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need help organizing a VERY small space *pics added post #11* - Page 2

post #21 of 47
Nice, cute apartment!

My suggestions:
  • make every piece of furniture do double duty: you have a clothes hamper near the bed in the bedroom -- could you figure out a way to make the nightstand also serve as the clothes hamper?
  • store things inside your coolers/suitcase
  • move to one desk, maybe an L shaped one so you could both have a spot?
  • get rid of the loveseat and get yourself a storage ottoman. When you have more than 2 folks over they can sit on the floor.
  • dvd/cds in a binder.
  • consider figuring out how to maximize the use of your kitchen cabinets -- you probably have more glassware than you need.
  • You have lots of shelves, consider getting some that go all the way to the ceiling.
  • Consider closed door storage -- if you hide it behind the doors it will look less cluttered (not that it looks bad, but I find stuff behind the doors makes it look like there's more space).
  • Go through your kitchen stuff and be ruthless: do you have 3 spatulas and you only use 2?
post #22 of 47
Your apartment is super cute, but I think you could get more out of it like the others have suggested. Here are a few more ideas:

Bed risers are an option, or consider a captain's bed with drawers underneath, to give you tons more storage space and you keep your pretty headboard.

I love the ideas that the others have posted about losing the loveseat and moving your table into the dining room freeing up much needed space in the kitchen. You could also consider a "space saver" folding set like this that can be closed up when not in use and takes hardly any space at all.

You have the knives hanging, but you can do better! Consider the IKEA rail systems that are wall mounted and can hold a crazy lot of stuff. Our one 30" rail holds a two-tiered spice rack, a paper towel holder (upright), and S hooks to hold my frequently used utensils (a flipper, a big spoon, a ladle, a set of nesting stainless steel measuring cups, etc.) Also consider magnetic tins to hold your spices on the side of the fridge, freeing up shelf space.

How often do you entertain? You have lots of dishes for just two people. Consider paring down to just the amount you frequently have for dinner - say, four sets of plates, bowls, flatware, cups - and you'll have less to store and less to wash. Put them in a cabinet on something like this. Like others said, be ruthless about what you use and don't use. If you're going to entertain for a big crowd, you could ask people to bring plates, or use disposable, or rent them inexpensively, all options that don't require your ongoing maintenance and use of the space.

I'll say again: closed wall system! Depending on how long your wall with the TV is, you could fit two or three of the IKEA Pax units. Get them floor to ceiling. One could house your TV and all the media stuff and many if not all of the books. Another could house your computer set up and the misc. stuff on the bedroom book cases - both computers connected to one monitor with a switcher, if you need both computers. That would free up a lot of space in your bedroom, which you'll need for a crib (if you use one) and other miscellaneous baby gear. If you had room for a third cabinet, you could use it as a pantry for your bulkier small appliances and the stuff on the black shelf. Being able to close the doors gives you a lot of options for how to use the space, and when they're closed you appear clutter free.
post #23 of 47
A couple of people have suggested downsizing to ONLY the sofa/ or loveseat and ditching one of them & the chair all together. If you're not game to go THAT far, how about losing the large arm chair and going for something with less visual 'bulk' like a poang chair from, where else, Ikea?

For me I'd keep the loveseat (most people sit 2 on a 3seater sofa *unless* they are very close family anyway) and downsize to the poang (I have one and I luuuuve it) which frees up a fair bit of space. There are some seriously great suggestions on here!
post #24 of 47
Yep, the Poang is also nice as a bouncing/rocking type chair when you have a baby for just enough motion to get him/her to sleep.
post #25 of 47
My thoughts:

1. Either get rid of coffee tables and end tables, or find some baskets that fit under them to use them for storage. You have too small a place to have ANY furniture that does not serve as storage. Including your couch or loveseat - I can't tell from the picture, can you put stuff under them? I can get stuff under my couch. Or move it a tiny bit away from the wall and store a couple underbed-sized rubbermaid totes behind it (up on their skinny sides).

2. Get rid of either couch or loveseat. I'd suggest keeping the loveseat, but I'm short. If you or hubby like to stretch out on the couch, and the loveseat's too short, I think the couch would be workable. Both is too much for that room.

