Wednesday, April 1, 2009

WFMW: Small Home Ideas??

Today is Backwards Day over at WeareThatFamily. So instead of a tip I will be posting a question for all you fellow bloggers who choose to comment.

This question is for all of you who have or still do live in a small home. What are some ideas or tips on organization and such that has helped you live in an orderly and clutter-free environment while still in a small home?

My husband and I live in a home that is right around 1000 sq ft and we have one child. Right now the only thing we struggle with is very little closet space. The issue is if we continue as we plan to and stay here for several more years while saving to build a house, things could get rather cramped. I would love to hear from you on any ideas you choose to share.


mvlegacy said...

That is such a great question! I've been trying to figure that very thing out as we prepare for our second baby while living in a one bedroom apartment. :-) One piece of advice that was given to me was to make use of ALL available space...under beds, dressers, etc. I don't particularly enjoy storing things under beds but it simply must be done. :-)

One thing that has helped me is occasionally going through the closets and finding things to either get rid of or put in storage, although we have pretty much maxed out our storage space. :-) We recently put a lot of our wedding gifts in storage...ones that I haven't used in the past two years. :-)

Kim said...

My only suggestion would be to have things do double duty - coffee table that is a chest for books or games, TV stand with drawers for movies and CDs, end tables with storage.

Kristy said...

My house is only a bit bigger than yours, but I'm the only one living in it, so I don't know much advice I can offer you. But here are a couple ideas:

* Make sure you don't keep anything that you absolutely need. Declutter on a regular basis. And, if needed, use the one-in-one-out rule - every time you bring something new in the house, take something else out.

* Find furniture and decoration that does double-duty. Rather than a traditional coffee table, use one with storage space inside. Use nightstands with storage space, too, rather than simple tables.

* Check out Ikea - in person if you can, online if you can't. Their store and catalog have a ton of ideas for small space living. Some of it is super-modern, but even if that's not your style, you might get ideas.

Rachael said...

We are about to be a family of 4 in 700 square feet, so this is a topic dear to my heart (2 adults, one toddler, one baby to come in May:). We use lots of rubbermaid tubs...sometimes covering them with blankets etc. to use as tables in places that aren't in regular traffic areas. We also keep a constant goodwill bag so we don't accumulate too much stuff.

Stephanie said...

When we lived in a small apartment, I used a lot of under bed storage boxes to put, well under the bed, and any other place I could stuff them. I also found dividing racks useful in cupboards to help utilize all the space. I think Crystal at Biblical Womanhood had a post on small spaces before. You may want to look it up :)

Larissa Smith said...

For small closet space, go online and order a pants trolley. It is a rolling cart thingie that handles hanging pants, thus freeing up the rod space for shirts and dresses. Also, make use of all the sides of the closet and hang hooks on the sides and back to keep hats, bags, umbrellas, even toys off the floor but easy to grab.

For other storage, yes you need to make use of underbed and such, but I'll take it one step further. Especially for toys, but also for items that move around the house as needed, make any storage easily carry-able and with a lid. I mean, if you have a rolling underbed box for toys, that makes it hard to pick up and carry into the living room to play, which means toys will be strewn along the way. A picnic basket might work better - easy to take around, but also easy to clean up and stow. Drawers, baskets with lids, etc. can store and look good at the same time. I also had luck with pop-up canvas bins that I used as "drawers" on the bottom bookshelves - pretty discreet, cheap, and easy to put to use. Take CD's and DVD's out of their cases and put into a notebook style holder.

Most importantly, clean out constantly. Goodwill and the trash can will save your sanity.

'Becca said...

Use your vertical space! My friends who lived in a very small apartment put a shelf around the top of every room, about 8" deep in the hallway and 12" deep everywhere else, at the height of the tops of the doorframes. Then they put all kinds of stuff up there: books, stacks of sweaters, extra toilet paper, etc. with a gap every few feet to display an attractive but occasionally useful object such as a globe.

With your lack of closet space, put only those clothes that MUST be hung in the closet. Anything that can be stored folded, put in a drawer or on a shelf.

Melissa D at said...

I'd also recommend buying fewer things of better quality, especially adult clothing. I have SO many articles of clothing that seemed like good buys at the time, especially since I was postpartum, as well as an entire wardrobe in a smaller size, thinking "I'll get back down to size 6 soon"... then got pregnant again. :-)

I've discovered the wonders of cashmere and now my few JCrew pieces get all the wear and my cheaper stuff just sits in my closet. I'm cleaning out my clothes for consignment, gave all my size 6s to my sister, and will save up for a new, pared-down postpartum wardrobe. VERY pared down....