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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in a 1050 sq ft condo with my 2 kids and hope to have 1 more in the future but things already are so tight and cluttered and unorganized. I wanted to live in a smaller space for cost reasons and because I really try to live out sustainability but I keep dreaming of a bigger place. I want to make my place work without having to go bigger at least right now but it is hard. We do have storage behind our garage and the condo is still so cluttered. The condo itself loses space in the hallways and bathroom and doesn't have much storage but it is an open floor plan. The kitchen is really small and that drives me nuts.<br><br>
How do you keep organized in a small space? Does anybody have pictures of how they do it? I did get rid of some stuff but I can't seem to keep up on things. I rarely buy things but we get a lot of gifts. I did buy a lot at thrift stores for my dd but I don't buys things very often now but still it really adds up.
 

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I think that your condo is about the same size as the main level of my home so I think you can do it because we mostly live on this floor! I had to completely change my approach in order to declutter my home. I completely stopped shopping at thrift stores and garage sales (well, I might go in 2x/year) because I would buy stuff that I didn't need or just added to clutter. Instead I only buy a few nice things. Like my son only has 2 pairs of winter shoes that fit him plus one pair of snow boots (gender neutral in case they fit DD when she's older). I have a friend who's a bargain shopper and her DD always has tons of shoes and her house is so tiny that any excess looks like clutter.<br><br>
As I am able to buy something nice I get rid of anything like it that's junky or worn out. My goal is to only have beautiful things that I love. I do the same things with my kids' clothes and toys. I sometimes buy used clothing and shoes for them on eBay because it allows me to buy them quality items at a fraction of the original retail price. When someone gives me something I keep it for a bit and if it doesn't work for us I get rid of it. The sooner I do it the better because I have a tendency to get emotionally attached to things or feel guilty because I like the person who gave it to me.<br><br>
I also get inspiration from lifestyle blogs and looking at photos of other people's homes on Flickr. I really enjoy this one <a href="http://www.chezlarsson.com/" target="_blank">http://www.chezlarsson.com/</a><br><br>
My house is a work in progress but here are some photos<br>
This is <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw/460488510/in/set-72157600080111611/" target="_blank">my dinning room</a>. The only difference right now it that there's a huge ficus tree in the corner and another high chair<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw/3144080403/in/set-72157600080111611/" target="_blank">My bedroom</a> pretty much still looks like this.<br><br>
This is the shared <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw/3144080153/in/set-72157600080111611/" target="_blank">family closet</a>. I'm using the kids' closet as storage but I really need to clear that out.<br><br>
These are my kitchen cabinets<br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw/1449481442/in/set-72157600080111611/" target="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw...7600080111611/</a><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw/1449481434/in/set-72157600080111611/" target="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw...7600080111611/</a><br>
It really helps to organize when things match.<br><br>
And this is my kids' room<br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw/4110750404/" target="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw/4110750404/</a><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw/4110750380/in/photostream/" target="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw...n/photostream/</a><br><br>
Welcome to my home. I feel like I just gave you a tour. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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When I've lived in small places without a lot of closet space, I used wardrobes to keep stuff in.<br><br>
We bought a house that has no coat closet, so that's the plan when we get the living room done. Our house is 935sq ft and we are up to our necks in clutter (due to renovations and not able to put things *away*) but I can so tell that this place will be the perfect size for us and a couple of kids.<br><br>
Layout is key though. We have a small living room roughly 10x10' but it has a door and it's more private (think away space in the <a href="http://www.susanka.com/" target="_blank">Not So Big House</a> books) a largish, very open kitchen/dining room (13x24?) and a soon to be family room at the back of the house where our future kids would run wild. Another smallish space of 13x11. Family room and living room are far enough apart to cut down on sound.<br><br>
For storage<br>
in living room:<br>
I'm using shelves on walls over couch, storage in foot stool/bench type thing, baskets under couch, floor to ceiling shelf in corner behind door.<br><br>
In bathroom:<br>
we're converting a huge cabinet into vanity and it has tons of space, cabinets over washer/dryer that go up to ceiling. Narrow closet/shelves at end of tub (i'll have pics someday <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)<br><br>
Basement stairs:<br>
hooks for broom, mop & bucket. hooks for odds and ends, shelf overhead at stair landing (but nothing so crowded its dangerous)<br><br>
Kitchen/dining room:<br>
buffet near DR table holds craft materials, paint, sewing machine etc (eventually this will be moved to my closet)<br>
China cabinet holds quite a bit of odds and ends<br><br>
Think about having less furniture overall, but maybe bigger pieces? Like, instead of having 3 narrow bookcases of various heights, have one tall wardrobe or buffet: looks cleaner/less cluttered and will hold so much more stuff.<br><br>
Also, make sure you can see the wall in areas. In other words, don't have so much clutter/furniture that every area of the wall has something on it.<br><br>
ETA: Sorry for the rambliness!
 

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We're a family of 4 in a 1050 sf apartment -- no garage or at-home storage. We do have a storage locker because we have 2 home-based businesses and the business inventory was taking up too much room. I've been re-organizing and decluttering for 1.5 years...it's been taking a long time and I still have a long way to go.<br><br>
My advice is to keep all of your storage areas in the home functional and beautiful and to declutter, declutter, declutter. I play tricks with myself to figure out what's really important. e.g. If I was moving to Europe, would I keep this or have to buy one after moving there? I think that the size of this home will work once decluttering is in the maintenance phase. Less stuff = more space, and space is really what's most precious to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you guys so much. The pictures are very helpful. I have been wanting to pick up a copy of the not so big house. We may be building a straw bale in the future and I want to use it for ideas. Either that or look for places using concepts from the book that make good use of space. I like the idea of away space. Our living room is big with huge windows that are too big and they take awat a lot of space too.<br><br>
I really need to declutter more. I get too attached to things or feel guilty throwing away stuff tat was gifts. I really admire how little stuff some people have and I need to strive towards that. It is very slow going with the kids.
 
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