Stay Sane Mom Founder
Published in House, Organization on February 28, 2019
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If you consider your humble abode to be, well, a little more on the “humble” side, this doesn’t mean that it can’t still pack a punch when it comes to showing your interior design prowess.
I personally have been in several larger houses that make me want to leave and immediately binge-watch youtube videos on minimalist design to cleanse my brain from all the clutter to which I’ve just been subjected. (Not naming names. You know who you are.)
On the other hand, I have several friends with houses scarcely larger than an apartment whose houses are so organized they put mine to shame!
Overall, smaller spaces can lend themselves to looking poky and cluttered. They are a bit harder to organize and require a bit more vigilance to keep clean and organized on a regular basis.
However, with a bit of interior design magic, you can make your little patch of bricks and mortar appear more spacious, cozy and unique. In fact, smaller spaces are becoming more en vogue lately, as the world’s growing population is getting harder and harder to accommodate.
As such, it is becoming more crucial than ever to utilize your flair and artistry (or if you’re like me, manic levels of organization) to make your small space clean, organized, and chic.
The following are three easy strategies to make sure your small space still yells “classy design”. (Actually, it’s probably more polite if it just says “classy design” in a normal voice, but you get the point.)
If the square footage of your rooms is smaller than average, it doesn’t make sense to fill it with average or large pieces of furniture.
My daughter discovered this when she begged for a bean bag chair, but (after it finally arrived and made its way into her room) quickly discovered that it ate up most of her floor space. Let’s just say we use it as a dog bed now. Lesson learned.
For the cozier dining room, you can try utilizing a fold away dining table or one with extendable leaves. This is perfect for the more modestly-sized room, but can still accommodate a larger capacity if needed. When you have guests, you can always use the drop leaves or extensions as and when necessary.
Similarly, if you have a fairly tight living space, don’t be tempted to squeeze in an entire sectional sofa. A smaller living area means that you might need to be more creative with your seating arrangements.
You can try opting for less bulky Scandinavian inspired designs or looking into the odd stool or beanbag chair (a small one...trust me) that you can hide away in the corner of the room.
Overall, you want your living area to appear spacious and airy. Don’t overcrowd your space with too much furniture.
Many homes across the nation are downstairs heavy. This means that the accommodation downstairs can be spacious, yet the sleeping quarters are much smaller. There’s a direct correlation between the number of bedrooms and the price a house can sell for, so it’s in developers’ best interests to cram as many bedrooms as possible into any given house.
Unfortunately, this means that many of us are going to end up in bedrooms of less than optimal size.
When you hit the sack at night you want to look forward to going to bed. The idea of finally surviving another crazy, chaotic day and then entering a cluttered room is anything but calming.
If your bedroom is on the smaller side, consider utilizing a queen bed instead of a king bed (or a day bed rather than a full size, if it’s a kid’s room) in order to maximize the space in the room.
Ensure that you have a declutter of the space and make sure some of the shelving areas remain free rather than piled up with ornaments, knick knacks, and books. As I mention in my post on how criminology’s “broken windows theory” applies to your house, I am a huge fan of shelves and themed dump boxes. This is a huge space-saver, especially in a smaller room.
Also, don’t be afraid to leverage wall space. There are adorable shelves at very modest price points (cough, cough, Target Run), and with a bit of quality time with some wall anchors, you have a very sturdy way to get some stuff off the floor and out of the way.
Many smaller homes appear to lack storage.
Unfortunately, this translates to a house that looks far more cluttered than your actual lifestyle would suggest. If you are ever tempted to put your home on the market with an agent like William Pitt, they’ll be the first to tell you that you have to emulate a lifestyle. Appearing to have outgrown a property is not a good look to sell a dwelling.
In fact, appearing to have outgrown your house, it will also make a huge dent in your quality of life as well. If I have to move nine things to the side just to reach the paper towels, I’m going to be one cranky Mama indeed.
Instead, install some nifty storage solutions into your house, such as an ottoman bed, a storage footstool, or some built-ins or storage nooks. By utilizing every inch of space that you have in a purposeful way, you can get rid of the things you don’t use on a daily basis, so only your most frequently used items get displayed prominently.
Having a smaller property isn’t to be sniffed at. Sometimes opting for a smaller house can get you in a nicer area, a better school district, or an amazing view you couldn’t have afforded otherwise.
Have no fear, with a few tweaks, you can have a chic and classy home decor even in a small space.
What have you done to navigate your smaller spaces? Any tricks I missed? Leave your wisdom in the comments!
Remember up above where I mentioned that smaller spaces are harder to keep clean?
Yeah, I wasn't kidding around. My first solo living situation was a studio apartment with a husky that shed like a furnado (TM pending). It's a CHALLENGE to keep smaller spaces clean.
So, if this is the boat you're in, I've attached a printable workbook that you can use to keep your house clean...and keep it that way. It's all the tricks I've accumulated taking care of my house that now houses a toddler, a teenager, 200+ cumulative pounds of dog (including said husky), and a rabbit the size of an obese housecat. (Read: I clean a lot!)
Check it out. It has lots of easy, practical tricks to keep even your small space look photoshoot ready!
Founder | Contributor
Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder (and unabashed digital nerd), PhD student (and huge psychology geek), workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of stepmom to a preteen girl (and Instagram addict) and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid (now a toddlernado supreme). Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
Stay Sane Mom gives support to the over-worked, under-slept, marker-stained, soul-hungry moms of the world, so they can be more than just "mom".
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