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How to Use Every Inch of Your Small Space

Organizing Tips for Small Spaces
Less clutter means more space.
Less clutter means more space.

Getting organized is one thing. It's staying organized that is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks for all of us. The key is to minimize the opportunities for clutter. A great place to start is to create a landing pad for the stuff you drop in your doorway when you come home. Hooks for your jacket and keys and a shelf for your bag will keep you from breaking your neck on your way out the door, or from having to shove everything off the dining room table onto the floor so you can eat dinner. You know all of those plastic grocery bags you've been saving just in case? Take all but a few of them to the nearest recycling bin. And yes, those bulk deals are tempting. But if you don't have a place to store 24 rolls of paper towels, you're probably better off sticking to the four-pack.

You're limited to the floor space that you have, but going vertical can create tons more storage space, and shelving is a small space dweller's best friend. Closets are a great place to start. There's usually a lot of dead space up high and on the sides that can be maxed out with shelves for things like toiletries, seasonal gear, and extra linens. Have lots of books that aren't display-worthy? Place some wrap around shelves high up on the wall for book storage. Unused corners are also great places for shelves to display nice books and knick knacks. No place for your CD collection? That's fine, because CDs are out, anyway. Invest in a hard drive, convert all of them to mp3s, and sell the discs to a used CD store.

Repeat after me: A place for everything, and everything in its place. Make this your mantra as you get organized. Clutter can quickly overtake a small space, so it's important that every single thing you own has a home, and that it gets put back in its home after use. A great way to ensure that you'll always have a place for everything is to institute a "one in, one out" rule. This means every time you bring home something new, you need to find something to get rid of to make space for it. Not only is this a good exercise for your living space, your wallet will appreciate it, too. Trying to figure out how a new item fits into your life will help you consider if you're buying something you really need.