We all remember our first homes. These little hovels had minuscule square footage, and the limited space made the walls feel like they were closing in on you. Milk crates and locker hardware were your only options to give your space function. However, a tiny home doesn’t have to feel claustrophobic. With a little throwing away, organizing, double duty and creative thinking, your tiny home can feel like a mini mansion.
Throwing it away
The hardest thing to face in a small space is the amount of unnecessary stuff we have. Over time, papers will pile up, and our recyclables become boxes stacked in our closet’s corner. In small spaces, clutter quickly becomes overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to.
Start by picking one corner or space. Touch each item to determine if it makes you happy. If it doesn’t, toss it or give it away. Organizing guru Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” says, “You immediately know if an item makes you feel joy when you hold it. By only keeping those things that create bliss, we simplify our lives and eliminate the stuff that consumes our lives”.
Next, don’t procrastinate. We all think, “I’ll put it up later.” The problem is later never comes, and soon things are piling up again. Create the habit of putting stuff up immediately, and if needed, schedule a time and day weekly to go through and do what your mom did — put away or throw away. Going through papers at a scheduled time prevents the piles from getting too large and you from missing a payment.
The old kindergarten adage is “a place for everything and everything in its place”. By giving your things a home, it is quick and easy to clean-up. Your guests feel comfortable and at ease, yet this is easier said than done in a small space. Where do you put stuff when there is no place to put it?
Wall space is often under utilized. From floor to ceiling, there is a lot of emptiness that can be turned in space for something. Try adding cork board, metal strips, hooks, or velcro. These can provide places to hang small items like utensils, tools, or even jewelry. Floor to ceiling bookcases and long draperies draw the eye upward and give the feeling of height. Built-in bookcases provide storage for everything from books to dishes.
Toss out the egg crates, but choose furniture pieces that are the right size for your space and can be used for multiple functions. Tables that nestle or have tucked away seating offer a place to eat as well as somewhere to showcase items when you are entertaining. Seating that doubles as storage allows you to put items away out of sight you do not use all of the time or you might be embarrassed by if company comes. Murphy beds provide a classy looking piece of furniture that doubles as a bed, and the new lines can provide desk space and room separation.
Your personality should show in your home. Don’t be afraid to put your keen eye for style and imagination to use. If hooks aren’t your thing, drawer pulls or old utensils could be used to create the perfect place for your pictures. Want to turn your tiny bath into a spa? Roll your towels and place them in a wine rack on the toilet tank. Anything can turn a small space into an organized one with imagination.