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Expert Tips for Creating Space in a Small House

Living in a smaller home doesn’t mean you have to give up half of your belongings to make it more livable. The key is to get creative and create space wherever possible. Whether it’s having multipurpose furniture or using over-the-door racks, there are plenty of simple solutions to make the most of your space! Before you get to it, check out these organizing experts’ best tips to create space in a small house.

1. Buy an inexpensive 3-tiered rolling cart. There are so many functional and stylish options for your home and office. This functional cart can be used for things like corralling your files and office supplies, keeping bath products handy, and can even be used in the kitchen for serving purposes or as a functional bar cart. – Perfectly Placed, Susan Carmody

2. Know the limitations of the space. Don’t overstuff, whether it’s drawers, a closet, or the house itself. – Be Neatly Organized, Melissa Ward

3. Designate the most valuable real estate in your home. The most easily accessible and visible surfaces, drawers, and cabinets should be home for only your “A-List” items. Things you use once a week or more often. Then come the “B Listers.” These are things used once a month or more and can be stored in less accessible areas. Finally, anything used less than once or month or seasonally needs to be stored in clearly labeled bins and swapped out or used as needed. – Peaceful Place Organizers, Julie Brooks

4. Lighten Up. Dark spaces are more likely to become and stay disorganized. Light helps to encourage order and makes for easier maintenance. To achieve adequate lighting I recommend using a stick-up LED light like a Promier light-switch. – Pinch-Hitter, Josephine Paige

5. Use double-duty furniture. This allows you to not only maximize your physical space but also the functionality of a space. In other words, it’s not only a nightstand next to your bed – choose a piece that is high enough to hold your lamp and alarm clock but also the right size to pull up a chair so it can double as a small writing desk. Or choose a piece that is not ordinarily seen as a nightstand but can serve as such and also provide you with storage for blankets or off-season clothing.– Organization Lane, Sandra Lane

6. Organizing is about surfaces. If you keep surfaces clear, your home will always look neat and inviting. – Sort-It-Out, Marsha Sims

Using magnetic car phone mounts on walls in your small home frees up space on counters or end tables. The Scosche brand is my favorite. – Organize Simply, Tracy Bowers

7. Incorporate a seasonal closet. Store off-season clothing and shoes in another location, and use the seasonal switch out as an opportunity to purge any items you didn’t wear. This practice will also cut down on visual clutter and streamline your morning routine. – Clean Lines Organizing and Design, Lesley Deyesu

8. Utilizing vertical spaces. One of the best ways to make use of space in a small home is to take advantage of the vertical space. Incorporate shelves or cupboards all the way to the ceiling for added storage to keep things off the ground and countertops. – Organized at Last, Lauren Godfrey

You can also utilize vertical space by using floor to ceiling bookshelves and hooks. Also, using the back of doors for additional storage is key for making the most practical use in a small home. – Organize With Lisa LLC, Lisa Harris

We use pegboards to organize kids’ toys — mostly nerf guns — because they get toys off the floor and insight. They are always a big hit with parents and children — kids love how they look. The boards are also extremely useful in craft rooms and for storing wrapping paper. We find that if your tools and supplies are insight you are more likely to use them and then put them back when you are done. – Blue Pencil Home, Amy Trainum

9. Let go of items that don’t serve us. The best way to maximize space in a small house is to make sure you’re surrounded by the things you love and the best way to find out what we really love is to get rid of everything we don’t. So many times we hold on to things out of fear of the future or an attachment to the past. If we can let go of items that don’t serve us it will free up space in our smaller homes for the things that do. – Sacred Space Organizing, Erin Neumann

10. Create space where it doesn’t exist. Our favorite hack is to add an over-the-door organization unit. This is a perfect solution for bathrooms with minimal storage, pantry doors to hold those sauces and snacks, or even craft rooms to hold wrapping paper and gifting accessories. – RíOrganize, Ría Safford

Build-up & utilize wall space to maximize smaller living areas. Use them as your blank canvas to hang shelves, bookcases, and hooks, etc. This will clear up floor space & add more depth to your living area. – Balance Home Organizing, Megan Mossuto

11. Consider having a closet system installed. Features such as pull out shelves, pant racks, dual hanging rods, and built-in drawers can double or even triple your closet’s storage capacity. – Closets For Life

