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Old 05-03-2013, 08:26 AM   #1
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Storage/Organization In A Small House

We just moved into a small house that I really like. The only issue is it is really small(1200sqf) for a family of 6. I have decluttered as much as possible,but we still have a fair amount of stuff. I would love to here some ideas for making the most of the space we have.

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Old 05-03-2013, 08:29 AM   #2
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Re: Storage/Organization In A Small House

Make the most of your vertical space. That is often overlooked. So floor to ceiling bookshelves can help or a shelf around the upper part of a room can help also. Don't forget about under bed storage as well.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:39 AM   #3
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Re: Storage/Organization In A Small House

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Make the most of your vertical space. That is often overlooked. So floor to ceiling bookshelves can help or a shelf around the upper part of a room can help also. Don't forget about under bed storage as well.
Under the bed rollings containers are on the list to buy this weekend.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:15 AM   #4
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Re: Storage/Organization In A Small House

Oh and if you have a house that is cape style or even other styles like that, and you purchased (don't do this in a rental) you might have extra space behind walls that you can stuff things. I have a cape style house and over the years I have went on open houses in my neighborhood and got all sorts of ideas of storage solutions. Built in dressers and such.

If you need more ideas, pick a country in europe and look at houses for rent/sale. They are experts at maximizing space!
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:35 PM   #5
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Re: Storage/Organization In A Small House

Ottomans with storage built in are all the rage nowadays. They make for a "Quick, hide the toys and the paper clutter" in the living room while providing extra seats also.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Re: Storage/Organization In A Small House

Over the toilet racks for the bathroom. Shelves installed in even small corners. We are 5 people in a 1300 sq foot so 1 person less and 100 feet more but not much storage space. No outside storage at all. No basement/porch/attic to store things in. No linen closet either. Only cabinet in the bathroom is under the sink and a shallow medicine cabinet over the sink. Stackable washer and dryer if possible. This allows for shelves or small cabinet on the side. If not possible then shelves over the washer and dryer. Inside racks for cabinets. I just bought some to put our plastic wrap, sandwich bags, etc in. Actually ours screw into the wall. Closet organizers to maximize closet space.

For the kitchen we only have 2 small drawers. When I say small one drawer is only 7 1/2" wide. The other is 13 1/2" wide. We have a dresser in our kitchen that allows for greatly increased drawer space. I have done this in 2 places we have lived. The other place the kitchen had no drawers at all and only 3" of counter space split in half. So 1 1/2" on each side of the sink.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:46 AM   #7
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Re: Storage/Organization In A Small House

4 people, 1200 sq. feet here. One thing that really has helped was to move the kids (I have two boys) into a shared bedroom and make the middle room the play/toy/homework room. I think the rationale behind it, though, is the more important thing to take away: ELIMINATE REDUNDANCY whenever possible. Since storage is usually at a minimum, eliminating redundancy when you can make the biggest difference.

Use the vertical space, use the hall space (we have a short hallway, but have hooks up for backpacks and bags and also a chalkboard). Hooks behind bedroom doors. If you have anything like a sofa table or hall table, replace them with dressers/nightstands or appropriate storage units. Closet organizers. Wall shelves with decorative baskets -- look "nice" but contain a LOT without being visually cluttered and are less expensive, less "bulky" feeling than cabinets.

Our washer and dryer don't stack, and they're out in the garage. DH installed 3 six-foot pantry shelves above them. Not only do they hold all the various cleaners for laundry, I have space for storing a lot of other "utility" type of items as well -- extra sponges, bulk cleaners for the house etc. I like to buy a bulk and then dispense it into a small bottle that I keep in the house. Like a small bottle of vinegar under the kitchen sink, a small bottle under the bathroom sink etc.

I think those were the things we've done that made the most difference. Several years ago we remodeled our kitchen and added in extra storage there, as well, but I know that's not a quick fix.

ETA -- > don't waste time looking at decorating/organizing sites, etc, unless they are specifically for small spaces or apartments/condos. 1200 sq ft is SMALL in this day/age. My cousin lives in 900 sq ft (2 bedroom 1 bath) home with FOUR kids and her DH. She stores everything out in the garage, keeps the home in minimalist condition, and is VERY organized. It's tight, but it seems to work for them. She is an avid toy-rotator and de-clutterer. The kids bedroom is pretty much taken up by their beds. I think they have a bunk bed for the older girls and two floor mattress for the younger (a boy and a girl). During the day, they prop up the floor mattresses for extra play space.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:36 PM   #8
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Re: Storage/Organization In A Small House

Instead of a cumbersome file cabinet I have paper sorters on my walls, on the inside of my closet. It is vertical filing and completely out of the way. Sometimes they are called wall files or wall pouches. I hope you know what I mean.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:29 PM   #9
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Re: Storage/Organization In A Small House

We have 900 sq ft and 6 people so I'm making mental notes.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:40 PM   #10
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Re: Storage/Organization In A Small House

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Originally Posted by qsefthuko View Post
We have a dresser in our kitchen that allows for greatly increased drawer space.
This is genius. GENIUS. It is added counter space too, right? You could even have a piece of glass custom cut to fit the top.

We are four people and a dog in a house that's just under 1000 sq. ft. We do have a decent sized garage plus an attic so that helps a lot. I store outgrown and out of season clothes in bins in the attic, plus Christmas decorations, and toys out of rotation. My rule is that NOTHING goes into the attic unless I know for sure I will use it again. The garage is DH's domain and it's a disaster but we keep outside toys, strollers, window a/c units, tools, gardening stuff out there.

I have a small galley style kitchen with little counter space and zero pantry space. I do have a baker's rack which does give a little more counter space. We have open shelving units in the kitchen and laundry room for microwave, often-used appliances like crockpot and rice cooker, pots and pans, and pantry food. Eventually we will remodel the kitchen but for now this works. I have a shelf above my washer and dryer and just asked DH to put another one up above it -- it will be too high to easily access but I can keep the less-often used cleaning supplies up there.

Those EXPEDIT bookshelves from Ikea are awesome. We have the biggest one in our living room with baskets for storage in all the bottom cubbies, and books in the rest.

We have both kids sleeping in one room and turned the other bedroom into a play/school room (we homeschool.) I love love love having a playroom and will have all kids share a room for as long as possible in order to keep it! The next thing I'm going to do is get two 2x4 cubby EXPEDIT bookshelves for the playroom and eliminate the rest of our current toy storage. Those laminated particle board cupboards from Target are cheap but do hold a lot. I used one for pantry food storage until we outgrew it; now it's used for craft supplies in the playroom, and I have another one in the laundry room for random crap.

Add a shelf up high in the bedroom closet. A couple of our closets have that and it's actually really nice. Other wise it's kind of wasted space. We have over-the-door hooks on every door in our hallway -- some have hooks on both sides. I don't care for under the bed storage because stuff gets so dusty, but that could just be an issue with my house/beds. Maybe we all need bedskirts!

Make sure shelves in closets are the right size. We have a linen closet in our hallway but the shelves are only half the depth of the closet. Ridiculous. That's on my project list ...

We just remodeled our one tiny bathroom -- we have a medicine cabinet and small vanity with storage underneath, and I have plans to add a cabinet above the toilet as well as a small shelf on one wall.
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