Creative Ways to Maximize Space in a Small House

Small spaces can often be challenging to navigate when it comes to organizing. You may find yourself staring at a sea of clutter amongst table tops and floor and drawer space. But don’t let that overwhelm you. 

Whether in a smaller bungalow in Los Angeles or a studio apartment in Brooklyn, New York, this Redfin article unveils expert tips for effectively maximizing space in a small house. From no-lid containers to helping you organize vertically, let’s explore creative strategies that not only optimize space but also elevate the aesthetics and practicality of living in a small home.

Bungalow house in Los Angeles

1. Remove non-essentials

Before moving forward in your conquest of buying organizers, hooks, or other items to help maximize space in a small house, Daphne Valcin, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Corporate Trainer with Daphne Valcin Coaching, Inc. recommends removing non-essentials from cluttered areas. Not only is this going to offer a fresh slate to incorporate other organization methods into your home, but it will also help support your mental well-being.

Valcin says, “Recycling, scanning, or distributing extra items that take up too much space around areas such as a desk can create the mental space needed for greater productivity.” 

2. Repurpose everyday items

If you’ve found items that are hard to part with, you could repurpose them into something useful (such as a storage object). Chris Szetela, Owner of Maid VIP, recommends embracing the “art of repurposing” and offers examples of transforming neglected items into something with a greater purpose.

He shares how, “an older ladder can be turned into a stylish bookshelf, or transform old mason jars into hanging bathroom organizers.” If you’re a fan of DIY projects, repurposing items adds an element of creativity and individuality to your space.

Linen Closet

3. Implement a labeling strategy 

Whether you repurposed items such as mason jars into storage containers or have purchased boxes to neatly store items, adding labels to these items can help you quickly and efficiently find what you’re looking for.

Francisco Ramirez with Ramirez Carpet Cleaning shares how labeling can benefit kitchen shelves and children’s playrooms. Ramirez adds to elevate your closet space, you can add labels such as “workout gear” to “formal wear,” making your life easier to navigate

4. Add shelves or hanging organizers to walls 

When organizing, we often think “eye-level” and forget what’s above us (generally empty white walls). Leveraging vertical space can help you organize by utilizing longer, narrower segments of your home.

Ashley Rapp with Hello! Staging and Organizing suggests, “installing shelves or hanging organizers on walls to make use of unused vertical space.” Adding how vertical storage, “can be beneficial in small rooms and closets.”

double vanity sink in bathroom
Photo courtesy of Violet Marsh

5. Roll your clothes, don’t fold

While “folding clothes” is much more ingrained, it isn’t the only way to store your clothes and may not always be the most effective way. This is especially true when  maximizing space in a small house. 

Tatiana Vorobiova, Marketing Associate at Catherine’s Cleaning, shares how, “rolling clothes is suitable for anyone looking to maximize drawer space while maintaining visibility of all items.” She adds that rolling clothes suit those with limited drawer space, frequent travelers, and people who prefer a visual overview of their clothing options.

6. Maximize bathroom draw storage

If you live in a small home, you likely don’t have much extra storage space in your bathroom.  And for those with multistep skincare routines, you may be in search of somewhere to store your products. Rather than having cluttered countertops, Tanya Lacourse with Violet Marsh Interiors shares how drawers are essential.

Organizing bathroom drawers with no-lid containers that house your products can help effectively find what you’re searching for. Consider having containers for AM products, PM products, make-up, and miscellaneous skincare or hair care products. Lastly, Lacourse adds that if you’re remodeling a bathroom, you’ll want to consider the vanities to have layers of drawers where space is not sparse.

blue mud room
Photo courtesy of Copper Sky Design and Remodel

7. Create a drop zone near your door or entryway

In the pursuit of optimizing space within a small house, the entryway often holds untapped potential. Transform this transitional area into a practical drop zone to effectively manage everyday essentials and prevent clutter from spreading throughout your home. 

Betsy Buckley, Director of Business Operations for Coppery Sky Design and Remodeling, shares how carving out a niche in a hallway that feels like a natural drop zone with built-ins for everyday items that struggle to find a home can help with organization. From shoe bins to coat hooks, find relief knowing even the dirtier things will have a home.

8.Embrace vertical storage solutions in your kitchen

Kitchens are the heart of a home—where holidays are spent and memories are made. However, from pots and pans to an assortment of utensils, a kitchen can become one of the most cluttered places in a home – especially if you don’t have much space to begin with.

Barbara Metzel with Professional Organizing Plus shares how you can place items such as utensils or spices on hanging racks, magnetic spice containers on walls, or within pantries. Additionally, you’ll want to create pull-out pantries to easily store dry goods and continue the trend of maximizing vertical space.

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