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Tuesday Tip - How to Declutter Small Living Spaces

Decluttering Small Spaces

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This guest post is contributed by Real Estate Unlimited, a real estate group representing the Echo Park neighborhood and other historic neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area. 

If you’re living in a smaller space, you want to keep clutter to a minimum – but how can you ensure that extra positions won’t pile up? In this post, we’ll look at some ways you can cut down on clutter and maximize space.  

Storage Smarts

Storage containers might have a reputation as clunky and unattractive, limited to spaces where they can be kept out of sight – but these days, you can find modular storage containers in a variety of colors and styles. These containers will allow you to make use of extra space – the area under the bed, for example, or the few square feet under an entryway table. For easy access, you can choose containers with wheels or drawers. For extra efficiency, invest in furniture with storage built in – an ottoman with space inside for blankets, or a bed whose foundation holds a set of drawers.  

Get Vertical

Wall-mounted storage shelves are a great way to open up floor space, especially when you’re storing items that you don’t need to access regularly. If your work or study area is covered with disorganized piles of paper, hang file folders near your desk, or use file folders near your entryway to hold mail. Magnetic boards, bulletin boards, and whiteboards are also a handy and space-efficient option for reminders, messages, and lists. This “clothesline” display is an inventive and attractive way to show off holiday and birthday cards, and all you need is a few feet of twine and a handful of clothespins. 

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Get Mobile

If you live in a small one-bedroom or an efficiency, any piece of furniture represents a big investment in floor space. You can solve this problem by selecting furniture that’s modular and portable. For example, a set of shelves or file baskets with wheels can be pushed back against the wall or into a closet when not in use. A lap desk or this creative armrest-shelf offer surface space without bulk. A convertible futon can serve as bed and couch. A hanging desk can be lifted up to a vertical position to free up floor space. Whatever your layout, you can find a flexible and creative furniture setup to fit your apartment.  

Throw It Out!

The best way to maximize space is to have less stuff taking up space, right? You don’t have to go “full KonMari,” but you should make a habit of tossing excess possessions. Junk mail, old magazines, unworn clothing, expired food, and cracked dishes should be thrown away immediately. You might also want to consider digital alternatives to clutter-prone paper products – catalogs, newspapers, magazine subscriptions, take-out menus, address books, and day planners can all be shifted online. If you do need to keep a space for “junk,” make it a temporary space – a Tupperware container or paper bag – instead of a permanent installation in a drawer or closet.  

Establish Priorities

One reason it can be difficult to keep a small space organized is that each cramped storage space has to serve a variety of purposes. For example, if you keep your special-occasion wineglasses and your everyday coffee mugs in the same cupboard, you’ll constantly be shifting them around. Solve this problem by sorting items by frequency of use instead of type – party dishes in an upper cupboard, coffee mugs in a rack over the sink, soy sauce and peanut butter in the front of the pantry, vanilla extract and chocolate sauce in the back. Whenever you buy anything, ask yourself – “Will I use this every day? Once a week? Occasionally?” and store it accordingly.  

Efficient living spaces have a slender margin of error for clutter, but with these creative storage and sorting solutions, you’ll be on your way to a more spacious interior space in no time!  

About the Author: Real Estate Unlimited is a premiere real estate agency located in Southern California, serving Echo Park and nearby neighborhoods. We pride ourselves on our personalized, hands-on service, ensuring that all of our clients are matched with the perfect home in the perfect area. 


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