Organizing Small Spaces :: Designate a {Limited} Place for EVERYthing

We're in the midst of a series featuring tips and strategies for organizing small spaces.
 



Here's what we've covered so far:
  1. How to Create Space in Small Living Areas
  2. Maximize Storage with Shelving
Today, let's talk about finding a place for everything

Quote by Benjamin Franklin; Wall Decal by Twismo

When striving to achieve organization in any space, it's important to find a place or 'home' for each and every item you own.  If there is not a designated space for things to go, they'll immediately turn into clutter.    I've said before that clutter is magnetic.  It just takes one or two 'homeless' items lying around, and more nearly always tends to gather there as well.

  It is especially important to find 'a place for everything' when living in a small space, because items that are out of place are always 'in your face.'  There's just no hiding the visual clutter.


The first step is to truly accept and embrace the storage you actually have currently and then begin setting up visual boundaries in addition to a few limiting containers for your things to 'live'.


Take a tour around your home  
 - Make note of where clutter regularly builds up and what items are the usual suspects of landing there.   When your tour is finished, begin making action plans of where 'homeless' items could potentially live, rather than always landing in any random location.

Assigning specific places for things will save time you're likely currently loosing while looking around for them.  This will also grant you a general sense of peace, knowing important things will be there when you need and want them.

Never can find your keys, wallet and/or purse?

- Designate a specific place for them.
A simple solution could be as simple as a few cleverly mounted hooks:

{ via Better Homes & Gardens }

...or in a decorative dish, sitting on a shelf near where you enter/exit the house:

{ via TheLateAfternoon.com }

Always poking around for where the various remote controls, cords or small electronic devices could be?

- Give them a specific place like a tray, bin, or basket:

{ via 1cheapmama }


{ via goodbyehousehellohome.com }


Feel like you're drowning in newspapers, magazines or books?  

-Choose a limiting container, shelf or space for them to be stowed.
When it's full, let some go before allowing any more in your home:

{ via decorpad.com }

  • Paper is a # 1 culprit for cluttering up counter tops.  
  • Toys and children's belongings are also regular offenders in main living areas.  

-Set up small 'zones' in specific areas of your home to house these things.
Then, only allow what will fit in that space to be stored there.


 There has always been a designated place for a few toys to be stored in the main living areas of our home.  Here's a peek of the 'toy zone' in our living room:

{only toys that fit in this corner may 'live' in our living room}

We currently live in a 2 story home.  While most toys 'live' upstairs in bed rooms, I know my kiddos would much rather play where everyone else is on the main level.  I'm fine with allowing a limited amount of toys to be in the living room/family room - as long as there is an 'out of the way' place for them to be put away between play sessions.  Once these 3 baskets are full, the expectation is that some toys must be put away upstairs before new ones are stored here.  (that big one is actually a bit fuller than I'd prefer - but that's how it *really* looks during rest time today) ;)


We're preparing to move to a new home in the next few months, and I've got a little something like this in mind to house 'living room toys' in an even more concealed manner:
 
{ via 6th Street Design School }

I linked to a post from CentsationalGirl.com on the Operation Organization-MN Facebook page recently highlighting ideas on setting up a Home Office in a Small Space. Check it out!

Both paper and toy clutter will likely require minor daily maintenance to keep on top of, but again - this 'defining the space' is just a first step....

Living in a small space means you must be ever more diligent to 'keep only what is truly useful and beautiful' as well as what actually fits in the space you have available.   

Though you may have a beautiful collection of shoes and/or purses, only keep what you can reasonably and adequately store within a designated {and limited} space.  Consider an under-the-bed storage bin or an over-the-door organizer to hold extras that are not being used.

{ over the door purse rack by Linens & Things }

When these places/spaces are full, that is a visual boundary to remind you that you need to let go of some of these items before purchasing or collecting any more.

If you simply adore the hobby of scrap-booking, crafting, or preparing an artfully packaged gift, you have to be very aware about how much space you realistically have to stow the physical materials that all these activities require.  Set up a limited space where they will belong as well as limiting containers that will fit comfortably into that space.  Then, don't purchase any more than will fit there:


{ creative gift wrap idea collage via HappyClippings.com }

A shared family bathroom can be quite difficult to keep tidy when considering all the items used by multiple people each end every day.
- I love this idea by a thrifty and clever homeschooling mom of four:

{ via Saving4Six.com }

Assign a uniform sized personal care container for each family member to hold necessary bathroom gear.  If there is not space for these containers within the bathroom (inside a cabinet, closet or constructed open shelving).  A bathroom caddy could be created for each family member to keep in bedrooms and toted to the bathroom - just like life in the dorms:


{ via hercampus.com }

It's important to understand that just assigning things a 'home' does not automatically guarantee they'll always be there (that's whole other discipline to developing an organized lifestyle), but knowing you have a space and place for your things is certainly a step in the right direction.


 Are there areas in your home or office that could use some designated storage planning ?


I'd love to come alongside you to help save time & money!


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Thanks for reading!

If you have a specific question, I would love to connect with you via email:
OperationOrganizationByHeidi@gmail.com