Ok, I don’t have much room – how do I stay organized?

It’s hard enough to stay organized in a house with plenty of closests and rooms and an office and on and on….but if you live in a small space, the challenge is multiplied! Not only do you not have as many storage options available to you, anything that’s out of place will be more easily noticed when the space is limited.

I think there are 2 key points here –  pare down, and polish up! Here’s what I mean:

Pare down– you obviously don’t have room for all the things you may own. Clothes, pictures, CDs, books, etc., may have to be stored with a friend or relative for a while. This might also be a great time to purge things you don’t wear/read/listen to by donating them to Goodwill or another charity! Try to eliminate the possessions that are not necessary or thrilling – if you haven’t worn it, read it, or listened to it in 6 months, chances are you don’t need it, and you may not even remember you have it!

Polish uponce you have a smaller amount of ‘stuff’, it will be much easier to organize it, and KEEP it that way. I suggest starting with a plan – on paper, write down every area in your home that needs to be organized. Closet, pantry, cupboards, bathroom, office – list any area you can think of. Don’t forget to list things like paperwork and schedules, too! Those are often overlooked items that can cause major headaches when you don’t stay on top of them.

Once you have a plan in place, begin to tackle it – only one area a day. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself and end up quitting altogether.  Let’s use the bathroom for an example- you may have a tiny bathroom, with just enough room to turn around. No counter, no medicine cabinet, no drawers – just the basics. How the heck are you supposed to keep THAT organized?? The best and most often overlooked space is your wall! You can purchase inexpensive but attractive shelves in plastic or wicker, that will not require heavy support. Find clear bins or jars to house your necessities – displaying them attractively will make it look less cluttered. There are also over-the-door hanging options, too. A hanging shoe bag can be a great organizing tool for a small bathroom. Each pocket can be used for the things you use daily, such as toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, makeup, cotton balls, etc.

Hope this helps, and please keep suggestions for topics coming!

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2 responses to “Ok, I don’t have much room – how do I stay organized?

  1. I’m constantly working to purge our stuff!

    2 years ago we moved and DOUBLED our square footage-went from2 bed/1 bath house to a 5 bedroom 2 bat house with much larger main living areas-and yet we still managed to FILL our new home with STUFF!

    I’m working hard on ‘A place for everything and everything in it’s place’ and throwing out things we don’t use/love.

    I’m so glad you mentioned and over the door shoe organizer for a tiny bathroom! That’s what we did at our old house! We had one tiny bathroom for 4 people-the shoe organizer was one of the best ideas I ever tried!

  2. I think it’s so easy to fill empty spaces with stuff! But you have the right philosophy of a place for everything – getting rid of things is really not about logic, but about emotion. If you find that your family (husband, kids) is the hurdle to getting rid of things, try involving them into making it a family project. As homeschoolers, it can be a great learning experience for the kids in giving back/paying it forward/charity, etc. Let them help you decide what of their stuff (toys, clothes, games) would make another kid happy! Make it fun – and rewarding. Take them with you to donate the things, and reward them with a family outing that doesn’t need to cost much. Great motivation!

    Keep up the good work and enjoy your upcoming weekend from teaching! (but I bet it never stops)
    Kim

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