The Secret Art of Decluttering and Organizing a Small Home

Space is one of the most valuable assets your home gives you. If you have a small home, you need to use your space wisely in order to get the most out of it. It might seem like a daunting task, especially if you have a family, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. This article will guide you how to use your space wisely, so you can live comfortably and cleanly in a small home.

Step 1: Purge

In your small space, everything should have a purpose and a place. So why should you create a place for an item that you don’t want or doesn’t serve a useful purpose? The answer is, you shouldn’t. This is why the first step to cleaning is actually not organizing; it is getting rid of everything you don’t want and don’t need. Marie Kondo, a famous professional organizer from Japan, takes an even more radical approach to this method by saying that you should only keep things you love, things that “spark joy”, and get rid of the rest. “Unless you truly, deeply love an item, it has no business in your home. This means the first purging session can be rough, but the euphoria that comes with unloading a single bag of unnecessary clutter makes going H.A.M. on the rest of your space easy,” explains Goop. Throw it out, donate it, do what is necessary to get it out of your house. When you are done purging, then you will be left with only the most important and useful belongings that you treasure, and the task of organizing will be much easier.

When it comes to getting rid of sentimental items, people often have a difficult time. There are a few different ways to approach this. First, if the item is emotionally burdensome, such as a belonging left behind by an ex, you should get rid of it. Second, if it is a keepsake—for example, a drawing that a child made—you can photograph the treasure and keep it on your phone, computer, or a thumb drive. That way, you will be able to treasure the memory of the object without physically storing it. If you must keep many sentimental objects, then perhaps try limiting yourself to what can fit in one box, rather than keeping everything.

Step 2: Organize

Once you have taken the necessary step of purging, then you can begin with organizing. Invest in containers and other creative storage solutions that fit your situation and help you find what you need quickly. For example, get a bin for all your cleaning supplies; get stackable plastic bins for your garage; get an over-the-door shoe organizer for your closet; build a laundry-bin dresser to keep the children’s toys off the floor. The kinds of customizable organizer hacks are nearly endless; there is something for every home and every situation. Do your research, and collect organization ideas that you love. Implement them in your house. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Teach your children how to use them, and be patient.

Step 3: Invest in Multi-Purpose Items

There are plenty of space-smart solutions for the savvy shopper today. The more purposes that a single item can serve, the better; you can eliminate excess items by replacing them with one multi-purpose item. For example, a sofa that folds out into a bed can give a unique guest space that you might not otherwise have.  If you have a staircase, look to see if you can include drawers or a closet under the staircase for increased storage. Need more storage in your living room? Try changing out that old coffee table for a hidden-storage ottoman. Need a place for extra guests to sit? Check out stackable stools that can pack away neatly in the closet. The spaces that you create will need to be intimate because you are working with a small floor area, but use what you have. Create storage solutions that take up minimal floor space while offering maximum storage in return.

Step 3: Lease a Storage Unit

If you really feel that no matter how much you purge, clean, and organize, you still just don’t have enough space, then you’re probably at the stage where you should look into a storage unit. Maybe you need a place to put your kayak or other camping gear; maybe you need a place to stash decorations and crafting supplies; maybe you need a place to keep your motorcycle safe before you sell it. The truth is, there are a lot of reasons and uses for a storage unit. The cost of a unit will vary depending on a number of factors. Just be sure to get the proper kind of unit for your belongings! According to Arcy Martinez from the Aurora Stor-n-lock facility, “If you plan to store items that are susceptible to fluctuating temperatures, such as family heirlooms, electronics, wood or leather furniture or important paper documents, you will want to search for storage units with climate control.” Otherwise, these valuable possessions may get damaged from temperature changes.

Regardless of the space you have, there are easy ways to maximize it. Be sure to keep these tips in mind while cleaning and reorganizing your home!

Willow Stevens

Willow is a mother of six who begins to feel the empty nest, with faer oldest child living with his long-time girlfriend in another state, and the next three begin their talks about jobs and the excitement of college and living alone. Willow started couponing in 2007 to save their family some money on the grocery budget. That's how Freetail Therapy was born, so that fae could share their knowledge of saving money with others. Though the site has become so much more since then, and now includes homeschooling and homesteading info, Willow still does it all on a budget and shares how. Willow enjoys snagging freebies, snuggling with their dog, Xander, drinking decaf coffee, gardening, cannabis and of course, their large frugal family.

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