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Organized Living in Small Spaces

Hubby and I have lived in a 1000sq ft apartment for four years and I can't complaint that we have too little space. We have yet to learn how to keep things tidy (we tend to leave things not in their "homes" after using them and I've been doings lots of reading about getting organized. Eg find "homes" for everything and put them back EVERYTIME after using them. *smack hand*

The best part about staying in a relatively small space is that I don't have to climb stairs and clean multiple floors. I do my weekly cleaning which usually takes about 2 hours. Hubby works everyday so he escapes the cleaning routine (good tactic for guys- I should have learned the same tactic much earlier!).

We have three rooms- one master bedroom, one guest bedroom and one room which now looks like a storage room for all our work files and props (I work from home and he used to work from home) . We have a small kitchen (enough for me to prepare meals with my basic skills) and living room cum dining area.

I could do with a one more mini kitchen larder, a storage box for the stuff on the dining table, a storage box for stuff on the working table and a covered shoe rack.

I like the height of this shoe shelf as I can place a mirror or pretty posters or potted plants on top but I don't like it as it has no doors.

Winsome Dayton Storage Hall Bench with Shelves

This would be really practical but we would need two units to fill all our shoes and I'm not liking the idea of exposed shoes .

Kings Brand Black / Chocolate Micro Fabric Shoe Rack Organizer & Hallway Bench
Kings Brand Black / Chocolate Micro Fabric Shoe Rack Organizer & Hallway Bench

I really love this and it would be perfect

Furniture of America Westwood 7-Shelf Shoe Cabinet, Black

If I could get one storage item, this would be it.

So how does one live comfortably in small spaces? did a feature recently and here are some tips shared:

Tips from interior designer Sonia Simpfendorfer
* When it comes to an apartment, anything under 50sqm is considered very small. There is more flexibility with a house which can feel bigger if well planned. Bedrooms should have a clear floor space of 3m x 3m not including robes, and living areas are most workable if they are 4m x 4m.
* When decorating limit the colour palette of the finishes. If the kitchen and bathroom tiles meld seamlessly with the colour of the carpet the spaces will feel bigger. Use the same colour paint throughout the house, and match the timber veneer for shelves and wardrobes.
Keep colours and timber the same. Picture: Earl Carter
Keep colours and timber the same. Picture: Earl Carter Source: Supplied
* Use finishes to the full height of the room. Tiling a bathroom from floor to ceiling makes a space feel larger and calmer. Full height on wardrobe doors and other cupboards also works.
* Find two ways to use one space. A dedicated study can be a luxury so put a power point inside a tall cupboard for the technology that doesn’t need to be accessed all the time. Get a laptop and use the dining table as a desk.
*Recommended furniture shops include Cult, Space Furniture, Jardan, Anibou and Zuster, as well as Euroluce and Artemide for lighting.