3. Would you consider eating at the coffee table? I've totally done that in small apartments. Just do away with that table and chairs.

4. If you don't like 3, than you need to combine desk with the kitchen table, in the living room. Meaning, put all your electronics in a box under the table or under the table and use a tablecloth to hide what's under there. Keep your laptop on top of the table when you're working. Keep your other work supplies in a roll away cart under the table and keep your files in a rollaway file under the table. You can often even find these at a thrift store or on freecycle. Yep, I like the idea of putting files, supplies, and electronics under the table and covering it all with a pretty, floor-length tablecloth.

Regardless of whether you choose #3 or #4, you need to get that table out of your kitchen. And it will help to get a desk out of your bedroom, as well.

5. You need more closed storage. When you use open shelving, things look too cluttered. Clutter collects in a small space anyway, and if you add the fact that there's too much visual busy-ness because of all the tiny stuff shoved in corners and all over shelves, you'll go crazy trying to keep your place neat. I have had more trouble keeping apartments neat than houses that are larger. So don't work against yourself. Start by finding lots of sleek baskets or bins for the shelving, so that everything that's teeny-tiny and busy is hidden. Don't let anything show on your shelves unless they're book spines (shelve some up and down and some sideways for interest) or pictures (intersperse them with the books or display them in front of books if the books aren't the prettiest in some spots). Everything else should be in a basket or bin to eliminate visual clutter and make your place feel calm and peaceful.

6. When you get your desk out of the bedroom, can the exercise equipment go in there? Could you listen to a book on tape on your ipod instead of watching TV while exercising? Because it would work out much better, visually, to get it out of your only living area, you know?

7. Where the armchair is - get rid of the end table and the CD rack - wasted space. You can store tons of CDs in a binder and put them right on your bookshelves. Get rid of the jewelcases - they take too much space to store them in a place as small as yours.

8. Layout: If it were me, I'd keep the TV and the two bookshelves where they are, and make it the focal point. I'd probably then keep the loveseat, but move it forward closer to the TV. The coffee table would be gone and I'd have a smaller storage ottoman or steamer trunk in its place. It goes 13 inches from the edge of the loveseat. Then enough room on the other side to walk between the ottoman and the TV and that's it. I'd then have a nice little grouping - TV, loveseat opposite, and chair to the side. Your traffic pattern would then go behind the love seat. I'd get rid of the couch and put the kitchen table against the windows. I'd put chairs on three sides of it - and the fourth chair at his desk in the bedroom. I'd hide all the stuff under the kitchen table like I said, tablecloth it, and then you can work at the "desk" looking out the windows, and get all that good natural light for working, and then eat at the table for meals. Plus, it's really close to the kitchen, so convenient.

9. Dishes: I'd get narrow wall shelves and install them where your yellow leafy-looking wall hanging is now (which would be next to the table) and I'd store pretty dishes on them. Some that go with your decor - but only about 4 plates, 4 bowls, six-ish mugs, four glasses, a crock with silverware, a basket with napkins. I personally have some floating shelves hanging on my dining room wall that would be divine for that purpose.

10. Hang your guitar from the wall like Sarah's husband does. Either over the TV or behind/beside the plaid chair.

11. Kitchen: I love the idea of magnetic spice containers for you. They're not going to be very convenient for cooking where you've got them now and they're taking up valuable shelf space.

Once your table is out of there, all that space can be food prep and storage. We have a tiny kitchen, so we converted our breakfast nook into food prep/storage. You can do something similar here. We went to Lowe's and got inexpensive stock cabinets, and my husband installed then along one wall. We didn't have enough space for regular under-counter cabinets, so he got the kind that are supposed to hang on the wall. But he installed them like floor cabinets, on a kickboard. Really easy to do, even in an apartment. Then, we got a sheet of MDF cut to size for the top. We still haven't topped the MDF (two years later) but we will with a piece of countertop or we will tile/mosaic it. So it's like a little counter with cabinets - not as deep as full-size but it fits the space and gives us storage. You could do something similar with some cast-off cabinets.

