It's a fact that most of the cities are growing too fast, and the price per square foot is going up every time. We are more busy every day, so we are searching for efficiency everywhere, specially in our homes.
Apartments are now reduced to minimum dimensions for living spaces (or less than minimum) , so we are obligated to adapt and live in really small homes. New York is the city leader in this kind of living and although we have a variety of stores that carry specialized lines of organization products, it's more a of a "Lifestyle" thing to have the discipline of maintaining your space in the optimum conditions to be confortable and no-stressed.
Changing your space is an intern (psychological and emotional) and extern process, where you have to plan, organize and choose what to keep and what to throw (or donate), and finally execute your vision. It's normal that you have fears and doubts about the process, but you need to keep strong and visualize your final goal: the space that you want to live in.
TIPS FOR CREATING AN EFFICIENT SMALL SPACE
1. Plan your Space
Define the purpose of the space and design it according to your necessities and routine. Measure all the sides and trace them on paper (make a floorplan). Then, write a list of the pieces that you need to make your space. If you can't visualize on paper, grab the measuring tape and a string to "draw" on the floor the real dimensions of your furniture pieces.
2. Organize your life
Select the items that you'll keep and release what you don't need. Donate what's in good shape and can help others. The key items to revise are clothes, medicines, magazines, kitchen stuff, and bathroom stuff. Don't forget to check the expiration dates!
3. Have a Deep Cleaning
A clean space is a healthy space. Move everything (furniture, rugs, everything!) and clean your home from top to bottom. Then, write a weekly cleaning routine and a daily routine to maintain clean your space and avoid accumulating hard and dirty work.
4. Optimize your horizontal space
Don't fill your space with furniture, choose the best pieces for you and your home (and be realistic that a really big couch doesn't work on a tiny living room). Remember that if you have less pieces, your space will feel bigger.
5. Free your countertops
Stop accumulating stuff on your kitchen and bathroom countertops or on the top of your furniture. Instead, use trays to organize your daily items and your decor. Put the rest away, organized inside containers on your cabinets or drawers.
6. Store in drawers
It's the best way to organize any item and they have the capacity to organize more things that a cabinet space. Reuse containers to organize smaller items inside them.
7. Use the vertical space- "Stacking"
Organize books, boxes and accessories in shelves and make a good looking display that complements your decor. If you want to keep dust away, store in closed cabinets with inside shelves.
Use decorative boxes if you want to store your handy items on your shelves or tapers if you're storing seasonal items on the top of your closet. Create a category system and tag your boxes. I can assure you that you will reduce significantly your searching times!
9. Less is more
Complement your space with accessories that reflect your style and that have an emotional value for you. Please, avoid filling your shelves or tables, select 2 or 3 items that combine and arrange them as a unique design.
Content Originally created in spanish for Punto y Coma.