Tips from Small Spaces owner Sarah O’Neill
* Light and air flow are critical.
* Quality is important as furniture and rugs will get more use than usual.
* If you can afford it hire a designer or architect, Hannah Tribe and Nicholas Gurney are two Sydney architects doing some fantastic work in this area.
* The quality of the development is important as are the facilities, common areas for entertaining, gardens, rooftop terraces, pool, vicinity to shops, cafes, parks etc.
Tips from house cleaner and home organiser Bethany Clayton
* Keep one area sacred: Make sure at least one room (such as the bedroom) is simple and relaxing, not full of dressers and shelves. This provides a place to escape to if the house is cluttered or messy.
* Get out: Spend some time outdoors in a yard or nearby park.
* Make everything multi-functional: To make a ottoman more practical, remove the top cushion, add a bottom and some castors and put the top back on as a “lid” so that it can store linens and seasonal items inside.
* Never waste space under or above furniture: In a couple square feet, it was possible to fit a sewing desk, craft storage and a dog crate.
Bethany Clayton adjusted a wardrobe to house a sewing desk storage and dog crate. Picture
Bethany Clayton adjusted a wardrobe to house a sewing desk storage and dog crate. Picture: Nicole Alvarez, Source: Supplied
Blogger Nicole Alvarez
* Take charge of how you light your space, which can completely change how it feels.
* Get crafty about how you solve your storage needs while creating “functional decorations” like the cork accessory organiser.
Tips from Ikea Australia interior design manager Tiffany Buckins
* It’s OK to have a large scale piece of furniture like a sofa but make sure that you have some room around it.
* Invest in chairs that will work both inside and out, preferably ones that are also stackable.
* Look at hidden opportunities for storage. Underbed storage is great, you are maximising space you can’t see.
* Think about what activities you like to do as a family. If you enjoy games night, take those activities back to functional needs.
* Consider dual purpose or two-in-one furniture items. For example the APPLARO/TOSTERO outside wooden bench that doubles as a storage box, the classic VILASUND sofa bed. The NORDLI chest of drawers were designed by Ola Wihlborg to be modular and can be put together in at least 19 different ways.
The NORDLI chest of drawers were designed to be customisable. Picture: Ikea Australia.
The NORDLI chest of drawers were designed to be customisable. Picture: Ikea Australia. Source: Supplied
* Think vertical when it comes to storage. In the kitchen opt for high cabinets with shelves and in the bedroom look for vertical wardrobe solutions such as the ALGOT upright wire baskets.
* When buying storage items, fill them with existing items. Try to avoid filling new storage solutions with new items ... otherwise you are still left with the clutter!
Do you have any tips for living in a small space? Tweet @lilcloudsoftot or leave a comment below.
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  1. Love all the storage suggestions - it is something I really suffer with in my house, definitely need more space! :) Sim x

    1. Keeping things in order with kids can be a challenge. With limited space, we learn to control the things we buy so it can be a good thing!

  2. all these furnitures are looking great here..especially that black shelf shoe cabinet.

    1. Yeah, if I could buy one shoe storage shelf, it will be the last one featured here

  3. Super need this! We will be moving to a smaller space soon, so your storage tips are so useful!

    1. That's cool! Do share us photos of your new space!

  4. My flat is small and i need more storage. i need to look into more storagelike these

    1. You'll be amazed the cool storage furniture available

  5. great..I just love the way you have organized your home which looks quite spacious coz of the organized setting plan.

    1. My home is so disorganized! I'll be learning from the tips above too!

  6. As population increases and liveable spaces shrink and standard of living increases, it is important to be able to find creative living spaces and be able to convert or double them up as other stuff... thanks for all these suggestions!

    1. That's right, Tiffany! There are so many ways of arranging furniture so that the space looks more spacious

  7. I needed this very article when I was still living in a studio type condo! This had all the answers I needed to get organized in that cramped up space haha. I'll just pass it on to the neighbors I left there, I guess. Thanks for the wonderful and useful tips!

    1. Awww dang! I should have created this blog earlier!

  8. Wow great idea! I love how you maximized the space of your home. I would love to see more designs. I have purchased a small space house recently as a start up self-acquired property. And these are helpful tips.

    1. I've not maximized the space in my home but I think these tips can help me!

  9. What nice looking shelves you show here. Giving us ideas on the kids rooms when they move out of the family bedroom soon.

    1. Ooh! How old are your kids? There are so many cool ideas nowadays

  10. Shelves and cabinets are a must haves for any home, big and especially for small homes and apartments. Great storage and can hide those clutter.

  11. Thanks for the tips. We really need to fix our home this summer and your ideas will come in handy.

    1. That's great! Do share some before and after photos and I could do a short interview with you :)

  12. i like the idea of a shoe rack incorporated with a bench. not only save space but is super practical too. you take your shoes and sit down to wear them. :)

    1. That's true! Wish the shelf had doors to cover the shoes though

  13. I find it magical when interior decorators turn a small space into a cozy beautiful home... Nice tips on use of space.

  14. My new place is pretty small, will keep in mind these tips :)

  15. Having an extremely small bedroom, this is quite a helpful post for me. Thanks a lot!

  16. Those are some very practical and useful tips to use space judiciously!

  17. All really great ideas. I actually went to Ikea yesterday and saw the design of a very small living space and they did such a great job I was amazed.


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