If you're going to use that open shelving in the kitchen you need to eliminate the visual clutter. Anything visually cluttered must go behind doors or behind a curtain. Anything left out should be food in canisters (even stuff you wouldn't normally put in canisters - if you can get rid of the packaging and store it in canisters, it can go there) and baskets or bins full of things.

Why don't you put your kitchenaid on top of the dishwasher, if you bake a lot? Then the dishwasher is like extra counter/food prep space, and you don't have to lift the thing up and down all the time (mine's HEAVY and I wouldn't want it stored up over my head like that).

Foil, saran wrap, plastic baggies can all live in a rack on the inside of a closet door. Probably the linen closet is closest to the kitchen, yes? Or that storage closet which will be on the other side of your kitchen table in the living room, if you choose to follow my advice

If you're going to keep your electrical appliances on open shelving, consider slip-covering the shelving unit with a tailored curtain to cut the visual clutter.

12. Bedroom: Your desk chairs are huge! Get smaller ones, and get rid of the big ones. They'd be fine in a larger house, but they're just overwhelming your bedroom. Alternatively, you could move one of your kitchen chairs into the bedroom at his desk (and of course if you're getting rid of your desk and sitting at the kitchen table, which I see as totally doable with the amount of stuff at your desk currently, all of which could be hidden away, you'll be in a kitchen chair too).

Take measurements of that bookshelf in your bedroom, and go on a quest to find baskets or sleek bins that will fit those shelves. That is not the type of stuff to go on open shelving - it needs to be hidden from view.

Your suitcase will fit in your closet, once all your chairs are out!

I wish I could come help you - it seems like it would be such a fun project. You've already made it so cute, and I can see how hard you've worked on your space already. Nicely done. I think you just need to take those final steps of getting rid of some furniture and being ruthless about not getting anything furniture-wise unless it doubles as storage.
post #26 of 47

Small is Big!

I haven't read all replies (cookies in oven) but here's what I'm thinking.

First, when I see your living room, I see BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS. Too many books = clutter. I think the books are half the problem in there-- that's all I see. My husband likes to keep them, as well, but are you REALLY reading them?

In the kitchen, there's just too much on that shelf. It draws my eye to it. Really consider decluttering-- simplifying it.

Looking at the kitchen-- reduce the number of utensils you keep. Do you really need that many? It draws the eye to it.

Bedroom bookshelf: Declutter!

This gal simplified with, at one point, 365 square feet. Notice that with that small of space, clutter really catches the eye. Use color! Think of using whatever extra space you have.

Your place is cute; it just needs to have the amount of stuff that will fit in a 600 sq foot place, not a larger one.
post #27 of 47
While I like dark wood (like your bookcases) they can make a small room look smaller.

I like this wall of shelves (on the video showing the futon):

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/ca...ng_room/10663/

Sorry, hon, but you've got too much stuff still! If you've got a laptop, do you REALLY need to have two computer desks?

Yes, you've got very little counterspace. I had about that much, or a little less. Do what I did when I lived in the dinky studio - put a large cutting board over the sink. IKEA has GREAT stacking beverage glasses. They're like $6 for 12. I'd definitely get a set. Do your dishes stack compactly? I love my Corelle because it does.

Since there are only two of you, dishes and silverware for four would be a great number. Maybe one set of the 12 stacking glasses.

What about your pots?

Do you USE the exercise machine?

I'd get rid of the couch AND that large chair - leaving only the loveseat and get one of those poang chairs (sp?) from IKEA.

If you were near me, I'd come over and declutter you!

ETA: Can your suitcase fit under your bed? I've seen these bed risers at places like Target or Bed Bath & Beyond. They go under the feet, and raise your bed by about six inches, so you have more storage space. The use a bedskirt, if you don't have one yet. I have an antique bed (given to me) that sits really high. I prefer the look of no bedskirt (shows the wood off better), but when I did use a bedskirt, I could store a TON of stuff down there!
post #28 of 47
Thread Starter 
You ladies are interior design geniuses!

