There’s no place like home. True, but when your home feels like it’s bursting at the seams it can make your whole life feel messy.
Some time ago, my husband and I, along with our two dogs and a cat, rented a 950 square feet two-bedroom house in NoDa. I had just started my real estate business and mainly worked from home. It was, shall we say, cozy. In order for us to function without tripping over each other and our stuff, we had to get a little creative.
Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your small space.
CREATE MULTI PURPOSE SPACES: The largest room in that house was actually the dining room. We split the room in two to get double duty out of the space. On one end we had the dining room and on the other end we set up office space for me. An inexpensive room divider adds definition without taking up too much room. A four panel screen can give the space a mid-century modern feel. In New York City, funky room dividers make it possible for 12 people to share a two bedroom apartment, but I digress.
BOOKCASES AREN’T JUST FOR BOOKS: An open bookcase can display china, pottery as well as books. Get those plain, stuffy library-like images out of your head. Modern bookcases can become their own works of art inside your home when done right.
ADD SHELVING: Many older homes have skimpy storage but gloriously tall ceilings. You can add another shelf or two (or three!) in your closets for your extra pillows, blankets, tools, serving pieces, anything you don’t use every day. Just keep a step stool handy.
USE FURNITURE WITH MULTIPLE USES: If you have a small kids room, beds with built in storage are a must-have. Loft beds help maximize ceiling height and floor space with shelves, drawers, cubbies and even a desk underneath. Kids love having secret compartments to put their favorite things.
DON’T FORGET CABINET DOORS: When you’ve run out of room everywhere else use the back of your door. Get a file box or magazine holder and attach it to the door with strong adhesive to store your aluminum foil and plastic wrap in the kitchn. There are spice racks you can attach to cabinet doors as well and shelving on your pantry door can neatly organize canned goods, pasta and cereal boxes. Over the door shoe hangers are great for storing bathroom toiletries or office/craft supplies.
THINK OUT OF THE BOX: In our old home, there was very little closet space, so we turned our second smaller bedroom into a functional and fun dressing room. We added a large armoire, a dresser, a long standing mirror and even a clothes rack. Instead of shoving all of our stuff into tiny closets we had a roomy space for our clothes and accessories that made it feel like a quaint boutique in our own home. We also kept clutter to a minimum by rotating out off-season clothes and shoes and putting it in the ample attic space.
Some of the most desirable neighborhoods have the smallest homes. Remember, the ceiling’s the limit when it comes to finding storage solutions.