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The age of the McMansion is dwindling and more and more couples and families are realizing that they need to learn to live in less space.  The simplicity movement has gained many converts from those having to downsize to smaller living quarters, but many people want to keep their stuff with them while living in less square footage.  Here are a few ideas on how to make the best use of small spaces.

coffee table with storageMultipurpose is King

New Yorkers learned decades ago that using the same space for multiple functions is key with the covered bathtub serving as kitchen table being the cliche. Of course, the invention of the sleep sofa and the futon also fit into this category along with the wall-sized entertainment certain with plenty of space for media storage.

Continue thinking that way as you create storage options. An antique trunk can serve as coffee table or ottoman while storing linens, games, books, or other objects. Some sofas come with drawers for organizing remotes, magazines, and media.

There are designers around the world creating multipurpose units to be installed in small apartments and tiny houses.  Think of a loft bed with an office underneath as an example. Then imagine a single structure that includes a bed, closet and storage space, a desk, a sofa, a sound system, and even a hidden bath. That’s the extreme, but it can help you imagine applications that would work in your home.

Reclaim Space

Look around your home and identify any dead spaces.  Can the gap under the stairs be converted into storage? Is there room under the bed for storage tubs? If not, can you use risers to lift the bed a few inches and create space? How many doors do you have that could have organizers or storage on the back? How much space is there in your closets for shelves, cabinets, or other storage options?  Did you know that there are special organizers for hanging on shower doors? Is there extra space in your laundry room you could use?

It is important to think vertically in small spaces.  Shelves and cabinets don’t have to stop at eye height. Consider putting a short shelf all around the bathroom or kitchen that sits above the door frame. Floor to ceiling cabinets are an option for any room in the house.

The ability to think creatively about space is going to be the key to finding places to store everything in your small home. Peruse the internet, browse through container stores, and look at design magazines and pretty soon you’ll have a place for everything.

 

image by Wicker Paradise via Creative Commons License

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