Are you feeling beaten by your small space? Have no fear. These savvy organizing strategies will help you find space you didn’t know you had.
Maximize space inside your closets
It’s important to make every inch of your valuable storage real estate count. Group like with like and place things in the closet closest to where they will be used. If space is really tight sometimes it’s most efficient to group like shapes together. I chose a slim line laundry hamper from Neatfreak (www.neatfreak.com) to use in my foyer closet to contain awkward items such as a yoga mat, vacuum wand, wrapping paper rolls and my tennis racquet. Very sturdy Neatclips allow me to make use of the space above the hamper by hanging bags or boots from the top bar. I added coordinating bins on upper shelves which stack and provide discrete yet spacious storage for a variety of lightweight items such as off-season hats and mitts, cooler bags and cleaning cloths.
How to fit it all in one room
In one large room that must serve as kitchen, dining and living space, it can be challenging fit it all in. Getting clear on what you need to cook, eat and relax comfortably is important to guide your decisions. Two islands from IKEA (ikea.ca) expanded both the counter space and storage. A smaller footprint desk, also from IKEA, works well as a regular dining space for two. Simply moving the wheeled islands and using them as a buffet opens up more elegant dining for four. This tight design left ample space for two sofas in the living space, perfect for conversation.
Choose space-saving products
In a small space there are often smaller appliances, so saving space in the fridge and freezer becomes even more important. I look for products that nest and compact, but I hadn’t thought about appliances that would help me do the same until I got to try the FoodSaver (www.foodsaver.com) vacuum sealer. While helping you keep your food fresher longer also helps maximize your food storage space by removing air from packages. If you pre-freeze liquid items into uniform shapes in a storage container, you can get even more out of your storage space. I now have a fully stocked fridge with soups, vegetables, meats and fish, all of which I can see easily.
Create an inspiring space
I’ve always believed that while the number one priority is to have furniture, storage spaces and tools that function well, it’s important to incorporate beauty. To achieve this, I visited Homesense (homesense.ca) and was able to find stunning furniture, accessories, carpets and curtains all complementary to my design theme. I scored gorgeous, small scale marble and gold metal coffee tables, an ivory and grey wool rug to soften the space and add warmth, and a curvy-lined condo-sized wood-edged sofa with a low enough profile to avoid compromising my view. I stacked an LED wax candle (that looks entirely real and has a four hour timer!) in a hurricane glass on top of a shiny gold box, to hide my black PVR. Here fashion hides function!
Clare Kumar, founder of Streamlife (www.streamlife.ca) and co-creator of the Pliio (www.pliio.com ) line of organizing products, is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer. She speaks, coaches and consults on how to live with greater productivity and peace of mind.
Photos: Dann Tardif