advice, lifestyle, tips

Storage Hacks for Small Homes

My husband and I are currently in the process of building our forever home, and I’m SO excited for it to be ready.

However, that probably won’t be until the end of this year, so for now we’re living in my condo.

I really like where I live and this was the first place I bought on my own, so it means a lot to me.

It’s a good size place for a single girl just starting out, but once my husband moved in we quickly realized that storage space is a little tight for all of the stuff we collectively own.

Over the last year I’ve had to get a little creative as far as making things fit, and I came up with some clever hacks that have worked well for us.

I figured I would share them for anyone who is facing similar challenges or who wants some ideas on how to make the most of their space.

1. Put extras on display

Anyone else have a bunch of toiletries that are taking up a ton of space in their closet?

Between freebies from dental cleanings, leftover travel essentials, and spare emergency items from my wedding, an entire shelf of my bathroom closet was being filled up with these things and I just didn’t have a place for them!

For my wedding, I put together men’s and women’s restroom baskets with essentials for guests (spray deodorant, tampons, gum, hairspray, you name it) and had almost all of these things left over afterwards.

I didn’t want to get rid of them because they were all things I could use, but as I was going to put them in the bathroom closet, I noticed how many packs of floss, mini tubes of toothpaste, small bottles of hand lotion, and other miscellaneous items had accumulated.

Rather than dumping the contents of the restroom baskets on top of what was already there, I got an idea.

I grabbed a larger decorative basket and arranged ALL of my extra bathroom supplies inside of it.

I went from having a mess of loose extra items to having a really cute and convenient array of supplies for future guests.

This was the perfect solution for my personal hygiene extra, but can also be an aesthetically pleasing way to store snacks, cleaning supplies, or jewelry.

Amazon, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby all have lots of great baskets at cheap prices. Here are a few that I like:
Basket 1
Basket 2
Basket 3
Assortment

2. Stow away 

This applies to household items as well as clothing and shoes.

As much as it makes me sad to put things up into my attic (ok, let’s be real…I have never actually climbed the ladder up into my attic…my husband is the one who puts my things up there) it’s a great way to store things I’m not currently using but don’t want to get rid of.

After my bridal shower, I got so many gifts that will be perfect for our new house, but that aren’t really needed (or are just too big) to use in my condo.

We put a lot of things right up into the attic without even opening the boxes. This way, the items were still sealed and protected until we’re ready to break them out and put them to use.

When it comes to clothes, I use large plastic bins to store the ones I don’t wear very often. I have a pretty large selection of dress pants, blazers, and suits for work, but since I’m in advertising I only dress up like that for client meetings and stick to jeans/more casual looks whenever I’m in the office.

I keep about half of my work wardrobe in my closet, and the rest is neatly packed away.

Mid-year I take out all the stuff from storage and replace it with the other half of my work clothes.

That way, I get to maximize my closet space and still refresh my wardrobe with new things I haven’t worn in forever!

Plastic bins come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. I use them for attic storage, as well as keeping together my nail polishes and other makeup products. Here are some cheap but reliable ones:
Bin 1
Bin 2
Bin 3
Bin 4

3. Double up on hangers

This is a simple trick that has actually helped make a lot of space in my closet!

Hangers not only take up space, but they also add extra weight to the racks.

When hanging things in my closet I’ll put two (or sometimes three) lightweight items onto one hanger.

You have to make sure the hanger is sturdy and that the clothes aren’t too heavy, so try it with with sundresses, tank tops, lightweight items like that.

You’ll be surprised at how much more fits into your closet by doing this, and since the items you’re doubling up are so light, having a few more in your closet won’t put extra strain on the rack itself (most times when I’m doing this I’ll notice that the hanger I’m removing weighs twice as much, or more, than the item I’m taking off of it!).

Hangers are all over the place and are usually pretty cheap. A few that I use to hold multiple clothes items (and have never had problems with) are here:
Hanger 1
Hanger 2
Hanger 3
Hanger 4

4. Binge and purge

That is, binge watch Netflix and purge the extra items you don’t need.

Marie Kondo has some really great tips in her popular streaming show, so if you haven’t watched that yet it may help you find new ways to declutter your space.

Another tip I heard a while back that works well is to turn all of the hangers in your closet to face the same way.

The first time you wear an item, turn the hanger to face the other direction.

After a year goes by (or whatever time frame you’d like) take note of all the clothes still hanging in the original direction.

If you haven’t worn them after a whole year, maybe it’s time to let go of them.

It can be tough to get rid of clothes that you’ve had for a while or really like, but purging can be less painful if you get a little reward out of it.

When my closet is getting too full I hold off from buying anything new until I make space for it by removing some old items.

I like to donate my old clothes or give them to someone I know who is in need, because it makes me feel less sad getting rid of something if I know it’s going to help someone else.

You can also sell some of your lightly used clothing on sites like Poshmark to earn some extra cash.

I’d like to think that once we move into our house, I’ll never have to worry about where to put things again. But I know that isn’t realistic.

No matter how much space we have, things always seem to pile up and we’re left wondering how we acquired so much stuff and where we’ll put it all.

I’m glad that I’ve already started finding new ways to maximize my space, and I know these are approaches I’ll continue to find useful wherever I live.

I hope some of these ideas work for you, as well.

As always, I’d love to hear your own take on this! What are some storage hacks that you swear by?

I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many solutions to one problem. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Storage Hacks for Small Homes”

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