7 Space Saving Techniques for Living in Small Quarters - Tiny House Blog

7 Space Saving Techniques for Living in Small Quarters

Houses and apartments come in all shapes and sizes, the smaller the place, the more likely you could use some good space saving ideas. Maybe your living room isn’t as big as you’d like to be, and you want to have plenty of room for seating. You might need to save space in your kitchen so it isn’t cramped for cooking and dishes.

If you don’t have a lot of storage space or simply want to save the space you have, there are a number of fantastic and economical ideas that can both create more space and make the most of what you have, while making sure that your apartment looks spectacular.

  1. Saving Space in the Kitchen – The kitchens in apartments are usually smaller than houses, which can make it difficult to deal with if you’re a foodie who loves to cook. Bad part is that once you cook there are dishes, figuring out how to find time and space to wash the dishes can prove to be a huge task at hand. Often, downsizing in the kitchen can be helpful, especially if you’re trying to share space with a dining room. For instance, you can set up a small, cozy bistro area, rather than an actual dining room. If you can’t abide by downsizing to a mini-fridge to give yourself more room, then improvise. Cans and smaller boxes can easily be stored in a plastic shoe holder designed to hang on the wall!
  2. Lighting Tricks – It might not seem like lighting takes up a lot of space, but if you favor floor and table lamps, it can take up the extra space you have. If you’re allowed, try to use track lighting instead. In addition to making a room look larger, it will free up a surprising amount of space. Closets are one place where you should include lighting, however. That way, you’ll be able to see how much space you do have, so you can utilize it best.
  3. Cheat Your Storage Space – One of the hardest things to do in many apartments is find space for storage. You just need to cheat what you’ve got. In addition to utilizing closet space, some things can be stored under your bed, your couch, and your chairs. You can also assign bureau drawers as storage spaces.
  4. Shelving – Shelving can be your best friend. Bookshelves may be too bulky, but free floating shelves are ideal. They can hold books, figurines, knick-knacks, and pretty much anything else. They can also be quite attractive, especially “invisible shelves” made of glass.
  5. Smart Furniture – The kind of furniture you use to furnish your apartment matters as well. For instance, you might have an armoire. This is a large piece of furniture, true, but it is also versatile. It has plenty of room for storage, but it can go almost anywhere in your home. Furniture that can double as something else, such as an ottoman that contains a storage unit in the middle, is always a good idea.
  6. Create Versatile Rooms – You want to use every inch of space you have. Your living room can double as a family room and entertainment area, if you make good use of a wall unit. Your television, stereo, video games, and so on, can go into the unit, leaving plenty of room for seating. As briefly mentioned, you can also find a way to combine your kitchen and dining room in a charming but economic way as well.
  7. Cutting Clutter – The fact remains that there are some items you might not be able to make room for in a small apartment. If you cannot store and have not used it in a year, cut ties. That’s the hard, fast rule for getting rid of things when your space is limited. By cutting out the erroneous, unnecessary items in your life, you will be surprised at how much space is left over.

As you can see, there are many ways to save space in even the smallest houses or apartments. These tips work well for small homes as well. You don’t have to be a slave to space. There are easy, clever ways both to save the space you have and make use of storage options you may not realize you had. Hopefully, now you have some redecorating ideas that will help you take the steps necessary to make your cozy apartment a roomy home.

This post was written and provided by Martha Keagan who is a freelance writer and full time mother. She is currently living in a small two bedroom apartment in Kansas City and is constantly finding new ways to pack more things in her home.

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Norm - August 11, 2011 Reply

It’s not often noted that furniture designed for offices is much smaller than the equivalent designed for “consumers”. This is because offices are designed for space efficiency, because they are paying for the space.

One example: An overstuffed office chair will typically be 2’x 2′, 25 to 40% smaller than a “consumer” chair.

These will have drawbacks: less padding, and too upright in stature. Just attach risers to the front and pad the arms to enhance comfort but keep the small dimensions.

Used office furniture stores are jam packed currently given the economic conditions so good deals can be had.

Alex - August 11, 2011 Reply

Great tips, thanks for sharing Martha. Love your book shelves.

Cindy - August 12, 2011 Reply

My house is very small (1,000 sq ft) – I’ve had to combine my living and dining room, so my long square dining table doubles as my sofa table. With 4 chairs around the table – it also makes for extra seating. There is still room for my dining hutch against the wall. Sometimes in a small room it is better to get things away from the wall, and space them in the center of your room to maximize space. My duel space isn’t crowded or clutered at all.

Mary - August 16, 2011 Reply

Love the pics and the article. There are a few ways the pictures are worth the proverbial thousand words in this article. The pictures say: Go vertical and be creative. Don’t get a bookshelf or dresser that comes only halfway up the wall, get the tallest you can find. Tall and skinny will add a perception of space where there isn’t really any, and yields more storage overall in many cases. Glass table tops, fewer wall decorations, mirrors, and light colored furniture open space and make the room feel more spacious in many cases, too. And a couch is a couch, but some couches are a good 12″ longer due to the size, not of the seat, but of the arms. Select narrow chair arms and opt for a recliner or stationary small chair instead of a living room sofa/loveseat and matching chair. For that matter, choose the loveseat over the couch to begin with. How many times do you have three people sitting on your couch, anyway? 😉

To what the pictures and article said, I’ll add this:
Don’t just shove things under the bed or behind the couch. When will you remember they were there? Make nicely labeled ‘designer’ boxes (cover the box with fabric, wall paper samples, scrapbooking concepts, or contact paper) and not only will things be neater but you’ll also be more apt to enjoy getting them out.

Mark Sindone - April 8, 2013 Reply

Small spaces are the most difficult to work with to create storage for all purposes. Underbed or under couch storage is a very good idea to keep the mess in and put the clutters out of sight. Shelvings are also one alternative but if things on them are not properly arranged constantly, they tend to create a mess instead. The trick is to declutter every once in a while and if you have items that you do not need now, have them stored away in a affordable storage unit. For those that have not been used for 2 years or more, you probably do not need them so simply dispose them off.

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