It’s time to say goodbye to those impossible-to-organize small spaces. The trick to a clutter-free life? Work up instead of out.
Keeping your space organized can feel like a constant uphill battle. Whether you have kids running around or you are just trying to find storage solutions for your work from home clutter, hope is not lost. Fortunately, you can turn even your smallest spaces into functional, beautiful areas that won’t make you want to scream. The key? Using your vertical space.
In a small home, the horizontal surface area is limited. Having too much stuff on the floor or countertops can make your space look and feel more chaotic than it actually is. Not a lot of people look up and think of storage solutions, but I do, and you should too. Simply put, if you’re not thinking vertically, you’re missing out.
SIMPLE STORAGE SOLUTION: THE ELFA SHELVING UNIT
If your space is starting to feel a little tight and you’re lost on where to start, then I am about to introduce you to your new best friend- the Elfa shelving unit. This staple from the Container Store is affordable, versatile, and a personal favorite.
Every time I move, my Elfa comes with me. Call me dramatic, but I don’t even want to imagine my life without it. It’s sturdy and super easy to install. I can take it down and put it up by myself.
Basically, the Elfa is a bracket system. You start by hanging a long track towards the top of your wall. This is the only part that actually screws in, so it’s super renter-friendly. Just make sure that the track is level and sturdily screwed into a stud to avoid any mishaps.
From there, you’re going to hang vertical tracks that allow you to attach your shelves, drawers, and even a countertop or desk space. When I tell you this unit is versatile, I mean it. You can configure everything to exactly suit your needs, and if you don’t like the layout? You can rearrange it in less than an hour.
Personally, I use my Elfa for my home office, but you shouldn’t limit yourself on how you use it. I think that this shelving system would be perfect for a kitchen, garage, craft room, or anywhere else in your home where you’re short on space.
To see how I set up my Elfa shelving unit in my home office, watch the video below:
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5 MORE SMALL SPACE STORAGE SOLUTIONS
Now that you know about my secret weapon, let’s go over some more tips to help you organize the spaces that can feel impossible to tackle. Honestly, it’s all about getting creative. You can organize every square inch of your home by utilizing your available vertical space.
Here are 5 more tips to maximize your storage and keep your home organized:
1. STACK, STACK, STACK
Part of the method of organizing small spaces is to make sure that you can see and reach everything that you need. If you find yourself just tossing things in your cabinets and hoping for the best, then it’s probably time to invest in some stacking drawers and bins.
Stacking containers are a great asset if your space is a little tight. You can use small drawers to keep bathroom essentials and cleaning supplies organized, and you can use stacking bins on high up shelves to store seasonal gear and things you might not need constant access to.
Pro organizing tip: label each container so that you don’t have to tear all of them apart every time you need to find something. These can be fancy or simple, depending on how visible they are.
2. DON’T WASTE SURFACE AREA
We already know that you don’t want your countertops and floor space to look cluttered, so you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. It’s time to rethink what we consider to be “surface area,” and part of what I want you to consider is the inside of your cabinet and closet doors.
Some people might already have a hook for dish towels on the inside of the cupboard under their kitchen sink, but most people don’t even think of this as a surface area at all, let alone as the prime storage real estate that it actually is.
Hanging a small pegboard, a rail, or some wire shelves on the inside of your cupboard and closet doors will maximize your organization’s options and make everything easier to find.
3. GET CREATIVE WITH HOOKS
Hooks aren’t just for your foyer and your bathroom anymore. Seriously, you can use hooks everywhere in your home. Look for inexpensive options at big box stores like Target that match your hardware theme and aren’t total eyesores. Then, you can use your hooks in creative ways to start storing vertically!
I love the use of wall hooks in a space such as a laundry room or pantry to get your ironing board, mop, and broom off the floor. They are also a great way to prevent your jewelry from turning into a tangled mess on top of your dresser.
4. MAXIMIZE YOUR EXISTING SHELF SPACE
You might initially look at a pantry or closet with tall shelves and think of it as an asset to your home, but it can actually be a huge hindrance when it comes to staying organized. Taller shelves mean that you are stacking things on top of each other and losing track of your belongings behind those stacks. This ends up being a recipe for a huge mess.
Using shelf organizers for your taller shelves helps to maximize the number of items you can fit in your cabinets and allow you to see everything that is in there at once. This way, you can keep things neat and tidy while making the most out of your storage.
5. IF YOU CAN’T GO UP, GO UNDER
If you’ve made the most out of your vertical space but you still have the stuff to tuck away, start thinking about storage solutions for underneath your furniture. This doesn’t mean shoving all of your extra linens in a pile under your bed, it means coming up with clever storage solutions that you can hide with your furniture!
There are plenty of couches and bed frames that offer sneaky down-low storage options, but if you’re not on the market for new furniture, you can simply pick up some bins or baskets to tuck everything neatly away.
I know living in a small space can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have any clever tricks for staying organized in a small space, I’d love to hear from you on my Facebook page.
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