When you move to a small home and it turns out that you’ve brought too much stuff with you, the first instinct, usually, is to get rid of excess items to be able to fit everything in such a limited space. But for many reasons, this can be difficult to do for some people—whether it’s because of the sentimental value that their belongings hold or because they literally cannot afford to lose them.
If this sounds like your current situation, fret not. There are a lot of ways you can maximize your space, no matter how limited it may be. So, if you have a lot of stuff but not a lot of space in your new home, here are the best ways to make it work:
Build a new closet
If the current closet space is simply not enough to store your belongings, why not build a new closet altogether? Even a single closet with a simple design can make a huge difference. You can even have custom-made closet systems built according to your specific needs and, more importantly, how much available space you have. The bottom line is: when you don’t have enough storage space, sometimes the best solution is to make more.
Utilize the spaces underneath furniture
Don’t let the space under your bed, your desk, the coffee table, and other pieces of furniture go to waste. Utilize as much of it as you can by hiding infrequently used stuff there. To keep things organized, use storage containers that fit perfectly between the furniture and the floor.
Maximize vertical space
When you have limited floor space, it can be difficult to fit everything that you have without making the room look cluttered. What’s more, is that buying extra dressers or standalone closets may not work best because they still consume precious floor space. So, instead of consuming horizontal space, go vertical.
There are many techniques you can use to maximize vertical space. One of the best ones is to install shelves, ideally over pieces of furniture, to make use of the wall space (e.g. putting wall shelves over dressers). If you don’t want to install shelves directly on the wall, buy a shelf that extends upward instead of sideways so that it consumes space vertically.
Look for extra space in the closet
Take a look at your closet and see if there is any available space that you can use to store more stuff. Even if it looks full, there is probably extra storage space that you’re not seeing. For example, if the closet only has a rod and nothing else, you can use the space above it to install a shelf for shoes, seasonal items, and other stuff. Or if there is unused space on the floor of the closet, you can probably fit stackable storage containers to maximize every bit of available space that you have.
Invest in double-duty furniture
Certain pieces of furniture can double as a storage space. For instance, a combined bookshelf and desk can function as both a storage area and a workspace. There are also pieces of comfort furniture (e.g. bed, sofa, ottomans) that have storage space built-in, usually underneath them. These types of furniture work great for small spaces because they keep stuff hidden without consuming more space than necessary.
Install hooks inside cabinet doors
Mounting hooks inside the cabinet or closet doors can help solve your storage problem and, at the same time, keep frequently used items within easy reach. For example, you can install hooks inside the doors of your under-counter kitchen cabinets to store pots, pans, and utensils to free up storage space in the actual cabinet.
If there doesn’t seem to be enough room in your closets, drawers, or cabinets, maybe it’s because they are not organized. Think about how much space you can free up if you used organizers in the kitchen cabinets or perhaps folded your clothes in a more space-saving way. Even if it seems that there is not enough room, there may still be a way to fit more stuff if you organize them properly and use every bit of available space that you have.
Living in a small space and having too much stuff can feel nothing short of a hopeless case—but we hope these storage strategies have made you realize that there are a lot of ways to maximize a small space. Nevertheless, it always helps to pare down—even just a little bit—by getting rid of unnecessary items that don’t make your life any easier.