A wise friend once told me a story about when he and his wife downsized from their spacious five-bedroom home into a two bedroom townhome. They made a pact,
for every item either of them brought into their townhome, one old item needed to go. They had committed to living in a smaller space to simplify their lives. Letting go of some of the household clutter was part of their commitment.
Simplified and small space living is a trending idea across the nation. With TV shows like HGTV’s Tiny House – Big Living and architect Sarah Suzanka’s popular Not So Big books, there are many ideas and tips for making the most of living in a smaller space.
We’ve pulled ideas from a variety of sources highlighting tips we feel are useful and relatively easy to implement.
Ideas for Making the Most of Your Space
1. Get Rid of Clutter. This is rule number one for a reason! Excess “stuff” can negatively impact your ability to focus and process information thus causing stress. A Princeton University study
found that physical clutter competes for our attention and creates confusion and anxiety. Compound excess clutter with a small space and you have a recipe for a less than ideal situation. Getting rid of things can be taxing as well. So, how do you decide what stays and what goes? One idea would be to determine whether or not you’ve used an item in the past 12 months. If you
haven’t, it’s likely you really don’t need it.
2. Keep the Kitchen Organized. The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the house. Keeping things neat, tidy, and handy in the kitchen is important.
- Some ideas that may help get you started include;
- Adding some clear storage containers that are uniform in size and save space
- Add hooks to the backs of cabinets doors to store things like lids
- Install a few Lazy Susans in the cupboards for easy access to all of your items
- Create “work zones” in the kitchen. You’ve probably heard about the kitchen work triangle, the triangular layout between fridge, oven, and sink that makes it easy for a cook to move about the kitchen. Whether or not your kitchen conforms to this ideal, it’s helpful to think of your kitchen in terms of work zones: food storage, dishware storage, cleanup (sink and dishwasher), prep, and cooking zone
- Don’t overload your shelves – too many things in one spot will make it hard to efficiently use any of the items
3. Don’t Buy on a Whim. With each purchase, really decide if you love and truly need it. Every item brought into your space will need a place to rest.
4. Double Duty Furniture. Double-duty furniture that has storage and is easily moveable provides options for multi-use. A great example is an ottoman that doubles as a place to store blankets or games inside. This same ottoman, when equipped with foot slides, can be easily moved to provide additional seating at family gatherings.
5. Keep It Clean. Dust, clutter, and general grim can take a toll on your happiness. Keeping your space picked up each day can make a big difference. Cleaning daily, for just five minutes, can go further than it sounds. In five minutes, you could clean a bathroom sink or wipe down the stovetop. The key to this tip is consistency.