Taking advantage of the space you have

5 Ways to Live in Small Spaces

by Natalie Zarrelli

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One of the greatest challenges faced by those living in apartments or smaller homes is the search for space. If you've dealt with this before, you know that search can become frustrating, and you may feel a little like you're living somewhere impossibly small. You might be one of the many who save on money and household responsibilities in a communal living situation, or perhaps you've downsized to a smaller home. As this becomes more common, the challenges many are facing regarding space in their homes are rising. Luckily, with a little effort and some creative space efficiency, it is possible to make cramped rooms go from catastrophic to cozy.

1. Get Organized

One of the greatest challenges that come with living in a smaller space is organization. Small spaces tend to remove the freedom to let things accumulate without crowding the floor or some other often used area, so giving everything a place is very important. Desktop organizers and stackable drawers greatly reduce mess, but be sure to make it so you don't have to move everything around just to get to one item. Drawers work well for this reason. The unit stays in place and you get to access your stuff. Beyond organizational items, it also does well to really look at what you have. What haven't you used in a year? What don't you like any more? By paring down your belongings, you'll not only live in a less cluttered environment, but you'll better appreciate items you actually use and like.

More: Frugal De-Cluttering Solutions

2. Invest in a Fan

Lack of air circulation is one of the number one culprits for an uncomfortable, stuffy, and sometimes disease-spreading room. If you live in an especially small room or house, get a fan and face it out toward the doorway, and periodically bring new air in by turning that fan to face inward. You'll feel much more refreshed and have an easier time of enjoying a space that typically traps stale air.

More: A Frugal Guide to Fans

3. What's Under the Bed?

Making sure that you have a mattress on a risen bed frame is one of the most important improvements to a small room living situation. Under the bed storage space is extremely valuable. Raising your bed using bed frame lifts or bed risers (found online at various shops as well as in some furniture stores) will lift your bed sometimes up to a foot, which can be a cheap and easy way to give better storage space. These come in different varieties, but many simply go under each leg of the bed and are extremely easy to use. If you do not have a day bed, couch bed, or loft, this is sometimes the best choice for those in small spaces.

Shop home improvement for great prices at Overstock.com.

4. Don't Forget Wall Space!

The most frequently looked over space in the house is the walls. If the walls of your home are sturdy, there are limitless uses for wall space, and investing in shelving along with large hooks to place on the walls will allow you to use your space to the max. One trick that works well is to buy a few small hooks from the hardware store and get a simple milk crate from a nearby business to hang on the hooks. You can easily organize belongings in these crates on the wall (just make sure the wall can take the weight) or simply stacked on the floor, and it rarely costs more than a few dollars.

5. Storage Seating

Another great way to save space with things that need storing but not constant use is storage seating. A chest or a seat with a lid that opens (such as piano benches or sewing benches) offers a versatile way to allow for comfort without sacrificing as much space.

Finally, don't get discouraged! Whatever your situation, living in a tiny space can be difficult. However, a small living space can be easily and cheaply used to your advantage. The more creative you are, the easier it is to enjoy your time in a tiny living space.

Reviewed April 2017

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