Maximize Your Space: 10 Biggest Tips to Create Space in Your Small Place

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As a professional organizer in New York City – one of the most space-challenged places in the country – I help my clients make the best use of every inch of space in tiny apartments. Here’s how:

  • Clear clutter – Less is more. Get rid of things you don’t use, don’t need, and don’t love. This will free up space quickly. Make some extra cash or get a tax donation by selling or donating your excess possessions.
  • Take advantage of “prime real estate” – When space is at a minimum, it’s crucial that you use it wisely. Utilize the space that is most accessible and most visible for the things you use most often. Keep things clear by storing the stuff you use less frequently in out-of-the-way places. Read more about the organizing principle of prime real estate
  • Size does matter – Make sure your furniture, appliances and accessories aren’t too big for your space. Even changing the size of a lamp or a rug can make your place seem more spacious.
  • Go vertical – Use shelves, hooks and racks to store stuff on walls, doors, even from the ceiling. Get creative – a spice rack can be used in the bathroom; an over-the-door shoe holder can store office supplies.

Image courtesy of Barb McMahon

  • Find hidden space – Unused space behind doors, in corners and under beds can be great for storage. Boxes and containers come in all sizes; you can find something to fit any nook.
  • Get double-duty furniture – Get the most out of your furniture. Consider coffee tables with storage, benches with shelves or cubbies, ottomans with hidden compartments. A loft bed gives you more available floor space.
  • Keep it light – Don’t let your furniture overwhelm your space. Glass looks lighter than wood. Furniture with thin legs seems to take up less space. Chairs without arms are less bulky.
  • Contain yourself – Store things in containers to make your space look less cluttered. Boxes on shelves can contain – and hide – all sorts of things, from clothing to papers to batteries, light bulbs and other utilitarian items.
  • Pack it and stack it – Look for furniture that can be put away, folded up or stacked when it’s not needed, such as nesting tables and folding chairs. Furniture on wheels can be easily moved to reconfigure your space for different uses.
  • Think outside the box – If all else fails, consider renting storage space. If you use outside storage wisely – to store items you actually use (like out of season clothes or sporting equipment) or need to keep (like old tax records), it can be well worth the expense. However, think twice before storing bulky items like furniture that you might use “some day”; the long-term cost of storage could be more than the value of the items.
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