I'm going to show this thread to DH and see if we can come up with a game plan that we agree on. Everyone seems to want us to get rid of the loveseat, and while I might normally agree, the loveseat is actually a sofabed whereas the large couch is not. And we've already had an occasion where 3 people slept over and we put 2 on the sofa bed and 1 on the couch. We live a good 5 hours from most of our friends/family now, so when they visit they like to sleep over. So give it to me straight - am I just being willfull wanting to keep both of them or does it actually seem legitimate?
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallyn View Post
You ladies are interior design geniuses!

I'm going to show this thread to DH and see if we can come up with a game plan that we agree on. Everyone seems to want us to get rid of the loveseat, and while I might normally agree, the loveseat is actually a sofabed whereas the large couch is not. And we've already had an occasion where 3 people slept over and we put 2 on the sofa bed and 1 on the couch. We live a good 5 hours from most of our friends/family now, so when they visit they like to sleep over. So give it to me straight - am I just being willfull wanting to keep both of them or does it actually seem legitimate?
That's really great that the love seat is also a sofa bed. I'd totally ditch the long sofa. I think it will gain you a lot of room for moving things around. If you are worried about overnight guests being uncomfortable, buy a blow up mattress.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallyn View Post
You ladies are interior design geniuses!

I'm going to show this thread to DH and see if we can come up with a game plan that we agree on. Everyone seems to want us to get rid of the loveseat, and while I might normally agree, the loveseat is actually a sofabed whereas the large couch is not. And we've already had an occasion where 3 people slept over and we put 2 on the sofa bed and 1 on the couch. We live a good 5 hours from most of our friends/family now, so when they visit they like to sleep over. So give it to me straight - am I just being willfull wanting to keep both of them or does it actually seem legitimate?
You're being willful!

Seriously, those Aerobed air mattresses are super comfortable (I've slept on them at a friends). They store small.

You have too little space now to keep that big couch AND the chair for when occasional people come over.
post #31 of 47
I'd get rid of the 2 extra chairs in your closet, that would create more space and make you feel better.
post #32 of 47
Well, I wouldn't put it as "willful", but I do definitely think that either the loveseat or the sofa needs to go. The convenience of visitors shouldn't override your convenience in using this house every day, and losing one of these is what you need to break the logjam. Once one is gone, you can move the kitchen table, which allows you to use the kitchen normally, use the table normally, and get those chairs out of the closet. It opens up other possibilities with the desks and bookshelves.

As others have pointed out, you can get a blow-up bed for the visitors.

Crayfish
post #33 of 47
I'd get rid of all 4 table chairs and get 4-6 of these:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80114979
OR
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90102278

The first ones fold and the second ones stack compactly.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
You're being willful!

Seriously, those Aerobed air mattresses are super comfortable (I've slept on them at a friends). They store small.

You have too little space now to keep that big couch AND the chair for when occasional people come over.
Yeah what she said! And those folding Ikea chairs rock!!!! I second the suggestion to ditch your others and get a couple of these instead, phht who cares that they won't match.
post #35 of 47
I'm going to be the dissenting voice here and vote to keep the sofa and loveseat :. I hate to break up a matching set and they are a neutral color. I would get rid of the armchair, and some of the smaller pieces. Go for fewer pieces then rearrange things. This way you and your husband would each have a place to stretch out and settle in for a movie or while reading. In the current issue of Cottage Living magazine, there is an article about a Katrina Cottage that is great. A lot of good ideas for a small space. One thing I liked was having the dining table pushed longways against the sofa with a chair on each end and a bench on the long side, which you could tuck underneath (not sure if I'm explaining this well). Basically, I would try to use your living room as a dining room as well. This would give you more room in the kitchen which is important if you are trying to prepare most of your meals instead of eating out.

Could you get some matching baskets to put on the kitchen and living room shelves? It would make things look more uniform and less cluttered.

I agree with above poster who said get rid of more books, most books you won't read again. (I'm working on that one myself!). Could you replace the two smaller bookshelves with one floor to ceiling set that is painted to blend in with the wall? (If you havent noticed, I'm all about uniformity and neutrals in a small space)

Do you need two desks and computers for your jobs? Otherwise, I think it's a great idea to get rid of one and move your stair stepper in there.