12. Use “workhorse” possessions. My city rowhouse feels spacious when I’m only storing “workhorses.” These are possessions that are functional, versatile, durable and can take the place of other items with hyper-specific uses. I don’t need to cram plastic party cups, stacks of Tupperware, and bud vases in my prime kitchen real estate when a set of jars can serve all those functions perfectly. – Bmore Minimal, Megan Doyle

13. Upgrade your hangers. Skinny hangers accomplish two actions at once: they unify the look of your closet AND they save you a ton of space. The only exceptions are proper coat hangers for any jacket that needs support, like your suit coats. Don’t skimp on those hangers and you’ll still end up with space to spare. – Andrew Mellen Professional Organizing, Andrew Mellen

14. Use unexpected areas for storage. When organizing your home, don’t forget about the obscure spaces like the side of your refrigerator, the side of your cabinets/oven, behind doors, and under beds. To avoid your space looking cluttered and unorganized, we recommend you use acrylic containers, baskets, or folding baskets to hide and beautify. – LifeSquire

15. Use an Elfa door rack from The Container Store. I use them in almost all of my clients’ Manhattan apartments. They’re extremely versatile, modular and basically create an entire closet out of the inside of almost any door! I’ve created entryways, pantries, shoe storage and more from them! Super easy to install, no drilling and you can barely see them from the outside of the door. – Shelfie, Sara Losonci

16. Cut out visual clutter in your bathroom by keeping counters cleared and having all daily used items in easy-to-reach spots. For small bathrooms, organize your extra/back stock products in stackable bins for a clutter-free bathroom. – Organizational Logistics, Abby Cone

17. Remove smaller food items from their original packaging. Packaging can be bulky and take up a lot of extra space in your kitchen or pantry, so remove the individual granola bars/snacks from their original box and put them into a bin/container/jar where you keep all of those like items together. – Serene Spaces Professional Organizing and Consulting, Cassie Thompson

Photo Credit: Organized Life Design

18. Built-ins are your BFF’s. Built-in bookcases or cabinets may be more expensive than a piece of furniture but it’s the best way to take advantage of every inch. When you consider a built-in for an office or a playroom, you can build out wall to wall and floor to ceiling. You can also customize the layout to be shelves, drawers, cabinets, or all three! – Organized Life Design, Meggie Mangione

Don’t be afraid of using your homes built-in storage in new and unconventional ways. Think outside the box. For example, we recently used a linen closet as storage for planner supplies and podcast equipment, that was otherwise creating havoc in the living room.- Sensational Organizing, Elva Fonseca

19. Opt for love seats in place of couches. Rarely do more than 2 people sit on a couch when there are other seating options available. Love seats take up less space, making the room seem larger. – A Decluttered Life, Mindy Doyle

20. Only keep essentials. Having fewer items to store and manage allows the space to feel calmer and less cluttered. Cull your quantity of bed and bath linens and small kitchen appliances. Only keep the essentials, the ones that you use frequently. – Start Somewhere Organizing & Coaching, Erin Morper

21. Making your small kitchen function at it’s best. Use an under cabinet mounted paper towel dispenser to save counter space. Use tiered spice racks for finding your favorite spices easier. Increase the use of vertical cabinet space with shelf risers. – Functional Spaces, Melanie Higuchi

22. Sort mail as it comes through the doors will have many benefits. Invest in a small organizing system, such as a small bin with dividers, and place it in an accessible location (near the door or where the pile of mail usually sits). Each day, take 1 minute to sort the mail by priority or type. You don’t need to read it all, just decide to which category it belongs. Then, once a week grab each stack and thoroughly file each item. – Sarasota Home Organizer, Elizabeth Harrison

23. Place items that aren’t used as often on higher shelves. While it is great to place items you utilize daily at arm’s length, there are other items that can be on a higher shelf. The benefit is that you have room for the items you need daily and space is not cluttered. People often leave the higher space empty and cram everything into below, then think they have no space. They do, just need to look up and devise a system that works for them to utilize all of the vertical space. – Lock and Key Home, Kim Jones

24. Reduce household paper clutter. A few tips for doing so include: canceling subscriptions for newspapers/magazines/newsletters that you never read (research whether these periodicals are available online). Avoid printing documents that can be accessed online. Sign up to receive paperless bills/financial statements and take advantage of online bill pay services whenever possible. – Refined Rooms, Natalie Gallagher

25. Make more room on your shoe racks by alternating the direction that the shoe faces. It makes a huge difference for clunky boots. – Organized Sanctuaries, Elise Hay

Originally published by Redfin


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