (though that helps!), but also that they store various placemats, tablecloths, and other random dining items that I use every so often. Having elements in the space that multitask is the Holy Grail of organization!

In the end, it all comes down to what works for you and what makes you happy. If going into a closet or drawer makes you frustrated week after week, it’s time to change the situation. Being in our own spaces, no matter how large or small, should be all about us and the things that make us happy, so spend a few minutes purging and sorting to get your storage into its happy place.

Kristen Costa is a lover of all things history, books, and research. Her day job is as a museum curator but loves sharing her passion for writing and the written word with the world. As a freelance blogger, her clients include an apartment-finding service for those seeking Fort Worth Apartments. She lives in Massachusetts, but on the border of RI so calls both states home. She currently is living on her own for the first time (at the age of 29!) and loving every single minute of it. Her blog is Life By Kristen.

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