I would clear out those bins in the bathroom. A vanity, medicine chest and maybe one of those shelf things over the toilet should hold the basics - get rid of the excess.

I agree with Savoir Faire 100%: "Your place is [super] cute; it just needs to have the amount of stuff that will fit in a 600 sq foot place, not a larger one." New space = new clutter challenges.

Good luck!
post #36 of 47
I'll vote on your side! Keep the matching sofa and loveseat. Especially if you do plan on a little one in the near future, it's nice to have a separate bed to go to.
Ditch the chair and ficus. Ideally buying a new kitchen table where 2 of the 4chairs could work as desk chairs.
yep, magnetic spice tins and end table/coffe table with hidden storage would make a huge difference!
post #37 of 47
If it were me I'd definately get rid of the loveseat and just have a couch and chair. I'd also eliminate the low glass side table by the loveseat and just put the chair next to the couch and the one taller roundish side table inbetween so they can "share".

Do you guys actually use the exercise machine...or are you just holding on to it? If you don't use it - then i'd ditch it.

I'd also eliminate that light wood corner shelf unit that is kind of in front of your bookcase (i think santa is sitting on it??). It looks like it's only housing a photo -- which can easily be moved on your bookshelf or wall, and create more floor space.

I'd wash dishes by hand....that thing takes up too much space :

I'd nix the extra bathroom cabinet on the floor and put a cabinet over the toilet. That way you create more floor space and everything wont feel/look so cramped.

Are you utilizing your underbed space? You can even raise your bed higher to make more space under there...store some of the stuff you don't use as often - or extra nick nacks and such.

And do you REALLY need two seperate desk areas??? If not i'd nix one...maybe the laptop desk since clearly you can use one anywhere...just my opinions.

Hope some of that helps. We are in a small dark, one bedroom basement apartment (613sq ft) so i know how it goes!!! Good luck and your place is super cute
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crayfish View Post
Well, I wouldn't put it as "willful", but I do definitely think that either the loveseat or the sofa needs to go. The convenience of visitors shouldn't override your convenience in using this house every day, and losing one of these is what you need to break the logjam. Once one is gone, you can move the kitchen table, which allows you to use the kitchen normally, use the table normally, and get those chairs out of the closet. It opens up other possibilities with the desks and bookshelves.

As others have pointed out, you can get a blow-up bed for the visitors.

Crayfish
What she said! We only have a sofa and chair. And when family comes...well, it sucks cause we are cramped but we use a blow up mattress for them.
post #39 of 47
I like the matching sofa and loveseat. However, the chair needs to go.

Could the hockey stuff be stored in dh's trunk? Or yours?

I hate to say this, and its only meant in the kindest way, you have to much stuff. At least half of the the books, if not 75%, need to go. Same thing in the kitchen. Also there is all that wall space above the spice cart waiting for a utensil rack or pot rack or lid rack. I would also invest in a spice rack, magnetic type, to mount there also. Check out something like the Ikea kitchen system for ideas.

The bedroom needs to lose a desk.
post #40 of 47
I think it's been said, but lady, you have too much furniture! Your apartment looks about the same size as mine (mine is 700ish square feet, but has two bedrooms). In my place I have:

Living room: Sofa, 1 slim chair, computer desk, small entertainment unit (includes TV, and hidden storage for photo albums electronics), and currently the Christmas tree.

Dining: Table, 4 chairs, hutch (hides all of our boardgames, we ditched our "good china")

Kitchen: Got rid of all the appliances that we didn't use at least 3 times a week. Downsized the dishes to open up room in the cupboards for foodstuff.

Bedroom: Bed, drafting table (it's my sewing area) 1 bookcase (again, sewing stuff).

Kids room: Bed, bookcase for toy storage, doll house.

I ditched nearly all of my seldom read books, and use the library exclusively. We got rid of a LOT of small stuff that we never used, but were keeping in case we needed them "some day." We use my luggage as storage. Hmmm, time to leave for the day, I may be back with more suggestions. :P

But most of all, try and sacrifice the loveseat! A little open space goes a LONG way in making a home look less cluttery.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › need help organizing a VERY small space *pics added post #11*