16 Hacks to Get the Most Out of Your Small Living Spaces
Whether you are living in an urban landscape like Manhattan or Los Angeles, or if you’ve simply chosen to downsize your living space in the suburbs, these 16 hacks will help you live the good life in your small space by insuring your “Home, Sweet Home” is a soothing oasis.
- Shrink to fit
Clutter is nerve-wracking in a home of any size, but an urban unit’s smallness only increases the angst generated by having too much stuff. Collect the clothes and household items you no longer use and donate them using Pickup Please to help support the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), and you’ll be amazed at how soothing your living spaces become. You can take the first step in just two minutes by scheduling your free donation pickup for a day in the future after you click HERE.
- Size it up
Store on your phone a list of the square footage of your living areas, so you’ll have them handy if you discover a cute end table or another must-have at your local rummage store. Will it fit or will it be too big? You’ll know at a glance.
- Hide outs
Utilize hidden storage spaces. You may already have a shoe storage case under your bed, but don’t forget about the empty space beneath your sofa — it’s perfect for keeping out-of-season clothes out of sight. Removable adhesive hooks on backs of doors can hold belts, purses, scarves and towels, while odd-sized items like fly swatters or cutting boards can be kept handy and out of view on top of the fridge.
- Furniture double-takes
Take a clue from boaters and swap out your old sofa or recliner for furniture that has hidden storage within. Drawers built into a couch make for great bedding storage, while storage areas within ottomans can be used for game cartridges or magazines and catalogs.
- Cooking up clutter
Do you really need a hand mixer, a juicer, a blender, a coffee grinder, and a container full of kitchen implements that also mix/juice/blend and grind, or can you free up valuable counter space by donating an item or two?
Cheating is not just for diets!
Some ways to cheat your floor plan’s size include:
- Swing out
Remove your swinging closet doors. Doors that swing open suck up a lot of space that can be gained back by removing them and putting in their place a cute curtain hung from a rod.
- Mirrors, mirrors on the wall
There’s no better trick to increase a room’s apparent size than by adding mirrors. But take this trick a step further by hanging your mirrors in places that get frequent sunlight, and the reflecting light will make the room look even bigger.
- Invite in Mother Nature
Houseplants of all sizes add visual interest and a calming factor to any room, and they can be placed to take advantage of nooks and crannies like odd-shaped corners or window sills that otherwise would go to waste.
- Wheelie good idea
Make your small space seem larger by adding flexibility to it. Four casters added to the bottom of a coffee table or futon makes opening up space a snap — plus it makes cleaning your floors a bit simpler.
- Upgrade your cleaning supplies
Unique looking brooms, brushes, buckets, and even mops that can be found online or in the housewares section of your favorite department store make for fun additions to your kitchen or closets, so you won’t mind storing them in view if your small space requires it.
- Hit the floor
Even the smallest of bath mats are too big for some urban bathrooms; if that’s the case for yours, use a plush hand-towel on the floor in front of the sink. Added plus — it will be easier to wash and dry.
The key to making a small space soothing is to quiet the clatter.
Some great ways to do that include:
Acoustic engineers say the best way to limit noise is by disturbing or deadening the sound waves that carry it — and a great way to do this is by combining textures. Wood furniture, woven rugs, leather chairs and fabric window coverings combine forces to help limit the sound chaos of urban homes.
- Hush your appliances
Many manufacturers have felt your ears’ pain recently and have released new lines of quiet appliances. So consider swapping out your dishwasher or washer/drier if your models are too loud to talk over. Depending on the age of the units you are replacing, you could also see a big savings in monthly utility bills after you install more efficient equipment.
- Keep ‘em and fix ‘em
If replacing your appliances are not an option, run them through a cycle and listen for rattles, hums, or squeaks that can be fixed with the tightening of a bolt or a squirt of lubricant. If that doesn’t do the trick, hundreds of online videos can help you or your favorite handyman DIY a quiet solution.
- Lower the curtains
Curtains aren’t just for blocking sunlight; urban interior designers have known for years that the quickest and effective way to block outside noise is by installing thick curtains. Look for the sound-deadening models, and go floor-to-ceiling if possible.
- Look down
Replace your area rugs with new ones made of thicker material that will absorb sound waves; you can donate your old rugs and put them to use helping America’s veterans and their families by scheduling a free donation pickup here:
The hassle and hubbub of urban living can end up taking over every inch of your place, turning your “Home, Sweet Home” into a place of cramped tension rather than a peaceful place away from city noise. So start implementing these hacks today and you’ll soon be living in an oasis of calm. Once your home’s organized, quiet, and decluttered, why not spread the joy back to your community? A donation of your unwanted clothes, shoes, home decor, and small furniture like desk chairs and lamps can be put to good use helping America’s veterans. You can get started on that right now by clicking the link and scheduling your free donation pickup, even before you shrink to fit!