In small spaces, optimal storage is a necessity — particularly in main living areas. So how can you make the most of your square footage? What furniture is best? Which appliances make the most sense? How can decorating be a factor? To help answer these questions, here’s a look at 10 quick tips for optimizing storage even in a marginal space. To get the most bang for your buck storage wise, this is what you need to do:
- Pick Multipurpose Furnishings: To make the most of limited space, every item needs to pull double duty. The coffee table could also be a trunk where you store blankets, the end table could have shelves underneath for favorite books and the dining table in the living room might function as a desk when you’re working from home.
- Pick Smaller Furnishings: Rather than picking a king-size bed for the bedroom it barely fits in, downgrade to a queen or full. Instead of a sectional in your cozy living room, pick a regular sofa or a loveseat. Often when you match the size of your furniture to the size of your space, it makes a dramatic difference in the way the space feels.
- Go with Efficient Appliances: Choosing an eco-friendly washer/dryer set will not only lower your energy bills and reduce energy waste, but it also will save space when you pick a stackable model. The same goes for appliances in the kitchen. Purchase small, efficient models that will provide valuable utility even while taking minimal space in your floor plan.
- Add Storage to Unused Nooks and Crannies: What does the space under your sinks, between cabinets, below the staircase, and on the back of doors have in common? All of these areas are unused storage possibilities. If you have a laundry room, add shelving under the sink or between cabinets and the wall. If you have space behind a door in the bedroom or a living area, add hooks for hanging clothes or other items.
- Build a Laundry Station: Have a front-loading washer/dryer set? Consider turning it into a one-stop laundry station by adding storage units on either side and placing a countertop over the entire top. This gives you convenient places for storage detergent, fabric softener, etc. — as well as an easy place to fold laundry as soon as it’s dry.
- Cut Clutter: Getting rid of clutter isn’t always simple — it usually requires an initial time investment at least — but you’ll likely find big benefits in the process. When there’s less clogging your living areas, there’s more space to be enjoyed. Remove unnecessary objects from countertops, dressers and tables, opting for open space wherever you can.
- Maximize Light: Dark rooms tend to feel more confined, so make the most of your spaces by keeping them light and bright! While you may not be able to add windows or open walls, you can find ways to highlight the light that’s available. Consider adding mirrors, for example, to bounce light around the room and give the illusion of more space.
- Light Closets: Old and/or small houses and apartments are notorious for poor lighting, especially in closets. But the good news is that you don’t have to be an electrician to add more light. Look for battery-operated LED ceiling lights that you can mount right to your ceiling, or anywhere else you want an added brightness boost!
- Try Minimal Color Schemes: In terms of maximizing space, sticking to a monochromatic color scheme makes sense. Bright white walls and white furnishings make your space brighter, but even light blues or tans can work well to keep a room feeling airy and less cramped.
- Remove Doors: There are places where doors are necessary, such as bathrooms and bedrooms where privacy is important — but elsewhere, feel free to take doors out. Even doors on closets aren’t necessary. You can add curtains or go with open shelving, either of which gives you more floor space.
Even a small space can feel bigger with a little strategy. Use the tips above to make the most of yours!
Corey Tournet is the owner of The Laundry Alternative, which offers eco-friendly, cost effective, and space saving washers and dryers.