Smart storage solutions can be your best friend in a tight space.

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With the financial crisis of the last few years, a lot of people are looking at how they live and how they spend. Gone are the days of the McMansions and the stock-up shopping sprees at Target. Yes, we're still a consumer culture, and that's not all bad. But with multiple shows about hoarders on reality television, it's evident that it would benefit us to learn to strike a healthier balance between ourselves and our possessions. There are blogs, newspaper articles and entire magazines focused on the relationships between people and their stuff, and they're urging us to purge. Some are paring down for spiritual reasons; others because they're simply out of space. And we all know there's no greater challenge than to have to fit all of our Earthly possessions into a small space.

The key to maximizing a small space is to wisely utilize every square inch. Now, this is only possible if you have the right amount of stuff that will fit within those square inches. If you're like most people, you probably have a surplus of stuff, so you're going to need to get rid of everything but the necessities. For example, do you need a blender and a food processor? These items take up a lot of counter and cabinet space, and their functions are similar enough that unless you're a smoothie master or an award-winning soup maker, you can probably pare down to the one you use the most. Even small specialty tools like apple corers and lemon zesters take up precious drawer space. Unless you're using them on a weekly basis, you're better off giving them away and freeing up some room. If you're in a pinch, you can always borrow gadgets from someone with a bigger kitchen.